Those arriving on group flights will be transferred from San Jose del Cabo airport to the charming colonial fishing village of Todos Santos this evening (journey time approximately one hour and a half). Land Only passengers should make their own way to the start hotel in Todos Santos or be at the airport in time to meet the designated group transfer.
After a short briefting we set off this morning for a cliff walk above the sweeping beach of Punta Lobos. Local fishermen launch their pangas each morning and return each afternoon with the days catch. There is a short uphill section to reach the start of the trail. At the top we are rewarded with breathtaking views of the coastline, its dramatic rocky out croppings and crashing surf. Between early February and early March it's possible to see whales from this high vantage point. On today's walk we'll pass an active sea lion colony as well as the ruins of Los Algodones shipping port, before arriving at the idyllic San Pedro beach around 2 - 3 hours later. At San Pedro we'll have a picnic lunch and free time to enjoy the protected cove, surrounded by towering palm trees and a marsh full of bird life. There are around 140 species of birds in the Todos Santos area, with 2 endemic species of hummingbird, the Xantus and Costas. The Cape Pygmy Owl, Mexican Thrasher and Belding's Yellowthroat are also endemic to Baja California. We return to Todos Santos to freshen up before enjoying one of the local eateries, many of which are a short walk along the cobbled streets from our hotel.
Today we transfer 1 hour to the marina at La Paz where we'll board a motorboat through protected waters to Espiritu Santo Island. The Gulf of California is one of the most diverse seas on earth and has been designated as a global conservation priority by The Nature Conservancy. Our home for the next two nights is an eco-camp on Espiritu Santo Island, a semi-permanent tented camp right on the beach. We have plenty of time to explore our new surroundings this afternoon. Tents have raised platforms with camp beds (towels and linen provided) and open out to the sea. There is also a dining tent where freshly prepared meals will be served.
Expect to wake up to the sound of waves this morning! Using the eco-camp as our base, today will be free to hike, kayak, swim, paddle, go bird watching or snorkel at your own leisure. The wildlife in this area is plentiful and you'll likely encounter sea lions, dolphins, frigatebirds, lizards and crabs. All activities whilst on the island are included at no additional cost and the schedule can be as relaxing or as active as you choose. Each evening you'll have the opportunity to appreciate the never ending array of stars before heading back to your tent to sleep to the sound of the sea.
Spend the morning exploring more of Espiritu Santo Island and then return to La Paz by motorboat after lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the history and small town ambiance of La Paz. A guided city tour of La Paz can be arranged this afternoon (optional excursion at additional cost).
This morning we drive for 4.5 hours and then board a short boat transfer to arrive at Magdalena Bay Whale Camp on the western coastline of Baja California. For the next two nights we stay at a semi-permanent tented camp that looks onto the same beach that we'll use to depart for our whale watching excursions. We take to the water after lunch on motorised skiffs, accompanied by experienced naturalist guides who will point out the many behaviours of Grey whales such as mating, breaching and spy hopping. We may even see Grey whales nurturing their young. Grey whales complete one of the most epic migrations in the world, leaving cold Alaskan waters to travel 5,000 miles south to their breeding grounds in the warm, pacific bays of Baja California. These inquisitive giants have been known to approach boats and allow themselves to be touched, a magical experience if this happens for us!
The surreal landscape of the sand dunes that the Magdalena Bay Whale Camp backs onto provides an exciting backdrop for our whale watching excursions. Today we have two further excursions to see the Grey whales, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In between whale watching we have time for walks along the beach or in the dunes. The camp has a fleet of kayaks that can be taken into the mangroves or other areas where paddling is permitted. This afternoon we also offer an optional excursion (additional charge) to visit the nearby Turtle Camp. Leaving at midday, you will take a boat to the camp for an introduction to the programme of turtle conservation, including monitoring and release of hatchlings. Tonight everyone is invited to a presentation about the Baja Peninsula by one of the experienced guides at Magdalena Bay Whale Camp.
There is one final whale watching excursion this morning. After lunch we return to La Paz (journey time approx. 4.5 hours) and the rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. We recommend taking a walk along the Malecon in La Paz - the seaside walkway is a great spot to appreciate one of the kaleidoscopic sunsets that Baja is famous for.
This morning we leave for San Jose del Cabo. Those on the group flight will depart today.