Coronado Islands

Coronado Islands

Source: San Diego Tribune

Coronado Islands, or Islas Coronado, are a group of 4 islands off the northwest coast of Baja California. The islands lie about 18 miles from San Diego and only 7 miles from Tijuana, allowing you to see them from the beach or while driving down the coastal toll road.

The islands are largely uninhabited by humans but overflowing with diverse wildlife. The Coronado Islands are actually a Mexican wildlife refuge full of sea lions, elephant seals, gulls, pelicans, rattlesnakes and more.

Each of the 4 islands goes by a different name: North Coronado, Pilón de Azúcar (Pile of Sugar), Central Coronado, and South Coronado. North Coronado has a jetty, and visitors are welcome to anchor on the east side of it. Pilón de Azúcar and Central Coronado are the smallest islands, sitting between the North and South. Which leaves us with South Coronado, the largest and arguably the most popular island. The South island contains two lighthouses and contains the only bay of all the islands, Puerto Cava.

If you’re interested in exploring Islas Coronado, there are a few things you should know. Visitors traveling to Islas Coronado may anchor their boats to swim, snorkel or fish, but stepping foot on the island is strictly prohibited. If you don’t have a boat of your own, there are a few companies on both sides of the border in San Diego and Tijuana/Rosarito that offer full-day boat charters to the Coronado Islands. These tours offer snorkeling and diving as well as fishing, which is quite popular around the perimeter of the islands. Yellowtail is a popular catch amongst anglers here.

Map of Coronado Islands