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Baja Mexico Cruise: Among The Great Whales

Among The Great Whales

At a glance

Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights

Coverage: San Carlos to La Paz, Mexico

From: $7,760

Season: January - March

Activities: Wildlife

Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428

Lindblad Expeditions in Partnership with National Geographic

Baja California and the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales

Each year California gray whales pause during their migrations to birth and nurse their calves in the birthing lagoons on the Pacific side of Baja California. Our ship becomes your mobile basecamp and you’re immersed in the life-cycle of these gentle giants, making daily Zodiac forays for up-close observations, before heading out on an itinerary that features these opportunities:

  • See California gray whales up close
  • Hike desert islands, sculpted sand dunes, and see a variety of wildlife in the Sea of Cortez
  • Snorkel with sea lions and search for marine mammals
  • Experience the Baja California undersea
  • Benefit from our 30+ years of experience and relationships in Baja California to see all you came for and more

Special access to Baja’s gray whale lagoons

Laguna San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena are well-known for being the preferred nurseries for gray whale females to birth and instruct their young before making the annual migratory trek to the food-rich Arctic waters. Each morning, head out in Zodiacs with naturalists and local guides for rare opportunities to observe them at water level. Not only are we often rewarded with the close encounter of calves and watchful mothers, mere feet away, but often we’ll experience heart-touching eye contact with playful calves surfacing to interact with us. In the evening, hang out on deck under the stars, or depending on the calendar, a full moon, and listen to the whales breathing and moving around the ship. Encounters with these marvelous creatures don't end there as we head into the Sea of Cortez, where magical moments continue with possible sightings of other whale species and dolphins.

Every day is active and engaging

You’ll be able to hike through forests of towering cacti and up striking desert canyons. You’ll take expedition landing craft along the shore to see and shoot photos of plunge-diving pelicans and blue-footed boobies and to join a different naturalist as you choose: there are no assigned groups.

Travel in excellent company

Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, five veteran naturalists, including a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for Baja California is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Each expedition is crafted to offer you the most in-depth experience of Baja California possible and maximize your time in the company of California gray whales. Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and we will change course to take advantage of a sighting of blue or sperm whales, or linger in our expedition landing craft to watch blue-footed boobies plunge dive into a massive school of bait fish. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.

Day 1 — Depart U.S./San Jose del Cabo/La Paz

Upon arrival in San Jose del Cabo, transfer to La Paz and check in to the CostaBaja Resort & Spa, located on the shore of the Sea of Cortez, just south of Espiritu Island. (D)

Day 2 — La Paz/San Carlos/Embark

This morning is on your own to relax and take advantage of the resort and spa amenities. Check-out in the late morning and depart for lunch at a local restaurant in La Paz. After lunch, transfer to San Carlos and embark the National Geographic Venture. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Bahia Magdalena

Explore the ever-shifting sand dunes of Isla Magdalena, on a cross-island walk to one of the most pristine beaches in the Pacific. Bird watching here can be excellent—magnificent frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants, terns and great blue herons, ibis, whimbrels and willets are among the species we might see. It’s not unusual to see forty species of birds in just one day along these fertile shorelines where they refuel for their destinations ahead. (B,L,D)

Day 4-5 — Laguna San Ignacio

Protected since 1993 as part of UNESCO’s Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino, Laguna San Ignacio is one of the world’s most important breeding sites for California gray whales. Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. Observe migrating whales from the ship and up close from local pangas and our Zodiacs. Watch for osprey, Brant geese and countless other breeding and migratory bird species, as well as bottlenose dolphins, during our explorations. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — At Sea

As we travel south along the Pacific coast of the peninsula, there is a chance of seeing a wide variety of marine life, including the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale. Hear naturalist talks, and learn photography basics during a day at sea. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Los Cabos and Gorda Banks

This morning cruise past Friars Rocks at Land’s End. This morning, choose to visit the historic town center of San José del Cabo, or join a birdwatching walk along the local estero. The afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna, gathering places for whales, especially humpbacks, dolphins and other sea life. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Los Islotes and Isla San Jose

At Los Islotes, don flippers, a mask and snorkel (which we’ll gladly provide) and swim with curious sea lions. We have a leisurely afternoon to swim, kayak or hike at Isla San Jose. Endemic yellow-footed gulls, brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies are all part of the landscape. Finish the day with a relaxing beach barbecue complete with a bonfire and a star-filled sky. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Our plan is flexible today, as we explore some of the Sea’s many uninhabited islands. Go ashore at Isla San Francisco, where a sweeping arc of white sand beach beckons you to try out our fleet of kayaks and standup paddleboards. Hike to the nearby ridge for unparalleled views with your Naturalist. One of the larger islands in the Sea of Cortez, San Jose offers several landing possibilities depending on conditions and the whim of the moment. Photograph the ochre cliffs of the island’s eastern shore, hike an “enchanted” arroyo, or visit the abandoned salt works to the west. Search for whales, dolphins and other marine life this afternoon among the islands of the southern Sea of Cortez. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — La Paz/Disembark/San Jose del Cabo/Home

Disembark in La Paz after breakfast and transfer to Los Cabos airport for flights home (B)

Note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Baja California: Among The Great Whales itinerary map

Dates & Rates

Dates Ship Direction 1 2 3 4 5 Single 1 Single 2
Jan 11, 2020 NG Venture La Paz to San Carlos $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860
Jan 18, 2020 NG Venture San Carlos to La Paz $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860
Jan 27, 2020 NG Venture La Paz to San Carlos $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860
Feb 3, 2020 NG Venture San Carlos to La Paz $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860
Feb 12, 2020 NG Venture La Paz to San Carlos $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860
Feb 19, 2020 NG Venture San Carlos to La Paz $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860
Feb 28, 2020 NG Venture La Paz to San Carlos $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860
Mar 6, 2020 NG Venture San Carlos to La Paz $7,760 $8,580 $9,170 $10,230 $11,290 $11,630 $12,860


National Geographic Venture

National Geographic VentureNational Geographic Venture is the perfect ship to explore Alaska’s Inside Passage and beyond. Designed with over 50 years of expedition heritage, National Geographic Venture is able to explore the same remote locations we’ve sought out for decades while setting a new standard in comfort and style. View ship details...

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