BAJA CALIFORNIA AND THE SEA OF CORTEZ: AMONG THE GREAT WHALES
A trip like no other - sail the Sea of Cortiz to Laguna San Ignacio on the famous National Geographic Venture.
Wildlife lovers will come face to face with the great whale and a wonderful selection of marine and bird life.
9 nights accommodation aboard the world-class expedition ships of the National Geographic - Lindblad fleet or a luxury chartered ship
Most daily activities and excursions
Day One & Two – San Jose del Cabo, Mexico:
Arrive in San José del Cabo, then transfer to La Paz and enjoy time to relax at our waterfront resort. The next day, travel overland to the fishing community of San Carlos, where we’ll board the National Geographic Venture.
Day Three – Bahia Magdalena, Mexico:
Go ashore on Isla Magdalena, a vast sandy wilderness surrounded by mangrove channels and the protected waters of Bahía Magdalena. Explore the island’s ever-shifting dunes during a walk to one of the most pristine beaches on the Pacific coast. On the mud flats, spot migrating birds at rest, including frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, terns, and great blue herons.
Day Four & Five, Laguna San Ignacio, Mexico:
The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino in Laguna San Ignacio is one of the main breeding and calving areas for California grey whales, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Every year, grey whales migrate here from the Arctic waters of Alaska; it is one of the longest known migrations of mammals and one of nature’s greatest spectacles. In this vast water nursery, observe these gentle giants at water level from our Zodiacs. Our extensive experience navigating these waters, as well as the ship’s exploration tools, maximise the likelihood of up-close encounters with grey whales and their calves.
Day Six – At Sea, Mexico:
As we travel south along the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula, spend time on deck seeking out some of the many marine species that inhabit these waters, including the blue whale—the largest animal on Earth. Attend talks given by our naturalists, and learn wildlife photography tips from our photo instructor
Day Seven – San Jose Del Cabo and Gorda Bank, Mexico:
This morning, we cruise past Friars Rock at Land’s End and dock at San José del Cabo to explore its historic town centre. The afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna, gathering places for whales, dolphins, and other sea life. Humpbacks are often active here at this time of year, and we may witness them tail-lobbing, flipper-slapping, and breaching. Our onboard marine biologists and naturalists will be available to interpret the behaviours of these majestic animals.
Day Eight – Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo, Mexico:
In the waters off Los Islotes, we’ll have the opportunity to snorkel and swim among curious sea lions. After lunch, examine the intriguing geological layers of Espíritu Santo from the water during a kayaking excursion, and go ashore to see compacted volcanic ash blanketed by solidified lava flows. Enjoy time to go beach combing, or opt for a walk along rocky cliffs to spot brown pelicans, gulls, wandering tattlers, and boobies. Cap off the day with a beach barbecue, gather around a bonfire to share stories from the day’s adventures, and take in a stunning display of stars.
Day Nine – Exploring the Sea of Cortez, Mexico:
Today we enjoy the luxury of having no specific plan. You may spend time on the lookout for whales, as well as bottlenose and common dolphins; or explore some of the many uninhabited islands in the Sea of Cortez, such as Isla San Francisco or Isla San José, known for its sweeping beaches and arroyos. Birdlife may be plentiful, and the nutrient-rich sea is home to an incredible variety of fish, including angelfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, damselfish, and the beautiful parrotfish.
Day Ten – La Paz and San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico:
Disembark in La Paz after breakfast, and drive to the Los Cabos airport for your flight home.