The Baja’s Great Whales explores the protected lagoons of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez of Baja California Sur, allowing for magnificent encounters with marine wildlife.
This trip includes also cultural interaction by taking travelers off the beaten path, into places visited by few outsiders. The trip focuses on interaction with the wildlife of the region in the heart of the Sea of Cortez- What Jacque Costeau named “the world’s aquarium”. Blue whale watching, gray whale watching, swimming with sea lions, snorkeling with tropical fish and dolphins, whale shark spotting, humpacback
whales and migratory bird sightings make up much of the activities. These activities are complemented by a close interaction with the people and traditional culture of the region.
|TOUR HIGHLIGHTS||Visit all the whales sanctuaries in Baja California|
Exploring Baja California Sur on an expedition is an unrivaled experience, and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with its whales and wildness. Our itinerary is crafted to:
• Loreto National Marine Park for Blue Whale Watcning
• Magdalena Bay for Gray Whales up close
• Sierra La Giganta’s San Javier Mission and Our Lady of Loreto
• Snorkel with sea lions and swimm with the whale shark
• Visit the Magical Town of Todos Santos
• Humpback Whales in Cabo San Lucas
|Location||La Paz, BCS, Loreto, Los Cabos, BCS, Magdalena Bay|
|Destination||Baja California Sur, México|
Arrive to Loreto and Transfer to your Hotel.
The foundation of the city of Loreto is intimately linked with the founding of the Mission of Our Lady of Loreto, was capital of Las Californias from 1697- 1777, when the capital was moved to Monterey, California. Loreto was founded in 1697 by Jesuit Missionary Fathers.
There are seven buildings in Loreto, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, which are considered landmarks by the federal government. The most important is the Mission of Our Lady of Loreto, which is the beginning of “ Royal Road “, a historic corridor that ends in Sonoma, California, and follows the old route of the Spanish missions in Alta and Baja California.
Blue Whale Watching at Loreto National Marine Park. Historical buildings at Loreto Downtown.
“The aquarium of the world” is how the great Jacques Cousteau referred to The Sea of Cortez, this sheltered, and usually calm and sun kissed stretch of ocean lies between mainlands Mexico and the stunningly beautiful and serene deserts and mountains of the Baja California Peninsula.
It is little wonder that many species of great whales make this special bit of paradise a destination to give birth and nurse their calves in these warm and relatively predator free waters. Among the cetacean visitors is included the largest animal ever to live on the earth, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). For a few fleeting weeks during February and March each year they visit the seas around the islands of the eastern seaboard of the Baja California Peninsula.
They come to calve, mate and feed on the krill that blooms as the rich waters start to warm in the spring sunshine.
San Javier Mission at La Giganta Mountain
A beautiful chapel built on a mountain spring in 1699 by Father Piccolo. The site was originally inhabited by the Cochimíes, who named the place Viggé Biaundó.
The church, considered one of the most beautiful and well preserved of the Californias, was built with stone taken from quarry from the bed of the brook of Santo Domingo 20 km southeast of San Javier. Its original barroque appearance has been well preserved; its interior has: a golden altarpiece with five oleos, brought from Mexico City in thirty two boxes; two statues: one of San Francisco Javier and another one of Our Lady of Guadalupe; and a crucifix, all of these are from the 18th century.
It has three bells, two of them are dated 1761 and the other one 1803. There is a monument of that time at the end of the street that leads to the church. It is known as “the Cross of Calvary”. From there hundreds of pilgrims who visit the patron saint walk sometimes on their knees.
Gray Whale Watching in Bahia Magdalena, La Paz.
Perhaps the most common whale in the Pacific coast of Baja California is the Eschrichtius Robustus, the gray whale. The genus Eschrichtius is the Danish biologist Eschricht the robustus refers to its robust size. This species is restricted to the North Pacific and is unique in that most of the population follows a seasonal migration along the west coast of North America.
Most other whale species have separate populations in different oceans and / or hemispheres , each population has a separate migration with different months and different routes . However, almost all gray whales spend the summer months (June, July and August) in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia.
