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Sea of Cortez Snorkeling Safari and Gray Whales Eco Tour | February 23 – March 1, 2024

  Baja-Sur, Mexico

  8 Days

  02/23/2024

  03/01/2024

  Easy Physical Activity

Scroll Down For The Itinerary

Let us help you fall in love with the Sea of Cortez through guided, close encounters with some of its wild residents. Snorkel with playful sea lions and gentle whale sharks, and have joyful interactions with baby gray whales. If you can float, you can do this trip! Your friends won’t believe your pictures.

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​This Baja Espiritu Santo Island Snorkeling Safari And Gray Whales Eco Tour is for anybody who dreamed of being a marine biologist as a child, or for those of you who wanted to be National Geographic Explorers. Live the trip of your dreams, and share it with a group of like-minded adventurers.

Join us on our annual migration to La Paz for our La Paz Espiritu Santo Island Snorkeling Safari and Gray Whales Eco Tour that is close to home with amazing animal encounters. Your friends won’t believe your pictures!  Our Espiritu Santo Island Snorkeling Safari and Gray Whales Eco Tour is the perfect combination of R&R and guided activities. You will learn to snorkel with big animals in the Sea of Cortez like sea lions and whale sharks, and have amazing up-close encounters with Gray Whales in Magdalena Bay.

Have you ever looked a whale in the eye? On this Espiritu Santo Island Snorkeling Safari and Gray Whales Eco Tour we spend one night and two days in Puerto Lopez Mateos, the gateway to Magdalena Bay. Here, we will meet Gray Whales up-close and personal. Baby gray whales are like puppies. They come right up to the boat to check you out.

Also on our Espiritu Santo Island Snorkeling Safari and Gray Whales Eco Tour, spend four unforgettable nights glamping on Espiritu Santo Island — a billion-star resort, of which The Travel Magazine has dubbed as “absurdly beautiful” and swimming in its water is like “swimming in a bottle of Curacao.” Enjoy chef-prepared meals with fresh ingredients brought in daily, a variety of beverages, and the support of a full crew.

From our camp on, we have quick access to the best of Espiritu Santo Island.  Each day on our Espiritu Santo Island Snorkeling Safari and Gray Whales Eco Tour is filled with fun, bucket-list activities like snorkeling with wild sea lions at Los Islotes, and getting gill-to-snorkel with the largest fish in the world, the whale shark. Topside activities include hiking through pristine desert, and sea kayaking along towering volcanic arches.

This exciting Espiritu Santo Island Snorkeling Safari and Gray Whales Eco Tour is an active educational group travel adventure for all ages and backgrounds. Now is your chance to experience the Sea of Cortez like the famous explorers who came before you such as Cortes, John Steinbeck, and Jacques Cousteau. Led by a Green Edventures’ Naturalist and expert local guide, enjoy the luxury of remoteness with delicious food, comfortable accommodations, and fun outdoor adventures like snorkeling, kayaking, whale watching, snorkeling with sea lions, and snorkeling with gentle whale sharks with new friends. All skill levels welcome. No experience necessary. Solo travelers, friends, partners, siblings, and family are welcome. Ages 18 and older.

Trip Highlights:

  • Snorkel & free dive in a place Jacque Cousteau named, “The World’s Aquarium.”
  • Glamp on one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
  • Guided snorkeling trips in small groups to explore coral reefs, rocky reefs, and sandy bays.
  • Sit-on-top sea kayak along volcanic rocks, sea caves, and arches to get up close to shore birds and sea lions.
  • Spend a day having close encounters with Gray whales at Magdalena Bay.
  • Plunge in and play with 400 wild and friendly sea lions.
  • Taste tequila! This tequila talk will introduce you to different types of tequila and the tequila making process.
  • Informal evening presentations about ecology and conservation.
  • Snorkel with whale sharks!! These gentle giants are the largest fish on Earth.
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Inclusions & Exclusions

Included:

  • All scheduled activities listed on this page including snorkeling, kayaking, hikes, and gray whale watching trip.
  • 7 nights of lodging.
  • Group ground transport from San Jose del Cabo Airport (SJD).
  • Authentic delicious and healthy meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day.
  • 24/7 Onsite support from a Green Edventures Program Manager and/or Rep & Local Guide.

