Whales, Snorkeling, and Sea Kayaking aboard the Westward

Baja: Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Mexico

11 Days

From $7,000

Overview

    Contact Us Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Set in the brilliant turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez, our adventure brings you up close to the wonders of Baja. With a classic 86-foot wooden ship as our base and kayaks on board, you'll explore between La Paz and Loreto, enjoying incredible experiences by land and sea. Sea kayak along the beaches of Isla Espíritu Santo, snorkel with playful sea lions, and track sperm whales and blue whales—the largest creatures to roam the earth—in the “Blue Triangle.” Anchoring each night in a secluded bay, you'll enjoy gorgeous sunsets, savor incredible gourmet meals fresh from the land and sea, and watch the magic of the starlit desert sky.

    We offer two separate itineraries, each with a special added attraction. The 9-day itinerary is timed for December-January, at the end of the rainy season, when long-dormant plants flush bright green and migratory birds arrive to feast during this brief period of abundance. We'll swim and snorkel with whale sharks—the largest fish in the world!—and enjoy the serene Sea of Cortez. We'll snorkel through warm, clear waters along the steep rocky shores and over the shallow reefs that teem with life.

    On the 11- and 12-day departures, you'll travel over the peninsula to Bahía Magdalena or Laguna San Ignacio for a 3-day adventure of up-close encounters among the gray whales who come to these peaceful, warm-water lagoons each year to breed and give birth to their young. Imagine looking eye-to-eye with these magnificent creatures! These journeys are timed in January-March, when gray whale calves are curious and playful, often swimming right next to our boats. We'll also have the opportunity to spend a half-day swim and snorkel with whale sharks. No matter which itinerary you choose, you're in for the experience of a lifetime! 

    Arrive: San José del Cabo, Mexico (depending on itinerary)

    Depart: Loreto, Mexico (depending on itinerary)

    Highlights

    • December-January trips feature swimming with whale sharks, January-March trips visit Baja's famous gray whale lagoons
    • Learn about Baja's ecosystem from your expert on-board naturalist guide
    • Snorkel with sea lions, kayak in remote bays, explore Isla Espíritu Santo, walk island trails

    Overview

      Contact Us Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days

      Note: This trip is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as an agent in booking your reservation with the operator. Please download the Rate Sheet in the Dates & Pricing section to see the full pricing details and contact our Cruise Collection Specialists to check availability.

      Bahía Magdalena and Laguna San Ignacio (depending on season) are two famed lagoons where gray whales give birth and rear their young each winter. The bays are well protected and offer a calm basin for the whales. They sometimes approach our pangas (skiffs), and it's a thrill to see these gentle giants at close range. At your beachfront hotel (or safari-style camp, depending on itinerary), relax with a cold drink and watch a spectacular Baja sunset.

      Board the Westward in the La Paz marina and head across the Sea of Cortez to UNESCO protected Isla Espíritu Santo National Park, a wilderness of deserted white-sand beaches, secluded coves, rugged multi-colored cliffs, and thickly vegetated arroyos (dry canyons) spiked with a colorful array of cactus species. Wildlife includes sea turtles, friendly sea lions, and an underwater kaleidoscope of colorful tropical fish. Jump into your kayak for wonderful paddling, and in the evenings back on board, dine on the chef's culinary creations and gaze at star-filled skies.

      As we cruise north, we explore along meandering shorelines, dropping anchor to enjoy unique island and peninsula sites on land and in the water. We'll hike island trails that host endemic cactus, and one stop may be Los Islotes, where we can snorkel with resident California sea lions who tempt us into a game of underwater tag. Each day is filled with adventure, from snorkeling above rocky reefs teeming with fish to watching schools of mobula rays or dolphins leaping above the water's surface. Along the way, we'll pass through the "Blue Triangle," an important area for wintering blue whales as well as sperm and humpback whales. Depart on Day 11 via Loreto.

      Day 1: Arrive in Loreto
      Days 2-3: Whale watching at Bahía Magdalena (January and February departures) or Laguna San Ignacio (March and April departures).
      Days 4-10: Explore the Sea of Cortez aboard our Baja expedition vessel
      Day 11: Enjoy a half-day swim with whale sharks
      Day 12: Depart from La Paz
      Day 1: Arrive in La Paz or Loreto
      Days 2-8: Explore the Sea of Cortez aboard our Baja expedition vessel. Depending on departure, you will enjoy a half-day swim with whale sharks on Day 2 or Day 8.
      Day 9: Depart from Loreto or La Paz

      Dates & Pricing

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      At time of reservation: 20% of trip cost
      100 days prior to departure: Balance

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Minimum fee: 50% of deposit
      91-150 days prior to departure: 100% of deposit
      90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Trip Naturalist and Captain
      • Accommodations aboard an 86-foot historic wooden vessel and hotels as indicated
      • Beer and wine
      • Kayaks, paddles, radios, PFDs (life jackets), and boat safety gear
      • All ground transportation
      • All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary
      • Tea, coffee, juices, and water station
      Not Included
      • Airfare to/from points of embarkation and disembarkation of the boat
      • Any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Detailed Itinerary
      • Optional gratuities to leaders or staff
      • Any pre/post-trip hotel nights
      • Items of a personal nature
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Toiletries

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Posada LunaSol

      La Paz, Mexico

      Day 1 (1 night)

      You'll feel right at home at this charming small hotel, with its exceptionally warm and friendly staff. Located within walking distance of the malecon (seaside promenade), it offers spotless air-conditioned guestrooms decorated with bright Mexican tilework, and a nice continental breakfast with yummy fresh local fruit. There is a small...

      Mangrove Inn Baja

      Lopez Mateos, Bahia Magdalena, Mexico

      Day 2 (1 night)

      Sun, sand, sea, and excellent whale watching opportunities are enjoyed from this beachfront hotel. Each guestroom has two double beds and private bathroom. A watchtower allows you to climb up for views of the bay and sightings of whales!

      Hotel Posada del Cortes

      Loreto, Mexico

      Day 3 (1 night)

      This small boutique-style hotel (just eight rooms!) is tucked away on a quiet side street in the center of Loreto, and is an easy walk to the malecon or main square. Guestrooms are on the small side but have comfy beds, air-conditioning, and are nicely decorated with colonial touches. Be...

      Westward

      Days 4-10 (7 nights)

      We are delighted to invite you aboard this unique and historic 86-foot wooden vessel. A “gentleman's yacht” designed specifically for exploration, she is ideal for discovering the wonders of Alaska, San Juan Islands, and the Sea of Cortez. You'll find a lovely wood-paneled salon aboard—a great space where you can...

      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 2 (Easy to Moderate) according to our trip grading system. The expedition vessel serves as our mobile base camp. We explore remote beaches and islands by day, then enjoy the comfort of the ship in the evening for good food, fine company, and a comfortable bunk.

      With just a few hours of cruising each day, there is plenty of time for walking, wildlife watching, swimming, snorkeling, and sea kayaking, all in the company of an on-board naturalist who shares insights into the local botany and natural history. Because our Trip Leader is an accomplished diver, we can expand our opportunities for in-the-water snorkel explorations. The water is warm, but not tropically warm, so “shorty” wetsuits are recommended for those interested in snorkeling or swimming.

