The Aquarium of the World

By Jocelyn Pride, Luxury Travel Magazine

“My invitation to you is put away your human gaze and take out your wild eyes,” says naturalist Bethany Ryals, her theatrical voice sending shivers down my spine. Outside the picture windows of our boutique cruise ship five pelicans dive bomb a school of fish. Gobbling the catch quickly, they take off, wings skimming the turquoise water. It’s easy to see why Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez, Baja California Sur, Mexico the aquarium of the world.

Despite being listed by UNESCO as one of the most significant biospheres in the world, the Sea of Cortez is relatively untouched by tourism. That suits the 62 of us guests plus 29 crew onboard the Safari Endeavour just fine. We are here to hike through towering, ancient cactus forests, snorkel amongst hundreds of species of marine life, paddleboard and kayak water so clear it looks invisible. We are here as travellers not tourists.