MORE TRIP INFORMATION
ACCOMMODATIONS: For those seeking incredibly rich wildlife encounters by day and comforts by night, this trip is for you! Our 5 day adventure in Baja includes 3 nights of lodging at the cozy PosadaLuna Sol in La Paz. This quaint Baja Inn is located in la Paz with restaurants and shopping near by. Double occupancy rooms and all meals will be provided throughout the program. On our final night in Baja, we plan to stay at the charming boutique hotel Guaycura in Todos Santos. While our hotel is in the heart of Todos Santos, Guaycura has a fabulous beach front spa, pool and restaurant where we can dine, swim, beachcomb and relax before our sea turtle release at sunset.
MAR Y AVENTURAS, OUR MEXICAN BASED OUTFITTER: We are thrilled to be under the care of Mar Y Aventuras while we explore the wonders of the Sea of Cortez. . Like Blue Water Ventures, Mar Y Aventuras provides naturalist-led adventures and active vacations with an educational focus. Our naturalist guides have an excellent reputation for water safety, client care and imparting natural history.
MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS: Baja Mexico does not require any specific immunizations for entry. However Mexico, including Baja has a relatively high occurrence of Hepatitis A. While all precautions at our hotel and base camps are made to prevent the spread of this serious liver disease, we recommend getting a vaccination for Hepatitis A. Make sure that your Tetanus (Td or Tdap) vaccine is current as well. For updates on travel to Mexico, please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The travel advisory for H1N1 influenza ended in 2010. The seasonal flu vaccine will protect against H1N1 and several other flu strains. Dengue Fever and the Zika Virus are both transmitted by mosquitoes and exists in Mexico (although currently no cases of Zika reported in Baja). A strong repellent is a good defense against mosquitoes. Please consult your physician regarding your trip. All medical precautions are the decision of each participant. Be sure to pack all medications in the original prescription package or bottle to avoid problems while clearing customs.
CLIMATE: The weather in the La Paz area is notably beautiful in early November with temperatures ranging from 75-85 degrees during the day and 60-65 degrees at night. We may experience windy conditions so warm clothing (a medium rated fleece jacket/ warm cap), a waterproof windbreaker and good rain gear is required. Water temperatures in the Sea of Cortez will be in the low 80's, ideal for swimming. Bring a waterproof sun block/lip balm with a protection factor of 20 or higher.
PHYSICAL CONDITIONING: While experience in k snorkeling or hiking is not required to participate in this program, good general health is recommended. Some level of upper body conditioning is advisable to prepare for snorkeling.
ACTIVITIES INCLUDED: Snorkeling, beachcombing, intertidal exploration, turtle release, museum visit, natural history talks and enjoying delicious local cuisine are all included.
SNORKELING:. Your Blue Water naturalist are avid snorkelers so please join us in the water! Colorful reef fish such as the Cortez damselfish and King angelfish as well as an array of invertebrate species can be observed along the rocky reefs. Our plan is to travel by boat to Los Isolotes, a sea lion rookery to have an unforgettable encounter with these graceful aquatic mammals.
a playful sea lion pup investigating a snorkeler's PFD at Los Islotes
SNORKELING WITH WHALE SHARKS: Entering the water next to a shark which may exceed 30 feet in length is truly an unforgettable encounter! As filter feeders, whale sharks are considered harmless to snorkelers who respect these majestic sea creatures. To participate in this program, you should consider yourself a moderately strong swimmer or physically fit and comfortable in open water. Sometimes whale sharks are feeding leisurely at the surface while other times they are gliding effortlessly at a high speed. It takes a strong swimmer to swim parallel to whale sharks when they are on the move. Excellent viewing can be made from our support boat.
BABY SEA TURTLE RELEASE AT TODOS SANTOS: For 1000's of years, the remote beaches of Baja have provided a critical nesting habitat for several species of now highly endangered sea turtles. As human development increased, the pressures on sea turtle populations intensified. Habitats were loss, sea turtle eggs and meat consumed and countless numbers of sea turtles drowned in fishing nets. While some sea turtle populations are declining at an alarming rate, efforts to protect these ancient reptiles are happening on a global scale. Throughout Baja, various projects have been established to monitor nesting sea turtle beaches and relocate eggs to a protective hatchery. 45-60 days later, baby sea turtles emerge from a nest and begin a perilous journey though life. At Cochora Beach near Todos Santos, we will join Grupo Tortuguero Todos Santos A.C., a local sea turtle conservation project as they release baby sea turtles into the vast Pacific Ocean. Three species of critically endangered sea turtles nest in the vicinity of Todos Santos: the East Pacific green sea turtle also referred to as the black sea turtle, the olive ridley and the leatherback sea turtle.