      Review Trip Level Details
      Winter in Baja tends to be cooler, with more chance of wind and some chance of rain. Water temperatures are in the mid-60s, and daytime highs are from the 60s to 80s. The weather in Magdalena Bay on the Pacific Coast during whale watching season does tend to be windy and chilly. Daytime highs may be in the 70s but with the wind, it may feel more like the 50s, so you will want to bring appropriate clothing.

      Our meals are elegant, locally sourced, and artfully presented. Fresh ingredients come from local providers whenever possible, including organic farmers, and fish is bought directly from local fishers.

      Every trip aboard a small ship can -- and should -- be slightly different. This is our planned itinerary, but if conditions and wildlife, whether on land or sea, present us with special opportunities, we'll alter our course and head that way to experience it. Our itineraries are leisurely -- we don't rush past hundreds of miles of beautiful coves and inlets to stay on schedule, and we don't travel at night. A flexible attitude and an openness to the unexpected keep the adventure alive on these voyages.

      Client Testimonials

      "This is an amazing tour and experience of Baja and the Sea of Cortez. We had more than one unique experience daily and guides enlightening us about what we were seeing and experiencing."

      Carol B.

      Novato, CA

      "I loved waking in the morning to sunrise through a porthole, exploring Baja, discovering wildlife and learning from our new friends (not staff, more like family). The meals were 5 star imaginative and delicious."

      Christie B.

      Cedarville, IL

      "This was a magical trip with wonderful leaders and terrific fellow shipmates. i loved learning and seeing so much in this part of Baja. The whole experience has made me ever more mindful to look and listen carefully for all the sights and sounds of the sea, the land, the sky, and even under the sea."

      Denny H.

      Mercer Island, WA

      "This was a WONDERFUL adventure, aboard a 1924 gentlemen's motor yacht, with a very competent crew—fabulous chef, very experienced and competent captain/owner, and engaging naturalist. We loved them all and thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the crew that brought it to life."

      James S.

      Carlisle, MA

      "This is one of the best trips in the over 40 we have taken, and the 5th with Wilderness Travel, truly exceptional."

      John D.

      Philadelphia, PA

      "This was the magical trip of a lifetime. We sailed on incredible blue-green water, hiked in forests of cactus, and touched sweet, young whales. I will never be the same."

      Nina H.

      Kensington, CA

      "I got to touch a baby gray whale. Truly a once-in-a lifetime experience that I'll never forget."

      Randy L.

      Kensington, CA

      "Everything was wonderful, but OMG, I did not expect to have 4-star dining at every meal. This made the trip over-the-top excellent."

      Susan S.

