Kino Bay

Bahia Kino

Kino Bay (Bahia Kino) represents a sleepy and significantly less developed alternative to San Carlos.  The greater Bahia Kino is actually split between two very different townships, resulting in a sometimes odd, nearly bipolar feel.  Old Bahia Kino (Kino Viejo) is a traditional fishing village.   Up the beach is Kino Nuevo, a series of expensive beachfront homes and condos along a secluded section of the bay.  There are several hotels, trailer parks, and a number of good restaurants in the area, but pre-planning and self-sufficiency are often necessary as supplies can be haphazard.  Anything specialized may require a trip to Hermosillo, 107km away.


There is a strong presence of the indigenous Comcáac peoples of the region, more commonly referred to as the Seri.  Seri have traditionally been known as masterful fishermen, braving the Sea of Cortez in carved canoes and a reed boat referred to as a balsa.  With only small watercraft, they were able to navigate El Infiernillo (Little Hell) Strait. This narrow waterway separates Isla Tiburon (Shark Island) from the mainland and is notorious for whirlpools, ripping currents, and eddies.  Seri now fish the region in pangas powered by outboard motors and export their catch internationally.  They have also become known for their handcrafts, particularly their ironwood carvings.  Their crafts and history may be seen at the Museo de los Seris.


For trailer-boaters and long distance kayakers, Bahia Kino can be a nice place to launch for expeditions into the midriff islands and across to the Baja Peninsula.  From Kino Bay, Baja is a mere 55 miles.  Boat launching can be tricky as large tidal variations and currents are often present.  Novices sailing these waters should seek local expert advice in advance, as several areas are known to be particularly treacherous. For individuals with larger boats, it would be necessary to launch in San Carlos then sail to Bahia Kino, as the long-discussed marina has yet to materialize.

Scuba Diving

While there is good scuba diving in Bahia Kino, accessibility is an issue.  There are no dedicated operations in town.  Air-fills may be found on occasion, but for the most part, divers will still travel to San Carlos for air-fills, tanks, and other necessities.  Several operators will provide boat trips via panga to local dive sites.  Sea life here is similar to San Carlos.  During certain times of the year, upwelling will bring with it blooms of nutrients that in turn can attract large numbers of manta rays and whale sharks.   As for boating, local advice can be invaluable in avoiding trouble.  The Sea of Cortez narrows and becomes shallower in this region, creating currents that can become hazardous, particularly as you move north along the coast towards Isla Tiburon.

Isla Tiburon

Located off the shore of Punta Chueca. Isla Tiburon is the largest island in Sonora, Mexico.  It is part of a 1200 sq. kilometer (480 sq. mile) biosphere reserve.  Because of the tremendous currents in the area, diving is confined to only a few sites.  The most common destination is Turner Island at the Southern tip of the island.  Another spectacular but rarely dived site is Isla Patos immediately North of Isla Tiburon.  This site requires that divers from Bahia Kino circumnavigate the island before dropping anchor thereby avoiding the Canal de Infiernillo.  A bit further West of Isla Tiburon is Isla San Esteban.  A smaller island, this one is likewise not dived often due to currents.  The best sites will generally also be at the Northern or Southern tips, depending on the direction of the currents.