A close encounter at our whale camp, 2018
I am pleased to welcome you to a fantastic adventure exploring the wonders and wildlife of the Baja Peninsula Sur, from Desert to Sea!
In the early dawn of Blue Water Ventures, I led several trips through the rugged peninsula of Baja. One of the most profound experiences of my life occurred while eye to eye with a California Gray Whale in a remote breeding lagoon of Baja. I am very excited to share such experiences with you as we explore Baja’s rich and varied wildlife together.
The 10-12 day itinerary will provide a detailed account of our travels. We plan to spend three nights/four days base camping at Espiritu Santos Island in the Sea of Cortez. Three nights/four days will be spent at our whale base camp in Lopez Mateos, in the northern region of Magdalena Bay on Baja’s Pacific Coast. Hotel accommodations are included on Day One, Day Five and Day Nine. All meals are provided throughout the itinerary.
We are extremely excited to add the incredible opportunity to swim along side the world’s largest fish, the filter feeding whale shark. We have secured the required permit for our 2023 trip and we are thrilled to offer this unique experience to our guest. Keep in mind that this experience is dependent upon the weather and sea conditions, as well as the sharks behavior and location on any given day.
Our itinerary includes the permit to snorkel among whale sharks!
For centuries, California Gray Whales have traveled 10,000 miles round trip between their summer feeding grounds in Alaska and their winter breeding/calving grounds in the Pacific lagoons of Baja. Traveling in small skiffs into The lagoon of Lopez Mateo, we will wait for the whales to approach us. Naturalist-led beach hikes and kayaking excursions through the mangroves within the lagoon will also be offered. In the ruggedly beautiful Espiritu Santos Island in the Sea of Cortez we will kayak, snorkel, fish, hike and relax from our dramatically scenic beach camp. At both sites, we have the comfort and ease of boat supported base camps. All activities are optional. We typically cover 4-6 miles when kayaking in the Sea of Cortez.
We are very excited to include our whale camp location on Santo Domingo Island near Puerto Lopez Mateos. Well known as a nursery area for Gray Whales and their offspring, the sheltered lagoon of Lopez Mateos is an ideal location for our Pacific based whale camp. ” Friendly interactions” initiated by the whales themselves are a fairly common occurrence here. For more information on our camp locations, please read our itinerary
We are also very excited to offer our Blue Whales, Dolphins & Missions of Loreto Extension available as an add on to our 10 day adventure. On Day Nine, those joining us in Loreto will say farewell to those heading back to La Paz. We will spend the next three nights in the quaint coastal town of Loreto north of La Paz on a beautiful stretch of the Sea of Cortez.
We plan to spend two full days exploring Loreto National Marine Park in this ruggedly beautiful region of Baja. In early March, our chances are excellent to view a variety of whale species. Blue, Humpback and Fin whales are listed as frequent visitors to this biologically rich marine region of Baja. Traveling by small ponga boats, we will look for the largest species on earth to ever live. If you choose to join us on these exhilarating two days, you will depart from Loreto on March 4th.
During our 2022 Loreto extension, we had extremely close encounters with all three large baleen whales and two species of dolphins. The sea conditions were simply ideal. However, we must always be prepared for plan B if sea conditions are not as favorable. Our Loreto based outfitter offers an incredible tour to the historic San Javier Mission as an alternative to the sea. We would learn about the life of the Rancheros as we visit a working ranch in the stunning Sierra de la Giganta Mountains. Our day would include learning about the indigenous cultures of the region.
Our group is limited to 14 people so please reserve your spot by contacting Kim Powell by email at email@example.com then send a $100 deposit to: Blue Water Ventures, 127 Mason Street, Santa Cruz, CA. 95060. You may also pay via a credit card on Pay Pal. For instructions, please visit our Payment Center. Due to new regulations in Baja, our maximum group size is now 14 rather than 18.
In order to participate in this program, you should consider yourself a moderately strong swimmer, relatively fit and comfortable swimming in open water. Sometimes we will enter the water from our support boat which will require the ability to climb back up the boat ladder using your arms and upper body for strength.
If we were to encounter whale sharks it takes a strong swimmer to swim parallel to them when they are in motion. Excellent viewing of sea lions and whale sharks can be made from our support boat if you are unsure about in water encounters.
Boat rides may be bumpy and jarring with the prevailing winds across the Baja Peninsula. Please review Medical Requirements and other important trip details at: More Info before you decide to join our adventure.
Due to the nature of this trip traveling in vans and boats together, we will require everyone to submit proof of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Our Baja program takes us into a remote area of the world where a medical evacuation could be extremely costly. All costs for evacuations and/or medical treatments are the responsibility of each participant, a cost that travel protection should cover. Please review our cancellation policy and travel insurance options at: Travel Protection Be sure to travel with a credit card in the event that payments are required for an evacuation or medical treatment. We strongly recommend trip insurance for the full value of the trip which is an affordable way to protect your investment.
Payment schedule, cancellation policy and trip insurance may be reviewed at Deposits.
Before sending a deposit or making airline reservations, please email your interest and check trip status.
3 nights of lodging, all restaurant meals, 6 nights of camping with all meals, spacious walk in style tents, all planned activities, whale watching excursions, naturalist-led snorkeling and kayaking trips, natural history lectures, entrance fees, permits, and kayak instructional clinics.
The price does not include airfare, airport shuttles to our hotel in La Paz, travel insurance, phone calls, unscheduled boat excursions, activities not described in the itinerary, personal liquor, personal equipment (sleeping bag, snorkel gear or wetsuit), airport departure taxes or COVID testing if required
In previous years we have suggested a per person gratuity that was shared among our Mexican guides, boat captains, cooks and hotel staff. However in 2023, the tip has been factored into the total trip cost listed above.
3 nights of waterfront lodging in Loreto (double occupancy), all meals, 2 whale watching excursions, all transfers including a group airport shuttle on March 4th, naturalist-led snorkeling trips if sea conditions allow, entrance fees and permits. Generous tips to our Mexican based guides are also included. If weather is not favorable for whale watching, we will offer a spectacular land tour to San Javier Mission learning about the indigenous people of the Sierra de la Giganta mountains. Our special alternative tour would include visiting a working ranch.
FLIGHT INFORMATION can be reviewed here: Getting to Baja
A complete package of information, most of which can be found on the website, will be sent to you before our trip departure. Please give me a call or send me an email if I can be of any other assistance.
May the Whales and Wild-Life be with us!