Baja and the Sea of Cortez - Horizon Charters - Whales of Laguna

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Destinations:

Whale watching Isla Todos Santos, Islas San Benito, Isla Cedros, San Ignacio Lagoon, Town of San Ignacio, Town of Loreto 

This is a tentative itinerary that will be controlled by Mother Nature. Destinations, arrival and departure times may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Day 1

12:00 – 5:00pm

Boarding, hors d' oeuvres and welcome aboard drinks.  

8:00pm

Trip and safety orientation. 

9:00 – 10:00pm

Departure. Dinner off the boat shoreside.

Day 2

6:00am

Arrival to Ensenada, Mexico. We will clear customs into Mexico and will then depart for Isla Todos Santos. 

6:30am

Continental Breakfast

7:00 – 8:30am

Hot BreakfastTodos Santos Island is home to fantastic birding, sea lion and harbor seal viewing opportunities! From the mother ship you will take in the sights and sounds of small island living, while being serenaded by the local animals. Pull out your cameras as the photographic opportunities are fantastic.

After a brief stopover at Todos Santos we will start our trek southward toward Islas San Benito. Initially we will be close to the Baja coastline, but as the day progresses land will fade into the distance and you will notice the change from near coastal birds and mammals to the offshore variety. Birding, whale watching and relaxation are the main course for today. Get to know your fellow adventurers and enjoy the beauty of a day at sea. But keep your camera and binoculars close as you never know what will be just over the next swell! The captain will be on the lookout for all varieties of offshore animals including: California gray, blue, minke, sperm and humpback whales. We commonly see common dolphin, Pacific whitesided dolphin and Risso's dolphin this time of the year as well. Shearwaters, petrals, albatross, terns, kittiwake and auklets along with multiple species of gull are quite often seen offshore. 

12:00pm

Lunch. Come and get it!More relaxing, plus a late afternoon orientation by our ship's naturalist concerning tomorrows itinerary. 

5:30pm

Hors d'oeuvres

6:30pm

Dinner and dessertPlus an rundown of the days events by the captain, a report on our progress south plus if time allows, a quick introduction to a nautical topic of his or her choice.

Day 3 - Islas San Benito

Breakfast, lunch and dinner service will be typically be offered in the same timeframe as day #2. Times vary slightly due to particular days itinerary.

Mid-morning arrival to this offshore oasis, 279 miles south of San Diego and 40 miles from the Baja peninsula. Hike to the old lighthouse, take in the sites of a California sea lion and northern elephant seal colony, enjoy Pacific island birding and botany! You'll also have a chance to socialize with the local fisherman that call San Benito their home. 

If you'd like a more aquatic San Benito experience, try snorkelling or kayaking around the boat in the beautiful kelp forest. This experience should not be missed for the ocean lover in all of us!

Mid afternoon departure for San Ignacio Lagoon. 

After dinner our naturalist will discuss the tomorrow's activities and will summarize today's events. If you'd like to show off you photographic prowess, now's the time as the digital projector will be on open carousel.

Day 4 - San Ignacio Lagoon

A sea of whales! Morning arrival and entrance into the lagoon dependant upon the tides. Keep your cameras close, we will be in whale soup as we approach the entrance to the lagoon!

Upon anchoring we will be greeted by the pangeros that will be your transportation to the whales. For the days to come, you will be witness to one of the greatest migration gathering places in the world!

Morning and afternoon panga trips to experience the whales are the norm, broken up only by lunch. Nights in the lagoon are amazing, as you sit out on the deck of ‘Horizon' enjoy the stars, the sounds of the whales swimming past your floating hotel, know that tommorrow will bring you eye to eye with these gentle giants once again!

After dinner our naturalist will discuss tommorrow's activities and will summarize today's events. If you'd like to show off you photographic prowess, now's the time as the digital projector will be on open carousel.

Day 5 - San Ignacio Lagoon

Morning and afternoon whale watching, beach exploration and tour of the mangrove forest. Birding is at a premium here as shore birds are in abundance throughout the entire lagoon.

After dinner our naturalist will discuss the next few days activities and will summarize today's events. If you'd like to show off you photographic prowess, now's the time as the digital projector will be on open carousel.

Day 6 - San Ignacio Lagoon

Today starts early as we will need to depart the lagoon dependant upon the tides. One last whale experience, beach combing or mangrove tour awaits! 

The afternoon will find us travelling north toward tomorrow's adventure, Isla Cedros! Our naturalist will once again summarize the day, and will present tomorrow's featured destination.

Day 7 - Isla Cedros

Enjoy today's experience at this amazing island. 20 miles long, over 3500 feet in elevation and home to an amazing array of plants and animals. For the adventurous, enjoy a hike to the spine of the island. Or for those that would like to relax, enjoy a kayak, snorkel or skiff tour along the shore. 

Late afternoon departure for the extinct crater of Isla San Martin. Our naturalist will once again summarize the day, and will present tomorrows featured destination.

Day 8 - Isla San Martin

This speck of an island is tall in stature. If your feeling strong and adventurous, hike to the rim of the islands crater, explore lava tubes along the way and enjoy the view from the top! 

If you'd like to relax today, try snorkelling or kayaking through the kelp forest. This island is home to sea lions and harbor seals in numbers. Loads of fun!

Mid afternoon departure to Ensenada. Our naturalist will once again summarize the day, and will discuss the protocol for clearing customs in Ensenada and San Diego.

Day 9 - Ensenada and San DiegoMorning arrival and customs clearance in Ensenada, early to mid afternoon arrival to the customs dock in San Diego.

After clearing United States customs we will transfer to our dock with debarkation upon arrival. Take a minute to look at all of the busy bees running around with cell phones, pda's and laptops. Remember back to the kelp forests, invigorating hikes and that whale that looked you right in the eye…most of the folks you see around you will never have these experiences!

 

 

Photographs courtesy of Horizon Charters

 

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