La Bufadora

Marine phenomenae abound within Mexico, yet few are as dramatically impressive as La Bufadora – a huge marine geyser located on Punta Banda Peninsula of Baja California, just 30 km from Ensenada City. A backbone of mountains frames the Southern coastal portion of Punta Banda, and seen from the road, extends to a striking arc around the Bahia de Todos Santos. Beauty aside, the turbulent surf along the Punta Banda Peninsula makes for a great surf getaway and you can even book white water caving tours, exploring the many sea caverns along this stretch of coast. If, like most, you prefer merely viewing the sea rather than a soaking, be sure to stand well back from nature's fascinating water display.

Regarded the world's second largest natural blow-hole after the Steamboat Geyser of Yellowstone Park, U.S.A, La Bufadora is also one of the most active. Great jets of water are spurted up to 44 meters in the air every 45 – 60 seconds, accompanied by a resounding thunderous rumble from the cavern deep below. The cause of this fascinating natural jet is surprisingly simple; repetitive wave pounding causes pockets of air to become trapped within the sea cavern, prompting a gaseous blast of water when they briefly subside. La Bufadora has only one exit for this build up of pressure – the spout, directly beneath the Bufadora Exhibition Center nestled at the top of the cliff. From the terraced viewing platform located some 24 meters above the geyser, it's possible to witness most of the action as it happens, but difficult to see the spout hole itself.

An inevitable legend (conjured by locals) precedes the drama of La Bufadora, telling of an escapee infant once freed from the local whaling sanctuary with his mother. Having been captive for so long, the infant grey whale became excited and disorientated, departing from his mother's side to chase huge shoals of fish heading toward the shore. It is said the whale chased the shoal into the narrow canyon leading to La Bufadora, however, once inside, could not turn around to navigate his way back out. Surrounded by a quantitative supply of fish and room to surface, the whale happily fed for several days, before realizing he would never see his mother again. The great jets of water and thunderous roar from La Bufadora are attributed to the leviathan grey whale, now too big to escape and desperately trying to capture the attention of his pod. As adults, we're rather inclined to dismiss such a fantastical tale, yet for kids, it makes the whole experience of La Bufadora far more magical!

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