Excluded:

  • Personal spending money.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Gratuity ($220 per person)
  • Special travel
  • Airfare to Los Cabos Airport (SJD)
  • Travel Insurance

Tour Map

Payments

Package Price: $3295
Deposit: $200 – Due Date: January 5, 2024

Prices are subject to change at any time and can only be locked in after deposits are made.

Installments: 2 equal installments due December 15, & January 15, 2024

Spots Available: — See below for real-time availability and sign up!

Travel Documents: A passport is required.

Travel insurance is available and recommended.

Keep scrolling for the full itinerary.

Cancellation Policy
Terms & Conditions

Tour Itinerary

The trip begins and ends at Los Cabos Airport. From here, we transfer 2.5 hours to La Paz for one night. Early the next morning we drive 3 hours north to Puerto Lopez Mateos for 1 night and for whale watching activities. From here, we travel back to La Paz, and take a boat to Espiritu Santo Island for 4 nights camping, snorkeling with sea lions, and whale sharks. The final night is spent in La Paz. Group transfers from La Paz to Los Cabos airport on the final day. 

►Where Do We Stay?

  • Night 1: Hyatt Place, La Paz.
  • Night 2: Hotel Misiones, Insurgentes.
  • Night 3: Camp
  • Night 4: Camp
  • Night 5: Camp
  • Night 6: Camp
  • Night 7: Hyatt Place, La Paz.

►Day 1:Welcome to La Paz, The Gateway to the Sea of Cortez

Flights arrive to San Jose del Cabo which is the airport that services Cabo San Lucas. One of our team members will be there to meet you. After everyone has landed, participants are transported via 15-passenger air-conditioned vans to La Paz. Trip duration is about 3 hours with a stop halfway for bathrooms. Overnight at a 3-star hotel, La Paz. 

Meals: Dinner

►Day 2: Meet the Gray Whales of Magdalena Bay

Today we head to the Pacific Coast.

We will depart the hotel in La Paz at 7 a.m., stopping for a bathroom break about 1.5 hours into the trip north. The transfer is 3 hours from La Paz to Puerto Lopez Mateos depending on the port where the whale activity is the most abundant. 

What is so special about these whales is that some of them are curious about us too and will come right to the boat. You might get a chance to look into the eye of a whale or feel its breath on your skin. Or, you may be lucky enough to touch a whale! The feeling of being close to these creatures is amazing and life changing. You will learn about their migration, adaptations, and why the lagoons in Mexico are protected for them. 

The group will go whale watching in the morning and again after lunch. Overnight in Puerto Lopez Mateos (2-star bungalows, double occupancy). 

Meals: BLD

►Day 3: Espíritu Santo Island Camp

After breakfast we will begin our journey back to La Paz with a stop for fish tacos lunch on the Malecon. 

Before embarking on our ride to the island, we will check in at the dive shop, complete forms, and get fitted with gear.

Late afternoon our journey beings to the wild and unspoiled nature where we will spend four nights camping on the island which is also a World Heritage Site and Marine Reserve. The boat ride to the camp is about 1.5 hours and along the way we might see whales, mega pods of dolphins, jumping mobula rays, and guaranteed beautiful scenery as you pass by the red and pink volcanic cliffs of the island. 

As we pull into the bay of our camp, you will see the tents set up, the sunset shining off of the canyons, and the excitement of knowing that this slice of heaven on a beach is your home for a few nights. 

Dinner at camp. 

Meals BLD

►Day 4: Morning Snorkeling & Afternoon Nature Hike

Wake to the sound of water lapping on the beach. Enjoy hot coffee while your breakfast is being prepared. Walk the shoreline and enjoy the peace of the island.