      Chicago, IL

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

      Submit the form below to download itinerary

      Hidden

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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It's registered as a Historic Place by the National Park Service, and we are welcomed aboard and have a short orientation before heading out into the impossibly blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. Often referred to as the &ldquo;Vermillion Sea&rdquo; and &ldquo;the aquarium of the world,&rdquo; the Sea of Cortez is a realm of scattered islands, large and small, each one designated a Mexican national park. In 1940, author John Steinbeck and his close friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts, spent six weeks on a collecting expedition here, detailing their voyage and studies of aquatic life in The Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research, which Steinbeck later reworked into the classic The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Heading out into the azure waters, our first anchorage is at Isla Espiritu Santo, a wilderness of deserted white-sand beaches, secluded coves, rugged multi-colored cliffs, and thickly vegetated arroyos (dry canyons) spiked with a colorful array of cactus species. This is one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world, now under the protection of The Nature Conservancy. The incredible displays of wildlife include seabirds, friendly sea lions, and an underwater kaleidoscope of parrot fish, Cortez rainbow wrasse, and bright red starfish. We&apos;ll get into our kayaks for wonderful paddles along the untouched shore, and have some time for swimming in the crystal clear waters. Tonight we enjoy the first of our exceptional meals, served in the wood-paneled salon or on the back deck. Our phenomenal chef is a master of sea-to-table cuisine, and the ingredients couldn't be fresher. Local farmers' markets supply the produce, and freshly-caught fish (or scallops, which you may have had a hand in gathering) are featured on the menu. Overnight aboard the ship.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Isla Espiritu Santo","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In ancient times, Isla Espiritu Santo was home to a large population of prehistoric peoples who made their living from the sea. Traces of their ancient pathways are still visible on the island&apos;s hillsides, and our naturalist leads us on a hike following these routes, from the mangrove-fringed shore into the interior of the island to its desert heart. We navigate to Caleta Cardonal, a beautiful beach framed by the turquoise sea on Isla Partida, the island just north of Isla Espiritu Santo, and enjoy an exquisite anchorage with time for a paddle or swim before dinner and the dazzling stars once night has fallen.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":10,"Headline":"Hiking and Snorkeling Adventures on the Isles of the Sea of Cortez","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"As we cruise north, we explore along meandering shorelines, dropping anchor to explore unique island and peninsula sites on land and in the water. Our stops may include Los Islotes, where we can snorkel with resident California sea lions who tempt us into a game of underwater tag, and a Ricketts-Steinbeck collection site. We may also hike trails that host an endemic cactus, discover prehistoric shell middens, and find fossilized whale bones surprisingly far inland from the present-day shoreline. Each day is filled with a wonderful range of activities that allow us to experience this remote paradise: snorkeling above rock reefs teeming with fish, watching schools of mobula rays or hundreds of dolphins leaping above the water&apos;s surface, walking the ridge lines and palm-lined arroyos of isolated islands, or paddling kayaks in quiet coves, an ideal way to view wildlife&mdash;we can often approach marine life closely. Along the way we cruise through the &ldquo;Blue Triangle,&rdquo; an area bounded by Danzante, Carmen, and Monserrate islands that&apos;s an important area for wintering blue whales. We hope to see both blue and sperm whales, which congregate here to feed on the plankton and squid that thrive in the area&apos;s nutrient-rich waters. As our boat lies at anchor each night we may hear the breaths of sea turtles and watch the sea reflect the glittering stars. Overnights aboard the ship. each day","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":11,"Headline":"Puerto Escondido \/ Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We anchor in Puerto Escondido, about 15 miles south of the town of Loreto and one of Steinbeck and Ricketts&apos; collection sites. After bidding farewell to our crew, we disembark and head to Loreto&apos;s small international airport for homeward-bound flights.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":12,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Loreto to La Paz 12-day Departures","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":13,"DayTo":13,"Headline":"Loreto","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Arrive at the Loreto airport by 1:30 pm, where you&apos;ll be met by a member of our crew and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to rest or explore the historic town square lined with shops and cafes. The first mission church in the Californias is here, as well as milepost zero of El Camino Real, which was built to link the missions. In the evening we gather at an outdoor restaurant for our Welcome Dinner. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":14,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Whale Watching at Bahia Magdalena or Laguna San Ignacio","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Our journey next brings us to Bahia Magdalena (January and February departures) or to our safari-style camp at Laguna San Ignacio (March departure). These are two of the three gray whale birthing and breeding lagoons along Baja&#39;s west coast. Each winter, gray whales arrive in these sheltered waters from their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea&mdash;a journey of some 5,000-7,000 miles, one of the longest mammal migrations on earth&mdash;and spend the winter courting, birthing, and rearing their young, and enjoying Baja&#39;s warm waters. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, the whales have made a remarkable recovery, now numbering around 20,000.\r\n\r\nIn the afternoon, we board our skiff (known as a panga here) and head out into the lagoon. Prepare yourself for one of the world&#39;s great wildlife experiences as the whales often approach our boats and seek interaction with us, sometimes even allowing us to touch them. These massive mammals measure up to 45 feet in length and it's quite a thrill to see a 40-ton whale eye to eye! Returning to our beachfront hotel (or safari-style camp), we have time to relax with a cold drink before gathering for dinner and a spectacular sunset. In the evening, we enjoy a presentation about the lagoon and the migrating whales. Afterwards, we can take a walk to gaze at the night sky and listen to the lulling sounds of the star-lit lagoon. The following day, we enjoy another exhilarating whale watching excursion in the morning, when the waters are usually still, then return to Loreto in the afternoon. Overnight at hotel or camp on Day 2 and at hotel in Loreto on Day 3. each day\r\nDriving Details: 4 hours\r\n\r\nNote: Due to the unpredictability of whale behaviors, we may make changes in which lagoons we visit.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":15,"DayTo":15,"Headline":"The Sea of Cortez \/ Puerto Escondido","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Our classic, 86-foot wooden ship&mdash;with kayaks aboard&mdash;awaits us at the marina in Loreto. It's registered as a Historic Place by the National Park Service, and we are welcomed aboard and have a short orientation before heading out into the impossibly blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. Often referred to as the &ldquo;Vermillion Sea&rdquo; and &ldquo;the aquarium of the world,&rdquo; the Sea of Cortez is a realm of scattered islands, large and small, each one designated a Mexican national park. In 1940, author John Steinbeck and his close friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts, spent six weeks on a collecting expedition here, detailing their voyage and studies of aquatic life in The Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research, which Steinbeck later reworked into the classic The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Heading out into the azure waters, our first anchorage is at Puerto Escondido, one of their collecting sites. We&apos;ll get into our kayaks for wonderful paddles along the untouched shore, and have some time for swimming in the crystal-clear waters.Tonight we enjoy the first of our exceptional meals, served in the wood-paneled salon or on the back deck. Our phenomenal chef is a master of sea-to-table cuisine, and the ingredients couldn't be fresher. Local farmers' markets supply the produce, and freshly-caught fish (or scallops, which you may have had a hand in gathering) are featured on the menu. Overnight aboard the ship.