Whales of Baja - 7-night Land & Sea Expedition

Loreto, La Paz and Todos Santos

At a Glance

  • Private seven night expedition with private bilingual naturalist National Geographic qualified guide

  • See all of Baja's great "whales" including Blue, Gray, Humpbacks & Whale Sharks

  • Full day exploring Espiritu Santo Island to see Blue Footed Boobies & swim with sealions

  • Explore the "Camino Real" from our Lady of Loreto to the magical Spanish Mission of San Javier

  • Stay in charming local "posadas" ideally located for an authentic Baja experience

  • Guide driven in high-spec SUV vehicle inclusive of all equipment, meals and accommodation

  • Add on a few days of relaxation on the beach in Los Cabos at the end of the itinerary

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

In order to see the Blue Whale, Gray Whale, Whale Shark and Humpback Whale in this one incredible whale watching itinerary the ideal time for travel is January to March. In order to experience the playful Gray Whale calves who will come right up to your boat in the Bay of Magdalena the best months to visit are January and February.

Humpbacks whales have a longer season of November to April, as do Whale Sharks who can be spotted between August to March. It is possible for the expedition to be made taking in the cultural sites such as crumbling Spanish missions and rock art in Loreto instead of the Blue and Gray Whales if restricted to November and December travel.

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Insider's View

If you enjoy seafood don't miss a visit to savour giant razor clams or fist sized scallops at local hot spot Vista al Mar in Loreto!

If you're really interested in the history and culture, ask us about adding on a side trip to visit Aboriginal cave paintings dating back from 1,500 years ago!

Make sure you pay a visit to local character "Mr Margarita" who owns a great little bar in Todos Santos - your guide can take you there to learn his special recipe. With ingredients from a local farm, their chile rellenos and pork tacos are also well worth a try!

You don't have to swim with the whale shark but it is a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience. Make sure you have your fins on though, as these gentle giants move remarkably fast!

This itinerary is best traveled north to south but it can easily be adapted for flights in and out of Los Cabos if need be - the trip is also about scenic desert drives and stopping at interesting little pueblos so round trips are also completely possible!

Cross your fingers that the whale whisperer Sergio will be your captain and spot the whale sharks to swim with, call the dolphins to the boat and concoct the best Ceviche for your lunch on a deserted beach!

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Description

This multi-day expedition with an expert local guide takes you off-the-beaten-path to explore the traditional culture, history & culinary scene of this desert peninsula, while in search of magnificent blue, grey & humpback whales and vast whale sharks.

This great whales of Baja expedition is the ultimate land and sea whale watching experience. Although we can organize half and full-day experiences from Cabo, this signature eight-day expedition delves deeper into the island-like peninsula of Baja Sur for incredible wildlife encounters, breathtaking desert scenery, crumbling Spanish missions, culinary exploration and a unique interaction with the people and traditional culture of the region. Our local Baja guide is National Geographic qualified and passionate on the subject of whales and wildlife. The guide is also knowledgeable on the region's history and geology allowing him to make suggestions and tailor the expedition to your interests - you need just let us know.

To provide an overview, the expedition will start in Loreto where your guide will collect you for a six night, seven day experience. The first evening will be an introduction to Baja's culinary riches from the Sea of Cortez, indulging in the freshest catch from giant scallops to lobster tacos. Stay three-nights in a charming historic Posada in the town square overlooking the Mission of our Lady of Loreto, the original mission from 1697. The next morning will begin with the first whale watching expedition as you board your boat from Loreto Harbour to venture out to the Coronado Islands in search of the largest living mammal on earth, the Blue Whale. Combine whale viewing with an island hike for panoramic views, snorkeling or swimming in azure waters and lunch on a sheltered white sandy cove.

The next day, drive through winding canyon roads with giant cardon cactus' and dramatic gorges to reach the Mission of San Javier. Fifty-five years from conception to completion, it is breath-taking in its remote location surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and fruit trees planted by Jesuit missionaries. Today a small community live and work here - it feels like one of the most peaceful places on earth. Talk history, hike here or simply stroll around to soak in its magical atmosphere. The itinerary is entirely tailored to you, so the afternoon is yours to head out on the water for more Blue Whale watching or simply relax by the swimming pool with a good book.

