Baja Sea Quest was designed for teens that love the ocean and want to learn about the animals that live here! Dive, hike, explore in one of North America’s best kept secrets, the Sea of Cortez.
“What truly amazes me about the Gulf of California is how alive it is. Its islands— populated not by people but by seabirds, sea lions, and lovely, life-asserting desert plants—give an impression of wilderness far beyond the proximity of the U.S. and mainland Mexico. Despite serious over fishing for some species, the Gulf is largely a safe haven. For us it is a safe haven too, an easily accessed place to marvel at wild abundance, wide horizons, and intense desert beauty.” – Author & Scientist Carl Safina
Just 7 million years ago, the Baja Peninsula began to separate from mainland Mexico. Sea water from the Pacific filled the low-lying basins to form the Gulf of California, or the Sea of Cortez. It is one of the youngest marine systems, but due to the constant sunlight, deep nutrient upwelling, and mixing of tides and currents, it is an oasis for marine life and one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth!
There are over 900 species of fish, 30+ species of marine mammals, 170 species of shore and marine birds, and 1700 species of invertebrates. Our island camp is set on an uninhabited island World Heritage Site surrounded by a marine preserve. It is a classroom in the wild surrounded by a living laboratory to explore, play, and discover! Snorkeling day trips combined with student centered research projects, and evening presentations will teach young adventurers about the ecology of the Sea of Cortez, and ways to protect the world’s waters no matter where on Earth they live.
- Learn to snorkel and explore coral reefs, rocky reefs, and sandy bays.
- Dive in with 500 wild and playful wild sea lions.
- Experience beach-life while glamping on an uninhabited island.
- Kayak through sea caves and along rugged desert coast.
- Hike through pristine desert and learn about seemingly otherworldly creatures that have adapted to this extreme environment.
- Daily whale watching and dolphin spotting boat trips at sunset.
- See the sky full of billions of stars, unhindered by light pollution.
- Learn to SCUBA dive! (Additional Fee)
Meet Your Guides
President / Principle Trip Facilitator - Green Edventures
Tara Short is the President of Green Edventures and a Trip Facilitator. Tara has 17 years of experience in eco-tourism, guiding and educating students of all ages in the Americas, the Caribbean, and Iceland. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Environmental Education/Interpretation. Tara has been a naturalist for the John G. Shedd Aquarium, a Ranger for the National Forest Service in Alaska, and a marine science educator for Wild Studies in the Bahamas. Tara is a snorkeling instructor, PADI Open Water Diver, Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver and has specialty certifications as Underwater Naturalist, Deep Diver, Multi-Level diver and Night Diver.
Divemaster / Fun Baja Diving & Eco-Adventures, LaPaz, MexicoChabelo (Pronounced Chaah Bell-O) is a Divemaster for Fun Baja Diving & Eco-Adventures based out of La Paz. Chabelo has been instructing and leading SCUBA divers for 15 years with Fun Baja and instructing snorkeling and free-diving with Green Edventures for 8 years. Our guests consistently tell us how they appreciate the care and attention he gives to everyone in the group. Chabelo is funny, playful, and loves to share everything he knows about his backyard, the Sea of Cortez and his home, La Paz. Chabelo is talented at finding marine life so participants can see the most of the reef. He is also a sea lion whisperer. With him, you will see and interact with the sea lions in a very special way. Your friends won’t believe the pictures!
►Where Do We Stay?
- Night 1: Camp
- Night 2: Camp
- Night 3: Camp
- Night 4: Camp
- Night 5: Camp
- Night 6: Camp
- Night 7: Hotel in La Paz
►Day 1: Arrival to San Jose del Cabo, journey to Espiritu Santo Island.
Groups arrive from the US at Los Cabo Airport (SJD) between 11am-2pm. We’ll board the 15-passenger vans and drive 1.5 hours north toward La Paz with a stop for lunch in San Bartolo. After lunch we’ll continue north another 1.5 hours. In La Paz, we head toward the marina and the Fun Baja Dive Shop. Here, dive gear is issued and the boats are loaded for the journey to Espiritu Santo Island, your home for the next five nights! We will arrive at camp before dark, just in time for a fabulous dinner! The tents will already be set up and ready for you to move in.