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":16,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Hiking and Snorkeling Adventures as we Explore the Sea of Cortez","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"As we cruise south, we explore along meandering shorelines, dropping anchor to explore unique island and peninsula sites on land and in the water. We may hike trails that host an endemic cactus, discover prehistoric shell middens, and find fossilized whale bones surprisingly far land from the present-day shoreline. Each day is filled with a range of wonderful activities that allow us to experience this remote paradise: snorkeling above rock reefs teeming with fish, watching schools of mobula rays or hundreds of dolphins leaping above the water&apos;s surface, walking the ridge lines and palm-lined arroyos of isolated islands, or paddling kayaks in quiet coves, an ideal way to view wildlife&mdash;we can often approach marine life closely. Along the way we cruise through the &ldquo;Blue Triangle,&rdquo; an area bounded by Danzante, Carmen, and Monserrate islands that&apos;s an important area for wintering blue whales. We hope to see both blue and sperm whales, which congregate here to feed on the plankton and squid that thrive in the area&apos;s nutrient-rich waters. As our boat lies at anchor each night we may hear the breaths of sea turtles and watch the sea reflect the glittering stars. Overnights aboard the ship. each day","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":17,"DayTo":17,"Headline":"Isla San Jose","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"At Isla San Jose, we paddle through the labyrinth of mangrove-lined passages that fill the lagoon on the island&apos;s southern tip. Heading toward Isla Espiritu Santo, we stop at Los Islotes, where we can snorkel with resident California sea lions who tempt us into a game of underwater tag. We navigate to Caleta Cardonal, a beautiful beach framed by the turquoise sea on Isla Partida, the island just north of Isla Espiritu Santo, and enjoy an exquisite anchorage with time for a paddle or swim before dinner and the dazzling stars once night has fallen.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":18,"DayTo":18,"Headline":"Bahia San Gabriel, Isla Espiritu Santo","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Espiritu Santo is a wilderness of deserted white-sand beaches, secluded coves, rugged multi-colored cliffs, and thickly vegetated arroyos (dry canyons) spiked with a colorful array of cactus species. This is one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world, now under the protection of The Nature Conservancy. The incredible displays of wildlife include seabirds, friendly sea lions, and an underwater kaleidoscope of azure parrot fish, Cortez rainbow wrasse, and bright red starfish. In ancient times, Isla Espiritu Santo was home to a large population of prehistoric peoples who made their living from the sea. Our final anchorage is in Bahia San Gabriel, along the island&apos;s west side, home to a nesting colony of frigate birds and one of the most northerly coral reefs along the Pacific shore. If conditions are right, we can swim and snorkel over the colorful fish that dance among the corals. The water here is both clear and warm, usually the warmest we will encounter in the course of our cruise.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":19,"DayTo":19,"Headline":"Isla Espiritu Santo","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We continue our exploration of Isla Espiritu Santo on foot or by kayak. One of our hikes brings us past the mangrove-fringed shore and into the interior of the island to its desert heart. All too soon, we raise anchor and make the 15-mile run into La Paz. Set on the shore of the beautiful Bahia de La Paz in the Sea of Cortez, La Paz truly retains its charm as a small Mexican colonial town, with its artisans&apos; shops and mid-19th century cathedral, rebuilt from the original established in 1720. Once moored at the marina, we have time to explore stroll along the malecon (waterfront promenade), with its sculptures and wonderful views across the bay, before gathering for our Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant. We return to our ship for a slideshow of the highlights of our time together, followed by a quiet night in the marina.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":20,"DayTo":20,"Headline":"La Paz \/ Depart for Cabo San Lucas","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After breakfast, we head to the airport at Cabo San Lucas for departure on homeward-bound flights.\r\nDriving Details: 2.5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":21,"DayTo":21,"Headline":"La Paz to Loreto 9-day Whale Shark Swim Departures","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":22,"DayTo":22,"Headline":"Cabo San Lucas \/ La Paz","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Please plan to arrive at the Cabo San Lucas airport prior to 1:30 pm. Your guide will meet you outside awning 5 after 11:30 am and you will be escorted to our van, which will depart the airport at 2:00 pm for the 2.5 drive to La Paz. Our scenic drive along Baja&apos;s Pacific Coast brings us past deserted beaches and the artists&apos; town of Todos Santos, then heads inland across the peninsula to La Paz. Set on the shore of the beautiful Bahia de La Paz in the Sea of Cortez, La Paz retains its charm as a small Mexican colonial town, with its artisans&apos; shops and mid-19th century cathedral, rebuilt from the original established in 1720. After checking into our hotel, we&apos;ll have time for a stroll along the malecon (waterfront promenade), with its sculptures and wonderful views across the bay, before gathering for our Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel.\r\nDriving Details: 2.5 hours","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":23,"DayTo":23,"Headline":"Whale Shark Swim \/ Board our Baja Expedition Vessel","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Following a pool-side breakfast at the hotel, we'll be outfitted with snorkeling equipment for our swim with the largest fish in the sea, the whale shark (and here in Baja, they are usually 20-30 feet in length!). From early winter until late spring these gentle giants can be found feeding on plankton and microscopic plants in the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez. We transfer to the panga landing where we board a small open launch that brings us into the whale shark viewing area. The morning feed is the prime time for encounters, and once we find them, we&apos;ll observe them a bit, then slip into the water to swim and snorkel beside them. The chance to be among these immense creatures ranks as one of the most thrilling wildlife adventures in the world. Traveling in small groups, they swim just below the surface, and although they move slowly, it sometimes requires strong swimming to keep up with them. Along the way, we&apos;ll keep an eye out for other sea life, including whales, rays, and dolphins that share the waters with the whale sharks. Strict regulations are in place to protect these magnificent animals, including time limits within the viewing area.\r\n\r\nIn the late morning, we return to the hotel where we can shower and pack before being met by our crew for the walk to the marina where our boat is moored. Our classic, 86-foot wooden ship&mdash;with kayaks aboard&mdash;is registered as a Historic Place by the National Park Service, and we are welcomed aboard and have a short orientation before heading out into the impossibly blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, with lunch served as we get underway. Often referred to as the &ldquo;Vermillion Sea&rdquo; and &ldquo;the aquarium of the world,&rdquo; the Sea of Cortez is a realm of scattered islands, large and small, each one designated a Mexican national park. In 1940, author John Steinbeck and his close friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts, spent six weeks on a collecting expedition here, detailing their voyage and studies of aquatic life in The Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research, which Steinbeck later reworked into the classic The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Heading out into the azure waters, our first anchorage is at Isla Espiritu Santo, a wilderness of deserted white-sand beaches, secluded coves, rugged multi-colored cliffs, and thickly vegetated arroyos (dry canyons) spiked with a colorful array of cactus species. This is one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world, now under the protection of The Nature Conservancy. The incredible displays of wildlife include seabirds, friendly sea lions, and an underwater kaleidoscope of parrot fish, Cortez rainbow wrasse, and bright red starfish. We&apos;ll get into our kayaks for wonderful paddles along the untouched shore, and have some time for swimming in the crystal clear waters. Tonight we enjoy the first of our exceptional dinners, served in the wood-paneled salon or on the back deck. Our phenomenal chef is a master of sea-to-table cuisine, and the ingredients couldn't be fresher. Local farmers' markets supply the produce, and freshly-caught fish (or scallops, which you may have had a hand in gathering) are featured on the menu. Overnight aboard the ship.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":24,"DayTo":24,"Headline":"Isla Espiritu Santo","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In ancient times, Isla Espiritu Santo was home to a large population of prehistoric peoples who made their living from the sea. Traces of their ancient pathways are still visible on the island&apos;s hillsides, and our naturalist leads us on a hike following these routes, from the mangrove-fringed shore into the interior of the island to its desert heart. We navigate to Caleta Cardonal, a beautiful beach framed by the turquoise sea on Isla Partida, the island just north of Isla Espiritu Santo, and enjoy an exquisite anchorage with time for a paddle or swim before dinner and the dazzling stars once night has fallen.