Westward Voyages in the Sea of Cortez - Yacht Cruise and Whale Watching with Hiking, Kayaking Led by Naturalist Guides

   
 

Westward Voyages in the Sea of Cortez - Yacht Cruise and Whale Watching with Hiking, Kayaking Led by Naturalist Guides

BY ADVENTURESMITH EXPLORATIONS
www.adventuresmithexplorations.com

UPDATED

6 days ago

DURATION

12 Days

SEASON

December - March

RATES

USD 5,250.00 per person

EXPIRES

Dec 31, 2018
Westward Voyages in the Sea of Cortez - Yacht Cruise and Whale Watching with Hiking, Kayaking Led by Naturalist Guides
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DESCRIPTION

Learn More @ www.adventuresmithexplorations.com

A unique land and sea exploration of Baja’s Sea of Cortez and the whale-rich waters of the Pacific aboard the historic 8-guest adventure yacht Westward. A cruise is combined with two days of gray whale watching in Bahia Magdalena or San Ignacio Lagoon (when in season) to create Baja’s most intimate and encompassing cruise experience.

Explore up close with activities such as hiking, kayaking and snorkeling led by expert naturalist guides. And look for whale sharks, the largest fish known to exist, or perhaps witness the spectacular leaps of huge manta rays, which are up to 12 feet across and can weigh up to a ton! Each night's anchor is in a secluded cove or bay free of man-made illumination, a very rare and valuable commodity. The route travels both north and south between Loreto and La Paz, and all your land transfers and hotel accommodations are included. Enjoy one of the most intimate Baja cruise and travel experiences available.

The main Westward Voyages in the Sea of Cortez itinerary follows a 12-day southbound itinerary, with slight variations that include Bahia Magdalena visits rather than San Ignacio Lagoon on Days 2 and 3. There is also an 11-day reverse northbound departure that begins in La Paz and ends in Loreto, as well as a 9-day departure with a half day snorkeling opportunity with whale sharks. Due to the unpredictability of whale behaviors, the captain may change lagoon visits to accommodate the best gray whale viewing and ensure the best possible Baja experience for his guests!

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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Rates vary by season and cabin. Please see website for full details on rates.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Loreto, Mexico
Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Arrive in Loreto in the early afternoon. After clearing Mexican customs you will be met by a crew member and escorted to a group van for the short drive to your included hotel in Loreto. After checking in, there is time to rest or to explore the historic town square, which is lined with shops and cafés. In the evening, enjoy a group dinner in a small outdoor restaurant near the square.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotel Posada del Cortez or similar

MEALS: dinner

Day 2: Whale Watching In San Ignacio Or Magdalena Bay
San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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After an early breakfast, enjoy a 3- to 4-hour drive to either Magdalena Bay or Pueblo San Ignacio, both of which are gray whale birthing and breeding lagoons on Baja’s west coast. Take a skiff ride out into the lagoon’s designated whale viewing area, where you will drift while friendly whales come to visit. There are no words to adequately describe these encounters, but most people return feeling as though they have just had one of the most profound experiences of their lives.

There will be stretching stops along the way during the 3-hour ride to Magdalena Bay or 4-hour ride to San Ignacio. In Magdalena Bay, the van will drop you off at the panga landing site. In San Ignacio, you will change vans for the final one and a half hour drive from the pueblo to the lagoon. This is a lot of time in a van, but the payoff is extraordinary! Also your route will be through some of the most scenic country in Baja. For your time in the lagoons, a video or short lens is recommended, as the whales typically come to you, for it's worth recording the moment you make eye contact with a 30-ton animal that has seemingly approached your panga solely for the purpose of exchanging winks! Return to the camp or hotel for dinner and a welcome night’s rest after a day filled with fresh sea air.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Beachfront camp or hotel

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: San Ignacio Or Magdelena Bay & Loreto
Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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After breakfast, make your second visit to whale waters. The seas and winds are typically calmer for these morning trips, so you may be better able to get that picture that will inspire envy amongst friends back home. After lunch, the group van takes you back to Loreto. Here you will check back into your hotel, take a nap in a cushy bed and meet your fellow travelers and guide for another group dinner.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotel Posada del Cortez or similar

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Embark Loreto To Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
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After a final hotel breakfast, take the short ride to Westward’s moorage. You will have time to settle into your stateroom before joining the crew on the aft deck for a short safety orientation, following which the anchor raises and the Westward begins winding her way out of the harbor. Tonight's anchorage in Puerto Escondido was one of Steinbeck and Ricketts' collection sites during their 1940 voyage to the Sea of Cortez.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Westward

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Days 5-8: Sea Of Cortez Island Hopping
Sea of Cortez, Mexico
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Continue south, stopping at unique island and peninsula anchorages along the way. One stop may be a Ricketts/Steinbeck collection site; another may be the home of an endemic cactus or the best example of a niche in the Sonoran desert ecology. This area is scattered with islands, some large, some tiny, all of which are Mexican national parks. Paddling kayaks in quiet coves or walking the ridgelines and arroyos of isolated islands, you'll have the opportunity to absorb their subtle beauty. Spending hours aboard the drifting Westward in what is referred to as the “Blue Triangle.” Here you can hope to spot blue and sperm whales, both of which congregate here to feed on the plankton and squid that thrive in the area’s nutrient-rich upwelling waters.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Westward

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9: Isla San Jose, Los Islotes & Isla Partida
Isla San Jose, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Today visit Isla San Jose and paddle through the labyrinth of mangrove-lined passages that fill the lagoon on the island’s southern tip. In the afternoon, cruise past the California sea lion haulout at Los Islotes, and continue on to Isla Partida, where the Westward will anchor in Caleta Cardonal. Here, walk past the mangrove-fringed shore and inland to the island's desert heart. This area, along with several other of the trip's anchorages, was home to a large population of prehistoric peoples who made their livings from the sea. Traces of their ancient pathways are still visible on the island’s hillsides.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Westward

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10: Bahia San Gabriel
Bahia San Gabriel, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Your voyage's final anchorage is in Bahia San Gabriel, along Isla Espiritu Santo's west side, where there is a nesting colony of frigate birds, as well as one of the most northerly coral colonies along the Pacific shore. If the conditions are right, you can don your swimming togs and snorkel over the colorful fish that live among the corals. The water here is both clear and warm, usually the warmest you'll encounter in the course of your cruise.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Westward

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11: Isla Espiritu Santos
Espiritu Santo Island, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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On your final full-cruise day, continue exploring Isla Espiritu Santos by either foot or paddle, then the Westward will raise anchor and make the 15-mile run into La Paz. Celebrate your trip over dinner aboard, and begin packing for tomorrow morning’s early departure to Los Cabos airport.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Westward

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12: Disembark La Paz & Depart Los Cabos
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Enjoy an early breakfast before meeting your group van for the two-and-a-half-hour drive to the Los Cabos airport. You are scheduled to arrive there by 11:00am.

ACCOMMODATIONS: n/a

MEALS: breakfast

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • Accommodations; excursions; entrance fees; leadership; crew; all meals; local guides; and permits, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary.

NOTES

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Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.


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