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BAJA WHALE CAMP AND SEA LION SNORKEL

           Baja Highlights From Desert to Sea

           February 2nd-7th, 2011

ITINERARY

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL TO LA PAZ

Our Baja Adventure begins with the arrival of our group into La Paz, Baja California Sur.   After clearing customs, you will catch a cab to our hotel (we will reimburse you for the cab) and check in anytime after 3:00pm. Our group will gather for dinner at 7:30pm with a more formal orientation in the morning (double occupancy rooms and dinner included).

DAY TWO: LA PAZ TO WHALE CAMP, MAGDALENA BAY ~ PACIFIC COAST

After breakfast, we'll transfer by van across the rugged Baja Peninsula to Puerto San Carlos in Magdalena Bay where we'll take a short skiff ride to our whale camp, home for the next 3 days . During a scenic 4 hour drive, towering cacti, huge boulders and brilliantly colored flowers dot the desert landscape.

As we travel the short distance to camp, we may see the spouts of whales and other wildlife.

Later today your naturalist will offer a hike to explore the pristine Pacific coastline across the dune field from camp.

Beachcombing in Baja is extraordinary and we may find whales, sea turtles, strange sea creatures and an array of seashells washed ashore, each with a unique story.

Our accommodations are cozy cabin-style tents with cots, sun showers and porta pottys with a privacy tent

(accommodations and all meals included throughout trip).

DAY THREE: MAGDALENA BAY ~ WHALE WATCH

Our morning will be begin with a guided motorboat trip into Magdalena Bay to see California Gray Whales that winter in the calm, protected lagoons of Baja. Traveling over 5000 miles from their feeding grounds in Alaska, these remarkable animals will both mate and give birth in the Baja lagoons. An afternoon excursion to view the magnificent Gray whales is possible as well as other activities.

Perhaps you prefer to join a naturalist as we kayak through the intricate labyrinth of mangroves that edge Magdalena Bay. Mangroves provide critical habitat for an array of species including white pelicans, magnificent frigatebirds, little blue herons and cryptically colored invertebrates clinging to the submerged roots. Our group will gather in the afternoon for happy hour followed by a delicious meal provided by our Mexican hosts. An evening program on a natural history topic will follow.

DAY FOUR: MAGDALENA BAY ~ WHALE WATCH TO LA PAZ

A sunrise hike will be offered before breakfast. Our day will include a final opportunity to visit the whales of Magdalena Bay on Baja's Pacific side.

After lunch, we will say our farewells to the Pacific and travel by van back to La Paz where a hot shower awaits you in our comfortable hotel.

Your late afternoon will be free to shop and explore La Paz before joining the group for dinner.

(double occupancy rooms and all meals included).

Photo by Chris Loose

DAY FIVE: SEA LIONS OF LOS ISLOTES, SEA OF CORTEZ

After breakfast, we'll travel by boat to Los Islotes, a sea lion rookery where we can snorkel with these graceful animals, members of the pinniped (feathered foot) order.

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

Snorkeling among the rocky outcroppings is excellent with various species of damselfish, puffers and colorful angelfishes finding refuge in the reef crevices.

Weather permitting, we will explore the our islands by sea kayak enjoying the clear water and desert scenery. In the late afternoon, we'll return to La Paz and

have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant near our hotel.

(double occupancy rooms and all meals included).

DAY SIX: LA PAZ-HOME

In the morning, we will offer a group van to the airport or you may opt to catch a later taxi to the airport on your own

(group taxi and breakfast included).