Day 8–9: Cabo Pulmo
We had finally arrived! We had reached the crowning jewel of our travels, Parque Nacionale Cabo Pulmo. This little village is 100% solar-powered, well-water fed, dirt road accessible and 5 miles of national park protected beach and coral reef. After our day trip to Santiago we drove around to the East Cape on the Sea of Cortez, arriving around 4pm. In every way the hotel in Cabo San Lucas disappointed with no hot water, loud street noise and hoards of tourists, the Hilltop House we rented from Cremin's Casas was an overwhelming success! It was just one round room but it was perfectly complete with a kitchen and fridge, clean drinking water, a large comfortable bed, a hot water shower, a patio and grill, and a killer view of Cabo Pulmo. No streetlights, no loud parties, no noisy traffic, just peace and quiet and the sounds of some birds nearby. We felt entirely safe and comfortable in the village and although we were tired from our day exploring the central cape, we couldn't wait to explore the beaches in the morning! We knew out of our two night stay here our first night was already a bust, but we didn't mind having an early night and getting some well deserved rest and relaxation.
First thing in the morning we rented snorkel equipment from the Cabo Pulmo Sport Center and made our way a few kilometers south to Playa Arbolito at the southern end of the park. It was the only location you could swim out to the coral reefs and being low on funds we certainly didn't have the option of a boat ride. We got there early and decided to snorkel right away since the wind hadn't picked up yet. We had the beach all to ourselves and with my Nikon 1 AW1 fully functional we dove right in! The water was about 74° but I was glad I had a springsuit on. There was only about 2-5 ft. of water for most of the area we covered and we had to be especially careful not to hit the delicate reefs and corals. It wasn't as colorful as it probably is in places like the Caribbean, but we absolutely loved! Tropical fish all around, schools of them, and you could hear them nibbling as soon as you submerged your head. We swam all the way from the beach to the point, and even saw a sea turtle on the way! It was definitely the highlight of our trip. We took a break on the beach at the end of the point and walked around for a bit, scoping out the location for a sunset shoot. Lyle sliced his finger on a sharp rock to the swim back to Playa Arbolito went a little faster so we could get him a bandage. It was only 12:30pm when we arrived back at the beach. We estimated it took almost an hour to swim out to the point, and less than that to swim back. We enjoyed the sun and dried off before figuring out what to do for the afternoon.
More to come about Cabo Pulmo!