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":25,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Hiking and Snorkeling Adventures as We Explore the Isles of the Sea of Cortez","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"As we cruise north, we explore along meandering shorelines, dropping anchor to explore unique island and peninsula sites on land and in the water. Our stops may include Los Islotes, where we can snorkel with resident California sea lions who tempt us into a game of underwater tag, and a Ricketts-Steinbeck collection site. We may also hike trails that host an endemic cactus, discover prehistoric shell middens, and find fossilized whale bones surprisingly far inland from the present-day shoreline. Each day is filled with a wonderful range of activities that allow us to experience this remote paradise: snorkeling above rock reefs teeming with fish, watching schools of mobula rays or hundreds of dolphins leaping above the water&apos;s surface, walking the ridge lines and palm-lined arroyos of isolated islands, or paddling kayaks in quiet coves, an ideal way to view wildlife&mdash;we can often approach marine life closely. Along the way we cruise through the &ldquo;Blue Triangle,&rdquo; an area bounded by Danzante, Carmen, and Monserrate islands that&apos;s an important area for wintering blue whales. We hope to see both blue and sperm whales, which congregate here to feed on the plankton and squid that thrive in the area&apos;s nutrient-rich waters. As our boat lies at anchor each night we may hear the breaths of sea turtles and watch the sea reflect the glittering stars. Overnights aboard the ship. each day","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":26,"DayTo":26,"Headline":"Puerto Escondido \/ Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Raising our anchor after breakfast and perhaps a final kayak paddle, we make the short transit from our night&apos;s anchorage to Puerto Escondido, about 15 miles south of the town of Loreto and one of Steinbeck and Ricketts&apos; collection sites. After bidding farewell to our crew, we disembark and head to Loreto&apos;s small international airport for homeward-bound flights.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":27,"DayTo":27,"Headline":"Loreto to La Paz 12-day Cave Paintings Departures","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":28,"DayTo":28,"Headline":"Loreto","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Arrive at the Loreto airport by 1:30 pm, where you&apos;ll be met by a member of our crew and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to rest or explore the historic town square lined with shops and cafes. The first mission church in the Californias is here, as well as milepost zero of El Camino Real, which was built to link the missions. In the evening we gather at an outdoor restaurant for our Welcome Dinner. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":29,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Mulege \/ Cave Paintings","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Early morning departure for the two-hour drive to Mulege, our base for exploring the several cave painting sites in the area. There are countless painted caves in the Sierra mountains of southern Baja. Some are small, with paintings protected for thousands of years by small overhanging rock ledges, while others are large, with remarkably detailed drawings of people and animals. Experts place the ages of these paintings at between 6,000 and 10,000 years, and they rival those in Western Europe for artistry and significance. Returning from the mountains, we enjoy dinner in one of the many small restaurants in Mulege before retiring to our lodgings for a well-earned night&apos;s sleep. The next morning we make another foray into the mountains to see more painted caves. After all too short a time we return to Mulege for lunch before driving back to Loreto. Back in Loreto there will be time to explore the many shops surrounding the town square, or a rest in your room before meeting for another group dinner, followed by a night back in the comfort of your hotel. each day","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":30,"DayTo":30,"Headline":"Loreto \/ Board our Baja Expedition Vessel","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We meet for breakfast in a small local caf&eacute;, then head to the marina. Our classic, 86-foot wooden ship&mdash;with kayaks aboard&mdash;is registered as a Historic Place by the National Park Service, and we are welcomed aboard and have a short orientation before heading out into the impossibly blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, with lunch aboard as we get underway. Often referred to as the &ldquo;Vermillion Sea&rdquo; and &ldquo;the aquarium of the world,&rdquo; the Sea of Cortez is a realm of scattered islands, large and small, each one designated a Mexican national park. In 1940, author John Steinbeck and his close friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts, spent six weeks on a collecting expedition here, detailing their voyage and studies of aquatic life in The Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research, which Steinbeck later reworked into the classic The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Heading out into the azure waters, our first anchorage is at Puerto Escondido, one of their collecting sites. We&apos;ll get into our kayaks for wonderful paddles along the untouched shore, and have some time for swimming in the crystal-clear waters.Tonight we enjoy the first of our exceptional dinners, served in the wood-paneled salon or on the back deck. Our phenomenal chef is a master of sea-to-table cuisine, and the ingredients couldn't be fresher. Local farmers' markets supply the produce, and freshly-caught fish (or scallops, which you may have had a hand in gathering) are featured on the menu. Overnight aboard the ship.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":31,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Hiking and Snorkeling Adventures as we Explore the Sea of Cortez","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"As we cruise south, we explore along meandering shorelines, dropping anchor to explore unique island and peninsula sites on land and in the water. We may hike trails that host an endemic cactus, discover prehistoric shell middens, and find fossilized whale bones surprisingly far land from the present-day shoreline. Each day is filled with a range of wonderful activities that allow us to experience this remote paradise: snorkeling above rock reefs teeming with fish, watching schools of mobula rays or hundreds of dolphins leaping above the water&apos;s surface, walking the ridge lines and palm-lined arroyos of isolated islands, or paddling kayaks in quiet coves, an ideal way to view wildlife&mdash;we can often approach marine life closely. Along the way we cruise through the &ldquo;Blue Triangle,&rdquo; an area bounded by Danzante, Carmen, and Monserrate islands that&apos;s an important area for wintering blue whales. We hope to see both blue and sperm whales, which congregate here to feed on the plankton and squid that thrive in the area&apos;s nutrient-rich waters. As our boat lies at anchor each night we may hear the breaths of sea turtles and watch the sea reflect the glittering stars. Overnights aboard the ship. each day","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":32,"DayTo":32,"Headline":"Isla San Jose","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"At Isla San Jose, we paddle through the labyrinth of mangrove-lined passages that fill the lagoon on the island&apos;s southern tip. Heading toward Isla Espiritu Santo, we stop at Los Islotes, where we can snorkel with resident California sea lions who tempt us into a game of underwater tag. We navigate to Caleta Cardonal, a beautiful beach framed by the turquoise sea on Isla Partida, the island just north of Isla Espiritu Santo, and enjoy an exquisite anchorage with time for a paddle or swim before dinner and the dazzling stars once night has fallen.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":33,"DayTo":33,"Headline":"Bahia San Gabriel, Isla Espiritu Santo","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Espiritu Santo is a wilderness of deserted white-sand beaches, secluded coves, rugged multi-colored cliffs, and thickly vegetated arroyos (dry canyons) spiked with a colorful array of cactus species. This is one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world, now under the protection of The Nature Conservancy. The incredible displays of wildlife include seabirds, friendly sea lions, and an underwater kaleidoscope of azure parrot fish, Cortez rainbow wrasse, and bright red starfish. In ancient times, Isla Espiritu Santo was home to a large population of prehistoric peoples who made their living from the sea. Our final anchorage is in Bahia San Gabriel, along the island&apos;s west side, home to a nesting colony of frigate birds and one of the most northerly coral reefs along the Pacific shore. If conditions are right, we can swim and snorkel over the colorful fish that dance among the corals. The water here is both clear and warm, usually the warmest we will encounter in the course of our cruise.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":34,"DayTo":34,"Headline":"La Paz","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"At midday, we raise anchor and make our way toward La Paz. Once moored at the marina, we have time to explore stroll along the malecon (waterfront promenade), with its sculptures and wonderful views across the bay, before gathering for our Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant. We return to our ship for a slideshow of the highlights of our time together, followed by a quiet night in the marina.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":35,"DayTo":35,"Headline":"La Paz \/ Depart for Cabo San Lucas","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We share an early breakfast aboard our boat before transferring to the Los Cabos International Airport, arriving by 11:00. Depart on homeward-bound flights.