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Baja California and the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales

Rates & Dates:

Trip Length: 8 Days/ 7 Nights

Prices from: $5,990 pp/do*

Single Price: $8,990 pp

2016 Dates: Jan 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28, Mar 7, 14

Ships: MV Sea Bird & Sea Lion

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Or call us: 1-800-578-1479

Unique, immersive style of travel
Among the Great Whales offers the rare privilege of entering the California gray whale birthing lagoons in search of up close encounters. Exploring Baja California on an expedition is an unrivaled experience, and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with its whales and wildness. Our 62-guest expedition ship is fully equipped with tools for exploration, and our itinerary is crafted to:

  • See California gray whales up close
  • Spend three days at Bahia Magdalena, one of the whales’ main breeding grounds
  • Hike desert islands, sculpted sand dunes and see a variety of wildlife in the Sea of Cortez
  • Snorkel with sea lions and search for marine mammals
  • Experience the Baja California undersea
  • Benefit from our 30+ years of experience and relationships in Baja California to see all you came for and more

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DAY 1: La Paz/San Carlos/Embark Ship

Arrive in La Paz and drive across the Baja Peninsula to San Carlos to board the ship. (D)

DAY 2-4: Bahia Magdalena

Bahia Magdalena is one of the main breeding and calving areas for the California gray whale. Each winter, the whales make the longest migration of any mammal — south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. During our days in this otherworldly place, we’ll have the opportunity to not only observe these enormous yet gentle animals from the ship, but also at water level from our expedition landing craft. Because of our experience and knowledge of Baja’s waters, we have enjoyed consistent success in achieving “friendly encounters” with gray mother and calf pairs. While we would never presume to predict Nature’s behavior, it is highly likely that you will have the privilege of an up-close and personal sighting.

In kayaks and expedition landing craft we’ll explore the clear blue waters. Bird watching here can be excellent — magnificent frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, terns and great blue herons, are among the species we might see. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Los Cabos and Gorda Banks

Today, we cruise past the spectacular Friars Rocks at Land’s End. For those who wish, we will visit the historic town center of San Jose del Cabo.

TThe afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna, gathering places for whales, dolphins and other sea life. Humpback whales are often sighted here at this time of the year. See tail lobbing, flipper slapping and breaching. Marine biologists and naturalists are always available to inform and enlighten you with their knowledge and their experience. Not only do they know where best to look for wildlife, their passion and respect for the area is infectious — whether you ask a question or two or spend entire afternoons or evenings in their company. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo

With deeply indented shorelines and dramatically eroded cliff faces, Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo are two of the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez. Swim and snorkel here. Don mask, flippers and snorkel (which we’ll gladly provide with as much guidance as you need) and experience the thrill of swimming with the curious sea lions. Observe the impressive geological past of these islands from a kayak: see tons of compacted volcanic ash covered with solidified lava floods just yards from the shore. Brown pelicans, gulls, and boobies are all part of the landscape. There are possibilities for long walks or lazy beachcombing. Finish the day with a beach barbecue complete with campfire and a star-filled sky. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Today is a day with the luxury of no specific plan. Search for whales among the islands of the southern Sea of Cortez, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, and often common and bottlenose dolphins. Explore the many uninhabited islands such as Isla San José or Isla Santa Catalina to walk among huge cacti and observe the diverse bird life. Swim or snorkel with king angelfish, butterfly fish, damselfish and the beautiful parrotfish. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: La Paz/Disembark/Los Angeles

Disembark after breakfast in La Paz and drive to the airport for flights home. (B)

Photo Credit: Lindblad Expeditions