The next morning, wake early to get on the desert road to drive to the Bay of Magdalena for an unforgettable encounter with Gray Whales and their adolescent calves. They have made the longest migration of any mammal on earth to breed here of over 20,000 km and in respect regulations ensure boats stay the permitted distance from mother and baby - yet no rules are laid on the baby whales and inquisitive calves cannot resist popping up by the boats for a pat on the nose or even a tummy rub!

From the Bay of Magdalena, drive south to La Paz, a city with local Mexican charm and the most wonderful sunsets on the Sea of Cortez best observed with a stroll along the "malecon" seafront. Dine locally at a recommended parilla or taqueria and check in at a charming local Posada with views of the ocean for two-nights.

Few marine areas in the world can compare with the richness of life found in the Espiritu Santo Islands just off the coast of La Paz. Akin to a Galapagos experience, your full day trip out to the islands will be a highlight of the expedition; you'll snorkel on colorful coral reefs awash with tropical fish, swim with playful sealions at Los Islotes, spot magnificent migratory birds like the infamous blue footed boobie and front-crawl alongside the biggest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. Growing up to 12 meters in length, it is an honour to swim along side these gentle plankton eating giants.

From La Paz, journey south to experience the 'magical town' of Todos Santos like a local. Spend two nights at Guaycura boutique hotel in the center of Todos Santos, with a wonderful roof top pool and terrace ideal for watching sunsets over the Pacific. With a day to relax and time to explore the town, your guide will introduce you to the history of this celebrated town, rich in art and music with a highly knowledgeable historical tour, then introduce you to local characters at the towns favorite tequila bar.

From Todos Santos, it is onto Cabo for your last whale expedition and these whales really know how to put on a show! One of the premier places in the world to see humpbacks, from your rib boat whales can be seen breaching high out of the water slapping the surface dramatically. You'll pass by the iconic arch of Land's End, pods of dolphins and marine birds on route back to the marina.

At the end of this expedition, we recommend spending a few days at boutique hotel Casa Natalia in the colonial town of San Jose or why not indulge in a week long stay at one of Cabo's luxury beach resorts such as the sublime One&Only Palmilla or desert chic resort Las Ventanas al Pariaso.

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Accommodation

Hand picked colonial Mexican run posada's are the preferred accommodation on this itinerary. The accommodations can be tailored to your requirements and needs - you need just discuss them with your consultant who can advise from first-hand experience.

Posada de las Flores Loreto

The Posada de las Flores Loreto is a pretty and traditional rose pink hacienda-style hotel, conveniently located on the town plaza of Loreto and a short stroll from the azure Sea of Cortez.

The hotel is styled in the fashion of an authentic Mexican mansion complete with original wooden floors, impressive stone arches and colonial style decor. This elegant hotel has just fifteen rooms, each with its own individual style. The five suites all boast views over the town plaza.

Posada de las Flores has its own small rooftop pool and terrace, a pleasant haven after a busy day of taking in the local sights. Complete with sun loungers it is the ideal spot to watch the sunset behind the spectacular La Giaganta mountains.

Posada de las Flores La Paz

The Posada de las Flores is an intimate family-run eight-room posada, ideally located on La Paz's Malecon seafront promenade.

This boutique bed and breakfast has the ambience of an authentic, colonial style Mexican residence and each of the 8 rooms has traditional decor. Breakfast is served daily on the spacious common terrace overlooking the sea.

La Paz offers travelers a true taste of traditional Baja, with its rich cultural heritage and laid-back traditional values. The Malecon seafront promenade features local artists sculptures and works and is lined with restaurants, shops and ice-cream parlours. It comes alive with locals enjoying the dramatic sunsets in the evenings.

Guaycura

Just an hour from the glitzy developments of Los Cabos in southern Baja is the artist’s colony of Todos Santos. Guaycura boutique hotel offers 14 charming rooms and sweeping views of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean from it's roof terrace and pool. It is housed in a mid-19th-century building that has at various times been the town’s school, post office, police station and a ladies’ art academy. Today the town attracts travelers looking to experience authentic Baja California.