\r\nDriving Details: 2.5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"La Paz \/ Bah&iacute;a Magdalena (11-day La Paz to Loreto Gray Whale Itinerary)","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T10:40:17 --><p>Bah&iacute;a Magdalena and Laguna San Ignacio (depending on season) are two famed lagoons where gray whales give birth and rear their young each winter. The bays are well protected and offer a calm basin for the whales. They sometimes approach our <em>pangas<\/em> (skiffs), and it's a thrill to see these gentle giants at close range. At your beachfront hotel (or safari-style camp, depending on itinerary), relax with a cold drink and watch a spectacular Baja sunset. <\/p>","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Isla Esp&iacute;ritu Santo \/ Sea of Cortez","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T10:41:06 --><p>Board the <em>Westward<\/em> in the La Paz marina and head across the Sea of Cortez to UNESCO protected Isla Esp&iacute;ritu Santo National Park, a wilderness of deserted white-sand beaches, secluded coves, rugged multi-colored cliffs, and thickly vegetated <em>arroyos<\/em> (dry canyons) spiked with a colorful array of cactus species. Wildlife includes sea turtles, friendly sea lions, and an underwater kaleidoscope of colorful tropical fish. Jump into your kayak for wonderful paddling, and in the evenings back on board, dine on the chef's culinary creations and gaze at star-filled skies.<\/p>","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":11,"Headline":"Hiking and Snorkeling the Sea of Cortez \/ Blue Triangle","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T10:41:22 --><p>As we cruise north, we explore along meandering shorelines, dropping anchor to enjoy unique island and peninsula sites on land and in the water. We'll hike island trails that host endemic cactus, and one stop may be Los Islotes, where we can snorkel with resident California sea lions who tempt us into a game of underwater tag. 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You won&#39;t believe the meals that the on-board chef produces from the galley, including fresh-baked goods and wonderful fish from the bounty of the surrounding seas.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-expedition-vessel-exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"Adventure","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List:<\/strong> Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-mexico-baja\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"<strong>LUGGAGE:<\/strong> Medium-sized duffel bag or soft-sided roller bag, with small padlock (must be unlocked for travel). We discourage hard-sided suitcases as they are difficult to stow on the boat.","Custom_Carry-On":"","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"<strong>DAYPACK<\/strong>: A Daypack, large enough for a fleece jacket, rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want with you during the day","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"<strong>TOILETRIES:<\/strong> Please bring your own shampoo, soap, body wash, moisturizer, sunscreen, and any other toiletries you might need. These products wash off your skin while snorkeling, and can cause damage to coral reefs and wildlife. We highly recommend bringing products with natural and biodegradable ingredients. <br><br><br><div><strong>SNORKELING EQUIPMENT:<\/strong> The boat provides masks, snorkels, fins, and shorty wetsuits for guests free of charge. The shorty wetsuits on board accommodate most sizes and are adequate for all the snorkeling adventures. However, you should bring your own wetsuit if you want a particular fit or full 2-3 mm wetsuits if you get unusually cold. The water temperatures are in the low 70's.<\/div>","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"<strong>GENERAL BOAT INFORMATION: <\/strong>Cell phones work in the cities but not on the boat. The boat does not have internet service. The boat has regular 110 electrical outlets and in each cabin. We suggest you don't bring hair dryers, as you will be limited in your use of them. We don't run our generator at night to maintain silence. Electricity is still available at night, but we're on batteries at that time. Bath towels and beach towels are provided.<br> <br><br>Beer, wine and spirits are provided. You can bring your own wine or liquor onboard if you wish. Water, teas, juices and sodas are available throughout the day.<br> <br><br><br><div><strong>TIPPING: <\/strong>Tipping is discretionary, but over the years trip members have asked for guidelines on tipping the boat crew. Should you wish to tip the crew, (the Captain, naturalist, guide and cook), we offer the following guidelines: A range of reference would be 5% to 15% of the cost of the trip per person and traditionally presented to the captain, who then distributes it among the crew in U.S. Dollars (Leftover Pesos are fine too, please no personal checks). Our guide will tip any local guides.<\/div> <br><br><strong><br><\/strong><div><strong>MONEY: <\/strong>You can exchange money at the airport or withdraw pesos from ATM Machines. Some merchants and restaurants in La Paz and Loreto will accept dollars and Visa\/MasterCard for purchases. It is best to use small, crisp bills for easy exchange and to avoid leaving with excess Pesos. There are ATM machines available in La Paz and Loreto for quick cash; Some ATM machines will give US Dollars and Pesos.<\/div><div><br><\/div>","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<strong>ARRIVING IN LORETO<\/strong><div>A complimentary transfer is provided from the Loreto Airport to the Loreto hotel for trip members arriving on Day 1. Your Trip Leader will meet you outside the customs area and escort you to the van for the short drive to the hotel in Loreto. <br><br>If you are arriving in Loreto before Day 1, please make arrangements to meet at the group hotel.<\/div> <br><br><strong><br><\/strong><div><strong>GRAY WHALE LAGOON <em>&mdash;&mdash; (12-DAY Departure only - Remove for 9-DAY DEPARTURES ) &mdash;&mdash;<\/em><\/strong><\/div><div>The group will leave early after breakfast on Day 2 to drive to Magdalena Bay for the gray whale lagoon. You will have an afternoon tour. It is good to have some warmer clothes and a light rain shell or windbreaker for this area. We recommend only bringing an overnight bag with essentials; you can store your larger luggage at the hotel. <br><br>You will stay one night at the camp and have another tour and lunch before returning to Loreto in the late afternoon of Day 3 and overnight at the hotel again. Dinner in town. Day 4 will begin with breakfast at the hotel followed by a transfer to the boat.<\/div> <br><br><br><div><strong>WHALE SHARK SNORKELING<em> &mdash;- (12-DAY Departure only - Remove for 9-DAY DEPARTURES)&mdash;-<\/em><\/strong><\/div><div>Day 11 is whale shark swim day! After breakfast at the hotel the group will meet the local outfitters near the port of La Paz and board a panga into whale shark waters. Snorkel equipment and a shortie wetsuit will be provided. After your morning in whale shark waters you will board Westward.<\/div> <br><strong><br>WHALE SHARK SNORKELING <em>&mdash;-(9-DAY Departure only &mdash;-Remove for 12-day Departures)&mdash;-<\/em><\/strong><br>Day 8 is whale shark swim day! After breakfast at the hotel the group will meet the local outfitters near the port of La Paz and board a panga into whale shark waters. Snorkel equipment and a shortie wetsuit will be provided. After your morning in whale shark waters you will board Westward <br><br><div><strong><em>&mdash;-OR &mdash;- DEPENDING ON DEPARTURE DIRECTION &mdash;-DELETE ONE&mdash;-<\/em><\/strong><\/div> <br><br><br><div><strong>ARRIVING IN LOS CABOS<\/strong><\/div><div>A complimentary transfer is provided from Los Cabos airport to La Paz on Day 1. Your Trip Leader will meet you outside under awning #5 after 11:30AM. The drive from the airport to Posada LunaSol in La Paz is 2.5 hours and we hope to depart the airport by 2:00PM. <br><br><\/div><div>If you are arriving in Los Cabos before Day 1, please make arrangements to meet the group at the Los Cabos airport by 1:30PM.<\/div> <br><br><br><div><strong>GRAY WHALE LAGOON<\/strong><strong><em>&mdash;&mdash; (11-DAY Departure only - Remove for 9-DAY DEPARTURES ) &mdash;&mdash;<\/em><\/strong><\/div><div>The group will leave early after breakfast at the hotel on Day 2 to drive to Magdalena Bay for the gray whale lagoon. The drive is approximately 3.5 hours each way. You will board a panga and will have an afternoon whale watching tour. It is good to have some warmer clothes and a light rain shell or windbreaker for this area. You will stay one night at the Mangrove Inn. We recommend only bringing an overnight bag with essentials; you can store your larger luggage at Posada LunaSol. <br><br>After breakfast on Day 3 you will board a panga for a morning whale watching tour and will have lunch at a local restaurant before returning to La Paz in the late afternoon. You will overnight at Posada LunaSol and have dinner in town.<br><\/div> <br><br><br><div><strong>WHALE SHARK SNORKELING <\/strong><strong><em>&mdash;&mdash; (11-DAY Departure only - Remove for 9-DAY DEPARTURES ) &mdash;&mdash;<\/strong><\/em><\/div><div>Day 4 is whale shark swim day! After breakfast at the hotel the group will meet the local outfitters near the port of La Paz and board a panga into whale shark waters. Snorkel equipment and a shortie wetsuit will be provided. After your morning in whale shark waters you will board Westward.<\/div> <br><br><strong><br>WHALE SHARK SNORKELING<\/strong><em><strong>&mdash;&mdash; (9-DAY Departure only - Remove for 11-DAY DEPARTURES ) &mdash;&mdash;<\/em><\/strong><br>Day 2 is whale shark swim day! After breakfast at the hotel the group will meet the local outfitters near the port of La Paz and board a panga into whale shark waters. Snorkel equipment and a shortie wetsuit will be provided. After your morning in whale shark waters you will board Westward.<div><br><\/div>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"<strong>DEPARTING SAN JOSE DEL CABO<\/strong><div>After breakfast the group will have a 2 hour van transfer from La Paz to the San Jose del Cabo Airport, where you will arrive by 11:00AM. If are extending your trip and your hotel is near the airport, then Carlos can drop you there. If your hotel is in Cabo San Lucas, you will need to make arrangements to be transferred from the airport to Cabo central.