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Cabo Pulmo

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

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Venture
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Experience Baja in full with visits to lively La Paz and lovely Loreto. La Paz invites you to follow your curiosity into a maze of quaint streets and sun-drenched promenades, promising discoveries of all kinds. Loreto, a charming coastal town spectacularly backed by the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range, is where our expedition now begins and ends. Explore downtown Loreto and find intriguing sites including the region’s first mission built in the late 17th century and a museum filled with colonial artifacts. And don’t forget to sample the local favorite—Mexican ice cream!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Loreto | San Carlos | Embark
Day 2 : Bahia Almejas | Rehusa Channel | Isla Magdalena
Day 3 : Boca de Soledad
Day 4 : Hull Canal
Day 5 : Gorda Banks and Cabo Pulmo
Day 6 : Los Islotes and La Paz
Day 7 : Exploring the Sea of Cortez
Day 8 : Loreto | Disembark

Highlights

  • Observe the famous California gray whales up close
  • Hike across desert islands and spectacular sculpted sand dunes
  • Experience Baja California & see a variety of wildlife in the Sea of Cortez
  • Snorkel with sea lions and search for marine mammals

Ship

National Geographic Venture

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Gray Whale tail splashing Enjoying the View at La Paz Beach Desert Landscape in Baja Cabo Pulmo

Day 1 Loreto | San Carlos | Embark

Upon arrival in Loreto, transfer to San Carlos and embark National Geographic Venture. Tonight, we’ll anchor off the coast of Isla Santa Margarita.

Day 2 Bahia Almejas | Rehusa Channel | Isla Magdalena

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awake anchored in Bahia Almejas, the southernmost part of the Bay. Stop at a large frigatebird colony enroute to the spectacular whale grounds of Bahía Almejas. Whales in this part of the bay tend to be very active, seemingly oblivious to our presence so settle in for some great experiences. During lunch, the ship will reposition to Isla Magdalena where we’ll head to shore to explore the ever-shifting sand dunes, on a cross-island walk to one of the most pristine beaches in the Pacific. Bird watching can be excellent here with abundant seabirds in action and shorebirds patrolling the beaches as they fatten up and prepare for long journeys to Arctic breeding grounds.

Day 3 Boca de Soledad

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and give birth and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. We’ll transfer to López Mateos and spend the full day observing, and with luck, interacting with these majestic creatures. Together with savvy local Mexican fishermen we’ve known for years, we’ll venture out in Zodiacs to view the numerous mother-calf pairs that thrive in this sheltering region. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to the ship in late afternoon.

Day 4 Hull Canal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kickstart your morning with morning stretch hosted by our onboard wellness specialist on the sun deck. After breakfast, we’ll explore the vast mangrove system via kayak, standup paddleboard, and Zodiac, and learn how these massive ecosystems support their surroundings. This afternoon, we’ll sail out through “La Entrada” as we leave Magdalena Bay behind. Traveling south along the coast of the peninsula, there is a chance of seeing a wide variety of marine life, including the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale. Hear naturalist talks and learn photography basics.

Day 5 Gorda Banks and Cabo Pulmo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ease into the day with a majestic sunrise over the iconic Friars Rocks at Land’s End. We’ll spend the rest of the morning searching the seas of Gorda Banks seamount, a renowned gathering place for whales, especially humpbacks, dolphins, and other sea life. Following lunch, we’ll set out to snorkel the pristine reefs of Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, one of the most successful national marine parks in the world, and chat with locals about their advocacy to protect this unique place.

Day 6 Los Islotes and La Paz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awake this morning off the rocky island of Los Islotes, where we’ll don flippers, a mask, and snorkel (which we provide) and swim with curious sea lions. Then we’ll reposition to the colorful city of La Paz to garner insight into the culture of Mexico, soak in the vibrant street art, and stroll the lively “Malecon” on a guided walking tour. Dinner will be an unforgettable cultural experience, complete with local cuisine, dancing, and folklore.

Day 7 Exploring the Sea of Cortez

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Our plan is flexible as we explore some of the Sea’s many uninhabited islands. Our Captain and Expedition Leader will choose the perfect combination of activities for the day. We may go ashore at Isla San Francisco, where a sweeping arc of white sand beach beckons you to kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Or, hike to the nearby ridge for unparalleled views over Isla Danzante with your naturalist. You may also visit the abandoned salt works on Isla Carmen. You’ll get a chance to see the great diversity offered in the Sea of Cortez, and with some luck, spot the amazing wildlife.

Day 8 Loreto | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Disembark in Loreto after breakfast and transfer to the city center. Here you can choose to visit the first mission in Baja California, as well as the nearby museum to learn more about what makes this town so special. Enjoy free time to explore the quaint shops and vibrant side streets. After lunch, transfer to Loreto Airport for flights home.

National Geographic Venture

Per person starting at
$6,270
Select a Date
Category 1
Located on the main deck. Approximately 136 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 2
Located on the main deck. Approximately 136 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 3
Located on the upper deck. Approximately 151 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and a large view window. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 4
Located on the upper deck. Approximately 151 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 5
Located on the observation deck. Approximately 185 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability. 

This fare includes:
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages**
  • Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
  • 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand (soda not included on Lord of the Glens)
  • Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
  • Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
  • Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
  • The guidance and company of our expedition staff
  • The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
  • Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
  • Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • The expertise of our expedition staff
  • All excursions
  • Zodiac & kayak explorations
  • Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
  • Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
This fare excludes:
  • International and internal airfare
  • Additional hotel nights
  • Private transfers
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Expedition extensions
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages; certain super-premium brands not included
  • Spa treatments
  • Gratuities
  • Scuba diving
  • Laundry
  • Internet and phone
  • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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