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“Snorkeling at Isla Espiritu Santos”
Review of Azul Tours

Azul Tours
Ranked #39 of 60 Tours in La Paz
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: we are a company dedicated to promote educate and preserve all the wonderful natural areas that we have here in baja, with guided tours to take personalized care of our guest and most important that they leave Baja with a real image from nature.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Snorkeling at Isla Espiritu Santos”
Reviewed 29 March 2013

My boyfriend and I drove up to La Paz from Todos Santos to check out the beaches on the Sea of Cortez. There are a series of three as you drive north up the little peninsula next to La Paz. The last beach is Tecolote, where we found Azul Tours and the Azul restaurant. The staff were all very friendly and accommodating (strong margaritas and great sea food). Because there were only two of us, we made a reservation for a few days later to join another family for a panga tour out to Espiritu Santos for a snorkel and lunch trip to get a cheaper rate. The more people on a boat, the easier it is to spread out overhead costs like fuel among the passengers.
We came back on our reserved date (on time at 10:30). We were very excited and got all geared up, but the other family never showed. The staff felt really bad about the unexpected no-shows and offered to either help us get a trip with another company on the beach or give us a discounted rate if we preferred to charter the boat for just two. We went ahead and just paid a bit more money since we had already been talking to our guide, Jose, and he was really funny, had a hilarious giggle, and was super approachable. Jose took us around the island and pointed out neat coves and jumping rays/fish. We then checked out and swam with the sea lions at Isla Partita (wow!). Next we had a relaxing lunch of cerviche and sandwiches. Because we had food and beer for 6 people thanks to the no-shows, the three of us ate like kings! Jose showed us that the best way to do up a ham and cheese sandwich is to take a tostada smothered in cerviche and slip it between your slices of bread. Ohhhh so, so good. Jose then took us to a secluded reef and let us snorkel until my lips were numb with salt. It was nice taking the panga out of Tecolote because it gave us more time in the water since boating in from La Paz is a longer commute to the island. Overall, Azul Tours isn't the polished La Paz American-style big company tourist experience. (I've done my time as a white water rafting guide on a busy tourist river and can tell the big dogs on the water from the small). I would have given them 5 stars if we hadn't had the snafu with the no-shows, which understandably increased our tour price a bit for a private charter. Azul Tours is instead, the Mexican - hey lets go have fun for the day experience. For the price, Azul Tours is definitely cheaper than most of the other tour companies, just be prepared to go with the flow. You will have a great/amazing time though!!!
Final notes: please, please, please bring biodegradable sunscreen - check the label - the cheap stuff frequently has a certain ingredient that bleaches coral. Also, bring an underwater camera and come prepared with layers or a jacket in case it gets breezy on the water. Don't forget to tip your guide too, that is customary practice in the tourism industry so be gracious if you had a good time.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank 699kathrynm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Pangas, Puntas and Playas = Fun Trip”
Reviewed 21 December 2012

We were unable to make arrangements/reservations over the phone nor via internet (their phones and computer were down), so we just drove to Playa El Tecolote with 650 pesos ($50.00 U.S.) on hand and booked a trip in-person. We arrived at 10am and were told the tour would begin at 11am. I was a bit apprehensive that the tour was starting so late as another person at the resort informed me theirs was to commence at 09:00. Turns out their tour leaves La Paz which adds an hour plus to the boat ride, so it's pretty much a wash. Also, that tour runs about 1365.00/$105.00 U.S. due to shuttle service and other comforts.

Our panguero, Miguel,showed us around the various puntas, Cueva Grande, La Partida, Los Islotes, and finally, the Ensenada Grande navigating counter clockwise. The gorgeous and exciting ride took about an hour from Playa El Tecolote to the first point of interest. Word of caution: you will be transported on a panga (fishing boat) with no back support and no toilets. If you have any back issues, you might want to consider using another operator with a larger boat/engine.

