Overview

Experience two of the Earth’s most charismatic marine species, gray whales, and whale sharks. From the majestic setting of RED’s gray whale eco camp in Magdalena Bay, you will observe up close the magnificent gray whales that come to these protected waters to mate and calve. Magdalena Bay is home to a staggering number of marine mammals, aviary species, lush mangrove canals and towering sand dunes. Across the narrow peninsula on the Gulf of California, named the “world’s aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau, you’ll visit Espíritu Santo island, teeming with sea life and home to resident sea lions that you can observe up close from the water. You’ll also have the chance to snorkel with the mystical whale sharks, the gentle giants that gather just outside the Bay of La Paz.
You will be joined on this trip by Tam Warner Minton, author of the children’s book All Fish Faces, photographer, and citizen science advocate. You will experience regional cuisine with gourmet flair, and your expert naturalist guides will give you a local’s eye into the region’s culture and natural history.

trips length:

7 days/6 nights


Price from:

$2,200 per person


Available: March 10 – 16
Trip Type: Small Group avg. 8, max. 10 (private options available)
Accommodations: Hotel in La Paz and RED Basecamp
Departs from: La Paz, Los Cabos


Dates:

Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrival and Transfer to La Paz

Your driver will be waiting for you at Los Cabos International Airport to take you on the scenic drive from San Jose del Cabo to your hotel in La Paz (2.5 hours). RED staff and Tam, will be waiting to assist with your hotel check-in and to answer any questions you might have. You will meet the rest of your group and your naturalist guide at dinner. Rest up tomorrow your adventure begins! Meals included today: Dinner Lodging: Hotel Catedral

Day 2 - Whale Sharks and Hidden Beaches of Balandra Bay

Your driver will pick you up at your hotel early in the morning, and transport you to the marina to try on your snorkeling gear and wetsuit. We will then head out on the water for the short trip to the whale shark observation zone. On the way out of the bay, your guide will brief you on whale shark ecology and regulations for snorkeling. You’ll have the chance to get in the water accompanied by your guide to snorkel alongside one of these marvelous creatures. During peak holidays when observation activity increases, we will explore the surrounding area by boat as we wait for our turn to see these incredible animals. The trip continues to Balandra Bay, a natural protected area and home to pristine beaches, mangroves, and stunning scenery. Here we’ll have a tasty lunch (dietary restrictions taken into account), explore the nature trails, snorkel in the crystal water and relax and unwind before heading back to La Paz. La Paz is unique as a whale shark destination for its proximity to the observation zone and efforts undertaken by tour operators, regulatory agencies and civil society to responsibly manage this extraordinary experience. During peak holidays when boat activity increases, we may flip the itinerary and explore Balandra Bay and the surrounding area before entering into the whale shark observation zone. Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch Lodging: Hotel Catedral

Day 3 - La Paz to Magdalena Bay

Depart from La Paz early in the morning en route to Magdalena Bay, jewel of the Pacific and home to a staggering number of migratory and marine birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals including the migratory gray whales. We will stop at one of our favorite local ranchos for a snack and a hearty cup of cowboy coffee. Arriving to Magdalena Bay we will head out on the water for the short trip to our secluded island camp, searching for whales along the way. After happy hour, chat with your guide to learn about the natural history of the region. RED’s eco-camp is designed to provide maximum comfort in balance with our natural settings. Our canvas tents stand 6’6” tall, and have a private shaded porch area. Mattresses are raised and comfortable sheets and bedding will make you feel right at home. Our shower tent boasts wooden flooring and a traditional ladle shower with hot water available upon request. Bathrooms consist of odorless composting toilets. Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Lodging: RED Basecamp

Day 4 - Gray Whale Observation and Exploration of Magdalena Bay

After a good night’s rest wake up and enjoy a delicious breakfast at camp. Wake up early to watch the fishermen conservationists prepare their sea turtle monitoring nets. Today we will learn more about the gray whales, their incredible migration, and the importance of Magdalena Bay for breeding and calving to these magnificent creatures. We will head out in pangas (outboard skiffs) to look for gray whales. Friendly whales often approach the boats, and the mothers are known to push the young calves closer, which can make for an incredible interaction between two species. Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Lodging: RED Basecamp

Day 5 - Gray whales, Magdalena to La Paz

In the morning wake up to take in the spectacular sunrise one more time. After breakfast we will bid farewell to our hosts and head out in the search for whales. Make sure your camera is handy to capture images of these magnificent giants. After a picnic lunch on a secluded barrier island, we start back for La Paz where the journey concludes. B/L Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch Lodging: Hotel Catedral

Day 6 - Espíritu Santo Island

After breakfast we will head to RED´s office for the boat ride to Espíritu Santo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a natural paradise that will amaze you with breathtaking island scenery and rich marine life. Jump in the water to snorkel with the sea lions and observe tropical fish. Afterwards, your captain will seek out a secluded beach for a tasty lunch and time to relax or explore this unique place before heading back to La Paz in time for dinner. Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch Lodging: Hotel Catedral

Day 7 - Departure

After breakfast, your driver will be waiting outside the hotel lobby to transport you to the Los Cabos International Airport. Meals included today: Breakfast

Included: Round trip ground transportation between SJD airport and La Paz; round trip ground transportation between RED camp and La Paz; all meals and beverages as specified in itinerary; bilingual naturalist guide with WFR certification; double occupancy lodging in hotel (La Paz) and RED tent camp; 3 whale watching excursions; all park entrance fees; whale shark and Espíritu Santo activities as described in the itinerary; snorkeling equipment and wetsuits; all taxes.

