Journey through Baja and the Sea of Cortez

Tour Intro

Charter for your own private group, other dates available

Explore the Sea of Cortez on a classic wooden boat, discovering untouched islands and the “Blue Whale Triangle”. Known as the “vermillion sea”, and “the aquarium of the world”, Steinbeck found in the Sea of Cortez a place of primal sanity in the midst of a “civilized” world teetering on the cusp of a horrific war. The isolated islands have been compared to those of the Galapagos. It is a wilderness that has been an aboriginal homeland for tens of thousands of years. The region is protected by its isolation and periodically severe weather. Explore its meandering shoreline, its many islands and coves, its bare, mineralized ridges and palm-lined arroyos.

You will listen to the gasping breathes of sea turtles as you quietly lay at anchor, the mirrored sea reflecting the stars to the extent that it looks like you are suspended in a bowl of sky. Watch the sea boil with birds and porpoises as they practice their mutually beneficial feeding techniques. View dozens of mobula rays leaping above the water’s surface intent on creating a mate-attracting splash when they land. Stroke the noses of weeks old gray whale calves whose mothers bring them to the side of your small boat, seemingly for no other purpose than to share the joy of the moment.

Tour Highlights

  • 10-day land and cruise program to Baja and the Sea of Cortez.
  • Price includes all meals from dinner on day 1, through breakfast day 10, sea kayak amid mangrove lagoons and remote bays. Snorkel sea lions and dolphins.
  • 7-nights aboard the 4 cabin Westward. The small boat experience provides the most in-depth and personal way to experience the region.
  • Features of the yacht include: safety, comfort, 4 cabins, 2 bathrooms (3 cabins can utilize upper berth single allowing maximum of 11 guests), hot water, enclosed seating area, open-air dining, kayak and snorkeling.
  • 2-evenings hotel accommodations, an extraordinary experience to photograph the Gray Whale birthing and breeding at Bahia Magdalena.

 

Tour Itinerary

March 9: Home-Los Cabos, Mexico

PLEASE NOTE: Your flights will need to be multi-city, Home/SJD, LTO/Home.

You will need to arrive in Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD) by 1:30PM today. After clearing Mexican customs you will be met by a crewmember and escorted approximately 2.5 hour drive to La Paz, where you will be welcomed aboard your yacht for the cruise. Overnight Westward at sea or at La Paz dock (D)

March 10-15: Sea of Cortez

Spend your first two days in the area of Islas Espiritu Santo and Partida. Explore the islands with kayaks, and on foot, walking the trails in the mornings or evenings when the light is low on the horizon. As you head north visit the tiny Los Islotes, where you may have an opportunity to snorkel with sea lions. After crossing to the southern end of Isla San Jose you will visit the tiny fishing village of El Pardito, kayak or skiff into a mangrove lagoon, and spend the night at anchor in a collapsed volcanic caldera.

Moving on you will visit one or two shallow coves along the peninsula shoreline. There will be daily opportunities to kayak, snorkel, hike and generally explore the region. Your captain is used to working with photographers, and the staff will do their best to position you for the best light and to be in places we know to be good sunset or sunrise locations. This area is scattered with islands, some large, some tiny, all of which are Mexican national parks. Paddling kayaks in quiet coves or walking the ridgelines and arroyos of isolated islands we will have the opportunity to absorb their subtle beauty. Spending hours aboard the drifting Westward in what is referred to as the “Blue Triangle” we hope to see blue and sperm whales, both of which congregate here to feed on the plankton and squid that thrive in the area’s nutrient rich upwelling waters. Overnights Westward (B, L, D all days)

March 16: Puerto Escondido

Arrive Puerto Escondido mid-morning. Our van will pick up the guests at the harbor, and transport them to Bahia Magdalena where they will check into a small, lagoon front hotel. (B, L, D)

March 17: Loreto

The next day the group will make two separate visits into the whale viewing area aboard small, open boats. Following the afternoon session you will rejoin the van and return to Loreto, where you will check in to a small, boutique hotel very near the historic town square. It is recommended to shoot video, or short lens today, as the whales typically come to you. It is an extraordinary experience to make eye contact with a 30-ton animal that has seemingly approached your panga solely for the purpose of exchanging winks! Overnight Loreto Hotel (B, L, D)

March 18-18: Loreto-Home

After breakfast in the square, and some time to wander through the shops in the area, meet the van for transport to the airport (LOR), arriving by 11:00AM, for 1PM flights or after (B).

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 6 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $1,000 if 5 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Additional Notes

A deposit of $1500 per person is required, due to chartering your private yacht excursion. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 150 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due. 



Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

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