The site comprises 244 islands, islets and coastal areas that are located in the Gulf of California in north-eastern Mexico. The Sea of Cortez and its islands have been called a natural laboratory for the investigation of speciation. Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes occurring in the planet’s oceans are present in the property, giving it extraordinary importance for study. The site is one of striking natural beauty in a dramatic setting formed by rugged islands with high cliffs and sandy beaches, which contrast with the brilliant reflection from the desert and the surrounding turquoise waters. It is home to 695 vascular plant species, more than in any marine and insular property on the World Heritage List. Equally exceptional is the number of fish species: 891, 90 of them endemic. The site, moreover, contains 39% of the world’s total number of species of marine mammals and a third of the world’s marine cetacean species.

- UNESCO (CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0)

12 sites in this World Heritage

  • Islands of the Gulf of California
  • Upper Gulf of California - Colorado River Delta (marine portion)
  • Isla San Pedro Martir
  • El Vizcaino (marine and coastal belt in the Gulf of California)
  • Bahia de Loreto
  • Cabo Pulmo
  • Cabo San Lucas
  • Islas Marias
  • Isla Isabel
  • Archipelago of San Lorenzo
  • Islas Marietas
  • Balandra Zone of Ecological Conservation and Community Interest

Islands of the Gulf of California

Upper Gulf of California - Colorado River Delta (marine portion)

Isla San Pedro Martir

El Vizcaino (marine and coastal belt in the Gulf of California)

Bahia de Loreto

Cabo Pulmo

Cabo San Lucas

Islas Marias

Isla Isabel

Archipelago of San Lorenzo

Islas Marietas

Balandra Zone of Ecological Conservation and Community Interest

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