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Whales and Wildlife: Cruising to Land's End

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 - 9 day(s)
Group Size: 8 - 14 people
Destination(s): Mexico  
Specialty Categories: Whale Watching   Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting  
Season: January - February
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1995 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2195 US Dollar (USD)

On this newly-designed expedition, we might be able to spot gray whales surfing in the waves of the Baja Pacific coast and humpback whales breaching to the skies. Snorkeling forays will bring you nose-to-whiskers with graceful sea lions and their pups at Los Islotes on our day spent near Espiritu Santo Island.

We'll explore Los Frailes and snorkel in Cabo Pulmo, a beautiful coral reef near the Tropic of Cancer where we find the most northern coral reef of the Pacific as well as a beautiful and protected marine park loaded with fish. And, you won't want to miss our visit to "La Isla Cerralvo" the southernmost island of the Gulf, where you can hike or kayak around its amazing and unexplored landscapes. This is a spectacular opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to see and learn about whales, birds, desert plants and fish. For those who would like a closer experience with the gray whales that are nesting at this same time of the year in the Pacific lagoons, we offer a one day extension that will allow you to visit them in Magdalena Bay.

Your adventure will be aboard our 80' Don Jose. Its high second and third decks provide ideal vantage points as we ply the seas in search of whales. The Don Jose comfortably accommodates passengers in seven above-deck cabins, each with a storage closet, adjacent shower and head, plus a private changing area and sink in some. Air-conditioning is available at night in each cabin. Snorkel gear is available at no charge and six, open cockpit kayaks can be used to explore nearby coves and beaches when we anchor. With a DVD and VHS video system and a natural history library for your perusal, this vessel will make your adventure a true pleasure.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are freshly prepared by our on board cooks. Each evening, you'll also enjoy our famous Don Jose-style happy hour as you watch the sunset and enjoy the natural history adventure of a lifetime!

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in La Paz, Mexico. If arriving at the airport in La Paz, use your taxi voucher for the transfer to the Marina Don Jose to board the boat after 3:00 pm. Spend the night on the Don Jose, docked at the Marina. After checking in at the Marina, spend some time exploring the colorful city of La Paz, with its charming promenade and many fine restaurants and shops. (No meals)

Days 2-6: La Paz to the tip of Baja. Our itinerary during these days is flexible in order to take advantage of unexpected natural history opportunities, but may follow this or a similar schedule.

On days 2-6, we will cruise out into the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, it ranks as the second most diverse marine body in the world. One-third of all the world’s whale and dolphin species either live or migrate here. One of our stops will be a visit to Los Islotes, near Espiritu Santo Island, where you will have the opportunity to snorkel with sea lions and bird watch. Frigate birds and brown boobies reside on the cliffs above the rookery.

After our adventure with the sea lions, we'll motor south, anchoring near Los Frailes, where you may want to explore one of the hiking trails. Next, we'll continue cruising south, looking for whales between Los Frailes and Punta Gorda, where humpback whales are often spotted. Later, we'll cruise to Cabo San Lucas, where we'll spend the night. Along the way, we'll look for whales, birds and other marine life in the Pacific Ocean, off of the tip of Cabo. During this cruise, humpback, gray, finback whales and also dolphins can be spotted as we pass by. (Meals: B/L/D).

Day 7: Return to La Paz.

Savor the last moments of this incredible getaway this morning, and then it's time to say goodbye. We will return to La Paz by mid-afternoon. After checking into the Hotel Los Arcos, the way you spend the remainder of the day is at your leisure, with time to relax or explore La Paz. Dinner is on your own this evening. For dessert, we suggest you visit La Fuente, an ice cream shop across from the Malecon, where you can enjoy your icy treat while watching the sunset. (Meals: B/L)

Day 8: La Paz to your home city. Depart to your home city. (No meals).

This is a general itinerary and subject to change without prior notice. Optional extension: "Among the Gray Whales of Magdalena Bay".

Now, you can add a full-day extension to see the gray whales even closer. In the warm and protected waters of Magdalena Bay, gray whale calves remain in close contact with their mothers while they grow large enough to migrate north. The surreal landscape here provides a dramatic background as these noble creatures allow us to watch them roll, breach and tend to their young.

Day 8: La Paz to Magdalena Bay and return. Depart by land early on the morning of Day 8. A four-hour van ride transports you to Magdalena Bay, with lunch en route or at camp. Once you arrive at the Bay, a short boat ride delivers you to the whale viewing area. Here you will observe the whales —who are often found close enough to touch— from skiffs. You may also find time to walk on sand dunes along miles of unspoiled beaches before returning to La Paz to spend the night. (Meal: Lunch)

Day 9: Return from La Paz to your home city. Depart to your home city. If flying out of La Paz, taxi vouchers to the La Paz airport are provided. (No meals).

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Deluxe or standard shipboard accommodations on days 1-6
- B/L/D on Days 2-6, B/L on Day 7, Hotel on night 7
- Beer, soda and wine while in shipboard
- Snorkeling gear
- Transfer from airport to the Don Jose on Day 1
- Taxi voucher available for transport from to airport if staying for the optional extra day to Magdalena Bay
- Services of knowledgeable guides and caring crew members
- Detailed pre-departure information to help you plan your trip.