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Baja

7-Day Whales, Whale Sharks & Wildlife

Tour:
7 Days
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Baja

7-Day Whales, Whale Sharks & Wildlife

Destinations

  • Todos Santos
  • Isla Espiritu Santo

Highlights

  • Encounters with up to 9 species of whales including giant blue, sperm, fin, minkes, brydes and humpbacks.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with orcas, dolphins, manta rays whales, sea turtles and more!
  • Biologist-led snorkeling with giant whale-sharks, the world’s largest fish!
  • Once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter: swim with playful sea-lions!
  • Snorkel, kayak, Paddleboard and more!
  • Participate in measuring and tagging wild sea turtles with a wildlife biologist.
  • Wild Planet Exclusive: Heartwarming Turtle hatchling experience – Participate in releasing baby turtle hatchlings to the sea!
  • Bird & Wildlife Viewing in the beautiful Isla Espiritu Santo National Marine Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1: Todos Santos - Arrival and Orientation
  • DAY 2: Todos Santos - Whale Watching and Turtle Hatchling Release
  • DAY 3: Isla Espiritu Santo - Exploring the Sea of Cortez
  • DAY 4: Isla Espiritu Santo - Paddle Board with Sea Turtles and/or Snorkel with Sea Lions
  • DAY 5: Isla Espiritu Santo - Last Day Exploring the Riches of Isla Espiritu Santo
  • DAY 6: Todos Santos - Swimming with Whale Sharks
  • DAY 7: Todos Santos / Home

7-Day Whales, Whale Sharks & Wildlife

Our second most wildlife-focused eco-tour in Baja, packed with specially-designed activities to maximize wildlife viewing.

Interact with biologists on scientific, researcher-led activities - swim with whale sharks, measure & tag sea turtles, and more.

Wild Planet Exclusive: Heartwarming Turtle hatchling experience – Participate in releasing baby turtle hatchlings to the sea!

Boat, kayak, snorkel, paddle board and more, with chance to see 9 species of whales including Blue and Sperm, plus orcas, dolphins, manta rays and more.

Once-in-a-lifetime chance to snorkel with playful sea-lions.

Rare Ring-tailed Cat encounters around our waterfront camp!

No other Baja eco-tour will expose you to so much wildlife!

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 Todos Santos - Welcome to Baja California Sur!

Start your adventure arriving at the airport in San Jose del Cabo where you will be met by your guides and transferred to Todos Santos and Los Colibris Casitas, about a 90 minute drive. Upon arrival we'll get you get settled into your lovely rooms with beautiful ocean views, then we'll have a welcome gourmet taco dinner at Iker's Colibris Cafe on the Los Colibris grounds. During dinner your guides will host a trip briefing, outlining the adventures to come. Overnight at Los Colibris Casitas with an ocean lullaby.

DAY 2 Todos Santos - Whale Watching and Turtle Hatchling Release

Highlights: Release sea turtle hatchlings into the sea!

Wildlife: Sea lions, dolphins, whales, sea turtles, manta rays, Blue-footed Boobies, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and plenty of beautiful tropical fish.

This morning we'll get up early and head out with the local fishing captains of Todos Santos in their low open pangas to look for the athletic humpback whales that frequent the waters off Todos Santos at this time of year. When not whale watching, we'll fish for our supper and hope we can bring back the main ingredients for our Mexican cooking class tonight!

Wild Planet Adventures Exclusive

Late this afternoon we'll be able to participate in a sea turtle hatchling release. The beaches of Baja are home to 5 of the world's 7 turtle species, and local conservation groups patrol the beach in front of Los Colibris all summer and fall, relocating turtle nests to a protected corral to protect them from predators. We then have the great joy of releasing the sea turtle hatchlings into the sea in the fall and early winter. It's a wonderful experience.

This evening local lawyer turned chef Iker Algorri, author of Cooking Adventures in Baja California Sur and chef-in-residence at Los Colibris Casitas, will lead a Mexican Survival Cooking Class. The emphasis is on having as much fun as possible, learning to make the perfect margarita, and gaining the skill to make some truly delicious Mexican dishes following Chef Iker’s cooking philosophy, the Magnificence of Simplicity. You’ll also probably learn about some great Latin music you’ve never heard before. But be warned – dancing often known to follow this class!

