UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, founded 16 November, 1945. In pursuit of their mission, UNESCO designated 936 areas worldwide as places possessed of significant cultural or natural heritage for preservation for future generations. These sites receive funding and expert advice for preservation efforts from UNESCO, which has deemed them to have "outstanding universal value to humanity."

UNESCO World Heritage Sites & Sea Kayak Adventures

We operate kayaking/whale watching tours in two of only 32 UNESCO "Natural" World Heritage Sites in all Latin and South America. These areas are Loreto Bay National Marine Park (part of the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California UNESCO World Heritage site) in southern Baja California, Mexico and Patagonia's Peninsula Valdes World Heritage Site in Argentina.  We also operate tours in British Columbia, Canada's Johnstone Strait, home to Robson Bight Ecological Preserve, which, while not a UNESCO site, remains the world's only orca preserve.  Loreto Bay became a national marine park in July, 1996, first by presidential decree then confirmed by the national congress of Mexico.  Loreto Bay then became part of the UNESCO World Heritage site July 2005; a culmination of concerned local citizens' efforts and Mexico's diligent actions to preserve important national natural sites.  This World Heritage site is home to 891 fish species, including 90 endemic fishes.  A third of the world's cetacean species are found in the Gulf of California/Sea of Cortez.  According to UNESCO, this site is home to 695 vascular plant species, more than in any marine and insular property on the World Heritage List.  In addition to the biodiversity and wildlife value of the region, fishing for sustenance and for sport and eco-tourism such as sea kayaking, snorkeling, SCUBA diving and whale watching are widely popular, and greatly contribute to the culture and the economy that sustains the citizenry of Loreto. Península Valdés UNESCO World Heritage site in the Patagonia area of Argentina is "a site of global significance for the conservation of marine mammals", according to UNESCO.  Peninsula Valdes also hosts the breeding grounds for critical populations of elephant seals, endangered southern right whales, southern sea lions, and sea birds. Sea Kayak Adventures guests may encounter Armadillos, ostrich-like rheas, maras (Patagonian hares) and llama-like guanacos that roam the sweeping landscape. Click here to view a photo gallery for this trip. http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-0262-aca0-6b07

 

Read more about the process of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the history of UNESCO's preservation efforts:

UNESCO World Heritage FAQ

History of World Heritage Sites

An interesting side note - countries must uphold the strict preservation standards of UNESCO to avoid being delisted.

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The scientific name for orca whales, Orcinus orca, literally translates to “Demon of the Deep.” In English, they are most commonly known as killer whales. Both names suggest that they are dangerous animals, to be feared, and kept at a safe distance.