<\/div> <br><br><br><div>&mdash;-OR&mdash;&mdash;DEPENDING ON DEPARTURE &mdash;-DELETE OTHER&mdash;&mdash;<\/div> <br><br><br><div><strong>DEPARTING LORETO<\/strong><\/div><div>After breakfast aboard Westward, the group will make the short transit from the night's anchorage to Puerto Escondido, about 15 miles south of Loreto. Depending on your flight schedule, you will either go directly to the airport of have a few hours to explore the historic downtown of old Loreto until it's time to transfer to the airport.<\/div>","Custom_Extra_Services":"<strong>HOTELS AND EXTRA SERVICES<\/strong><div>If you are arriving or departing on a different day and have arranged a private transfer and\/or extra hotel nights please notify me of your arrangements as soon as possible.<\/div>","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to our local contact (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground.<br><br>We recommend using WhatsApp, and suggest you download the free app and enter the local emergency contact number(s) in advance of your trip.<br>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"<strong>PACIFIC CATALYST II<\/strong><br>Lisa Meschke: (+1) 360-378-7123<br>Bill Bailey: (+1) 360-298-1661<br>Westward Call Sign: WDD 4133<br>info@pacificcatalyst.com<br>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"mexico-baja-sea-cortez-whale-cruise","Custom_Meta_Description":"Kayak & snorkel in Baja's Sea of Cortez. Watch breaching gray whales & swim with whale sharks. Overnights on a small ship cruise. Download a free itinerary!","Custom_List_Description":"Sea kayak and snorkel in the Sea of Cortez, watch breaching whales from the comfort of your small ship cruise on this adventure to Baja Sur.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Baja: Sea of Cortez Whale & Wildlife Cruise & Tour","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Itinerary-In-Brief:\n12-Day Loreto to La Paz Gray Whale Watching & Whale Shark Swim<\/body>","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>Day 1:<\/strong> Arrive in Loreto<br><strong>\nDays 2-3:<\/strong> Whale watching at Bah&iacute;a Magdalena (January and February departures) or Laguna San Ignacio (March and April departures).<br><strong>\nDays 4-10:<\/strong> Explore the Sea of Cortez aboard our Baja expedition vessel<br><strong>\nDay 11:<\/strong> Enjoy a half-day swim with whale sharks<br><strong>\nDay 12:<\/strong> Depart from La Paz<\/body>","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Itinerary-In-Brief:\n9-Day Whale Shark Swim<\/body>","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><strong>Day 1: <\/strong>Arrive in La Paz or Loreto<br><strong>\nDays 2-8:<\/strong> Explore the Sea of Cortez aboard our Baja expedition vessel. Depending on departure, you will enjoy a half-day swim with whale sharks on Day 2 or Day 8.<br><strong>\nDay 9: <\/strong>Depart from Loreto or La Paz<\/body>","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"baja-exploring-the-sea-of-cortez","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Mexico. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. The service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisasexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is very important to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"US citizens do not need a visa for Mexico. A free tourist card will be issued to you on the flight into Mexico. Half of this will be collected by immigration officials upon arrival. The other half must be presented when you depart the country. Keep this document with your passport. <br><br>If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.","Custom_Money":"We suggest you bring US cash and exchange for pesos; traveler's checks are not recommended, as they can be difficult and time-consuming to cash. Most merchants in La Paz and Loreto will accept dollars. Be sure to bring some small-denomination cash ($1, $5, $10, $20) because it can be difficult to change larger bills. Small denominations are useful for rentals, restaurants, tipping, and other incidentals. American coins are generally not accepted. Some businesses in La Paz and Loreto accept major credit cards and travelers checks but you will be surprised how many do not. There are ATMs in La Paz and Loreto where you can withdraw funds either in pesos or dollars. You will need to budget spending money for gratuities, international and domestic airport taxes, and personal items such as phone calls, beverages, etc. <br><br>Before you travel, ask your bank if your PIN number will work in ATMs in the countries you are traveling in. Some foreign ATMs do not accept PIN numbers longer than four digits, and they often don't have a zero button or won't accept PINs that start with zero. Note: San Ignacio is a pesos-only economy&mdash;there are no ATMs here and credit cards are not accepted. <br><br>If you plan to use your credit cards abroad, it is a good idea to call your credit card company before you depart and advise them that you will be using the card in the country or countries you are visiting. This will let them know that your card is not being used in a fraudulent way by someone else.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. The current standards suggest 5-15% (per couple) of the cost of the trip. As a range of reference, that is $655-1965 per couple or $500-850 for singles. Tips are given discreetly to the captain (in cash, please, no personal checks) in the envelope provided, and are divided among the crew. Credit cards are not accepted on board. The crew of three consists of the captain, cook, and naturalist guide. The guide pays all the tips to local guides during the trip.","Custom_Food":"We will do our best to accommodate special dietary needs, however, please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or limitations due to logistics can make it extremely difficult and at times impossible to accommodate dietary restrictions. Please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a restricted diet. It is important to bring a flexible attitude and supplemental snacks. Please be very specific when advising us of your diet requests\/needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for Mexico is 52. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use. Cell phones work in some areas while in Baja, but don't count on them to work all the time.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>There is no internet on the boat and no cell access on the boat once it is away from the dock.","Custom_Electricity":"Mexico has 110V current and plugs with two flat prongs (type A) or two flat prongs with a round grounding pin (type B), the same as in the US. There is regular 110 electrical outlets on the boat and in each cabin, so you can plug in battery chargers, computers, CPAPs, etc. We suggest you don't bring hair dryers, as you will be limited in your use of them. We don't run our generator at night to maintain silence. Electricity is still available at night, but we're on batteries then and are restricted in the use of high-draw appliances. If you use a CPAP Machine, do bring a battery back-up, just in case.","Custom_Laundry":"","Custom_Ship_Notes":"<strong>Smoking<\/strong><br>Participants may not smoke below decks or within any enclosed area of the vessel. Smoking is allowed on the leeward rail only.","Custom_Inoculations":"No inoculations are required for entry into Mexico. Entry requirements and international health situations are subject to change; check with the Centers for Disease Control for updates.We recommend you discuss the following with your physician:<br><strong><br>Hepatitis<\/strong><br>The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries.<br><strong><br>Tetanus Booster<\/strong><br>A booster is strongly recommended (effective for 10 years).<br><strong><br>Typhoid<\/strong><br>The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna, a course of four capsules, one every other day for a week, with full effectiveness reached in a week. You may not be able to take the oral vaccine simultaneously with mefloquine (for malaria prevention).","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"You can reduce your risk of getting sick on the trip by washing your hands often and not touching your face with unwashed hands. If you arrive on the trip with a cold or feel the symptoms of a cold, avoid close contact with others and move away from people before coughing or sneezing. The CDC recommends coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow or upper sleeve, not your hands.","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-mexico-baja\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"<strong><br>Underwater Photography<\/strong><br>Past clients have enjoyed taking photos of the underwater treasures and sharing them with other trip members after the snorkeling excursions. We recommend bringing a waterproof camera or waterproof housing for your camera. For more information, visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.bestproductsreviews.com\/cheap-underwater-camera\">Best Underwater Compact Cameras<\/a>.","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"Please bring your own shampoo, soap, body wash, moisturizer, sunscreen, and any other toiletries you might need. These products wash off your skin while snorkeling, and can cause damage to coral reefs and wildlife. We HIGHLY recommend bringing products with natural and biodegradable ingredients. Dr. Bronner's comes in liquid and bar form, is environmentally friendly, and can be used as body soap, shampoo, hand soap, etc. We also like Wilderness Wash, Campsuds, and Acure Organics Biodegradable wipes. In general, try to stay away from products with phosphate, surfractants, triclosan, and antibacterial ingredients. For sunscreens we recommend mineral-based products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, Raw Elements, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores. Avoid all sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are harmful to coral reefs.","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>\nPassport<\/li><li>\nOne other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>\nExpense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<ul><li>\nMedium-sized duffel bag or soft-sided roller bag, with small padlock (must be unlocked for travel). We discourage hard-sided suitcases as they are difficult to stow on the boat.