DAY 3 Todos Santos / Isla Espiritu Santo - Sea of Cortez and Camp Cecil Adventure!

We're off to Isla Espiritu Santo and Camp Cecil today! After breakfast we'll drive the 90 minutes to our bodega tin La Paz, get snorkeling gear and wet suits, then it's on to the boats and out into the Sea of Cortez! Our first stop will be swimming with the whale sharks, so named because at up to 59 feet and 15 tons they are definitely a whale of a shark. In fact, they are the largest fish in the world. And while your mother probably told you to stay away from sharks, these gentle giants are only interested in plankton – all human flesh is safe! After swimming with the whale sharks, we'll switch from our specially-permitted whale shark boat to our island boat and head for Camp Cecil de la Isla!

Camp Cecil is on Isla Espiritu Santo which is in a National Marine Park, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the best marine life viewing destinations in the world. Whales, dolphins, whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and plenty of beautiful tropical fish call the surrounding waters home, while a terrific range of bird species including Blue-footed Boobies, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Yellow-footed Gulls frequent the island’s skies and shores. The island itself is stunning, with magnificent towering cliffs, spectacular sandy bays, amazing lava rock formations, and rock art left by the now-extinct Guaycura and Pericu Indians. There’s even an endemic ring-tailed cat, the babisuri. It’s a remarkable place to explore. We’ll spend the days doing exactly what pleases us - kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, swimming with sea lions, stand up paddle boarding, bird watching, and exploring hidden lagoons and desert beaches. Hanging around doing nothing, reading trashy novels and sipping margaritas also highly encouraged.

DAY 4 Isla Espiritu Santo

Wildlife: 9 different species of whales, 4 possible species of sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins, manta rays, Blue-footed Boobies, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and possibly even rare ring-tailed cats.

Another day of island riches. Perhaps paddle board with sea turtles, or snorkel with sea lions, maybe spot some whales, or dance with some Blue-footed Boobies. Whatever surprises the day may hold, you can be sure that it will also include magnificent food and drink! We'll invite a local wildlife biologist to join us to learn more about the sea turtles that frequent the waters around the camp and do some snorkeling and sea turtle data collection with her. We'll also work with the biologist and the guides to see if we can create the perfect conditions for a camp visit by one of the island's endemic species, the babisuri. A ring-tailed cat, babisuris are quite gregarious and love playing at camp sites. They rank very high on the adorability factor!

DAY 5 Isla Espiritu Santo

One last day to explore the riches of Isla Espiritu Santo and the Sea of Cortez. Perhaps visit the Magnificent Frigatebird colony just two bays down from Camp Cecil, maybe snorkel some of the island's great reefs, or maybe do a nice kayak paddle along the island's beautiful bays and inlets. No matter how it unfolds, it's another great day to enjoy the bliss that is Baja.

DAY 6 Isla Espiritu Santo / Todos Santos

Highlights: Swimming with Whale Sharks!

Today we'll return from Camp Cecil for one of our most exciting adventures yet - swimming with the whale sharks, so named because at up to 59 feet and 15 tons they are definitely a whale of a shark. In fact, they are the largest fish in the world. And while your mother probably told you to stay away from sharks, these gentle giants are only interested in plankton – all human flesh is safe! We'll invite the leading whale shark researcher in Baja California Sur to join us on our trip and perhaps we'll be able to assist her in some of her research efforts.

In the afternoon we'll check into our hotel in La Paz and enjoy some free time to explore the town. This evening we'll have dinner in one of the town's many great restaurants and the guides will prepare us for the great whale watching adventure to come!

DAY 7 Todos Santos / Home

At the appropriate time say adios, but not goodbye and transfer to the airport in time to catch your flights home.

 

Baja Lodging

Our Wildlife itinerary specializes in small, one-of-a-kind lodges. Great care has gone into our selection of lodging partners, with particular emphasis on lodges that offer outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities. These breathtaking lodges offer all the comforts of home, including hot & cold water, flush toilets, tastefully decorated beds, and delicious meals, sometimes extravagant, always healthy, and catering to special dietary needs.