►Day 2: Snorkeling in Ensenada Grande and Las Cuevas.
Participants will learn basic snorkeling skills and then free-diving techniques in the shallow bay of Ensenada Grande.
Participants will use their snorkeling skills to explore the rocky shoreline at Las Cuevas and their free-diving skills to see garden eels in the sandy flats at 25ft.
Survival of the Finnest: Fish are the most abundant vertebrate animals which dominate nearly every habitat in the hydrosphere. Why are they so successful?
►Day 3: Cross Island Hike and Snorkeling at El Candelero Island
The Cross Island Hike is a 2.5 to 3 hour round trip hike which is relatively flat with a few boulders to scramble up or slide down. It terminates at the opposite side of Isla Partida and reveals stunning views of the eastern side of the island.
Escape the heat and jump into the cool water at Isla El Candelero. This tiny island is a great spot to get up close to birds like cormorants, gulls, and pelicans; as this island serves as a small rookery.
Gulf of California: Introduction to an ocean oasis: 40 minute slide show presentation that introduces students to oceanography and the physical processes which formed the Gulf of California and the biotic and abiotic factors that make it one of the most biological diverse marine systems on the planet.
►Day 4: Hike to Archeological Site and Snorkel at El Coralito
After breakfast we will depart by boat and travel 30 minutes south to San Gabriel Bay.
Two bays north of San Gabriel is El Coralito Bay. The clear, calm, sun-filled waters provide prime conditions for a very large expanse of continuous hard coral reef known as the carpet of corals.
Introduction to the California Sea Lion: Before sunset, we will journey by boat to Los Islotes, the sea lion colony, Here participants will learn about and identify the sea lion’s distinguishing features and the role of commonly displayed behaviors.
►Day 5: Snorkeling at Los Islotes Sea Lion Colony
You will hardly be able to contain your enthusiasm! Participants ask about this day all week and for good reason!
We will return to the colony because no experience there is exactly the same. The current and wind direction as well as the sea lions’ activities will dictate the site we choose.
Empty Ocean: Human caused environmental issues threatening biodiversity of the global ocean.
►Day 6: Climb Cactus Hill and Snorkeling or SCUBA
Cactus Hill is sparser than the Cross Island Hike and requires a bit more exertion as we climb up to approximately 1200ft in elevation.
We will choose one of many other snorkeling sites to explore for your last water experience on Espiritu Santo.
This time will be spent packing, finishing journals and dive logs, and socializing with the camp staff. This is usually a fun night of games and lots of laughter.
►Day 7: La Paz: Shopping and Cultural Day
Breakfast is at 7am! If the wind conditions are right, we will board the boats by 8:30am and head to the Bay of La Paz to search for whale sharks and hopefully the opportunity will arise for us to swim with them.
Check in to the hotel and drop off luggage. If time allows, you can take a quick shower and then head out to the Malécon for a delicious lunch of fish and shrimp tacos at the Bismark-cito.
We’ll gather once last time at Rancho Viejo Restaurant for a mouth watering dinner of their famous arrecherra style meat with fresh salsas and tortillas.
►Day 8: Departure Day
We will meet in the hotel restaurant for a hearty breakfast for your big travel day. Depending of departure times and arrival times of the next group, your group may depart La Paz as early as 9am. You will journey by 15-passenger van to Los Cabos Airport. Flights depart after 4pm.
Please note: The activities and schedule may change without notice as practical considerations arise during program development, or onsite for the safety of participants.
Inclusions & Exclusions
- All activities listed on this page.
- Group ground transport from Los Cabos Airport.(SJD)
- Group meals from lunch on arrival day to breakfast on departure day.
- All activities and lodging.
- Personal spending money.
- Airfare from your departure city to San Jose del Cabo Airport.(SJD)
- Gratuity of $55.00 per person.
A non-refundable $300 deposit per person paid via PayPal is required to join this trip.
All payments are non-refundable if cancelled by the participant. Participants are highly encouraged to purchase travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances that may interrupt or cancel the trip.