Facilities

Vehicles are comfortable large all-terrain SUV vehicles. All multi-day expeditions are fully inclusive of equipment for snorkeling, marine park fees and boat fees and meals, snacks and plentiful drinks.

Activities

The expedition combines the opportunity to spot resident Blue Whales off the coast of Loreto, enjoy close encounters with Gray Whales and their playful calves in the Bay of Magdalena, snorkel with Whale Sharks and sealions in La Paz and watch Humpbacks breach off the coast of Cabo. Combine this with visits to crumbling Spanish Missions, the magical town of Todos Santos and a local introduction to Baja's cuisine, it's an unforgettable experience for nature and culture lovers.

Reviews

4

Jules Maury (Staff)

Keen to explore further afield and learn a bit about the Mexican culture and history? Let us organize a day of adventure to La Paz and the legendary island of  Espiritu Santos in the Sea of Cortez.  Our naturalist guide (as well as a fabulous historian, naturalist, geographical expert, marine specialist passionate about responsible and sustainable tourism as well as being a mine of local knowledge) will tailor make your day of discovery and adventure which I assure you will be one of the highlights of the trip.  Swim with the sea lions, snorkel with rainbow fish, bask with the gentle whale sharks and explore the magical islands of the Sea of Cortez.  If you are lucky Sergio the captain will prepare fresh Ceviche which he served on a deserted beach whilst you watch crystal clear aquamarine waves lap against white powder sand.  Finish the day with a Margarita tasting and lesson at the iconic Tequila Sunrise bar opposite the famed Hotel California in Los Todos. A perfect day and if you have longer we can organize a four day tour including La Paz, Loretto and Magdalena Bay.

Experiences

  • Day 1 - Loreto & San Javier - Whales of Baja Expedition

    Your expedition begins in the pretty town of Loreto, where you'll meet your naturalist guide who will accompany you for the next week. In the afternoon, get off-the-beaten-track exploring Mission of San Javier.

  • Day 2 - Blue Whales - Whales of Baja Expedition

    The next morning will begin with the first whale watching expedition as you board your boat from Loreto Harbour to venture out to the Coronado Islands in search of the largest living mammal on earth, the Blue Whale.

  • Day 3 - Blue Whales - Whales of Baja Expedition

    Spend a second day exploring the Loreto marine park in the Sea of Cortez, again going in search of blue whales and an array of other marine life including manta rays and dolphins.

  • Day 4 - Gray Whales - Whales of Baja Expedition

    Today wake early to get on the desert road to drive to the Bay of Magdalena for an unforgettable encounter with Gray Whales and their adolescent calves. They have made the longest migration of any mammal on earth to breed here of over 20,000 km!

  • Day 5 - Whale Sharks - Whales of Baja Expedition

    Few marine areas in the world can compare with the richness of life found in the Espiritu Santo Islands just off the coast of La Paz. Akin to a Galapagos experience, your full day trip out to the islands will be a highlight of the expedition!

  • Day 6 - Historical Todos Santos - Whales of Baja Expedition

    From La Paz, journey an hour south to experience the 'magical town' of Todos Santos like a local. Your guide will introduce you to the history of this celebrated town, rich in art and music. A foodie town, there's no shortage of wonderful places to dine.

  • Day 7 - Todos Santos - Whales of Baja Expedition

    Today your guide will take you on a historical tour of Todos Santos, an authentic enclave rich in Mexican history and culture.

Vacation Ideas

  • Wildlife of Baja California

    Mexico City, La Paz, Loreto, Todos Santos & Los Cabos

    from $8800 pp 12 nights

    • Observe all of Baja's great 'whales' including blue whales, grey whales, humpback whales and whale sharks
    • Includes a seven-night whale expedition with private bilingual naturalist National Geographic qualified guide
    • Explore the Espiritu Santo Islands and snorkel with playful sea lions

Location & directions

Loreto, La Paz and Todos Santos

The suggested expedition is as much about the journey as the whale watching. It starts in Loreto futher north in Baja Sur, from Loreto it is a 2-hour transfer to Magdalena Bay, then a 2-hour transfer to La Paz, from here it is 2 hours to Todos Santos and finally 1 hour to Cabo San Lucas. All the drives are scenic desert drives with points of interest to explore en route.

Speak to our specialists 858 523 9000

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