Punta Mazo Nature Reserve

Reserva Natural Punta Mazo emblema

Contents

About the nature reserve

  • Location: San Quintin Bay, Baja California.
  • Area: 830 hectares (2050 acres).
  • Date of certification: October 20th, 2014.
  • Type of certificate: Area Voluntarily Destined for Conservation.
Photo by Alejandro Arias.

What is known today as the Punta Mazo Nature Reserve began its formation 180 thousand years ago when the 12 volcanoes that are part of the volcanic valley emerged.

Specifically in this area, the Sudoeste and Mazo volcanoes (two underwater volcanoes that emerged as isolated islands) shaped it. Over the years, the action of ocean currents fostered the accumulation of sand and gave rise to a unique and spectacular space.

This reserve is actually an 4.9-miles-long peninsula located in the coastal area of San Quintin, a place where some fishing communities live along the rattlesnakes, legless lizards, hares, rabbits, squirrels and coyotes.

The reserve is a place where you can experience different habitats such as coastal dunes, volcanoes, coastal scrub or rocky intertidal areas, each with unique vegetation and very particular fauna.

Photo by Alejandro Arias.

Vegetation

The richness of the vegetation is immense, its landscapes are contrasting and full of life. One of the most emblematic and striking flora species in the area is the Anthony’s liveforever, a succulent plant that only grows in the volcanic soil of this region, in addition to the California fishhook cactus.

Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Birds

Punta Mazo Nature Reserve is an ideal place for the sighting of all kinds of birds. Some of the species that can be found between autumn and winter are: black brant, sandpiper and American oystercatcher.

If, on the other hand, you visit the reserve between April and August, you will be able to appreciate the breeding season of the snowy plover and the least tern. Both are species that are protected, so if you see a fence or signage it means that you are near a breeding area, but do not worry, it is a perfect season to observe and protect them, respecting the delimited distance.

In addition, throughout the year you can observe many local birds such as the California quail, blue-gray gnatcatcher and osprey.

Rocky intertidal zone

If you decide to go a little further, you will find the rocky intertidal. A unique place, as it is the area of interaction between the land and the ocean, the place where the marine world begins. A habitat completely dominated by the tides. It is fascinating to explore it and discover anemones, starfish, purple sea urchin and the California sea hare, and also octopus.

Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Dunes

The reserve has one of the best preserved dune complexes in the Baja California peninsula, these ecosystems are very fragile and are also home to different species of plants and insects, that is why it is prohibited the transit of motorcycles in the dunes within the reserve.

Archaeological heritage

In addition to its natural and geological value, Punta Mazo Nature Reserve protects the cultural, historical and archaeological heritage of the region.

Even today you can have the possibility of transporting yourself back in time and imagine how 8 thousand years ago, groups of hunter-gatherers-fishermen visited and lived in these places, enjoying the abundance of natural resources.

Walking through the dunes you can see the footprint of the ancient settlers. You will discover their favorite foods, the way they prepared them, the tools they used and if you are very insightful, even the relationships they established with nature.

Through a collaboration with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), so far 14 archaeological sites have been found within the reserve, including shell middens.

It is very important not to take any of the natural elements found on the site, as they are protected and highly valuable to our history.

Photo by Terra Peninsular.

Visit the nature reserve

Would you like to visit Punta Mazo? 

  • You don’t need to register.
  • Admission is free.

Would you like to go camping or rent one of the cabins? 

  • Make a reservation two weeks in advance.
  • The camping and cabin rental fee allows us to continue protecting the nature reserve and carry out management and conservation actions.

Contact us

For more information, please contact us at turismo@terrapeninsular.org