Gray whale watching, seal and whale shark snorkeling, desert offroad driving
Every year, gray whales migrate along the west cost of North America down to Baja Califonia to breed and give birth. This great attraction brings whale lovers from all around the world to Mexico. Gray whales are among the friendliest and most curious whales in the world - they come very close to the boats, laying heads on it and letting people to touch, scratch and hug them. Usually we don't touch animals, but here it's believed that the whales are enjoying such way of communication. Whales can stay with the boat for quite a long time. For every whale lover it's the trip not to be missed! We can also meet humpback whales, mobulas and other marine animals.
It's not a whale snorkeling trip, but you are welcome to bring your underwater camera for shooting from the boat.
We will visit sea lion colony and do some snorkeling with those friendly guys who enjoy being around divers and give unforgettable close encounter experience! If that's not enough, add one day of snorkeling with whale sharks!
If it's not enough, let's just say that getting to the whales is driving through the desert on 4x4 Jeep Wrangler, so it's a "road-trip", and if you always wanted to test this legendary car, you are welcome to drive it! We will cover a road throuth the Mexican desert, getting from one whale spot to another and visiting ancient towns and other attractions of California peninsula.
Hot and sunny desert, offroad driving, whale hugging, seal and whale shark snorkeling - this is a true adventure not to be missed!
Our journey begins at La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, a hospitable town renowned for its fantastic sunsets. First we will go to the hotel to check in and then we will drive to the embarking point for snorkeling expedition with the whale sharks. Hotel overnight.
We will sail along the eastern side of the Espiritu Santo island to reach Los Islotes, two large rock islets, one of which is a natural arch. Diving through the centre of this natural rock formation brimming with life, one can expect to see dense shoals of silver sardines, blue and gold King Angel Fish and yellow surgeon fish, amongst golden cup corals. These islets are home to a colony of over 200 Californian Brown Sea lions. These inquisitive creatures take great interest in those visiting their home. One can often turn to find the pups pulling at your fins, eager to play, showing off and turning circles around our comparatively clumsy underwater movements. The larger bulls become pugnacious and territorial during the mating season in protection of their harem. On the way back, we will stop at the wonderful Ensenada Grande, for lunch on the beach and some relaxing. Hotel overnight.
Day 3 (273 km drive)
We will travel North, passing the agriculture fields of Ciudad Constitución and Insurgentes, to Puerto Lopez Mateos, a fishing village at the edge of Bahía Magdalena, our first whale watching base. Although the Gray Whale represents the main attraction in these waters, we will also sail to observe dolphins, sea lions, frigates, cormorants, pelicans, ospreys and herons, with additional opportunities to explore the majestic dunes of Isla Magdalena and hike for shells along the endless beaches. Hotel overnight.
Day 4 (310 km drive)
After breakfast, our route will follow now the path of the Baja 1000, the legendary off-road race that crosses the Peninsula from north to south. Between the treacherous mirages of the unbelievable Tide Flats, we will travel north, passing through San Juanico, up to to the mythic Laguna San Ignacio, our second base for the whale watching, where we will stay at a romantic camp, caressed by the breeze of the Pacific Ocean. Lunch and Dinner at the camp restaurant. Lodging in tent.
Full board at the camp. Expert "lancheros", driving powerful boats, will enable us to enjoy unforgettable close encounters with gray whales. In the morning, third outing by boat in the waters of the Laguna, declared by the federal government "Natural shelter of the Gray Whales", where the big cetaceans, being very protected, are not afraid of man and very often approach the boats in order to be pet. Vititing scientists base. Lodging in tent. (We have two whale watching boat trips at the Laguna San Ignacio, which will be scheduled according to the weather conditions).
Day 6 (208 km drive)
We will travel to San Ignacio, the first oasis of the zone, which host one of the most beautiful mission of the XVIII century. After a short visit to the Museum of the Cave Paintings, we will enter the Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, the largest wildlife refuge in México, today partially improved and transformed into flourishing farming fields, thank to a Mexico-Israel project. We will leave the paved road in order to reach the southern shore of Laguna Ojo de Liebre and make our fourth boat excursion for the observation of the Gray Whale (this excursion is optional, to be paid on the spot). We will continue to Guerrero Negro and lodge at the hotel.
Today we will travel for few miles to the northern shore of Laguna Ojo de Libre for the fifth whale watching excursion. Snack on board. In the afternoon we might visit the extraordinary installations of the company Esportadora de Sal, the largest salt mine in the world. Back to the hotel for lodging.
Day 8 (416 km drive)
We will visit the Peninsular Proghorn Reserve and Breeding Center, which hosts four hundred Berrendo, a critically endangered anthelope species native to North America. We will travel south, passing Mulegé and its severe mission, on a river surrounded by thousands of palm trees, then we will parallel the enchanting Bahía Concepción and its marvelous lace of white, sandy coves, before to drive to Santa Rosalia, whose vestiges of a rich mining past will bring you back into time, while strolling in the picturesque streets of the old French colony. We finally will reach Loreto, the first capital of Californias, today a fast growing development, on the shore of the Sea of Cortez. Hotel overnight.
Day 9 (356 km drive)
We will have breakfast at the hotel and we will drive south, passing again the agricolture fields of Ciudad Constitución, before to get back to La Paz. Hotel overnight.
Departure from La Paz airport
The programm may be adjusted according to the weather conditions.
Price: 2'400 USD Dates: March 15-24, 2019
Reception at the airport transfer to the hotel.
Rental of a Jeep Wrangler, with unlimited mileage, FDW insurance, pick-up and return at La Paz airport. Fuel costs.
Overnight stay in DBL, in the following hotels: Hotel Catedral, in La Paz; Hotel Mangrove Inn, in Puerto Lopez Mateos; Hotel Halfway Inn, in Guerrero Negro; Hotel Desert Inn, in Loreto.
All breakfasts, picnic lunch on the beach at Isla Espiritu Santo, snack on board during the whale watching at Guerrero Negro and full board (three meals a day) during the two days of stay at Laguna San Ignacio.
Overnight in a man-sized igloo tent, equipped with two beds, with mattress and sleeping bag with sheet, at the equipped area of the Laguna San Ignacio.
Boat excursion to Espiritu Santo Island and beach picnic lunch.
All snorkeling equipment
Boat excursion to Whale Watching, at Puerto Lopez Mateos.
Two boat whale watching excursions, at Laguna San Ignacio.
Whale watching excursion in the northern part of the Ojo de Liebre lagoon (Guerrero Negro) with snacks on board.
Guided tour of the largest saltworks in the world
Custom made Road Book
Meals not mentioned in "included"
One whale watching excursion at Ojo De Liebre (optional)
The water temperature in the ocean is about +18˚+20˚C;
The air temperature is about +30˚C
Visa to Mexico may be required depending on your country of residence
Currency: Mexican Peso and USD
Type of power socket: A,B (american standart), voltage 110
How to get here
Flights to/from La Paz international airport (LAP).
Passport, printed tickets
Light tracking boots (or sneakers)
Discounts for drivers
We will drive several cars in both road and offroad conditions, so we are welcoming our guests to be one of drivers and test the amazing Jeep Wrangler in severe conditions of Mexican desert! Every experienced driver who takes a responsibility to drive for the whole trip (only 2 spots) gets a discount of 100 USD.