Los Islotes which is home to Blue-footed boobies, cormorants, Brown Pelicans and sea lions was the third stop on this tour. All tours anchor on the south side. It was exhilarating swimming with both the cormorants and sea lions. You feel completely clumsy compared to their graceful and acrobatic moves. The young sea lions like to get close and will even "peck" at your goggles while the large (and I mean large) bulls swim nearby keeping a watchful eye. The east corner has the best visibility if you want to scope out coral, other invertebrates and several of species of fish.

The final stop was at Ensenada Grande which is absolutely beautiful with clear, turquoise water, soft white sand and gorgeous desert backdrop. We came a shore to have a simple lunch which included a ham and cheese sandwich, pescado ceviche, a jalapeno escabeche with cooked tuna and, of course, tortilla chips. Miguel also had a cooler full of ice cold bottled water, sodas and cerveza. After a day of snokeling and boating, this simple offering tasted like a feast. The view and beauty would be hard to beat FYI: The snorkeling on this beach was great on the SE side. Saw a lot of life. Water is warm even in December - no need for a wet suit even at the deeper Los Islotes.

As we were heading back to Tecolote, Miguel spotted a whale and we gave chase. After idling for a bit, and just as we were about to give up, we saw a whale in the distance surface, take a breath, and then saw the iconic tail disappear underwater again. What a great way to end the day.

Tips number one: Be sure get fitted as they will not offer. An ill-fitting mask, leaky snorkel or fins that fall off does not a great trip make. Fins that seem a bit too tight are the right fit (once wet they will loosen up) and the mask should stay on your face without the strap.
Tip number two: The water is warm, so if you are in good health and move around e.g. free dive, there is no need for a wetsuit. Now that said, another reviewer complained of being too cold in the fall months, so couldn't hurt to get fitted for one and have it on board.
Tip number three: No toilets. If you are pee shy, you might want to with a operator who has toilets.
Tip number four: Speaking of pee shyness... Even though you may not feel thirsty, drink plenty of water before, during and after your trip. Seems like common sense, but there's always someone that needs to have the medics show up to have fluids mainlined.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank LovesNoodles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Tour never showed up!”
Reviewed 18 June 2011

We drove from cabo to la paz to do the snorkeling excursion to isla de espiritu to swim w the sea lions. We confirmed ourreservations and told to meet at beach at 9am. We arrive at beach which is deserted. We see a small stand with Azul tours on it. Nooneis there-we wait, and wait. At 10am, a woman shows up and informs us the tourwont be leaving for another hour! I questioned her as to why i booked a tour for 9 and now it wasnt departing until 1130- to which she had no good reply. We left and found another group to take the tour with-im glad we didnt have to pay for the tour in advance or we would have been out $200- unprofessional to say the least

Helpful?
3 Thank alli419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nor cal
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Azul Tours...The Best in La Paz!”
Reviewed 14 April 2010

I was on a cruise last week & La Paz was one of our ports. I read an excellent review of azultourslapaz.com on Trip Advisor so I arranged a tour of Isla Los Islotes (the sea lion colony) and Isla Espiritu Santos.
This is a terrific tour company...they are wonderful people.
They provide excellent service as well as snorkeling gear & wet suits. Saul, our boat driver took us snorkeling with the sea lions, took us to see the blue footed booby & lots of amazing rock formations (some resemble the Grand Canyon), we stopped at deserted beaches which resemble the Caribbean. The colors of the water in the Sea of Cortez are unbelievable, the blues, greens, the clearest water I've ever seen.
After snorkeling Saul set up lunch on a beach...marinated marlin (which he caught) & tuna ceviche, delicious. On our way back we were fortunate to spot a whale so Saul stopped for a while to view it. Anyone visiting La Paz should contact Azul...it's an exciting trip.
Oh, if you're coming to La Paz by cruise ship, there is a free beach shuttle at the cruise pier which will take you to them.

Helpful?
Thank jackie314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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