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Isla Cedros 

(Cedros Island)

"Baja's largest Pacific coast island not of oceanic origin is 20 km (12 miles) north of the tip of the Vizcaino Peninsula, or about 72 km (43 miles) northwest of Guerrero Negro.  The two main industries on the 24 km long (14.5 miles) island are fishing and off-loading salt from Guerrero Negro's salt works for long-distance shipping.  Because of the salt business, Cedros ranks as Mexico's third-largest port after Veracruz and Tampico, carry over nine percent of all offshore cargo.  It is also the sixth most populated island in Mexico;  according to INEGI, 2,732 people make the island their home - about two percent of all islanders in Mexico.  This figure may be low; some Cedros residents claim as many as 5,000 persons inhabit the island, though for some is only seasonal.

Flora and Fauna

Among naturalists, Isla Cedros is known for its small stands of scrub juniper and pine in the center of the island between its tallest peaks, Pico Gill (1,063 meters/3,488 feet) toward the north end and Cerro de Cedros (1,200 meters/3,950 feet) toward the south.  Like cedars, the island's mistaken namesake, junipers belong to the cypress family.  Even more impressive are the Cedros Island oak (Quercus cedrosensis) and Cedros Island pine (Pinus radiata Var.cedrosensis), both endemic to this island.  A rare variety of mule deer reportedly inhabits the island's center.  Date palms stand along the northeast coast; no one remembers who planted them.

Cerro de Cedros

The hike from town to the island's high point takes around three hours and is rewarded by very good views.  To reach Cerro de Cedros, follow the road northwest out of town till it ends at a trail that follows a water pipe most of the way up the hill.  Keep an eye on the summit's radio towers and you'll have no problem following the trail.

Around the Island

From the town and airport, the nearest good beach is at Punta Prieta, at the southwest end of the island; locally this beach is referred to as "Playón".  After Punta Prieta the vehicle road ends, but a rough track continues along the coast.  You can also reach Playón by traversing the island via Cerro de Cedros, but this requires an overnight at the beach - carry plenty of water.  Surfing is possible at Playa Elefante, an empty stretch of sand north of Cabo San Agustin; the only way to get there is by panga from town or from one of the fish camps.  

Fish camps are at Cabo San Agustin, on the southwest corner of the island, and at Punta Norte to the north.  The largest settlement on the island, Cedros, is a village of around 2,500 on the southwest coast facing the peninsula.

Along the main street leading from the harbor are a COPT office, CONASUPO, a fish cannery, post office, church, bank (traveler's checks can't be cashed here), school, a couple of cafes, and a sizable residential area.  South of the village along the same coast are the docks where salt from Guerrero is off-loaded.

Accommodations and Camping

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Casa Elsa Garcia
Guest house

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La Pacenita Restaurant

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Restaurant El Marino

Transportation

Aside from sailing over in your own boat, the easiest way to reach the island is by plane.  Aero Cedros flies from Guerrero Negro daily at 10 AM; the flight takes around 40 minutes.  The return trip leaves straightaway, and you need to be at the airfield early in the morning to be sure of securing a seat.  Sociedad Cooperativa de Produccion Pesquera (Cannery Airlines) aloso flies periodically from Ensenada.  The island's paved airstrip lies south of Cedros village at Punta Morro Redondo.  Its sometimes possible to charter a boat to the island from either Bahia Tortugas or Punta Eugenia."

Note:

"Isla Cedros lies in the same time zone as Baja California Norte; an hour behind Guerrero Negro (PST)."

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Text Credit: BAJA HANDBOOK

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