Summary : Each expedition is crafted to offer you the most in-depth experience of Baja California possible and maximize your time in the company of California gray whales. Flexibility is a hallmark of these expeditions, and the course can change to take advantage of a sighting of blue or sperm whales, or linger in expedition landing craft to watch blue-footed boobies plunge dive into a massive school of bait fish.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$6,590 to $11,390
Upon arrival in San Jose del Cabo, transfer to La Paz and check in to the Costa Baja Resort & Spa.
This morning you’ll have independent time to relax and take advantage of the resort and spa amenities. You’ll check out by late morning and depart for lunch at a local restaurant in La Paz. After lunch, you’ll transfer to San Carlos and embark the ship.
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 your days in this otherworldly place, you'll have the opportunity to not only observe these enormous yet gentle animals from the ship, but also at water level from expedition landing craft. It is highly likely that you will have the privilege of an up-close and personal sighting.
In kayaks and expedition landing craft you’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 you might see.
Today you’ll cruise past the spectacular Friars Rocks at Land’s End. For those who wish, you may arrange a visit to the historic town center of San Jose del Cabo.
The afternoon will be spent near the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna, which can be a gathering place for whales, dolphins, and other sea life. Humpback whales are often sighted here at this time of year. You’ll likely see tail lobbing, flipper slapping and breaching. Marine biologists and naturalists are always available to inform and enlighten you with their knowledge and experience.
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. You’ll both swim and snorkel here. You can don a mask, flippers and snorkel and experience the thrill of swimming with the curious sea lions. You can also observe the impressive geological past of these islands from a kayak, and 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 will be possibilities for long walks or lazy beachcombing, and you’ll finish the day with a beach barbecue complete with campfire and a star-filled sky.
Today is a day with the luxury of no specific plan. You may spend the morning whale watching in the waters around Isla Danzante, an area rich in sightings of blue whales, bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. You may explore one of the many uninhabited islands such as Isla San Jose or Isla Santa Catalina, famous for its 12-foot wavy barrel cactus. Birdlife may be plentiful, and the nutrient-rich sea is home to an overwhelming variety of fish: king angelfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, damselfish, and the beautiful parrotfish.
You will depart the ship in La Paz after breakfast and transfer to Los Cabos Airport for flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Trip Extension: La Paz Culture and Whale Sharks
Extend your stay in La Paz, Mexico to further explore the rich culture of the area. Learn more about the history of the region with visits to the La Paz Cathedral and the whale museum. Indulge in the local cuisine with inspiring local lunches and top it all off with an awe-inspiring opportunity to snorkel with the largest fish on the planet; gentle giant Whale Sharks. 3 days from $690 per person.
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking, stand up paddleboarding; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; gear on loan (snorkeling gear and wetsuit); all meals onboard ship; non-alcoholic beverages onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; extensions; passport, visa, immigration fees; meals not indicated; baggage/accident/travel protection plan; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, Internet, laundry, etc.; gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Jay Dickman (Whale Eye); Ralph Lee Hopkins (Sunset, Photographer, Cactus, Zodiac); Sven-Olaf Lindblad (Dolphin and Zodiac); Michael S. Nolan (Gray Whale and Calf, Whale and Zodiac, Sea Lion); Jack Swenson (Kayaking)