Its crystal clear water that changes color until it turns blue, the smell of nature on the hill and the experience of arriving by boat, kayak, yacht or other water vehicles, have made Isla de Venados or "Isla del Medio" gain popularity among tourists and residents of Mazatlan.

This space adds to the diversity of beaches that exist in the port, from Isla de la Piedra to Playa Brujas, so that bathers interested in ecotourism can enjoy a great experience, as long as they comply with the protocols that protect this natural reserve.

One of the activities most enjoyed by visitors is hiking, as they can climb the hill and appreciate the great scenery offered by Mazatlan and the Pacific Ocean, but if you do not know the place, it is not advisable to go alone. The other activity is scuba diving, since on the left side of the island there is an area of reefs where fish and mollusks can be found.

As for the activities that require more physical effort, there is the kayak tour, offered by the hotels in Mazatlan Bay. You only need to put on a vest, and in the company of another person, you paddle until you reach the island. There is also another activity where only one person paddles aboard a board around the bay of Isla de Venados.

Furthermore, you can rent a small sailboat in which several people can travel, to anchor in front of the island, and practice snorkeling and swimming. This space of sand and sea also enjoys the tranquility generated by the place and its small waves, mainly during the week or low seasons, which makes you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The service providers who offer the tours and ecotourism activities make recommendations to visitors to take care of the island, since this site is part of the archipelago of Mazatlan Bay (Three Islands), which has been a protected area since 1978 by presidential decree.

Activities allowed are photography, video, conservation, hiking, garbage collection and ecotourism. Although camping is allowed, campfires should not be lit, since two fires were witnessed years ago, nor should excessive noise.

Visitors are asked not to pollute the island, to return their garbage, not to bring pets, not to plant or bring any type of seed to the island, not to light irresponsible fires. You should not bring pets or throw rodents into the sea (they can swim) because these animals can prey on animals and plants endemic to the island, for this reason should also be careful not to sneak insects in backpacks, boats or camping and fishing equipment, to avoid pests.

Its fauna is composed of 43 species of birds, five reptiles, 13 land mammals and eight insects, migratory and land birds, iguanas, white-tailed deer, opossums, raccoons, and even some snakes and bats. In fact, a week ago, a deer found swimming in the sea was rescued from another bay of the port, which was detected by a rescue corps in Isla de la Piedra.

Other authorities involved in protection and inspection are the Federal Attorney General's Office for Environmental Protection, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, and the Ministry of the Navy, although volunteers and observers of the archipelago say that there is a lack of vigilance in the area due to the waste generated there.

In terms of safety, the service providers say that it is a safer place than the rest of the beaches, because no one disturbs them or steals their belongings. Isla de Venados is also an area of interest for national researchers and university students who teach marine sciences. To do so, foreign teachers and academics need to have permission from the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas.

When not to visit?

The island's workers recommend not to visit the island during the "quemadores" ("burner") season, because that is when they hear from visitors that they did not like their trip because they were unable to swim. The presence of burners on the beaches of the region is a sign that indicates the proximity of the rainy season. The burner season begins in June, with the arrival of these marine organisms to Mazatlan's beaches and ends in August.

It is also not recommended to camp in summer because there are a lot of mosquitoes, if you are not local and are not used to the heat here.

Besides cleaning the island, the volunteers are in charge of reporting any new species of animal they find, or sudden changes in them, as well as taking samples and reporting them to the Aquarium. It varies a lot with the arrival of bad waters, but that depends a lot on the tides, because when they constantly change is when they bring the jellyfish or aquamalas, it is like in May or September.

About Isla de Venados

In 1978, by presidential decree it became a protected natural area. It is located in the Gulf of California, one kilometer from the nearest coast (Punta Camarón), in front of the bay of Mazatlán, Sinaloa. It has an area of 54 hectares with a length of 1.8 kilometers and 250. 700 meters wide from end to end. The maximum altitude is 178 meters above sea level.

The climate is predominantly tropical and subtropical, with an average annual temperature of 24 degrees and average annual rainfall of 800 millimeters. In summer it tends to be very hot and in the rainy season you can suffer if you do not wear repellent and sunscreen because of the sun's rays and mosquitoes.

Fauna in Isla de Venados

43 species of birds, 5 species of reptiles, 13 species of terrestrial mammals, 8 insects, sea turtles, migratory and terrestrial birds, squirrels, iguanas, white-tailed deer, opossums, raccoons, snakes, bats, pijije duck, brown pelican, frigate bird, brown booby, blue-footed booby, black vulture, white-winged dove, barn owl, woodpecker, and black woodpecker.

Transportation and prices

Jet skis, 1,300 to 1,500 pesos (half hour for two people), kayak, 600 to 700 pesos, snorkel (diving), 150 to 200 pesos per person, buggy board, 100 pesos per hour, sailboat, 1,200 pesos per hour. There are tours that include three activities (snorkeling, kayaking, banana boat ride, and a meal), 800 pesos per person. Transfer by boat, 150 to 200 pesos. Prices are indicated for information purpose only and can differ or change at any time.

Source: Noroeste