A story of princesses, sacrifices and the species that inhabit the Three Islands of Mazatlan


We all know the famous three islands: Isla Venados, Isla de Pajaros, and Isla de Lobos, all of them are ecological reserves for being a refuge for fauna such as seabirds and wild flora.

MAZATLAN. – Our port has a great diversity of ecosystems, an example of which are the beaches, islands, mangroves and estuaries. Spaces inhabited by many species that perhaps you did not know.

That is why we have decided to make a compilation of all the species that inhabit or have ever inhabited these sites, places that are often tourist attractions in the port.

We all know the famous three islands: Isla Venados, Isla de Pajaros, and Isla de Lobos, all of them are ecological reserves for being a refuge for fauna such as seabirds and wild flora.


Deer Island

Isla Venados is one of the most popular in recent years, there you can see animals such as squirrels, badgers, bats, and deer, but did you know that there were goats?

That’s how it is! In 2014 and 2015, 27 live goat individuals were removed from Isla Venados, which were transferred to the port of Mazatlán, where the corresponding studies and laboratory analyzes were carried out to determine their health status. Once the authorization was obtained, they were donated to coastal communities as breeding stock.

Bird Island

The island of birds is less visited but it is no less beautiful for that. In summer a waterfall forms on one side. The species that can be observed there are the white-winged pijije, the rabijunco or red beak, the brown booby, brown pelican, the brown heron and the blue-footed booby.

This island received its name for being the place of more than 400 species of birds and has been declared a Natural Sanctuary.

Lobos Island

Located to the left of the three islands, if you want to visit regularly they are small boats since it does not have a specific beach, but it is also one of the most beautiful places in the port.

Most visitors tend to circle the island and capture its beauty in photographs, as it is home to numerous sea lions.

You can get to the islands by boat or yacht, where you can do different activities such as: hiking, diving, snorkeling and more.

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

The legend 

The chroniclers of the port say that the legend dates back to prehistory when Mazatlan had its original name, “Mazatl”, a place with inhabitants who suffered from multiple effects of hurricanes that prevented them from fishing for food. The place was led by the King, who fed up with the situation went to the wise men of the town, 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 chronicler of Mazatlan, 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 her other two sisters, who decided accompany her and sacrifice themselves for love, dressed in white and with a diamond around their necks, a gift that their mother gave them at birth. 

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

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

Photo: Courtesy Brianda Bastidas

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