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ISLAND HOPPING: SEA OF CORTEZ KAYAK/SNORKEL

An Adventurous School Program Of Island Exploration

March 29th-April 8th, 2018

Prepared for the Lady of Good Counsel

DETAILED ITINERARY

 

 

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL TO LA PAZ

Our Baja Adventure begins with the arrival of our group into La Paz, Baja California Sur.  

Our group will gather for a briefing meeting before dinner  with a more formal orientation in the morning (double occupancy rooms and dinner included).

DAY TW0-DAY THREE: IN SEARCH OF WHAE SHARKS

For two adventurous days, our group will depart after breakfast  from a marina near our hotel by motorized skiff in search of whale sharks.

Whale Sharks, the largest fish on the planet can reach a length of 60 feet. The sharks we have the great fortune to observe in Bahia de la Paz are

mostly juveniles and rarely exceed 30 feet in length.

Relatively little is known about these enigmatic animals which may live to 100 years of age and sustain themselves on a diet of plankton.

As filter feeders, they offer no real threat to humans and snorkeling with them is an unbelievable experience.

Whale sharks are commonly sighted in the shallow water off of La Paz and our hope is to swim with these enormous animals.

As fish, whale sharks obtain oxygen through their gills and are not required to breathe at the surface as whales do.

Bahia de la Paz offers some protection increasing our chances of spotting the shark's massive shape below the water's surface.

 

As with most wildlife, encounters are not guaranteed  but chances to observe these animals are excellent.

On both days, we will return to our hotel in the early afternoon with time to explore the quaint waterfront community of La Paz.

 

DAY FOUR-DAY NINE: ISLAND HOPPING~~SEA OF CORTEZ

After breakfast, you may pick up any rental gear (sleeping bag, wetsuits, snorkeling equipment, etc) that you may need for our Island Hopping Adventure.

A motorboat will then transfer us to our dramatically scenic camp in the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Our first night's camp is located on a stunning stretch of beach ideal for beachcombing, snorkeling and swimming (wetsuits recommended).

Join a naturalist in the afternoon as we search the rocky shore for octopus, brittle sea stars, sea cucumbers and other invertebrates that flourish in the Sea of Cortez.

We will be camping in comfort as we explore this biologically rich marine ecosystem.

(accommodations and all meals included throughout trip).

One of our incredible camps in the Sea of Cortez

 

For the next seven days we will be moving from island to island by way of a motorized support skiff. Our destinations may include the islands of San Jose, San Francisco,

Danzante, Santa Catalina and Carmen as well as Puerto Gato's stunning beach on Baja's mainland. Each island has its own flavor, history and uniqueness. We will stop by small fishing villages such as Pardito and Temnabichi.

These islands and the rich marine sea that surrounds them have supported a community of fisherman for centuries. We will have the opportunity to meet some of the

local fisherman and their families learning about their traditional livelihood in remote corners of the Sea of Cortez.

 

Diving for scallops to complete our meal

At each island destination, we will enjoy active and adventurous days involving kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, foraging and beach combing.

Your naturalist will offer daily educational themes such as intertidal exploration, fish behavior, marine mammal adaptations and lessons on desert flora and fauna.

 

On Day Four or Five, our support boat will take us to Los Islotes, a sea lion rookery where we can snorkel with these graceful animals, members of the pinniped (feathered foot)  suborder of mammals.

Using a mask and snorkel, observe the sea lions seemingly fly underwater using their strong front flippers to propel themselves.

snorkeling with sea lions

The uniqueness of an Island Hopping itinerary is the unexpected encounters with wildlife such as a pod of  Pilot Whales!

Other activities during the week include fishing, hiking the rugged desert canyons, night snorkeling and solo time along the shores of our enchanting island campsites.

Motoring then kayaking into secluded coves, we will snorkel among damselfish, puffers and

colorful angelfishes that find refuge in the rocky reef crevices.

Join a naturalist on a swim over the rocky reef to learn about the strange behaviors of reef fish and invertebrates.

Informal kayak  instruction is available upon request from your ACA certified sea kayaking guide.

As we approach our final destination of Loreto we will scan the water of Loreto National Marine Park.

Our hope is to find a variety of cetaceans, an order of marine mammals that include the whales and dolphins. 

Blue whales, the largest species to ever exist on earth can reach a length of 100 feet and weigh 400,000 pounds.

Our hope is to locate blues, humpbacks and possibly fin whales that give birth and breed in the protected bays around Loreto.

A final opportunity to snorkel  among colorful reef fish and invertebrates will be offered on our last day in Mexico.

 

The largest species to ever live on earth, the mighty blue whale near Loreto

DAY TEN: Onward to Loreto

After lunch, we will say our farewells to the Sea of Cortez and travel by motorboat to Loreto where a hot shower awaits you in a comfortable hotel.

Your afternoon will be free to shop and explore Loreto before joining the group for dinner (double occupancy rooms and all meals included).

DAY ELEVEN: Loreto to Home

In the morning, we will help you arrange taxi's to the nearby Loreto Airport for your flights back home.

( light breakfast included).