Islas Los Coronados
A group of islands called Los Coronados lie within sight of shore 11 kilometers west of San Antonio de Mar, which is 12 kilometers south of Tijuana. The islands have a colorful past that includes pirates, rum-running, and a Prohibition-era casino known as the Coronado Islands Yacht Club.
Steep terrain makes the islands impractical for habitation, but the Mexican navy maintains an outpost on one of them.
The islands are the peaks of a submerged mountain range. The southernmost island is the largest at three kilometers long and 204 meters high. The northern island, Coronado del Norte, is one kilometer long and 142 meters high. The two islands in the middle are little more than rocky outcroppings.
Since no one is allowed to land on the islands, they are popular nesting sites for brown pelicans and more 160 other species of birds. There is a large sea lion colony on the west side of Coronado del Norte.
Fishing and Diving
From April–October, yellowtail fishing is excellent around the islands. There are rock cod, bonito, calicos, and halibut.
Los Coronados offers good visibility for diving and playful sea lions. There aren’t many large fish, but there are plentiful moray eels and schooling small fish. The main sites are the Lobster Shack, off the northeastern coast of Coronado del Norte, and the Keyhole archway at the south end of the same island.
No regular dive boats frequent the islands, but San Diego-based Horizon Charters (U.S. tel. 858/277-7823, www.horizoncharters.com) will run a charter trip.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition