Baja California Sur is a world class destination and this “Baja Cape Discovery” promises many exceptional experiences packed into one unforgettable trip. Explore the contrasting scenery between the Sierra de la Laguna’s deep fresh water canyons and the magnificent marine encounters found in the Sea of Cortez. From colonial pueblos to ranchos, kayaking and snorkeling to hiking and plunging into fresh water pools, swimming with whale-sharks to mingling with sea-lions and encountering Gray whales; you’ll visit all the major highlights of this extraordinary region.
MEXICO MULTI-SPORT AND WHALE ADVENTURE
Day 1: Arrive in La Paz
Upon arrival in La Paz you will be transferred by private taxi to Hotel Cathdral located next to the mission church in the centre of La Paz. At 5:00pm meet your guide for a pre-dinner stroll along the Malecon (sea-promenade) to help shrug off the jet-lag and enjoy one of our spectacular sunsets. We will dine in one of the local restaurants.
Day 2: Swimming with Sea Lion Pups in Espiritu Santo
Our adventure continues with an exhilarating boat ride out to the “Jewel of The Cortez”. Espiritu Santo Island was declared part of a Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO in 1995 and is one of several islands that form the Gulf of California Islas’ National Park. The archipelago of Espiritu Santo is made up of several smaller islands several of which are important nesting sites for the region’s sea birds.
When viewed on Google maps one can’t help but notice the long fjord like bays that are deeply recessed on the west coast providing picture perfect beaches to explore. “Los Islotes” situated off the north coast of the island forms the crowning glory where a magnificent permanent sea-lion colony resides. Here you can experience the amazing thrill of swimming with sea lion pups and snorkel amongst thousands of tropical fish. Lunch will be on one of the many gorgeous soft white sandy beaches. When the day comes to an end you will be returned back to Hotel Catedral.
DAY 3: Swimming with Whale-Sharks and a trip to the Whale Museum in La Paz
After breakfast we will embark on what is for many, the major highlight of the trip: swimming with the largest fish in the world!! Whale-sharks have made their home for most of the year in the shallow rich-feeding waters of the La Paz bay. You will venture out in our motor boat equipped with cameras and snorkel gear ready to experience the thrill of a life-time. Those that would rather not swim alongside a shark measuring up to 45 feet can take close up pictures of these amazing gentle giants. Returning to La Paz we will have time to freshen up before enjoying some local cuisine at a typical La Paz sea-side restaurant (there are always options for vegetarians). Then after lunch enjoy a stroll around the colonial centre of La Paz with your guide pointing out notable buildings and a visit to the Whale museum conveniently located on the sea promenade. Delicious natural fruit flavoured ice-creams are an absolute must! Try a damiana, tres leches or chongo flavour for something new.
DAY 4: Mangrove Forest and Balandra Bay
Our sea-kayaking expedition explores a spectacular bay with more beautiful beaches, great snorkeling and a prolific mangrove forest. We will paddle into a sinuous sea river that takes us back into a quiet lagoon where the birdlife will likely reveal egrets, herons, ospreys and several smaller sea-birds that share the complex mangrove system. We’ll learn the significance of the mangroves in Baja and their crucial role in the balance of the ecology. Our day will include a packed lunch on one of Balandra’s beaches.
Returning to La Paz we’ll freshen up before taking a van ride across the Baja desert to the Pacific Lagoons where we will spend the evening at Hotel Mangrove Inn.
DAY 5: Grey Whale Watching OR Mexican Mountain-Biking Expedition
During Whale Season (January-March):
3 hours of whale-watching in the breeding grounds of the Grey whales. Another breath-taking experience and one in which you are likely to actually pet the baby whales as their inquisitiveness brings them within arm’s-length of our motor skiff. Returning to the fishing village of Lopez Mateos we will enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before traveling back to La Paz and the Hotel Cathedral.
Outside of Whale Season:
Following a hearty breakfast we will meet our mountain bike guide and take a 30 minute drive south of La Paz into the low hills where a myriad of dirt roads and farm tracks through the Baja desert make the perfect playground for our Mexican mountain-biking Expedition. Views to the Sea of Cortez are stunning as is the great variety of Baja trees and cactus that provide a natural garden of weird and wonderful plant life. Besides the odd farm vehicle we are unlikely to see much in the way of traffic – perhaps a herd of goats or a stray cow will be our only obstructions. A support van means you can do as much or as little of the biking as you wish, but for the die-hards there is a gruelling 4 mile steep sand road to finish our 20 mile loop – most people hop in the comfort of the air-conditioned van at this point. Our ride is complimented with a superb pic-nic set out on a large granite slab that commands distant desert views over much of our ride. Return in the afternoon to Hotel cathedral.
DAY 6: Discover Cabo Pulmo and the Pacific Oceans Coral Reef in Marine National Park
This morning the Pacific Ocean’s most northern Coral Reef awaits us. We journey down the peninsula to the delightful seaside village of Cabo Pulmo. Take the plunge and discover why this area became a marine national park in 1995. In the afternoon we will take a walk along the stunning coastline to Iguana Beach where large white granite boulders and soft white sand create an image of sheer paradise. We will camp on the sunny Iguana beach which has basic bathroom facilities and palm fond shading.
DAY 7: Explore and relax as we discover canyons, waterfall and hot springs in Santiago
Following a cooked breakfast we pack up and travel on down to the pretty agricultural village of Santiago where one can observe the rural life style of Baja Californians and where time seems to have stood still since the Mexican Revolution. Once off the highway we venture along the amazing labyrinth of sand roads that represent quintessential Baja off road terrain. Hike into a deep canyon where a 40ft waterfall completes this idyllic setting and a refreshing swim is simply irresistible. We`ll enjoy a packed lunch while warming ourselves on a large granite boulder in the Baja sun and then transfer by van to our secret camp spot for the night: a stone’s throw from a natural hot spring beneath a huge wild fig tree. A composting toilet provides a measure of comfort in this wild camping location.
DAY 8: Journey to Todos Santos with an afternoon with your guide or surfing
A visit to the enchanting puebla of Todos Santos. Enjoy a stroll around this village made famous by its Hotel California. A chance to souvenir shop in one of the many trinket stores and admire the excellent work of many local artists in the local galleries. In the afternoon we have the option of a coastal walk or a body surf on one of the Pacific beaches – please advise your guide ahead of time which you would prefer. Hotel in Todos Santos.
DAY 9 & 10: Relax in Todos Santos
Days at leisure to relax on the beach near Todos Santos.
DAY 11: Transfer to La Paz Airport/ Flight Home
You will be transferred back to the airport in time for your flight home.