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

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February 08 - 15, 2014 (8 Days)

Day 1 — Los Angeles/La Paz, Mexico/San Carlos

Arrive in La Paz from Los Angeles and drive across the Baja Peninsula to San Carlos and board our ship.
National Geographic Sea Bird (D)

Days 2, 3, & 4 — Bahía Magdalena

Bahía Magdalena—a vast wilderness of sand dunes, mangrove channels, and protected waters—is one of the main breeding and calving areas for California gray whales. Every year, gray whales migrate here from the Arctic waters of Alaska; it is believed to be the longest migration known for any mammal and one of nature's greatest spectacles. In this vast water nursery, observe these enormous yet gentle animals from the ship and at water level from our Zodiacs. Walk along sand dunes of incomparable beauty, and discover dense mangroves by kayak. On the mud flats, spot migrating birds at rest.
(B,L,D daily)

Day 5 — Gorda Banks and Los Cabos

The morning is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount, a gathering place for whales, especially humpbacks, as well as dolphins and other sea life. Then cruise past Friars Rocks at Land's End and dock at San Jose del Cabo. Here, you can choose to explore the Historic town or visit a nearby estuary for a unique birding opportunity.

Day 6 — Islas Los Islotes and Espíritu Santo

At Los Islotes, snorkel and swim among curious sea lions. With its deeply indented bays, Espíritu Santo is one of the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez. This afternoon, swim, kayak, or hike, keeping your eye out for brown pelicans, gulls, wandering tattlers, great blue herons, and boobies. Later, enjoy a barbecue on the beach.

Day 7 — Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Today is a day with the luxury of no specific plan. You may spend time on the lookout for whales, bottlenose and common dolphin, or explore some of the many uninhabited islands such as Isla San Francisco or Isla San Jose, known for its sweeping beaches and arroyos. Birdlife may be plentiful, and the nutrient-rich sea is home to an overwhelming variety of fish: king angelfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, damselfish, and the beautiful parrotfish.

Day 8 — La Paz/Los Angeles,

Disembark after breakfast in La Paz and drive to the airport for our flight to Los Angeles.

Please note: A State Department travel warning for Mexico is currently in effect ( The area of concern noted in the warning is not near the region we visit on this itinerary. We expect to operate this trip as planned, but will continue to closely monitor events in the country.