Morning:
Snorkel School in Ensenada Grande Bay. This shallow area is like a pool for us to teach some snorkeling skills and to make sure that your gear is working properly. After a short instruction, we move to a shallow hard coral reef to explore the fish and invertebrates that live there.

Afternoon:
We hike at El Cardonal. El Cardonal is a bay that is south of our camp with access to a .75 mile hiking trail that goes to the other side of the island. Along the way, your guide will identify plants and tell you about island geology.

In the later afternoon we go out looking for big stuff like whales and dolphins before heading back to camp. The Sea of Cortez is home to one-third of the world’s marine mammals so the chances are good that we will find something.

Evening:
Learn about, and sample, tequila.

Meals: BLD

►Day 5: Morning Snorkeling & Afternoon Paddle

Wake to another morning in paradise. Today’s activities will be determined by wind, weather, and interest. Typically, we have the following:

Morning Snorkeling:

There are a variety of snorkeling sites that can provide us the opportunity to see a lot, with very little effort. There are caves and cracks to explore along the shoreline where inverts like soft corals, barnacles cling and blennies hide. Also, shallow rocky and coral reefs that taper to about 20 ft were mixed schools of surgeonfish, goatfish, and grunts cruz.

Return to camp for a hot lunch.

Afternoon Kayaking:
We use sit on top kayaks to explore the coast in a relaxing paddle. Espiritu Santo Island is a volcanic island, and the geology provides a beautiful scene of red cliffs on blue water. Get close to the shore to see Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Brown Pelicans, cormorants, and gulls.

Evening:
Dinner at camp

Presentation: Fish ID

Meals: BLD

►Day 6: Snorkeling with Sea Lions

Today you play with underwater dogs!!

This activity is sure to be a highlight of the week and your life! Juvenile sea lions will dart past you, play chicken, blow bubbles. They might climb on your back, nibble on your snorkel or tug on your fins. Just like puppies, sea lions are a delight to interact with. Be careful not to smile too much, because your mask will fill with water.

The afternoon activity will be determined by the participants’ interests. There are dozens of other snorkeling sites and other places to hike.

Evening:
Dinner
Free time and relaxing

Meals: BLD

►Day 7: Snorkel with Whale Sharks

Depart camp after breakfast and on the way to La Paz we look for whale sharks who migrate to the Bay of La Paz each year.

We have a two-hour slot allocated to us by the marine park. Once we find a whale shark, the boat captain will position you in the whale shark’s path. When your dive master says go, jump in and follow the whale shark for as long as you can keep up. It is a humbling experience to be by such a large creature. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. They can reach up to 60 ft in length. These gentle giants eat plankton, the smallest members of the marine food chain.

Picnic lunch on the boat.

Return to La Paz about 2:30 or 3pm. Move into hotel in La Paz.

Evening presentation & project with local artist.

Dinner in La Paz.

Meals: BLD

►Day 8: Goodbyes Are Hard

Our team hates the last day just as much as you will. Saying goodbye to a group is hard because we had a chance to share a place we love with you and know that we are lucky to have become friends with you because of the Sea of Cortez. Hopefully you have fallen in love with the wild ocean, and that you will go home inspired to protect it.

After breakfast the vans will depart the hotel and drive 2.5 hours to the Los Cabos Airport for your flight back home. 

Meals: Breakfast

** Please note: The activities, lodging, guides, and schedule may change without notice as practical considerations arise during program development or onsite. **

Your Tour Guide

Kelly VanLaanen

Kelly VanLaanen

Tour Leader / Baja, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago

Kelly has 20+ years of experience teaching outdoor education and trip guiding. Kelly has worked with the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program since 1997 teaching a wide variety of hands-on outdoor skills classes and guiding trips locally and internationally. Kelly has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Environmental Education / Interpretation. She has a passion for making outdoor recreation accessible to all skill levels and physical abilities and looking forward to sharing Costa Rica with you.

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