World Travel Tales

Isla Isabela, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Isla Isabela

This little volcanic island sits in the Sea of Cortez and is a major breeding and nesting area for thousands of seabirds. Mexico declared it a National Park in the 80's, but it is seldom visited because of difficult access.

We sailed here on s/v Kashmir, and aside from another sailboat and a few fishermen, we had the place to ourselves - unless you count the wildlife. Jacques Cousteau visited the island and was amazed by the diversity and abundance of birds here and later declared it as one of his favourite places.

The fluffy white chick in the nest in this photo is carefully being watched over by his mother beside him.

Location: Isla Isabela, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 1000, 1/1000 sec at f/8.

Isla Espiritu Santo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Sea Lion Rocks

Isla Espiritu Santo has many sheltered anchorages, rich marine life, and soft sand beaches. Just off the Northern tip of the island is a much smaller island known as Sea Lion Rocks. It's a great place to swim with the sea lions and they love the interaction with snorkelers, especially if you dive down under the water so they can swarm you in 3D.

When they're not in the water eating or playing, they clumsily pull themselves into a sunny spot on the rocks and sleep for hours.

Location: Isla Espiritu Santo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/320 sec at f/8.

Mexico City, Mexico

Diana Cazadora

Sunset at the statue of Diana the Huntress in Mexico City.

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Camera: Nikon D80 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 100, 1/500 sec at f/8.

Palenque Archeological Site, Chiapas, Mexico

Wet Stone Stairs

These stairs at Palenque revealed their beautiful colours in the pouring rain.

Location: Palenque Archeological Site, Chiapas, Mexico

Camera: Nikon D300 with 50mm f/1.8 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/50 sec at f/8.

Palenque Archaeological Site, Chiapas, Mexico

Rainy Day at Palenque

The first time I visited Palenque it was in hot sunshine. So it was quite a different feeling this time with low clouds, frequent rain, and a generally gloomy atmosphere.

This is one of the main Mayan temples at the site.

Location: Palenque Archaeological Site, Chiapas, Mexico

Camera: Nikon D300 with 50mm f/1.8 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/50 sec at f/5.6.

Balamkú Archeological Site, Hopelchen, Campeche, Mexico

Mayan Stone Carvings of Balamkú

We hitchhiked from Chetumal to the ancient Mayan ruins of Balamkú. We caught a ride with a tractor-trailer driver after a short wait, and he drove us all the way to the access road to the ruins. We finished the approach walking a hot, dusty road to the actual site.

The ruins feature some of the best preserved stone carvings of all the Mayan ruins. This photo shows how elaborate and beautiful the carvings are.

After spending the whole day walking around the site, we strung up a hammock in the jungle to spend the night. There were security guards at the entrance which were a few hundred meters away which gave us some comfort knowing that if a cougar came prowling in the night, we'd have somewhere to run to.

It was a long, cold night. We never did figure out what those creepy jungle sounds were very near our little hammock.

Location: Balamkú Archeological Site, Hopelchen, Campeche, Mexico

Camera: Nikon D300 with 50mm f/1.8 lens.
Settings: ISO 1600, 1/10 sec at f/2.

Laguna Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Laguna de Bacalar

This beautiful lake is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, and lies about 40 kilometres North of Chetumal, which is the state capital.

The locals call the lake "La Laguna de los Siete Colores" - The Lake of the Seven Colours, because of the different shades of perfect blue that absolutely glow on a sunny day.

Bacalar town is quite impressive too. It's an ancient Mayan city and after the Spanish Conquest a fortress was built to prevent raids from pirates. The fortress is still standing and can be visited today.

As if you needed another reason to visit Bacalar, it's off the frequent tourist path and you'll be greeted by friendly locals and reasonable prices for authentic Mexican food and decent accommodation.

Location: Laguna Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 200, 1/160 sec at f/8.