Baja Ocean Wildlife Expedition
Join us for a unique wildlife adventure to Baja California Sur, Mexico. We’ll help study whale sharks, meet the “friendly gray whales,” snorkel with sea lions and participate in a sea turtle research project in beautiful Magdalena Bay.
This trip will be led by SEE Turtles director Brad Nahill and is in partnership with Portland Community College. Profits from this trip will help to save at least 100 hatchlings at a turtle nesting beach per participant.
Date: March 5 - 12, 2017
Price: $2,195 per person
Includes: All in-country transportation, accommodations, meals as noted in itinerary, camping in Magdalena Bay, activities, guides, and a donation to turtle conservation.
Excludes: Airfare to La Paz/Los Cabos, airport pickup, 2 dinners, personal items, guide tips, and travel insurance.
- Discounts: $50 for the first 8 to register & $50 for paying by check.
- Accommodations at the turtle project are field camping with comfortable amenities. Tents are equipped with either two singles or one double mattress with linens and pillows. Toilet and shower facilities are environmentally-friendly and integrated into the landscape.
- Monthly payment plans are available until 3 months before trip departure.
- This trip is in partnership with Portland Community College but is open to any adults anywhere (this trip is not specifically for students).
- This trip can be done as a student field trip. Contact us here to inquire about dates and prices.
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Or call with questions: 800.215.0378
MARCH 5th - ARRIVE TO LA PAZ
Fly into La Paz or Cabo San Lucas (shuttle service available for an extra cost) and meet at the hotel. Overnight at Hotel Catedral, a beautiful new hotel (3 nights). (D)
MARCH 6th - WHALE SHARK RESEARCH
Whale sharks are the true “gentle giants” of the oceans. The largest fish on the planet, these gentle beasts return yearly to the coast just off La Paz. Join the Whale Shark México team led by scientist Deni Ramírez in their efforts to learn more about these magnificent creatures and support their protection. You'll have a chance to snorkel with these amazing animals! After, we'll head to Balandra Beach, named "Mexico's most beautiful beach" for a picnic lunch and snorkel. (B, L)
MARCH 7th - LA PAZ TO MAGDALENA BAY
Our guide will pick us up at the hotel after breakfast to head across the peninsula to the Pacific (about a 3 hour drive). On the way, stop off at a rancho for a snack and a glimpse into the ranchero lifestyle. Arrive to beautiful Magdalena Bay and head by boat to a secluded location where you will camp for the next three nights. Once settled in, a local expert will orient you to the turtle research, followed by happy hour and a delicious seafood dinner after sunset. (B, L, D)
MARCH 8th - GREEN TURTLE RESEARCH
Today after breakfast, you will help set nets used in efforts to study the black turtles, a sub-species of green turtles. Once considered nearly extinct, these turtles are rebounding after decades of conservation efforts. After lunch, take a kayak through the mangroves and estuaries of Magdalena Bay looking for birds, dolphins, and other animals.
The group will split up and take shifts checking the nets for turtles every 2 hours for the next 24 hours. Once a turtle is found, it is brought ashore to study, including taking the length and width, weighing, tagging, and other data collection. Once complete, the turtle is released back into the water. During down time, feel free to head out in a kayak to explore the Bay. After dinner, your guide will lead a star gazing lesson; you won’t often find a better place! The research will happen through the night, so sign up for a late night shift or hit the sack for a full night’s sleep. Tonight we will learn about the gray whales, their incredible migration, and the importance of Magdalena Bay for breeding and calving to these magnificent creatures. (B, L, D)
MARCH 9th - GRAY WHALES
Head out early to search for gray whales. We will take small boats known as pangas that will take us out into the channel. Friendly whales often approach the boats, and the mothers are known to push the young calves closer, which can make for an incredible interaction between two species. We will enjoy a picnic lunch on a secluded barrier island before heading back out to see whales. After lunch on a nearby island, we'll head out for a second round of whale watching and then head back to the camp. (B, L, D)
MARCH 10th - EXPLORE MAGDALENA BAY
Today we explore the magic of the greater Magdalena Bay complex, its vast, rolling sand dunes and winding mangrove canals teeming with birdlife. After lunch, we head back to La Paz and the group is on its own to explore town and have dinner on your own. (B, L)
MARCH 11th - ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND
Today will be another day out on the Gulf of California. We will visit the beautiul island of Espiritu Santo, looking for whales, dolphins, turtles, and other ocean wildlife along the way. Once there, we head to a sea lion community and snorkel with these incredibly graceful swimmers. We’ll have a picnic lunch on the island and be back to La Paz by dinner time. Tonight the group will have a final celebratory dinner together. (B, L, D)
MARCH 12th - DEPARTURE
Head to the airport for your flight home or to explore other parts of this incredible region. If you're flying out from Cabo, be sure to schedule your flight after 2 pm. (B)
Is This Trip Right For Me?
This is a trip for adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts. In Baja, you’ll be camping, spending lots of time in boats, and eating new foods (some fresh from the ocean). There are no guarantees to see wildlife and activities are dependent on weather (though most participants do see them). The schedule can be fluid and all activities may not start on time and there may be bugs around. But we feel that pushing one’s boundaries and stepping out of one’s comfort zone is the best way to learn about yourself and the world!
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Photos: RED Travel Mexico, Elizabeth Moreno, Neil Osborne