Summary : Spend several extraordinary days in the company of majestic gray whales in Mexico’s Bahía Magdalena, one of the best places in the world to witness interactions between gray whale mothers and their curious calves. On this compact trip, navigate the length of the bay aboard a nimble expedition ship, and set out by Zodiac for thrilling, up-close encounters. Kayak through mangrove forests and hike desert islands, watch pelicans and ospreys soar overhead, and soak up the sun on some of the Pacific’s most pristine beaches.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins
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Upon arrival in Loreto, transfer to San Carlos and embark National Geographic Sea Lion. Tonight anchor off the coast of Isla Santa Margarita.
Awake in Bahía Almejas, the southernmost part of the Bay. Make a special stop to view a large frigatebird colony on Isla Santa Margarita before heading out on your first whale watching trip of the voyage. The whales in Bahía Almejas tend to be very active, seemingly oblivious to your presence.
As you explore this bay and the Rehusa Channel via local panga, your team will do whatever it takes to provide you with memorable and meaningful experiences. During lunch, sail toward Isla Magdalena to explore the ever-shifting sand dunes on a cross-island walk to one of the most pristine beaches in the Pacific. Take a dip or tally the treasure found on what is affectionately call “sand dollar beach.”
Spend the morning transiting the scenic winding Hull Canal. Within its narrow channels, bordered by mangroves and sand dunes, and filled with abundant wildlife, hang out on deck with your keen-eyed naturalists to spot species and hear expert commentary. Weather permitting, explore the vast mangrove system via kayak and expedition landing craft. Birdwatching here can be excellent. Among the species you might see are diving pelicans, wheeling cormorants, terns, great blue herons, ibis, whimbrels, and willets. It’s not unusual to see forty species of birds in just one day along these fertile shorelines. This afternoon, head out to explore the breeding grounds of Boca de Soledad.
Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and give birth to their calves in these sheltered waters. “Grand Central” for California gray whales. Spend two days observing, and with luck, interacting with these majestic creatures. Together with savvy local fishermen, venture out in expedition landing craft to view the numerous mother-calf pairs that thrive in this region. You’ll also have an opportunity to explore the beaches, and if you’re feeling up
to it, grab one of the fat-tire bikes to roam the seemingly endless beaches.
After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to Loreto’s city center. Choose to visit the first mission in Baja California if you'd like, as well as the nearby museum to learn more about what makes this town so special. Enjoy free time to explore the quaint shops and vibrant side streets. After lunch, transfer to Loreto 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 Post-voyage Extension: Blue and Fin Whales
The extension will include an excursion into the waters of the Sea of Cortez and Bahia Loreto National Park with the possibility of encountering blue or fin whales, the two largest animals in the world. In addition, you will visit the Jesuit-founded Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó and learn about the rich history of the mission and the surrounding area. 3 Days.
2021: Please inquire for rates
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on recommended flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking, stand up paddleboarding; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; 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)