Between one of the driest deserts on Earth -the Gran Desierto de Altar – and one of the richest seas – The Gulf of California – lie the esteros of the Northern Gulf of California, areas unique in their great beauty and extraordinary biodiversity.

This incredible locataion is home to the Ecotouristic Corridor NaturArte, integrating three businesses in the estero Morúa, municipal of Puerto Peñasco, and 1 in the Ciénega de Santa Clara, municipal of San Luís Río Colorado, with plans for expansion to the different esteros of the region. In Puerto Peñasco there are seven esteros: Bahia Adair, la Cholla, Morúa, La Pinta, Almejas, La Salina y San Francisquito.


Puerto Peñasco is located on the Northwest coast of the state of Sonora, México, just 100km from the border with the United States of America, 350km to the cities of Tucson and Phoenix and 520km to the city of Hermosillo, Sonora.

It is one of the mos recently populated areas in the state. Puerto Peñasco began to take shape in 1927 as a fishing camp, when fisherman from diverse parts of the country began to arrive during the fishing seasons. These men were settling and living in a highly improvised manner, in tents and caves that they found between the cliffs of mountains above the sandy dunes. [ READ MORE ]

The esteros, or coastal wetlands, are generally formed in those places where rivers empty out into the sea. This interaction gives the resulting coastal lagoons many ideal characteristics for a great number of organisms to use them as nurseries, reproduction sites or simply as resting and feeding areas. Tourists visit the esteros to observe birds, go kayaking and to enjoy the landscape. [ READ MORE ]

Estero Morúa has a total area of 1109 hectares and is used by at least 142 species of resident and migratory birds, 11 of which are under federal protection. There exist two nesting colonies of Least Tern (a protected species) in the mouth of the estero. It is also an important reproduction and nursery site for species with important commercial value, like the swimming crab, shrimp and flounder. There exist 46 species of plants that contribute organic detritus to the marine ecosystems food chain, ten of which are halophytes (salt tolerating) and three of which are endemic to the region. [ READ MORE ]

Cholla Bay is a small bay located between Cholla Mountain and Black Mountain, just to the Northwest of Puerto Peñasco. Here the phenomenon of the tides can be truly appreciated as it has one of the greatest tidal variations in North America. The bay fills up and empties out twice daily, leaving exposed a great sand flat, its tidal zone, the system of canals and the mouth of the estero. [ READ MORE ]