Isla Espiritu Santo

Los Colibris Casitas

Los Colibris Casitas was made for nature lovers seeking beauty and tranquility. We offer the services and amenities of a boutique hotel, combined with the privacy and comfort of a vacation rental. Each of our casas and casitas has magnificent views of the Pacific ocean, a freshwater estuary and a palm grove oasis to the front, and the Sierra de la Laguna mountains to the side and back.


From your casa you can watch the fishermen cast their nets on the beach in the early morning light, wait for the green flash of a magnificent Baja sunset in the late afternoon, and enjoy the vast expanse of a star-filled sky at night. Los Colibris is just a 10-minute walk to 70 miles of pristine, virtually empty beach, and a 5-minute drive to the delightful restaurants, artists’ galleries and shops of Todos Santos.

Todos Santos

Camp Cecil De La Isla

Espiritu Santo National Park in the Sea of Cortez is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the best marine life viewing destinations in the world. Whales, dolphins, whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and plenty of beautiful tropical fish call the surrounding waters home, while a terrific range of bird species including Blue-footed Boobies, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Yellow-footed Gulls frequent the island’s skies and shores. Camp Cecil base camp on one of the island´s most beautiful beaches that features beautifully decorated walk-in tents with real beds, lovely linens, bedside tables, lanterns, beach towels, storage space, rugs, chairs, and more. Espiritu Xantus Café is where our on-site chef makes wonderful meals for you every day – and daily happy hour of course - and there are two sun showers and two compost toilet cabañas.

 

Baja Activities

At a Glance

As wildlife travel experts, one of our greatest advantages are some of the specially arranged activities we've created just for wildlife lovers. These exclusive, wildlife-focused activities - and our top guides - are the reasons why you maximize your chances of seeing more volume of wildlife and more rare and endangered species when you travel with Wild Planet Adventures than with any other travel company.

Whales, Whale Sharks, & More!

Our Baja Whales, Whale Sharks and Wildlife eco-tour is the best whales and marine wildlife dream trip possible in Baja. Grey whales give birth in only three locations in the world, all of which are in Baja’s UNESCO protected waters. Baja is also one of only a handful of places in the world where you can swim with giant whale sharks –the world’s largest fish– in their natural habitat. And we swim with sea lions too!

Our Baja tours aren’t just for grey whales and whale sharks – you can spot up to 9 different species of whales including giant blue whales and large numbers of sperm, fin, minkes, Brydes, humpbacks, orcas and the short-finned pilot whale. Want more? We also include interactions with scientists and researchers, plus exhilarating encounters with turtles (and baby hatchlings!) manta rays, dolphins, sea lions birds and possibly even rare ring-tailed cats. No other Baja whale adventure tour will expose you to so much wildlife!

Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Bird watching & more!

Magnificent frigate birds, Blue-footed Boobies, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Yellow-footed Gulls frequent the island’s skies and shores. The island itself is stunning, with magnificent towering cliffs, spectacular sandy bays, amazing lava rock formations, and rock art left by the now-extinct Guaycura and Pericu Indians. There’s even an endemic ring-tailed cat, the babisuri. It’s a remarkable place to explore. Enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, swimming with sea lions, stand up paddle boarding, bird watching, and exploring hidden lagoons and desert beaches. Hanging around doing nothing, reading trashy novels and sipping margaritas is also highly encouraged!

Beaches / Oceans

Enjoy Baja’s famous beaches, visit a Magnificent Frigatebird colony, snorkel amongst great reefs, explore beautiful bays and inlets and more.

Exclusive Wildlife Activities

Swimming with Whale Sharks!

One of our most exciting adventures yet - swimming with the whale sharks, so named because at up to 59 feet and 15 tons they are definitely a whale of a shark. In fact, they are the largest fish in the world. And while your mother probably told you to stay away from sharks, these gentle giants are only interested in plankton! We'll invite the leading whale shark researcher in Baja California Sur to join us on our trip and perhaps we'll be able to assist her in some of her research efforts.

