Witness whales in the wild as you explore the spectacular Baja Peninsula and its shimmering surrounds.

There's nowhere quite like Baja California Sur. Jacques Costeau called it the world's aquarium, but we just refer to it as paradise. The Sea of Cortez, off Baja's coast, is visited by every year by thousands of migrating whales and this expedition is a chance to see these majestic mammals in the wild. When you're not watching these breaching beauties, spend your days snorkelling in the clear blue waters, hiking the rocky coastlines, swimming with sea lions and exploring inland lagoons as your boat hops from island to island.


Start
La Paz, Mexico
Finish
La Paz, Mexico
Destination
Mexico
Style
Original
Theme
Expedition, Sailing
Code
QSSM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 3, Max 8

Why you'll love this trip

  • There aren't many sights more magical than a fully grown whale breaching the water. Witness the spectacle from your catamaran as you cruise across the Sea of Cortez.

  • The Baja Peninsula is unlike anywhere else. While the rocky land can seem deserted, it's a different story underwater with dolphins, whales, rays, sea lions and plenty of fish calling this area home.

  • Discover the varied sea life as you swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear water, both off the boat and from the many pristine beaches.

  • Enjoy chef-prepared meals with your group while on board.

  • Begin and end this journey in La Paz, a beautiful coastal town with colonial-era architecture, wide promenades and plenty of chilled-out bars to relax in.

Is this trip right for you?

  • As the majority of this trip takes place on a sailing boat, you’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the vessel, including the use of stairs. With that said, sea legs come naturally to some but not so much for others. Your friendly crew will be able to help with the effects of sea sickness if needed.

  • A zodiac is used to transport passengers from the boat to the mainland, with landings taking place at piers (dry landings) as well as on beaches (wet landings). Zodiacs can sometimes be awkward to climb in and out of, but a sense of humour and can-do attitude is all you need.

  • This is an adventure on board a real yacht, which means living spaces, cabins, bathrooms and showers need to be shared with other passengers. Sleeping quarters can be quite compact, but you will be spending the majority of your time above board in the open air.

  • Time on the water also means time in the sun. Remember to pack sun protection, such as sun screen and a hat, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. See ‘Essential Trip Information’ below for a full packing list.

  • Please note that smooth sailing is dependent on the weather, so itinerary changes may occur at the last minute if the weather becomes unfavourable. If any changes are made, you can trust in your knowledgeable skipper to choose an alternative route or activity.

Itinerary

Welcome to La Paz, the capital of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. The next seven days will be spent in search of whales in the Gulf of California. The Gulf is home to around 900 islands, many of which are UNESCO-protected, and from December to April it plays host to migrating whales that have travelled south from as far as the Bering Sea. But first, there’s an opportunity to explore this charming port town. If you arrive early, head down to the waterfront on Paseo Alvaro Obregon and stroll the wide promenade, perhaps stopping for a dip in the warm water. You could also check out the Museo de la Ballena, a museum dedicated to the gray whales that live and breed in the Gulf, or the Museo de Antropologia, where you can brush up on the history of Baja California. Your trip officially starts at 3 pm with a briefing and quick orientation of the boat. Afterwards, settle into your cabin, wave goodbye to the mainland and enjoy your first evening offshore. 
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez ‘the world’s aquarium,’ and you’ll be exploring it over the next six days. If all goes to plan, you’ll also meet some of the most incredible animals in the world. As with all sailing trips, the day-to-day itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions, but below you’ll find our planned destinations (when we’re not hanging out with the whales).

Ensenada Grande is a popular anchorage with towering rocky cliffs and white-sand beaches. The snorkelling here is fantastic thanks to the clear, warm water, and there are opportunities to hike along the clifftops for views of the cove and sea.

Off the northwest tip of Isla Partida you’ll find the rocky Los Islotes, known not only for its whale sightings, but also the opportunity to swim with sea lions in the wild. Spend some time with these playful creatures then visit nearby San Evaristo, a small fishing village on mainland Baja, and anchor for the evening in a well-protected cove.

Sail to Isla San Francisco and drop anchor in its crescent-shaped bay, which protects sandy beaches, red-rock cliffs and calm, clear waters. It can accommodate plenty of boats during high season, and offers tremendous hiking, snorkelling and fishing opportunities. Alternatively, just kick back on the beach and soak up some sunny vibes.

Make for Isla San Jose and Amortajada, a bay on its southwestern tip. Explore the mangroves along the main lagoon that cuts into the island, keeping an eye out for birdlife including egrets and herons as you go. This semi-arid island, where cacti jut out from rocky red peaks, is surrounded by sparkling waters home to moray eels and rays, which you may see jumping into the air (the rays, not the eels – that would be quite terrifying).

Isla Espiritu Santo is located, unsurprisingly, within the Espiritu Santo National Park, comprised of both Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. Here you’ll anchor in Bahia San Gabriel, another beautiful bay that offers up A-grade snorkelling and a beautiful beach.

Puerto Balandra is home to the famous ‘El Hongo’ rock formation, also known as the mushroom. With eight unspoiled beaches and an inland salt lagoon, this unpopulated coastal area is part of the mainland and a certified paradise. The protected bays offer stunning snorkelling and the waters teem with colourful fish.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (5)
  • Lunch (5)
  • Dinner (5)
Your trip comes to an end today in La Paz. After arriving back in port, you're free to say your goodbyes and either continue your travels or perhaps spend some more time soaking up this coastal town.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Catamaran

Accommodation

Overnight boat

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Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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