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Expedition Details

 

Whale and dolphin watch from the deck of one of our intimate, 62-guest expedition ships, and at water level from nimble Zodiacs. Search for pods of dolphins and a variety of whale species. Hike uninhabited beaches and desert arroyos. Kayak in pristine waters, snorkel among fish and sea lions, and enjoy the serenity of a sunset beach barbecue. This unique journey is designed with no set itinerary, adding a stimulating sense of adventure to each day.

Trip Highlights

  • Spring in the Sea of Cortez is the best time to see large pods of dolphins and various species of whales—blue, sperm, pilot, fin, humpback and Bryde’s—all in the same week.
  • Explore water-level caves by kayak, hike uninhabited beaches, snorkel among fish and acrobatic sea lions, and see colorful cactus blossoms.
  • Visit the old mining town of Santa Rosalia, with its wooden homes and historic steel church, designed by Gustave Eiffel.
  • Experience a voyage of pure discovery in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a flexible itinerary and sites chosen by the region’s most knowledgeable staff, based on conditions and to maximize wildlife sightings.

Itinerary - 8 Days

Day 1 — Los Angeles/La Paz, Mexico

Fly into La Paz, then embark the ship and set sail on the Sea of Cortez.
(D)

Days 2 through 7 — Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Our routing is designed with flexibility in mind to maximize opportunities for wildlife sightings. It will most likely include the islands and activities listed below, although the order may vary (B,L,D daily)

ISLAS SAN ESTEBAN AND SAN PEDRO MÁRTIR: Walk up a desert wash to search for desert birds and the endemic pinto chuckwalla—a harmless desert lizard. Later visit Isla San Pedro Mártir, a 1,000-foot-high guano-covered island that is home to thousands of seabirds. Blue-footed boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, pelicans and frigate birds are all found here.

ISLA RASA: In the spring one of the great wildlife spectacles of the Sea of Cortez is in full swing at Isla Rasa —the nesting of thousands of Heermann’s gulls and elegant and royal terns. We will go ashore to meet researchers and observe the behavior of these three species.

ISLA SAN MARCOS: At Isla San Marcos there is a beautiful cove for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. In the afternoon we are again in rich whale waters near the mouth of Bahía Concepcion where we stand a good chance of sighting several species of whales, particularly fin or sperm.

ISLA SANTA CATALINA: This morning we’ll search for whales in the waters south of Isla Carmen, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, and often bottlenose and common dolphins. In the afternoon we visit Isla Santa Catalina, famous for its giant barrel cactus and lovely cardon cactus forest. The protected bay of our anchorage is also an excellent site for snorkeling. With a full afternoon here, there is time for swimming, snorkeling, hiking and kayaking.

LOS ISLOTES AND ISLA ESPÍRITU SANTO: At Isla Los Islotes, snorkelers have one of life’s great opportunities—swimming with graceful and curious sea lions. With a deeply indented shoreline and dramatically eroded cliff faces, Isla Espíritu Santo is perhaps the most beautiful island in the Sea of Cortez. We have a leisurely afternoon for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and in the evening, a beach barbecue under the desert stars.

Day 8 — La Paz, Mexico/Los Angeles

This morning after breakfast we disembark in La Paz and transfer to the airport for flights home.
(B)

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Rich Reid

Rich ReidAward-winning photographer, filmmaker, and instructor Rich Reid has specialized in environmental and adventure photography for more than two decades. He explored Alaska's Inside Passage by bike and ferry for National Geographic Adventure and is represented by National Geographic Stock. Recently, the North America Nature Photography Association presented Rich with a Fellows Award for his professional contribution to nature photography. His award-winning short documentary highlighting watershed conservation on the California coast has motivated him to continue to create multimedia projects using time-lapse photography to benefit our oceans, open spaces, and wildlife. Rich has shared his photography passion for most of his career operating photo tours in Alaska, teaching Visual Journalism at Brooks Institute in California, and guiding guests on National Geographic Expeditions throughout the globe.

Rich will join the following departures:

Apr 01 - 08, 2017
Apr 08 - 15, 2017

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Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.

Dates

2017
  • Apr 01 - 08, 2017 [SB]
  • Apr 08 - 15, 2017 [SB]
  • Apr 10 - 17, 2017 [SL]
  • Apr 15 - 22, 2017 [SB]
  • Apr 22 - 29, 2017 [SB]

[SB] National Geographic Sea Bird
[SL] National Geographic Sea Lion

Expedition Cost

2017
 
Category 1 $6,190
Category 2 $7,190
Category 3 $7,990

Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in 2016, add $3,000 in Category 1 and $3430 in Category 2.

International airfare to/from La Paz is not included in the expedition cost.

View Ship/Deck Plan