Baja Ocean Wildlife
Baja California Sur, Mexico is an extraordinary place for ocean wildlife. Nutrient rich deep water currents provide perfect feeding grounds for sea turtles, the famous “friendly” gray whales, whale sharks, dolphins, sea lions, and more. Sea turtles and other animals are making a comeback in this region due to the hard work of scientists, fishermen, and local communities and this unique trip offers the opportunity to see all of them.
On this trip, you will join these conservationists to participate in research efforts of sea turtles and see some of these extraordinary animals closeup. This trip helps to fund turtle research and benefit local communities while providing an unforgettable hands-on experience. Profits from this trip will help to save at least 500 hatchlings at a turtle nesting beach per participant.
Date: Feb 25 - March 3, 2023 (full)
Price: $2,695 pp
Includes: All in-country transportation, accommodations, meals as noted in itinerary, activities, guides, round trip airport pickup & transfer from Los Cabos, and a donation to turtle conservation.
Excludes: Airfare to Los Cabos, 1 dinner, personal items, tips, and travel insurance.
Will SEE: Gray whales (friendly ones are about 50% likely), whale sharks, many species of shorebirds, sea lions
Probably will SEE: Green sea turtles (most groups get to work with at least one)
May SEE: bottlenose dolphins, rays, coyotes
Maximum group size is 10 people.
We will try to pair any individuals up with another traveler of the same sex but we can't guarantee that option will be available and we can’t guarantee single tents at the camp.
Minimum recommended age is 6 years old.
* Please note: We give 100% refunds on any trips that we need to cancel and our cancellation fees (when travelers cancel) can be used on any future trip, no expiration or penalties, except for cancellations made within 60 days of travel when payments to local providers has already been completed. See our full terms and conditions.
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Why Travel With US?
All profits support conservation efforts
Work directly with local researchers
DAY 1 - ARRIVE TO LOS CABOS
Fly into Cabo San Lucas and meet your shuttle to La Paz (2 hour drive) (round trip shuttle service included), a great way to view the area’s desert landscape. Meet your guide for dinner after you arrive and have an orientation meeting to learn about the wildlife you will see and the research programs you’ll visit. Overnight at Hotel Catedral, a modern hotel in the city center (4 nights). (D)
DAY 2 - WHALE SHARK RESEARCH & BALANDRA BAY
Whale sharks are the true “gentle giants” of the oceans. The largest fish on the planet, these gentle beasts return yearly to feed on plankton in La Paz Bay. You’ll have several opportunities to snorkel with these incredible (but not aggressive) animals and learn more about these magnificent creatures and support their protection. Our partners helped to create new guidelines to make sure that the observation limits stress on the animals.
We will go aboard skiffs and into the whale shark observation area to look for the biggest fish in the ocean in an exhilarating snorkeling adventure. After our swim we will head to Balandra Bay, considered by many the most beautiful beach in Mexico, for a picnic style lunch and beach time activities. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 - TODOS SANTOS
Today we are cross the peninsula to visit the charming town of Todos Santos for a walking day tour and lunch. The town is a haven for artists and there are many great shops to explore to pick up souvenirs for yourself or a loved one. Afterwards, we will visit Todos Tortugueros, a local organization that works to protect nesting turtles in this area. We will visit their hatchery and learn more about their work. We then head back to La Paz where dinner will be on your own to enjoy one of the many great restaurants the city has to offer. (B,L)
DAY 4 - TRANSFER TO MAGDALENA BAY AND FRIENDLY GRAY WHALES
Today you will head across the peninsula to beautiful Magdalena Bay. The guide will pick up the group at the hotel after breakfast to head across the peninsula to the Pacific (about a 3 hour drive). We will take small boats known as pangas that will take us out into the channel and spend most of the day on the water watching these majestic mammals that migrate from the Arctic to mate and calve in these protected waters. Before going back to our hotel we will toast to the sunset over the sand dunes of Magdalena Bay. We will stay overnight in Puerto Lopez Mateos. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 - SEA TURTLE RESEARCH & WHALE WATCHING
Today is turtle day! After breakfast, the group will head out by boat for the turtle research to study the black turtle, a sub-species of green turtles. You will be accompanied by researchers from Grupo Tortuguero, a network of residents around the region that study and protect several species of sea turtles. The efforts of this network have helped bring the black turtle back from near extinction by working with local communities, fishermen, and others to to reduce poaching and entanglement in fishing gear.
Under their supervision and guidance, the turtles are caught in nets and brought ashore to study. Participants help measure their length and width, weigh them, and collect other data. Once complete, the turtle is released back into the water. We will also look for more friendly whales while out on the bay. In the afternoon, we will head back across the peninsula to La Paz and stay again at the Hotel Catedral (B,L,D).
DAY 6 - ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND
Today we will explore La Paz Bay and go aboard skiffs to Espiritu Santo Island where we will visit a sea lion colony, snorkel in its waters teeming with life, and enjoy a picnic style lunch on the beach. Back in La Paz you will enjoy a farewell dinner with your naturalist guides. (B,L,D)
DAY 7 - DEPART
Head to the airport for your flight home or to explore other parts of this incredible region. (B)
* Itinerary Note: We adhere to this schedule as closely as possible, but participants should be aware that due to occasional high winds on the water in La Paz Bay, activities at times may need to be rearranged or similar activities substituted.
Turtle Conservation: $790 of the tour price
Local Communities: $810 of the tour price
Travel Expenses: $1,095
"My Baja vacation far exceeded my expectations. I loved every moment of my trip."
Is This Trip Right For Me?
This is a trip for adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts. In Baja, you’ll be camping in comfort, spending time in boats, and eating new foods (some fresh from the ocean). Activities may be modified due to wind, weather and other conditions. Your safety and enjoyment are our top priorities. We don’t guarantee wildlife interactions, but this trip is scheduled at the perfect time, with local experts and in the perfect setting. The schedule can be fluid and all activities may not start on time and there may be bugs around. But we feel that pushing one’s boundaries and stepping out of one’s comfort zone is the best way to learn about yourself and the world!
other turtle conservation trips
Photos: RED Travel Mexico, Elizabeth Moreno, Neil Osborne