The three islands, history of princesses, sacrifices, and the paradise of the Mazatlan


The three islands are an icon of the port of Mazatlán, but do you know their history?

MAZATLÁN.- The port of Mazatlán has an enviable postcard for many other beach destinations, three islands that adorn any sunset from wherever you see it, you can be on top of the lighthouse, from Playa Norte or Playa Cerritos and see them in the distance But, do we know what’s behind them? Do they have an owner? Why are they protected natural areas? Read this article carefully and learn everything about the Lobos, Venados, and Pájaros islands.

The legend 

The port chroniclers say that the legend dates from prehistoric times when Mazatlán had its original name, “Mazatl”, a place with inhabitants who suffered from multiple effects from hurricanes that prevented them from fishing to eat. The place was led by the King, who, fed up with the situation, went with the town’s wise men, who told him that to improve the lives of its inhabitants, he had to sacrifice a virgin woman, that is, one of his three daughters. 

Enrique Vega Ayala, a Mazatlán chronicler, mentioned that in the legend, the king was opposed to such a sacrifice, but after a strong storm, one of the daughters took the initiative and approached the sea followed by his other two sisters, who decided to accompany her and sacrifice themselves for love, dressed in white and with a diamond around their neck, a gift that their mother gave them at birth. 

“Nana Ramírez tells in her story that when entering the sea, disappearing between the waves and the depth, the three islands that we have in front of today emerged, protecting from any natural phenomenon that could cause severe damage to the port,” he said.

This story has transcended so much, he mentioned, that it has been adopted as an urban legend that is venerated today and it is said that among the islands you can find these diamonds.

Photo: Courtesy Brianda Bastidas

Decreed as a Protected Natural Area 

The three islands have been characterized by being home to migratory birds that are declared in danger of extinction, therefore, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources integrated them into the Islands of the Gulf of California, along with others in the state, Sonora, Baja California and Baja California Sur that were issued and published in the Official Gazette of the Federation as a Protected Natural Area since August 2, 1978. 

When decreed, the activities of its users become restrictive, especially in fishing and tourism, each sector must comply with certain regulations, otherwise, they could merit a sanction or even arrest for infringing before the federal government. 

Among its restrictions are, feeding or harassing marine organisms, building any public or private work, building docks or piers, carrying out activities that alter the natural environment, deforesting, spilling or throwing liquid containers, oils or fuels, fishing without authorization, carrying out campfires and use fireworks. 

Photo: Courtesy Brianda Bastidas

Things I can do on the three islands

Not everything is restrictive. There are activities that are within the law and that can be done without any problem, do you like kayaking and diving? This is the ideal place to do it, as it is against the current, the waves decrease in the small beach areas of the island. 

You can go hiking, especially on Isla Venados, there is even a natural path that guides you to the top, and what better postcard of the entire coastal walk of Mazatlán than from the “middle island”. 

Join us to observe the flora and fauna. There are several groups that are dedicated to the exploration and observation of the species, in addition, if it is a day you do not finish, you can camp without problem, just remember that it is very important to take care of the area and collect the garbage when you leave.

Photo: Courtesy Sandra Romero

How do I arrive? 

There are several service providers that offer you the transfer through the Gaviotas beach area from 150 pesos per person and if your intention is to sleep there, you can take your tent and they will pick you up the next day at the time you decide. 


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