Baja: Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Whales, Snorkeling, and Sea Kayaking


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!

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
La Paz / Bahía Magdalena (11-day La Paz to Loreto Gray Whale itinerary)

Head to Bahía Magdalena or Laguna San Ignacio (depending on season), the protected lagoons where gray whales come to in winter to give birth and rear their young in Baja’s warm-water lagoons, and set out by panga (skiff) to look for them. The whales often approach the pangas and it’s a thrill to see them at close range. At your beachfront hotel (or safari-style camp, depending on departure), relax with a cold drink and a spectacular sunset.

Days 4-5
Isla Espíritu Santo / Sea of Cortez

Boarding your historic wooden yacht, head out to Isla Espíritu Santo, with its deserted white-sand beaches and canyons spiked with cactus. It is one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world, now under the protection of The Nature Conservancy. Wildlife includes friendly sea lions and an underwater kaleidoscope of colorful tropical fish. Get into your kayak for wonderful paddles, and in the evenings, dine on the chef’s culinary creations and gaze upon star-filled skies.

Days 6-11
Sea of Cortez / Blue Triangle

Snorkel above rock reefs, watch schools of leaping dolphins, walk the palm-lined arroyos of isolated islands, or paddle kayaks in quiet coves, an ideal way to view wildlife. In the Blue Triangle, watch for breaching blue, sperm, and humpback whales. Depart on Day 11 via Loreto.



Enjoy gourmet cuisine on board, learn about Baja’s ecosystem
Sea kayak amid remote bays, enjoy the beaches of Isla Espíritu Santo
Snorkel with sea lions, watch pods of dolphins, walk island trails
Two itineraries visit Baja’s famous gray whale lagoons


Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5850  
Arrive: San José del Cabo, Mexico (depending on itinerary)
Depart: Loreto, Mexico (depending on itinerary)
Lodging: 7-8 nights aboard a historic 86-foot boat, 2 nights hotels, 1 night camping (depending on itinerary)
Meals: All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Sea Kayaking, Small Boat and Yacht Cruising, Small Ship Cruising, Snorkeling, Walking, Whale Watching, Wildlife and Natural History
Trip Level:

Nature walks, swimming, snorkeling, sea kayaking, whale watching excursions by panga