Our beautiful land is home of a countless number of plants considered as unique in the World. This is due to the isolation we are found, because even we are part of the continent, life here develops like in an island. One of these wonderful plants is the rock fig or Zalate.

Fig trees or ficus are common residents of the tropical forests; this fact makes the Baja California something unique because it has adapted to live in a dryer climate. This survival is possible since the tree absorbs humidity from the morning dew and the marine breeze. Its pale color helps it to stand the hottest days of midsummer reflecting the solar energy.

During its never ending struggle in search for water, its roots grow in all directions creating fanciful designs and also embrace and break granite blocks, becoming a sanctuary of life itself, because different kinds of animals, like spiders, reptiles and small mammals use the tree as residence.

One of the most interesting characters in the animal kingdom is living among us here in Los Cabos. We are talking about a medium-sized raptor with a bold white and black plumage pattern, and a bright yellow face and legs.

This bird, due to the conditions of the ecosystems it inhabits, presents various and unique adaptations. This bird lives solitary or with its mate, who stays loyal for all its life like most falcons and eagles do. It is the only falcon that nests and it usually does this on rocks or small bushes.

It feeds on small rodents, lizards and other birds, but its principal meal comes from carrion. The Crested Caracara, Mexican Eagle or Quelele also plays the role of a buzzard, taking any chance to have a feast on the carcasses of dead animals. This contributes to the cleansing process, which is very important in the desert environment where dryness makes the rotting process impossible. One of its principal adaptations is the lengthening of the legs which allows it to walk or even run, making it unique among all falcons.

The Caracaras were persecuted for a long time, almost to the point of extinction in several states because people used to believe that they stole the calves of cattle. Recently they have become a protected species and some populations are becoming stable again.

So do not lose the chance of exploring all these wonders and remember to keep your eyes open.

We are living one of the greatest adventures on the planet as are all the other inhabitants of this land too. We are sailing away in a northwest direction at 1.6 inches a year on a boat known as The Baja California Peninsula. According to the Continental Drift Theory, the surface (crust) of the planet is divided into many floating pieces (something similar to a soccer ball but with irregular shapes instead of hexagons) that are moving and crashing against each other. We are at the edge of one of these called The Pacific Plate. The rest of México, with the USA and Canada, are on the North American Plate, which is pushing us.

This has been happening for millions of years and it is the reason why the Peninsula and the Gulf were created 6 million years ago. During this time life has adapted and specialized due to climatic changes also. Can you imagine that this place was a tropical forest just 2 million years ago? We have one of the highest rates of “ENDEMIC” (plants and animals living exclusively in one region) species in the world, beaten just by Australia, a Continent! Researchers from all around the world are interested in places like this to try to understand how life has evolved on our planet, due to the huge diversity of species and “local” climates.

We are facing a huge challenge as we live on Nature’s Ultimate Experimental Field. We MUST not just admire and enjoy it but also preserve it. Let us respect all the other species who live with us on this Ark of stone. Do you dare to accept the challenge?

We are fortunate to be neighbors to the masters of adaptation in the desert, and there is still time to learn and improve our life’s quality. We are talking about the cacti, which is the right way to refer to this group of plants as the word cactus is used for a single plant.

These plants have modified the shape of their bodies in order to store the most valued currency of the desert… water. Most of them do this using their ribs which are folds formed all along their bodies to allow the plants to expand and shrink as accordions to store water during the dry season. Then they face their greatest challenge, to protect all this water. That is why their leaves became thorns to discourage any animal to eat them.

The most admirable fact about them is the way they produce their own food. While other plants go through photosynthesis during the day and lose water by evaporation, cacti can release oxygen during the night to avoid dehydration. They have synchronized their blooming season to avoid competing with each other and to become a constant source of food for the desert inhabitants. Like them, we must adopt this balanced relationship with the environment and do something more that just guarding our resources in order to become positive beings.

Join us in our expeditions through our magic land and let’s learn together from our wise neighbors.

We are privileged to live in one of the most beautiful regions on the planet.

Here, we are witness to the most wonderful occurrence in any desert… the awakening of life after the rains. Our rainfall average is 13 inches per year, ¡which is 10 times less than Mexico’s southeast! (for example, Chiapas averages 156 inches). The only way rain occurs here is if there is a storm near the Peninsula. Due to this, rainfall must be used in the best way possible.

Previously we’ve learned about how cacti can store and protect their water, but what happens with the other plants? Remember that during the hottest months everything seems dry? Plants go “to sleep” to avoid misusing energy and water. This can occur every few months or even years. Once it rains, everything comes back to life at full speed. Some plants such as the Red Torote and Ocotillos are able to make their leaves grow in just 24 hours. That is because they need to make use of a very short humidity period in order to grow.

Growing is not the most important factor but reproduction is. So this is when the show begins. Many plants are competing to attract the pollinating commission, birds, insects, reptiles and mammals, by using the most colourful and fragrant flowers. The same way plants do, many animals like frogs, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects awaken to fulfill the same duties, into what is considered one of the most beautiful spectacles in the world.

Remember how fortunate we are and let’s work together so in addition to us, our visitors can enjoy this as well. We need to handle our resources in a responsible way. We can do this if we don’t waste water at home and of course if we don’t litter on the river beds.

Every thirty years a never ending struggle for life starts…the birth of a baby sea turtle. Turtles are reptiles that live on either fresh or salty water, and are very easy to recognize because they have their own armor, the shell.

Besides this they are like almost all other reptiles, they lay eggs, and are ecto thermic, meaning they depend on the surrounding temperature to regulate their own. Unlikely that what happens on cartoons, turtles cannot be separated from their shell, since this is welded to their skeleton.

Approximately every thirty years, sea turtles return to the beach they were born to make nests on the sand, and that way complete the cycle of life, while lying eggs that will hatch within thirty days, becoming the new warriors of life, ready to continue the battle for life; that is a very important reason to avoid driving motor vehicles close to the shore, because this makes the sand compact, impeding the baby turtles reaching the surface. Other situation that menaces them is the indiscriminate hunting. It is misbelieved that they are very nutritious but they are not like the best we can eat since they have lots of parasites due to their stationary way of living and also because some of them feed on sponges or jelly fish that can be toxic to humans.

Please do not buy or eat turtle meat or their eggs, this is the best way we can help these magnificent warriors, if we want our children to have the fortune to know the SEA TURTLES.

Espiritu Santo Island

Blue-footed boobies are aptly named, and males take great pride in their fabulous feet. During mating rituals, male birds show off their feet to prospective mates with a high-stepping strut. The bluer the feet, the more attractive the mate.

Like other boobies, blue-foots nest on land at night. When day breaks, they take to the air in search of seafood, sometimes fishing in cooperative groups. They may fly far out to sea while keeping a keen eye out for schools of small fish, such as anchovies. When their prey is in sight, these seabirds utilize the physical adaptations that make them exceptional divers. They fold their long wings back around their streamlined bodies and plunge into the water from as high as 80 feet (24 meters). Blue-footed boobies can also dive from a sitting position on the water’s surface.

Blue-footed boobies also use their webbed feet to cover their young and keep them warm. When a typical brood of one to three chicks hatches, both parents feed and care for them.

All half-dozen or so booby species are thought to take their name from the Spanish word “bobo.” The term means “stupid,” which is how early European colonists may have characterized these clumsy and unwary birds when they saw them on land—their least graceful environment.