Guadalupe Island History

Guadalupe Island is more than just great white shark diving. Its remote location in the Pacific has made it a unique biological laboratory for wildlife and history. Guadalupe Island rises from the Pacific Ocean, 150 miles off the coast of the Baja Peninsula and 261 miles south of San Diego, the island measures 22 miles long almost 6 miles across. Guadalupe has 11 small islands and rocks around it.  Off the main island’s northwest coast at 118° 22” West longitude is Roca Elefante, which is not only the westernmost point in Mexico, but the westernmost point in all of Latin America. The island has been visited by over 100 scientific expeditions since 1850. In 2000 the MV Horizon was the first vessel to cage dive with great white sharks at this location and we have been fascinated by it ever since.

Here are some incredible facts about the island that you probably didn’t know, but we took the time to uncover, in unlikely places like the U.C Berkeley Archives and Archivo General de la Nación. Over all the decades of writing and of research expeditions to Guadalupe Island there are no mentions great white sharks at the island, which we found odd, as seal hunting occurred for over 200 years and was practiced from small boats from June through February in an area called Pointe Norte, also known as the modern white shark cage diving location at Guadalupe Island. Pirates, naturalists, adventurers, crazy entrepreneurs, Yankee whalers, the Mexican military and most of all goats have all played starring roles in Isla Guadalupe’s interesting history!