Special Biologist-led Sea-Turtle Experience

Interact with scientific researchers and participate in measuring and tagging sea-turtles! Conditions permitting, we'll invite a local wildlife biologist to join us and lead us in measuring and tagging sea turtles as part of the ongoing university research program.

As a Wild Planet Exclusive Activity we will also have the opportunity to aid in the turtle research program by participating in releasing hatchlings into the sea!

Once-in-a-lifetime Snorkeling with playful Sea Lions

Sea-lions, like otters, are amongst the most playful animals on earth. They often play games with people, darting and teasing amongst us or occasionally even hugging your flipper or belly-rubbing you!

Other Activities

Kayaking, Stand-Up Paddle boarding and Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez

Explore the Sea of Cortez with chance to encounter 9-species of whales, plus orcas, dolphins, manta rays, sea-turtles, sea-lions and 430 species of birds.

 

Baja Wildlife

Prolific Sightings

  • Marine Wildlife: Whale Sharks, Orcas, Dolphins, Manta Rays, and Sea lions
  • Reptiles: Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, Black, and Hawksbill sea turtles
  • Birds: Magnificent Frigate Birds, Blue-footed Boobies, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Yellow-footed Gulls

Likely Sightings

  • Whales Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, Brydes Whales, Humpback Whales, and Short-finned Pilot Whales
  • Other Mammals: Rare Ring-tailed Cats
 

Baja Guides

Bernardo Cruz

Bernardo Cruz; Biologist Guide

Equipped with a degree in Biology from Mexico’s most prestigious university, UNAM, Bernardo first came to Baja California in 1999 to conduct a survey of geese in Magdalena Bay for a Mexican NGO. He immediately fell in love with the area, and continued his career as a biologist first with Pronatura Noroestre, then with CONABIO, the National Commission for Biodiversity in Mexico. A lot of his work centered on using bird monitoring and the resulting data as a way of assessing the health of ecosystems and related conservation programs throughout the southern part of Mexico. While he loved that work, he wanted to be more immersed in nature more of the time so he switched to guiding in Baja California Sur, where he quickly became one of the most respected guides in the state. Bernardo spends most of his free time mountain biking or running.

 

Baja Departures

Baja-7-Day Whales, Whale Sharks & Wildlife

Dec 29, 2020 - Jan 04, 2021 7-days $3,998
Apr 21, 2021 - Apr 27, 2021 7-days $3,998

 

Baja FAQ

Baja Facts for Visitors

Location:

Before becoming a state on October 8, 1974, the area was known as the El Territorio Sur de Baja California ("South Territory of Lower California"). It is bordered to the north by the state of Baja California, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Gulf of California. The state has maritime borders with Sonora and Sinaloa to the east, across the Gulf of California.

Geography:

The state is on a narrow peninsula which broke away from the mainland about two million years ago due to tectonic activity. The territory is primarily mountains or mountain ranges and coastal plains. The mountain ranges parallel the coastline and are of volcanic rock. The local name for the main mountain range is the Sierra de la Giganta and the highest peak is the Sierra de la Laguna at 2080m above sea level. The coastal plains are significantly wider on the Pacific side, averaging about 40 km, with much wider plains such as those of Santa Clara, Berrendo and Magdalena y Hiray. These areas are dominated by sedimentary rock, especially limestone of marine origin.

Population:

The population of Baja California Sur is approximately 760,000. Regarding ethnicity, 59% are Mestizos, 40% are Whites, and 1% are indigenous. As of 2010, 86% of the population lived in urban areas.

Language:

Spanish is the official language and is spoken, thankfully, at a speed that is much easier to understand than many other countries. English is widely understood, especially in tourist areas, hotels, lodges and restaurants.