Not included: Airline flights and any transportation not described in the itinerary; any meals and activities not described in the itinerary; gratuities.

ADDITIONAL TRIP DETAILS:

  • Trip begins and ends with pick up/drop off in your hotel lobby in La Paz
  • All trips staffed by bilingual naturalist guide with Wilderness First Responder certification.
  • Transportation on this trip includes private vans and outboard watercraft.
  • Physical level: Light to medium activities including walking, and boat travel
  • Upon receipt of payment, RED will request specific passenger information and will provide departure specific information and packing list.

Red is a hybrid organization that provides world class natural and cultural adventures that benefit conservation and community development. RED provides capacity building to rural communities in Natural Protected Areas throughout Mexico and supports regional models of sustainable tourism development.

Trip Impact

Reducing our footprint

RED’s zero-waste goal for day trips and itineraries in our gray whale camp helps us minimize our environmental impact. We have eliminated single use plastic from our operations. Lunch and snacks are sourced from local providers focusing on fresh versus packaged food. Recyclables are separated onsite and transferred to a processing facility and all organic waste is composted.

Traveling Roots and whale shark ambassadors –Raising awareness with local youth

We can’t appreciate what we don’t know first hand. RED provides scholarships to underserved local youth to visit Espíritu Santo and to snorkel with whale sharks with a goal to foster stewardship and to promote equal access for all to the natural wonders that make La Paz such a unique destination.

Preserving endangered sea turtles in Magdalena Bay

RED works with Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias to recruit, train and employ fisher conservationists, creating sustainable employment alternatives, funding the monitoring, and in the process generating important data about the health and movement of sea turtle populations. By putting the monitoring in the hands of local fishermen RED and funding the participation of students from surrounding communities in sea turtle monitoring, RED is helping to create local stewards of Magdalena Bay’s natural resources.

Building local economy

RED designs its operational model to include local residents in its operations, whether as microenterprises, or directly as individuals, helping to diversify incomes while providing training and skills building through RED’s capacity building programs.

Strengthening individuals families and microenterprises in rural communities

RED’s co-founders founded an independent, nonprofit arm, Red de Turismo Sustentable y Desarrollo Social AC,using our tourism expertise to create a micro-enterprise training program that benefits budding family enterprises throughout Mexico.

Reforestation in the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve

The Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere reserve is a natural paradise, boasting natural springs, oak trees, and one of the peninsula’s premiere spots for biodiversity. Mining, uncontrolled grazing and logging hasten desertification, threatening habitat and the natural process that makes this Reserve one of the principal water resources in the region. Working with CONANP and local rancheros, RED created a tourism based program focused on reforestation and soil restoration, along the way providing training and sustainable livelihoods.

trips length:

7 days/6 nights


Price from:

$2,200 per person


Available: March 10 – 16
Trip Type: Small Group avg. 8, max. 10 (private options available)
Accommodations: Hotel in La Paz and RED Basecamp
Departs from: La Paz, Los Cabos


Dates:

Term, Payment & Aditional info.

Packing & luggage

You probably have everything you need for your upcoming trip with RED Travel México, so don’t worry about rushing out to buy the latest high tech gear. If you don’t, you can probably borrow it. That said, there are a few essential items that you should bring with you. We recommend bringing a medium sized duffel bag or suitcase and a small daypack. Pack for cold and hot as we get drastic temperature swings and wind and a setting sun can turn a hot day into a cold night quickly in the desert.

  • Sun hat and warm hat in winter/spring months
  • Sunglasses
  • long sleeve shirt for sun protection
  • Bathing suit
  • Long pants and shorts
  • Sturdy shoes for walking/hiking and old tennis shoes or sturdy water friendly sandals
  • windbreaker and in winter months a warm layer or other jacket or sweater, rain jacket
  • Water bottle. Please bring your own reusable water bottle
  • A small flashlight or headlamp
  • dry bag or large ziploc is handy to keep valuables dry and the sand/dust out
  • Any personal medication you need
  • If you wear glasses or contacts you may want to bring a spare pair
  • Biodegradable sunblock
  • Ear plugs
  • Personal toiletries
  • Camera with protective case
  • towel or sarong is nice to dry off and help fend off the sun
  • Cash is handy for tipping guides, camp staff and and captains.
  • good attitude. Weather changes, food tastes different, speaking Spanish is harder than you remembered. Roll with it and have a good time!

trips length:

7 days/6 nights


Price from:

$2,200 per person


Available: March 10 – 16
Trip Type: Small Group avg. 8, max. 10 (private options available)
Accommodations: Hotel in La Paz and RED Basecamp
Departs from: La Paz, Los Cabos


Dates:


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