Journey to Baja California in the spring, a season that welcomes multiple species of whales—including blue, sperm, pilot, fin, humpback, and Bryde’s—to the Sea of Cortez. Search for these majestic creatures from the decks of the National Geographic Venture, and at water level from nimble Zodiacs. Don snorkeling gear and plunge below the surface to swim with frolicking sea lions, and explore pristine islands inhabited by myriad bird species on kayaking and hiking excursions.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Fly into Los Cabos and transfer to La Paz, where we'll set sail across the Sea of Cortez aboard the National Geographic Venture.
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 SAN JOSE: One of the larger islands in the Sea of Cortez, San Jose offers several landing possibilities. Photograph the ochre cliffs of the island's eastern shore, hike an "enchanted" arroyo, or visit an abandoned salt works.
ISLA SAN MARCOS: At Isla San Marcos there is a beautiful cove for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. In the afternoon, we are again in whale-rich waters near the mouth of Bahía Concepcion, where we stand a good chance of sighting several species, particularly fin or sperm.
BAHIA LORETO: Start the day searching for marine life in the waters south of Isla Carmen, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, as well as bottlenose and common dolphins. In the afternoon, visit one of the islands of Bahía Loreto Marine Park and enjoy ample time for kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and possibly hiking.
LOS ISLOTES AND ISLA SAN FRANCISCO: At Isla Los Islotes, snorkelers have one of life’s great opportunities—swimming with sea lions. In the afternoon, we sail to Isla San Francisco. With pink sea cliffs and a stunning half-moon bay, it is one of the most beautiful islands 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.
After breakfast, disembark in La Paz and transfer to the airport in Los Cabos for your flight home.