For a place famous explorer Jacques Costeau called “the world’s aquarium”, you’d be forgiven for expecting big things from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. That’s a big call to make, Jacques.
But here’s the thing; the stunning Mexican coastline of Baja California Sur more than lives up to its name. It’s paradise. From the electric blue waters and rocky mountains flanking the coast, to the abundance of marine life frolicking through the waves, this place is primed and ready to change your life. We’re making some pretty big calls here, but we’ve got the evidence to prove it:
Sea lions, whales, and turtles – oh my!
Fans of glimpsing animals in their natural habitat, step right up; when you visit Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, you’ll see more than just seaweed on the sand. Renowned for the majestic mammals of the ocean, the Sea of Cortez off Baja’s coast is the place to be if you fancy whale watching. Every year, thousands of migrating whales make their journey through these waters, and while Mother Nature can never be fully predicted, your odds of spying a whale (or 10) are pretty favourable. The best way to see them, of course, is by boat – nay, yacht! On this tour, expert skippers take you on a sea voyage like no other, with stop-offs at some of the best vantage points for whale watching, like the tip of Isla Partida and the rocky Los Islotes. There aren’t many things in life that beat seeing a fully grown whale breaching the ocean’s surface just metres away, and this trip gives you the best chance of such an experience.
And while whales are top of the list when it comes to sightseeing, the wildlife smorgasbord doesn’t stop there. There’s a strong chance you’ll also spot incredible marine life like dolphins, sea lions, turtles, and the prettiest fish you’ve ever laid eyes on. Did we mention you can swim and snorkel alongside most of these creatures too? Places like the Los Islotes are infamous for playful sea lions, while Isla San Jose and Amortajada are home to graceful stingrays and moray eels.
Live the life of a pirate
Truth be told, life aboard a yacht is a little more comfortable (and less treacherous) than a pirate’s life, but you get the gist. There’s simply no better way to experience the stunning vistas, sparkling water, and fresh sea breeze of the Baja Peninsula than aboard your own private catamaran. On Intrepid’s tour, there’s a maximum of just eight guests, meaning you’ll have plenty of room to spread out and heaps of unique experiences you won’t find on a 3000-person cruise ship. For example, having your own private chef cooking up authentic Mexican fare every day is something exclusive to this itinerary. And what could be better than kicking back with a cerveza in one hand, freshly made taco in the other, and the Mexican sunset shimmering across the waters? Nothing. Not to mention all the top-line kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and snorkel gear on hand for you to make the most of your ocean surrounds.
Shake off the tourist traps
One of the best things about Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is that no one else seems to know it exists. Unlike other parts of Mexico where you’re hard-pressed to just cross the street, Baja California feels largely undiscovered by the rest of the world. So if you’re seeking a little serenity, this destination really delivers. You won’t be bombarded by crowds of tourists or swarms of tour companies here; in fact, you’ll be lucky to see a gathering of more than 5 people on these beaches, despite the fact they’re absolutely stunning.
In between sailing the open seas, you’ll get to hike along remote clifftops for perfect panoramic views, dock in quaint fishing villages, explore mangroves and Espiritu Santo National Park, and soak up the sun in hidden coves. If you’re into snorkelling, Bahia San Gabriel and Puerto Balandra is home to the famous ‘mushroom’ rock formation, El Hongo, and is made up of eight dreamy beaches, an inland salt lagoon, and scores of colourful fish swimming around the bays.
Even with the off-chance of whales being MIA, there’s nowhere on earth that matches the Baja peninsula for wildlife and nature at its finest, not to mention one heck of an open sea adventure.
Click here for more details on our Mexico Sailing & Whale Watching Expedition, or find out more about the rest of our small group adventures around Mexico here.
Feature image by Christopher Gardiner.