Some even venture northward into the Arctic Ocean. In the autumn the majority of the population migrates southward along the west coast of Canada and the United States , ending in the calm lagoons of Baja California during the winter months (January, February and March). In the spring the population returns to the Bering Sea area . This round trip covers about 20,000 KM, is the longest migration of any mammal on Earth.
La Paz (“peace” in Spanish) is the capital of Baja California Sur and the second largest city south of Tijuana on the Baja California Peninsula. Despite its size (population 265,000) and position as the region’s commercial, cultural and political center, La Paz is a tranquil city full of traditional Mexican charm. It has preserved a sort of nostalgic “old Baja” atmosphere that makes you think little has changed here for decades.
La Paz is arguably the most picturesque of Mexico’s 31 state capitals and one of the most beautiful cities in the country. La Paz, for a big city, is an example of everything that is attractive about the Baja California Peninsula: clean desert air, world-class fishing, uncrowded beaches, friendly locals, and the beautiful warm waters of the Gulf of California.
Espiritu Santo National Marine Park.
Perhaps the most common whale in the Pacific coast of Baja California is the Few marine areas in the world can compare with the biological importance and richness found in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). Isla Espiritu Santo (Holy Spirit) rank among the highest in the region in biological and ecological value.
About 30 minutes navigating north of the Espiritu Santo island exist enormous rocks called Los Islotes, where the world’s second largest sea lions colony is situated; This place is an important reproductive colony having between 300 & 350 sea lions, which can be observed all year around, being more abundant on Winter when adult and juveniles arrives, and in summer when pregnant females arrive to give birth its pups. It’s also an important nesting site for birds.
The first Spaniard to sight the oasis, Jesuit Padre Jaime Bravo, found nomadic Guaycura availing themselves of the inland water source and collecting shellfish along the coast.
Padre Bravo established a farm community and a misión de visita (“visiting mission”) called Todos Santos here in 1724, to supply the water-poor mission community at La Paz with fruits, vegetables, wine, and sugarcane. By 1731, Todos Santos was producing 200 burro-loads of panocha – raw brown sugar – annually,
along with figs, pomegranates, citrus, and grapes.
In 2006 Todos Santos was named by the Mexican Secretary of Tourism as one of Mexico’s Magical Towns; it was chosen among other 311 towns. It is considered to be a House of Culture, overflowing with inspirational and artistic visionaries, and brimming with some of the best local artists, musicians, and writers from around the world, it certainly is best defined as…an oasis. Today “Todosanteños” continue the tradition of cultivating their gardens, produce sweets and bread, as in the days of “mills”.
Day at Leisure.
San Jose Del Cabo
The town of San Jose del Cabo is conspicuous by its ability to resist change, despite being just 15 miles from its sister city Cabo San Lucas, is an opposite polar of the beautiful Tourist Destination of Los Cabos.
Bands of fishers and gatherers tribes found here the source of their livelihood, fresh water. The early Spanish navigators decided to call: Safe Water. The manila galleon use this spring for centuries to supply its water, likewise the Jesuit missionaries were able to establish the Mission of San Jose in front of this place that allowed them survive the desert of Baja California.
A visit to the historic center to relive the heyday farmer who once enjoyed The California ranchers, historic buildings built during the nineteenth century are examples of this: the Municipal Palace, the main square, the church, among others.
The newly renovated art district gives us the opportunity to enjoy 18 art galleries that are part of the effort of both local and foreign artists to keep this shelter as something authentic and original. Paintings, Crafts, Sculptures of famous and renowned artists fill the show rooms.
San Jose del Cabo has some of the best restaurants of the peninsula, which through the culinary arts, are a delight the most demanding palate.
Humpback Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas.
The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a Baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12-16 meters (40-50 ft) and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobby head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the water. Males produce a complex whale song, which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated for hours at a time. The purpose of the song is not yet clear, although it appears to have a role in mating.
Like other large whales, the humpback was and is a target for the whaling industry. Due to over-hunting, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a whaling moratorium was introduced in 1966. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, humpbacks are now sought out by whale-watchers
Departure from San Jose del Cabo
Baja California Sur captivates with its many natural beauties , is a perfect contrast combination between desert and sea; We invite you to Explore this wonderful land and learning as adaptation processes have been central to the natural and human settlement; adaptation that retain this place as unique on our world…..