WETSUITS: In Bahia de la Paz, water temperatures will be in the low 80's so wetsuits are not required for snorkeling with the whale sharks. Wetsuits are required for snorkeling at the sea lion rookery at Los Islotes where ocean currents make the water temperatures cooler. .You may rent a 3mm long sleeve wetsuit with short pants for $15. If you tend to get cold easily, we recommend that you bring a 3-4mm full body wetsuit.
Leaping Mobula Ray in the Sea of Cortez en route to Los Islotes
INSECT REPELLENT: Mosquitoes and a few sand gnats will be encountered in Mexico. Since we are hotel based, we don't expect to encounter many insects but its always best to be prepared. Dengue Fever and the Zika Virus are both transmitted by mosquitoes and exists in Mexico (although currently no cases of Zika reported in Baja). A strong repellent is a good defense against mosquitoes and other insects that we may encounter. A layer of lightweight, light in color clothing is an effective defense against insects. In recent years, clients have been very happy with a Eucalyptus Lemon Natural Repellent as an alternative to products with Deet.
CAMERAS, CELL PHONES, ETC: We will have access to electricity throughout out program at our hotels. Some of you may have cell service while in Mexico. You may want to call your provider before you depart to see what the fees are for calls and texting. Another option is to set up a Skype account on your lap top or “ smart phone" before leaving home for use while in Mexico . Various Apps such as facetime and messenger should work from our hotels as well. Wifi connection is available at both hotels.
PASSPORTS: Everyone is required to have a current passport for entry into Mexico. It usually takes 6 weeks to process a passport. For information on obtaining a passport, please visit: passports where you can also find information on how to obtain a passport quickly. Most post offices provide the service to process US passports. On your outbound flight, all passengers are given a tourist visa to complete. Please hold onto this form as you will need to provide it as you depart Mexico. You will pay a fine if this form is lost.
MONEY: There is no need to exchange US dollars into pesos before your arrival into Mexico. Most restaurants and stores including our gear rentals accepts US currency. After your arrival into La Paz, the only costs you are responsible for during our program are: airport baggage fees, phone calls, unscheduled boat excursions, activities not described in the itinerary, personal liquor, and any airport departure taxes (some airlines include these taxes in your ticket and this varies year to year). We recommend bringing small bills (1's, 5's, 10's, 20's) since pesos may be given as change. Credit cards are accepted at many stores in both La Paz and Todos Santos.
TIPPING: It is customary to tip our Mexican crew as we depart our adventure. We have factored in a per person tip to be shared among our boat captains, guides and hotel staff. Tips are included in your trip cost.
DONATIONS: Members of the local fishing villages would greatly appreciate any used clothing or shoes you would like to donate. Fleece jackets, rain coats, pants, t-shirts and shoes of all kinds (Tevas, hiking or tennis shoes ) and sizes would be a wonderful contribution. Clothing for children of all ages is needed. Please drop off your gifts at our hotel office in La Paz on the morning of Day Two.
DELAYS: Blue Water Ventures and Mar Y Aventuras are not responsible for any costs incurred due to delays that may occur due to transportation (airline), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies for which we are unable to control.
Map of Baja Mexico Sur Map of La Paz Map of Espiritu Santos Island
La Paz City Map
California Gray Whales
Magdalena Bay Sea Lions
HOW TO REACH US IN MEXICO IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY BACK HOME: In the event of an emergency only, please call the La Paz based headquarters at: 406-522-7596.This is a US phone that will connect directly to Mexico. An alternate number is: 011-52-612-123-0559. b On our last night, we can be reached at the Guaycura Hotel in Todos Santos at: 011-52-612-175-0800.
ILLEGAL DRUG USE: The Mexican government has very severe penalties for the use of illegal drugs. Do not bring illegal substances into Mexico or purchase/use them during this program.