Overview

Experience the natural wonders  the Baja California peninsula, including of two of Earth’s most charismatic marine species, gray whales and endangered sea turtles, from the majestic setting of RED’s sea turtle research camp in Magdalena Bay. This jewel of the Pacific, just a few hours between Loreto and La Paz, is home to a staggering number of marine and aviary species, lush mangrove canals and towering sand dunes. You’ll top off the experience with a trip to Espíritu Santo island, and an encounter with the mystical whale sharks, the gentle giants that gather just outside the Bay of La Paz. You will experience regional cuisine with gourmet flair, and your naturalist guides will ensure you leave expertly informed on all themes of flora and fauna.

trips length:

8D/7N


Price from:

US $1,990 per person


Available: Feb 16 – 23
Trip Type: Small Group avg. 12, max. 16 (private options available)
Accommodations: RED Basecamp, Hotel in La Paz
Departs from: La Paz, Los Cabos (enquire for Loreto, Todos Santos)
Minimum age: 5



Dates:

Feb 16 – 23
Inquire about other packages during Presidents Week

Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrival

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 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! (D)

Day 2 - 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. (B/L)

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, learn about the natural history of the region and the important sea turtle restoration project which will be the focus of tomorrow’s activities. We will learn about the monitoring protocol and how we can participate in the data collection. Get a good night’s rest, tomorrow we search for turtles. (B/L/D)

Day 4 - Gray Whale Observation and Sea Turtle Monitoring

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. After lunch, we will have the chance to accompany the monitoring team to check the nets for turtles. Captured sea turtles will be brought back to camp where we will help take measurements and other important data before releasing them back into the wild. During the day you’ll have the chance to get out and explore the mangroves and dunes that make Magdalena Bay so unique. Monitoring continues into the night. (B/L/D)

Day 5 - Sea Turtle Monitoring and Gray Whales

Head down to the beach to finish measuring and weighing sea turtles before releasing them back into the wild. After breakfast we will bid farewell to our hosts and head out once more in search of friendly gray whales. Make sure your camera is handy to capture images of these magnificent giants. After a picnic lunch on a secluded barrier island, we head back to the mainland where our driver will be waiting for us to return to La Paz. (B/L)

Day 6 - Todos Santos, Pueblo Mágico

After a relaxed morning, we will head to the town of Todos Santos located on the Pacific coast. Your naturalist guide will take you through the estuary to spot birds, and with luck we’ll be able to see humpback whales from the beach. We’ll continue with a guided walk around the quaint town and then you are on your own to enjoy its architecture, shops and fantastic restaurants before heading back to La Paz. (B)

Day 7 - Whale Sharks and La Paz Walking Tour

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. Back on land in time for lunch, we will explore La Paz, tranquil, scenic, and a great town to get to know on foot. During the walking tour we will visit cultural and architectural sites of interest, learn about the history of La Paz, meet some of its people, and along the way stop to try many of the local delicacies. We will also take in the Mi Ciudad mural project, a treat for the eyes with murals from local and regional artists on display around the city. (B/L/D)

Day 8 - 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; participation in sea turtle monitoring; 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:

  • All trips staffed by bilingual naturalist guide with Wilderness First Responder certification.
  • Transportation on this trip includes private vans and outboard watercraft.
  • Sit on top kayaks are available for use in camp under guide’s supervision
  • Upon receipt of payment, RED will request specific passenger information and will provide departure specific information and packing list.
  • Physical level: Light to medium activities including walking and hiking, snorkeling and boat travel
  • Beginner/first time snorkelers are welcome, but must be able to swim to participate in snorkeling portion of trip.
  • Private itineraries available; enquire for Outdoor Team Building, Board and Corporate retreats.
  • 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:

    8D/7N


    Price from:

    US $1,990 per person


    Available: Feb 16 – 23
    Trip Type: Small Group avg. 12, max. 16 (private options available)
    Accommodations: RED Basecamp, Hotel in La Paz
    Departs from: La Paz, Los Cabos (enquire for Loreto, Todos Santos)
    Minimum age: 5



    Dates:

    Feb 16 – 23
    Inquire about other packages during Presidents Week

    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:

    8D/7N


    Price from:

    US $1,990 per person


    Available: Feb 16 – 23
    Trip Type: Small Group avg. 12, max. 16 (private options available)
    Accommodations: RED Basecamp, Hotel in La Paz
    Departs from: La Paz, Los Cabos (enquire for Loreto, Todos Santos)
    Minimum age: 5



    Dates:

    Feb 16 – 23
    Inquire about other packages during Presidents Week


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