Entry Requirements:

All United States citizens and permanent residents visiting Mexico must have a valid US passport and/or permanent residency card to enter the country. When visiting us in Baja California Sur, your two airport options are San Jose del Cabo (SJD, typically the better-served airport) and La Paz (LAP). On your plane flight to Mexico the airline will give you two forms,one for immigration and one for customs. You must fully complete each form. When you disembark at the airport, you will first go through immigration and present your passport and completed immigration form. If you are not a hunted international criminal, they will welcome you to Mexico and put the bottom part of the immigration form in your passport. This is your tourist visa for the duration of your stay in Mexico, and you must present it when you exit the country. If you lose it they will charge you a fine to replace it. You will then go through baggage claim and, after that, customs. Here you will present your completed customs form. You will then be asked to push a button. If you push the button and the light glows green, you are free to go and exit the secure area. If the light glows red, you will be required to subject your luggage to further inspection before exiting the secure customs area. Guides and drivers are not allowed into the waiting area, so you must exit to the outside by heading right through the sliding glass doors and head to transportation umbrella No. 5. If your adventure includes airport transfers there you will see your driver holding a sign with your name on it. Go with him or her and let the adventure begin!

Banking and Currency:

The currency of Mexico is the Mexican peso (MXN). Current exchange rates can be found at http://x-rates.com. Dollars are widely accepted throughout Baja Sur, and many, but not all, locations accept credit cards, mainly Visa and MasterCard. In general, only the largest resorts accept American Express.

Climate and Weather:

The weather from November through April is generally perfect, with highs during the day in the mid to upper 70s and lows at night in the upper 50s to mid-60s. There may be windy days that can have an impact on certain adventures, and there is the occasional rainy day in those months as well. May and June are a bit warmer during the day but still delightful, and the truly warm weather starts in mid-July. Hurricane season is exactly the same as in the eastern United States, and officially runs June to November. However, most storms tend to occur August to mid-October.

Electricity and Plug Standards:

Electrical outlets, plugs and voltage are all exactly the same as in the United States, so if your electronics work there, they will work in Mexico with no adaptors or converters required. If you are coming from other parts of the globe, you will need the same adaptations you would need for traveling to the United States. For those of you going to our luxury tent camp on Isla Espiritu Santo, we do have solar panels for charging phones and cameras.

WIFI - All the hotels we use onshore in Baja California Sur have wifi. Some places have faster/better service than others, but it is generally available. There is no internet or phone service available at Camp Cecil on Isla Espiritu Santo or at the ranches in the Sierra La Laguna mountains.

Time Zone:

Baja California Sur is in the Pacific Standard Time zone, and does not utilize daylight saving time - unlike it's northern sister state.

Sales Taxes:

Mexico has high taxes, roughly 5% sales tax and there may be 15% service charge in many hotels and restaurants.

Tipping:

Tipping is never expected, but always appreciated. General guidelines are:

  • Hotel housekeeping staff: US$2 per day per room
  • Guides: US$20/person/day
  • Camp Cecil / Camp Colossus Staff: $25/person/day
  • Boat Captains in Magdalena Bay: US$25/boat (this is per boat so everyone pools funds)
  • This Trip's Exclusive Wildlife Features:

    Choose Your Baja Travel Style! Any of our wildlife adventures are also available as fully customizable private trips, honeymoons or family wildlife adventures.
    CONTACT US | EMAIL US | CHAT NOW | RESERVE A TRIP | 1-800-990-4376
    We're Wild for Wildlife...
    • Wildlife-focused ecotour, packed with specially-designed activities to maximize wildlife viewing
    • Interact with biologists on scientific, researcher-led activities to swim with whale sharks and measure & tag sea turtles
    • Boat, kayak, snorkel, paddleboard and more, with chance to see 9 species of whales including Blue and Sperm, plus orcas, dolphins, manta rays and more
    • Once-in-a-lifetime chance to snorkel with playful sea-lions
    • Wild Planet Exclusive: Heartwarming Turtle hatchling experience – Participate in releasing baby turtle hatchlings to the sea!
    We're Wild for Wildlife...
    • Wildlife-focused ecotour, packed with specially-designed activities to maximize wildlife viewing
    • Interact with biologists on scientific, researcher-led activities to swim with whale sharks and measure & tag sea turtles
    • Boat, kayak, snorkel, paddleboard and more, with chance to see 9 species of whales including Blue and Sperm, plus orcas, dolphins, manta rays and more
    • Once-in-a-lifetime chance to snorkel with playful sea-lions
    • Wild Planet Exclusive: Heartwarming Turtle hatchling experience – Participate in releasing baby turtle hatchlings to the sea!
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