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BAJA WHALE CAMP AND SEA OF CORTEZ KAYAK/SNORKEL

A Desert to Sea Adventure

         

Spy hopping baby Gray Whale, Lopez Mateo,  Photo by Daniel de Castro

ITINERARY

10 Day Baja Adventure

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 dinner at 7:00pm with a more formal orientation in the morning (double occupancy rooms and dinner included).

DAY TWO: LA PAZ TO ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND, SEA OF CORTEZ

After breakfast, you may rent any gear (wetsuits, snorkeling equipment, etc) that you may need for this chapter of our adventure.

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

Our camp is located on a large protected bay that is ideal for kayaking, 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 the Sea of Cortez is so well known for.

We will be camping in comfort with roomy tents, cots, sun showers and camp toilet system with a privacy tent.

(accommodations and all meals included throughout trip).

DAY THREE: ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND, SEA OF CORTEZ

Today you will have several options from exploring outer islands by sea kayak to viewing the underwater world using a mask and snorkel.

Snorkeling is quite good with various species of damselfish, puffers and colorful angelfishes finding 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.

  

DAY FOUR: ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND, SEA OF CORTEZ

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)  sub order of mammals.

Using a mask and snorkel, observe the sea lions seemingly fly underwater using their strong front flippers to propel themselves. Other activities available at Espiritu Santo Island include fishing,

naturalist-led hikes to explore the rocky inter tidal, hiking the rugged canyons, night paddling and solo time along the shores of our enchanting island.

Photo by Chris Loose

DAY FIVE: ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND TO LA PAZ

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

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

DAY SIX: LA PAZ TO WHALE CAMP, LOPEZ MATEO ~PACIFIC

After breakfast, we'll transfer by van across the rugged Baja Peninsula to Puerto Lopez Mateos in the northern section of  Magdalena Bay where we'll take a short skiff ride to our new whale camp, home for the next 3 nights.

During our 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  whales, dolphin, sea birds and other wildlife.

 

We are very excited to introduce a new location for our Baja  Whale Camp on Santo Domingo Island near Puerto Lopez Mateos. This northern region of Magdalena Bay is where a higher percentage of Gray Whales are born.

These sheltered lagoons are referred to as nursery areas for Gray whales and their offspring. It is also an area well known for "friendly interactions" a behavior in which

mother gray whales initiate close encounters with the "two legged ones" aboard whale watching boats.

 

Though entirely up to the whale and never guaranteed, Lopez Mateos is well known for these truly outstanding  and intimate wildlife encounters.

By basing our new camp at Lopez Mateos our chances of viewing mother and calf pairs are greatly improved. We are delighted by this new trip location!

Our accommodations are cozy cabin-style tents with cots, sun showers and camp toilet system with a privacy tent.

Underwater Footage of two California Gray Whales from our 2013 trip

DAY SEVEN:  LOPEZ MATEOS~ WHALE WATCH

A sunrise hike will be offered before breakfast. Our hope is to see Gray Whales in the morning light near our campsite, surface diving and perhaps even spy hopping.

After breakfast we will have a guided motorboat trip into the sheltered water near whale camp 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.

In the afternoon, we will hike out towards Boca Soledad to view a magnificent sunset across the grand Pacific Ocean.

DAY EIGHT: LOPEZ MATEOS ~ WHALE WATCH

Our morning will begin with a pre breakfast hike with your trip naturalist to explore the pristine Pacific coastline.

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

In the afternoon, you may 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 frigate birds, little blue herons and cryptically colored invertebrates clinging to the submerged roots.

 

Another option is to stay back at base camp and relax with a book or work on your Spanish with our local cooks.

Our day will include a trip out to view the gray whales and other wildlife that utilizes the biologically rich lagoon. You can anticipate another delicious meal,

happy hour and evening under a sky full of stars.

Friendly Mother Gray Whale, Lopez Mateo   Photo by Daniel de Castro

DAY NINE ~LOPEZ MATEOS WHALE WATCH TO LA PAZ

After  breakfast, we will have a final whale watching session or naturalist-led hike.

Our final destination today is our hotel back in La Paz where a hot shower awaits you. We will have a farewell dinner together this evening.

(double occupancy rooms and all meals included).

DAY TEN~ LA PAZ TO HOME

After breakfast, you will begin your journey back home form either the La Paz or San Jose del Cabo Airport