In Search of Whales – Baja Sur, Mexico (March 4-13, 2017)

Gray Whale Face

Baja California Sur, Mexico, a long peninsula stretching 800 miles to the south from California, is one of the best places in the world for up close encounters with whales. Visitors to Baja’s wild coasts have the chance to spot a greater variety of whales in a week’s time than anywhere else. In addition to humpback whales, friendly gray whales, blue whales, and sperm whales, the area is also home to whale sharks (the world’s largest fish), boisterous dolphins and playful sea lions.

This fully guided itinerary provides ample opportunity for whale encounters as well as the opportunity to delve into Baja Sur’s stunning landscapes, local culture and cuisine. Join us as we embark on an unforgettable marine wildlife adventure in Baja Sur!

Itinerary


DAY 1 (Sat, March 4): Arrival to San Jose del Cabo ~ Upon arrival to Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) in Baja Sur, transfer to San Jose del Cabo. Your hotel is conveniently located just steps from the beach and 5 minutes from downtown. Get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner highlighting Baja Sur’s cuisine. Overnight at Hotel Marisol. (D)

guided whale watching tours in Mexico Reefs to Rockies

DAY 2 (Sun, March 5): Los Cabos/ Todos Santos/ La Paz ~ Whale watching season (mid-December through mid-April) in Los Cabos marks the arrival of many species to their winter mating and birthing grounds. The Pacific coast of Baja Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez become home to thousands of whales for approximately four months each year. We’ll start the morning with a private guided whale watching tour in search of acrobatic humpback whales and possibly gray whales.

After a morning on the water, we’ll head to Todos Santos, a coastal oasis village town located at the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. Initially founded as a mission in 1724 and now considered one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magico (“Magic Town”), Todos Santos is also home to the iconic Hotel California. Late afternoon arrival to La Paz situated on the Sea of Cortez and the capital of Baja Sur. Overnight at Seven Crowns. (B,L,D)

Estimated drive time today: 3 hrs

DAY 3 (Mon, March 6): La Paz/ Espiritu Santo/ Los Islotes ~ Today brings a full day marine excursion in the Sea of Cortez. Few words can really describe just how extraordinary it is to swim alongside a shark, especially a shark the size of a whale! Whale sharks, the world’s largest fish have taken up semi-permanent residence in La Paz Bay and just a 10-minute boat ride from the marina.

La Paz Whale Shark

After searching for (and hopefully swimming with) whale sharks, we’ll continue to Espiritu Santo and Los Islotes. Los Islotes is the closest location for US travelers and the islands are a year-round home to a colony of more than 300 California sea lions. Because Los Islotes’ colony of sea lions see human visitors just about every day, individuals are very interactive with snorkelers and divers.  Young pups seem to be the most curious, often coming close and swimming alongside you. Overnight at Seven Crowns. (B,L,D)

Swimming with sea lions - La Paz, Mexico

DAY 4 (Tues, March 7): La Paz/ Loreto ~ Morning departure to Loreto, one of the oldest settlements in Baja California. The afternoon is yours to explore Loreto during a walking tour. You’re sure to be amazed by Loreto’s beautiful setting between the Sierra de la Giganta and Sea of Cortez. Overnight at Hotel Santa Fe. (B,L,D)

Estimated drive time today: 4.5 hrs

DAY 5 (Wed, March 8): Loreto/ San Ignacio Lagoon ~ Three Sea of Cortez wilderness islands (Danzante, Carmen and Monserrate) located in Loreto Bay National Park form the corners of the “Blue Triangle”. This area is considered one of the most important winter areas for blue whales, the largest animal ever known to have lived on Earth. In addition to blue whales, the national park provides habitat for humpback, fin, pilot and sperm whales in addition to orcas at certain times of the year. Early morning guided boat tour searching the nearby coast in search of whales.

Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Late morning departure to San Ignacio Lagoon (drive time approx. 6 hrs). Late afternoon arrival to Kuyimita Tented Camp where we’ll spend the next three nights. (B,L,D)

Estimated drive time today: 6 hrs

gray whale guided tours with Reefs to Rockies

DAYS 6-7 (Thurs, March 9 – Fri, March 10): San Ignacio Lagoon ~ Viewing and interacting with the friendly gray whales of San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the most memorable wildlife encounters possible in North America. San Ignacio Lagoon is a winter breeding and calving ground for grey whales. With only 16 boats allowed in the viewing area at a time, San Ignacio provides incredible opportunities to view grey whales. Friendly encounters, when mothers and calves approach the boat, are regular occurrences in San Ignacio Lagoon. Friendly encounters aren’t guaranteed, but having two days with morning whale watching excursions increases the likelihood of such an experience.   Depending on weather and number of boats in viewing area, a second whale watching excursion each day may be possible (additional fee will apply).  Overnights at Kuyimita Tented Camp. (B,L,D)

Friendly gray whale encounter - San Ignacio Lagoon, Mexico

Friendly gray whale calf - San Ignacio Lagoon, Mexico

DAY 8 (Sat, March 11): San Ignacio Lagoon/ Loreto ~ Morning departure to Loreto arriving in time for an evening beach barbecue, the perfect opportunity to recap trip highlights with your fellow travelers. Overnight at Villa del Palmar. (B,L,D)

Estimated drive time today: 6 hrs

Mexico guided tours with Reefs to Rockies

DAY 9 (Sun, March 12): Loreto/ San Jose del Cabo ~ Enjoy a relaxing morning at the hotel. We’ll take our time driving back to San Jose del Cabo. Farewell farm-to-table dinner. Overnight at El Encanto Inn. (L,D)

Estimated drive time today: 6 hrs

DAY 10 (Mon, March 13): Departure ~ Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home. (B)

An optional 3-day extension to a sea turtle research project in Magdalena Bay is available. Contact us for more details.

Sea turtle conservation - Magdalena Bay, Mexico


download-itinerary-btn

DETAILS

Meals: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Price: $2855* per person (double occupancy).

Single supplement available upon request and subject to availability.

Pricing includes accommodations, guided excursions and entrance fees, full-time guide/trip host from Reefs to Rockies, local guides for boat excursions, wetsuit rental and snorkeling equipment for La Paz snorkeling tour, private in-country transportation, meals as listed. A donation to support local whale conservation efforts in Mexico will be made on behalf of each participant.

Exclusions: international airfare, alcohol, passport/visa fees, travel insurance, optional activities, taxis, gratuities for local guides, and personal expenses.