Nesting boobies on Isla San Jorge SPANISH

Experience the pristine beauty of a coastal wetland filled with crabs, oysters, birds and more in this 3-hour tour of a typical estuary in the upper Gulf of California ecosystem

About the estuary:

The Puerto Penasco coastline is punctuated by numerous embayments called estuaries. Typically formed where river systems empty into the sea, estuaries are important sources of nutrients and sediments and thus play a crucial role in the ecology of the shore.

The freshwater rivers that once fed into the northern Gulf of California are now largely diverted for agriculture and today they contribute little if any freshwater, nutrients or sediments into the estuaries of this area. Consequently the estuaries in the northern Gulf tend to be saltier than the open ocean because of the lack of ffreshwater input and the high evaporation rate in the dry Sonoran Desert. This type of estuary is known as a "negative" estuary or estero.

Estero Morua, lying just north of Las Conchas, a neighborhood near Puerto Penasco, is an example of a negative estuary. The Sonoyta river that once flooded both Estero Morua and Estero La Pinta to the east, no longer contributes to these estuary systems except on rare occasions, such as those following heavy rains and floods. Estero Morua is both physically and biologically complex. Variations in the strength of the current and the size of sand and mud particles throughout its length create distinct habitats, each with its own array of living creatures and plant life.


To all these ecotours you should bring: water, munchy snacks, hat, sunscreen, binoculars, camera. On the Kayak Capers, Estero Excursion and Tidepool Explorations you can count on getting your feet wet - at the very least. So wear shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting wet. For the Dunes and Pinacate trips, good walking shoes are in order. The Dunes trip involves a long but not strenuous walk. The Pinacate trip requires more driving but in both excursions there will be ample time to explore on foot these spectacular natural settings.