<\/li><li>\nDaypack, large enough for a fleece jacket, rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want with you during the day<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Clothing":"Try to keep your clothing and gear to a minimum. Lightweight clothing is recommended for the warm, dry climate of Baja California. Long-sleeved shirts can be worn during the day for sun protection. There are really only two seasons in Baja: the hot summer season from mid-May to October and the mild winter season from November to mid-May. Baja lies in a coastal desert where the possibility of rain is slim (although not impossible). It is cooler in January and February, so do bring some warmer clothes, especially for the Magdalena Bay side. <br><br>The clothing list below is provided as a guideline only:<br><ul><li>Short-sleeved and sleeveless shirts<\/li><li>Long-sleeved shirts (great for sun protection). Quick-drying fabrics like nylon are ideal.<\/li><li>Lightweight long pants. Synthetic &#8220;travel&#8221; fabrics dry easily. We recommend 1 warm pair for nighttime and 1 lightweight pair for daytime sun protection if needed (nylon windbreaker type pants work well). Jeans are not recommended because they can be hot and take a long time to dry if they get wet.<\/li><li>Walking shorts; fast-drying nylon travel fabrics are the best<\/li><li>Underwear\/ socks. Synthetics dry faster.<\/li><li>Fleece jacket or sweater for cooler nights<\/li><li>Lightweight windbreaker with hood<\/li><li>Tevas or other sturdy waterproof sandals for beach walking and kayaking<\/li><li>Shade hat with wide brim and tie-down strap (for wind)<\/li><li>Bathing suit (one or two), beach coverups<\/li><li>Sleepwear<\/li><li>Casual clothes for town and travel<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"The boat provides masks, snorkels, fins, and shorty wetsuits for guests free of charge. The shorty wetsuits on board accommodate most sizes and are adequate for all the snorkeling adventures. However, you should bring your own wetsuit if you want a particular fit or full 2-3 mm wetsuits if you get unusually cold. The water temperatures are in the low 70's. Wilderness Travel is not responsible if your size is not available, particularly smaller and larger sizes.<br><br><ul><li>2 1-qt. water bottles<\/li><li>Good quality sunglasses with retention strap and case. A spare pair of sunglasses is invaluable should your first pair be broken or lost.<\/li><li>Personal toiletries (see section on environmental concerns)<\/li><li>Hand laundry soap such as Woolite, as there are no laundry facilities on board for guests<\/li><li>Assorted plastic bags for organizing items in your duffel bag<\/li><li>Net dive bag to carry snorkeling gear<\/li><li>Small &#8220;dry bag&#8221; for carrying items in your kayak<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member should bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><br><ul><li>\nSunscreen SPF 30 or higher. The tropical sun is strong: take special care while snorkeling! We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>\nLip balm with sunscreen<\/li><li>\nAspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headache<\/li><li>\n\nTopical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores<\/li><li>\nInsect repellent. DEET content of about 30-35% is ideal (higher DEET content is not recommended). Wipe DEET off your hands before touching plastic surfaces such as binoculars because it can damage plastic. Aerosol repellents are useful for spraying on<\/li><li>\nBlister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>\nAnti-bacterial gel for hand washing (at least 60% alcohol to be effective)<\/li><li>\nAntihistamine such as Benadryl<\/li><li>\nImodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, please consult your physician.<\/li><li>\nAnti-seasickness medication such as Dramamine<\/li><li>\nPrescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>\nSpare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><li>\nShampoo and conditioner<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>\nCamera, spare batteries, spare memory cards<\/li><li>\nReading\/writing material<\/li><li>\nTravel clock<\/li><li>\nPersonal wash cloth<\/li><li>\nQuick dry towel and\/or beach towel (the boat has bath and beach towels), if you do not wish to use the ones provided<\/li><li>\nFull wetsuit, if you are susceptible to cold or do not wish to use the shorty provided<\/li><li>\nLightweight rain gear with hood, and rain pants to protect you from spray while out on the skiffs<\/li><li>\nMask, snorkel, and fins, if you do not wish to use the ones provided<\/li><li>\nDaypack<\/li><li>\nMoney belt or neck pouch<\/li><li>\nSun hat<\/li><li>\nBinoculars<\/li><li>\nPersonal kayak gear, such as gloves and booties<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"Weapons, illegal drugs, and other items that could interfere with the safe operation of the ship or the safe and secure environment of our guests and crew are prohibited. Drones are not allowed on this trip. <br><br>Note: Marijuana is illegal under US Federal law and in Mexico and therefore is illegal on our boat.","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Whales, Snorkeling, and Sea Kayaking aboard the Westward","Custom_Lodging":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T10:34:14 --><p>6 nights aboard the historic <em>Westward<\/em>, 3 nights hotels, 1 night safari-style camping (depending on itinerary) <\/p>","Custom_Meals":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T10:34:28 --><p>All meals included <\/p>","Custom_Difficulty":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T10:34:47 --><p>Nature walks, swimming, snorkeling, sea kayaking, whale watching excursions by panga (skiff)<\/p>","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T20:42:44 --><p>This trip is rated <strong>Level 2 (Easy to Moderate) <\/strong>according to our trip grading system. The expedition vessel serves as our mobile base camp. We explore remote beaches and islands by day, then enjoy the comfort of the ship in the evening for good food, fine company, and a comfortable bunk. <\/p><p>With just a few hours of cruising each day, there is plenty of time for walking, wildlife watching, swimming, snorkeling, and sea kayaking, all in the company of an on-board naturalist who shares insights into the local botany and natural history. Because our Trip Leader is an accomplished diver, we can expand our opportunities for in-the-water snorkel explorations. The water is warm, but not tropically warm, so &ldquo;shorty&rdquo; wetsuits are recommended for those interested in snorkeling or swimming.<\/p>","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"Winter in Baja tends to be cooler, with more chance of wind and some chance of rain. Water temperatures are in the mid-60s, and daytime highs are from the 60s to 80s. The weather in Magdalena Bay on the Pacific Coast during whale watching season does tend to be windy and chilly. Daytime highs may be in the 70s but with the wind, it may feel more like the 50s, so you will want to bring appropriate clothing.","Custom_Accommodations":"","Custom_Cuisine":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T20:43:22 --><p>Our meals are elegant, locally sourced, and artfully presented. Fresh ingredients come from local providers whenever possible, including organic farmers, and fish is bought directly from local fishers.<\/p>","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T20:43:34 --><p>A Note on the Itinerary<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T20:43:42 --><p>Every trip aboard a small ship can -- and should -- be slightly different. This is our planned itinerary, but if conditions and wildlife, whether on land or sea, present us with special opportunities, we'll alter our course and head that way to experience it. Our itineraries are leisurely -- we don't rush past hundreds of miles of beautiful coves and inlets to stay on schedule, and we don't travel at night. A flexible attitude and an openness to the unexpected keep the adventure alive on these voyages.<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us on this trip.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">www.wildernesstravel.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:27:44 --><p><strong>COVID-19 TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:<\/strong> Please double-check COVID-19 entry requirements for any countries you may be traveling to or transiting through, on this website: <a href=\"apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions\">apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions<\/a><\/p>","System_Pre-Trip_Safety":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:37:06 --><p><strong>PRE-TRIP SAFETY:<\/strong> In the next weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy. Please practice social distancing, steer clear of potential COVID-19 exposure, and take an at-home antigen or lab based PCR test before you depart.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>At time of reservation: 20% of trip cost<br>100 days prior to departure: Balance <br><br><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Minimum fee: 50% of deposit<br>91-150 days prior to departure: 100% of deposit<br>90 days or less: 100% of trip cost<\/p><p><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>"}}