Whales & Wildness: Spring in the Sea of Cortez
- Search for large pods of dolphins and various species of whales.
- Explore water-level caves by kayak, hike uninhabited beaches, snorkel among fish and acrobatic sea lions.
- Visit the old mining town of Santa Rosalia, with its wooden homes and historic steel church.
At a glance
Duration: 8 Days, 7 Nights
Coverage: Roundtrip Los Cabos, Mexico
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The Sea of Cortez in spring is among the best times and places to see a great variety of whales—humpback, sperm, fin, Bryde’s, and blue whales—plus large aggregations of dolphins. Sail the Sea of Cortez, exploring its many islands free from tourist infrastructure and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. An expedition of pure discovery, a flexible itinerary means we’re free to follow the seasonal movements of wildlife to optimize sightings
The Sea of Cortez is host to an incredibly diverse population of marine mammals—and we know where to find them. You may see fin, pilot, Bryde’s, sperm, or possibly, even blue whales. Part of the joy of an expedition is standing on deck with binoculars in hand watching for whale spouts—visible from very far on calm days. See the wildlife of Baja & the Sea of Cortez.
You’ll be able to hike through forests of towering cacti and up striking desert canyons. You’ll take Zodiacs along the shore to see and shoot photos of plunge-diving pelicans and blue-footed boobies, and you’ll have the option to walk or kayak, and to join a different naturalist as you choose: there are no assigned groups.
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, six veteran naturalists, including two Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors 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.
This is a true expedition, where we let our day-by-day plans be guided by the seasonal movements of birds and marine mammals. This offers us the best sightings and the most frequent up close encounters with wildness. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.
- Day 1 - Los Angeles / Los Cabos, Mexico / Embark Ship
Transfer from Los Cabos Airport to the ship in La Paz. Embark and set sail on the Sea of Cortez. (D)
- Days 2-7 - Exploring the Sea of Cortez
Our routing is designed with flexibility in mind, to maximize opportunities for wildlife sightings. It will include the islands listed below, although the order may vary (B,L,D):
Islas San Esteban and San Pedro Martir Walk up a desert wash, to search for desert birds and the endemic pinto chuckwalla — a fat, harmless desert lizard. Later visit Isla San Pedro Martir, a 1,000-foot-high guano-covered island that is home to thousands of seabirds. Blue-footed boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, pelicans and frigatebirds are all found here.
Isla Rasa See thousands of nesting Heermann's gulls and terns on this incredibly distinct island.
Isla Santa Catalina Search for marine life and hike among the giant barrel cactus on one of most dramatic islands in the Sea of Cortez.
Isla San Marcos Explore via kayak, walks and snorkel.
Isla San Jose Take Zodiac cruises and kayaks into mangrove channels in search of shorebirds and waders. Nearby are ancient shell mounds, or middens, that reveal traces of former occupation by the Guaicura Indians.
Los Islotes/Espiritu Santo Swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters, perhaps with some curious sea lions. Zodiac rides, rare bird sightings, the possibility of spotting an endemic black rabbit, or simply some relaxing beachcombing are all possibilities today.
- Days 8 - Disembark La Paz, Mexico / Los Cabos/Los Angeles
This morning after breakfast we disembark in La Paz and transfer to the Los Cabos Airport for the flight back to Los Angeles. (B)
Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Ships||1||2||3||Single 1||Single 2|
|Mar 31, 12018||National Geographic Sea Bird||Call||Call||Call||Call||Call|
|Apr 2, 2018||National Geographic Sea Lion||Call||Call||Call||Call||Call|
|Apr 7, 2018||National Geographic Sea Bird||Call||Call||Call||Call||Call|
|Apr 9, 2018||National Geographic Sea Lion||Call||Call||Call||Call||Call|
|Apr 14, 2018||National Geographic Sea Bird||Call||Call||Call||Call||Call|
* Reverse itinerary
† Family Sailings
National Geographic Sea Bird / Sea Lion
Our twin expedition ships, National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to their small size, yet each comfortably accommodates 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. The feeling, we’re told, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Our captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions we explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours. View ship details...