You’ll be met at the Los Cabos International Airport and transferred to the San José del Cabo hospitality area. Later in the afternoon, join the Captain and crew on board the Safari Voyager then set sail into the sunset over cocktails and dinner.
Your big adventure begins with, well, a big adventure at Cabo Pulmo National Park—a snorkeler’s jewel and home to myriad marine life, large groupers and snappers, sharks, manta rays, marlin, and tuna. Don your snorkel, slip into a kayak, and explore by skiff to get acquainted with this living coral reef. French Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau led numerous expeditions in the area of Isla Cerralvo. Amidst steep bluffs and sandy beaches, a desert mountain hike and more water play round out your first full day of exploration.
Enjoy the morning exploring centuries-old La Paz, with time on your own for shopping, a museum visit, or a stroll along the miles-long malecón. On the Island of the Holy Spirit—formed by a volcanic crater and one of the most beautiful islands in Baja—spend time ashore beachcombing on shell-strewn sand; hiking inland among exotic desert cacti; and kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and exploring by skiff in one of the island’s idyllic wild bays.
At Los Islotes—a protrusion of rock rising sharply from the sea—slip into a wetsuit for a snorkel with playful sea lion pups, or observe the colony from the boat and skiff. Afterwards, sail through islands once pillaged by conquistadors for their black pearls. Anchor at Isla San Francisco’s aptly named Half Moon Bay for a day of island exploration. Snorkel along barnacled rocks, kayak in crystalline blue waters, stroll a white sand beach, and take an interpretive walk to the salt chuck or a guided hike along a desert rim for spectacular panoramic view.
Explore the channels of a large red and white mangrove estuary by kayak and skiff, stroll remote beaches, and scramble up the striking red cliffs of Isla San José. From Nopolo, situated on the Baja peninsula, an extended desert hike takes you to the lost Dolores Mission—abandoned since 1768 when the Franciscan’s took control of the Baja missions from the Jesuits. Hiking five miles roundtrip, cacti, lizards, birds, and desert are common sights along the way. After the sun sets, tuck into an isolated bay for a spectacular evening of stargazing.
Amidst scenic vistas and unmatched camaraderie, visit with a local ranchero family, do some birding, and explore the arroyo on a burro ride. Clear waters bordered by sparse craggy mountains hemmed in green are your setting at Bahia Agua Verde. This afternoon, the gulf’s rich ecosystem is the perfect environment for a marine life search. Keep your eyes peeled and binoculars in hand as you watch for pods of dolphins, blue, fin, sei, orca and sperm whales in the surrounding waters.
Drop anchor in a hidden cove straight out of a movie set and paddle for shore. Isla Carmen offers plenty of options—kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and beachcombing, or a guided hike into an inland sandy valley, perfect for identifying animal tracks. Explore nature’s diversity and learn about the geologic forces that formed the islands. In Loreto—founded in 1697 as the first Spanish settlement on the Baja California Peninsula—a guided walking tour of this leisurely seaside village reveals its history and streets lined with arts and crafts shops offer plenty of options for shopping.
This volcanic island may be bare and rugged above the surface, but Isla Tortuga’s greatest treasures lie in the diverse and abundant marine life surrounding its shores—hermaphroditic Rainbow wrasses, green moray eels, Giant damselfish, manta rays, starfish, whales, and jumbo Humboldt squid. Further west, along the Baja coast sits the French-founded and former copper mining town of Santa Rosalía. Learn the history of this bustling ghost town with a guided tour. The highlight of your visit, undeniably, will be the El Boleo bakery and the town’s old metal church, said to be designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel.
Considered one of the most important ecological areas of the gulf, the San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park hosts a grand display of topography. Isla San Lorenzo—the largest and southern-most island in the archipelago—features the highest elevations of the islands. Explore the rugged landscape on an inland hike with your eyes to the sky for sightings of Elegant Terns, Craveri’s Murrelets, American Oystercatchers, frigatebirds, boobies, falcons, and brown pelicans. Spend time kayaking, exploring by skiff, and searching for whales, sea turtles, mantas, swordfish, and dolphins in the surrounding waters.
Lined with rocky reefs, the ecosystem of the Midriff Islands—referred to by John Steinbeck as the “Galápagos of Mexico”—is rich in biological diversity and endemism. With a high abundance of pelagic fish, marine mammals, and over 50 species of birds, keep your eyes peeled both above and below the surface as you’re sure to have some excitement. Sail past Isla Rasa, where ornithologist Lewis Wayne succeeded in establishing a Migratory Waterfowl Sanctuary, and keep watch for Blue-footed boobies, pelicans, cormorants, gulls, or try catching a glimpse of a Costa’s hummingbird or Ash-throated flycatchers.
High, desert mountains meet the sea at Bahía de los Ángeles—a Biosphere Reserve established to protect the region’s unique ecology and diverse marine population. The bay is famous for whale sharks during the summer months and as an important feeding and nesting ground for many species of sea turtles throughout the year. Fin whales and California sea lions colonies are common to the area, and the swift currents are known the draw diving pelicans and boobies.
Today you’ll make your way to Archangel Island—separated from the Baja California Peninsula by the Canal de Ballenas (Whales Channel)—is the second largest of the Midriff Islands. This biological reserve—called Isla Angel de la Guarda National Park—is an uninhabited island and offers first-rate snorkeling and hiking.
“The Hunting of the Snark,” or rather, a search for boojums while hiking in a natural desert laboratory. But if you find one, whatever you do, don’t touch it—in ancient Seri belief, touching this plant will cause strong winds to blow. Your day of exploration has other adventurous treats in store as well, there’ll be several opportunities for water play—kayaking, exploring by skiff, and a chance to snorkel in this rich ecosystem.
Your last day in paradise delivers excellent opportunities for bird watching. Along the gulf’s eastern shore lies Isla Tiburón, the largest island in the Gulf of California. Homeland to bands of the Seri people for many centuries, you’ll learn about their history and intimate relationship with the sea and land. Isla San Esteban is home to many odd species found only in these islands. Keep your eyes peeled on and between the rocks for the endemic spiny-tailed iguana and Pinto chuckwalla lizards basking in the sun, they’re the largest and most endangered of the chuckwalla species. Desert hikes, kayaking, and snorkeling wrap up the day’s activities. After the Captain’s Farewell Dinner, your Expedition Leader recaps your adventure with a slideshow.
After breakfast, your two-week-long adventure ends back in Guaymas. A transfer to the Hermosillo Airport is provided.