top of page

Baja California

& The Sea of Cortez

Whales and Wildlife of the Forgotten Peninsula

Expediton endorsed by:

Bottlenose Dolphin, Gorda Banks ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Approaching hiking location. Agua Verde, Baja California ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

San Benitos Is. Bush Mallow, West San Benitos Is. ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Bottlenose Dolphin, Gorda Banks ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Slim as a blade, the Baja California peninsula jackknifes from mainland Mexico, creating a cleft filled by the Sea of Cortez. Every year, California Gray Whales migrate here from arctic waters-the longest mammal migration known. In the protected lagoon of San Ignacio, watch the Grays during their breeding, calving, and nurturing cycle. Continue sailing around the tip of Baja in search of Fin, Sperm, Blue and Humpback Whales along with pods of Common Dolphins accompanied by Magnificent Frigatebirds and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Along the way, visit lovely and uninhabited islands such as San Jose and Santa Catalina. Awake to an incomparable sunrise, snorkel in an isolated cove, bask in Baja California’s seductive desert warmth, stroll its glorious beaches, and-best of all--wonder at its wildlife.




Day 1- San Diego The adventure begins aboard the 92-foot long M.V. Shogun. Sail south on the nutrient-rich and legendary California Current at the edge of the Continental Shelf and the Sonoran Desert.

Day 2 - Todos Santos Island: Look for Risso’s and Common Dolphins and island wildlife, including resident Peregrine Falcons.

Day 3 - San Benitos Islands: Hike or/and explore the coast on skiffs. We visit a Northern Elephant Seal rookery and look for the endemic Guadalupe Fur Seal.

Day 4-5 - San Ignacio Lagoon:  Explore Baja’s most secluded and pristine coastal lagoon where hundreds of Gray Whales breed every year. Meet a Gray Whale up close.

Day 6 - Magdalena Bay / Gorda Banks:  Look for ocean wildlife including Humpback & Blue Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sharks, Albatrosses & the Red-billed Tropicbird.

Day 7-11 - Sea of Cortez: Enter one of world’s most diverse marine ecosystems. Swim with California Sea Lions, search for Hammerhead Sharks and hike on remote islands to look for endemics like the Rattleless Rattlesnake, Xantus’s Hummingbird and various species of cacti.

Day 12 - Cabo San Lucas. 

We sail back to Cabo San Lucas and flight back home.


The Expedition Experience

Whale Watching - Birding - Hiking - Snorkeling

Expedition Map

MAR 02, 2016  

MAR 13, 2016



Only 24 Spaces

Trip Cost per passenger: 

 $ 3,985 

(Double occupancy)


Support the San Francisco Chapter of the American Cetacean Society by joining this trip. 

  • Wix Facebook page
  • Wix Twitter page

Share this trip:

Download this Trip as PDF:


Expediton Leader:  +1 925 222 8573



Juan-Carlos Solis

Expedition Leader 


Ted Robertson


Dr. Sula Vanderplank


What to Expect / What You'll Do

Our expedition headquarters will be the 92-foot long / 28 passenger M.V. Shogun. As we travel south on the California Current the boat becomes the perfect platform for exploration. The hallmark of this expedition is flexibility and choice of activities. You’ll have plenty of choices to experience Baja California up-close.

At Sea


On the boat, you may want to read a book while enjoying an amazing view of the Baja coast, enjoy a snack or coffee while peeking out the window in the dinning room or join naturalists to scan the horizon in search of wildlife. There are quiet moments on board, but it’s never long before we spot whales, dolphins, seabirds, seaturtles and other wildlife. Our 92-foot boat allows us to react immediately to wildlife sightings and follow the action! Moreover, with only 24 passengers aboard (on a 28-passenger boat), there is plenty of legroom and space to move around and observe wildlife up-close.

On Land / Island Hopping


Exploring Baja and the Sea of Cortez's secluded islands is one of the highlights of this expedition. On each stop there is the option for a hike, a stroll along the shore, going on a skiff ride or just hanging out at the beach. Several places are also perfect to go for a swim and  snorkeling. You don’t have to chose only one activity. You can do more than one and all of them if you like.

Daily Rhythm


During the trip you’ll quickly get your sea legs and enjoy what I call the "daily rhythm". Each day we begin with fresh coffee, tea, morning treats and a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, we start the day’s activities depending on what is going on around us- often, whales, dolphins and seabirds arrive before or during breakfast. We plan the first round of activities to end just before lunch, often served in buffet style and with many choices to satisfy each taste. After lunch and some down time (unless the whales and other wildlife come back too soon), we set out for our second round of activities either on land or around the boat. 

The day ends with a luscious dinner, a recap of the day’s sightings and a preview for the next day’s activities. Lectures are scheduled at the end of the day throughout the expedition to highlight specific topics such as marine mammals, cacti and seabirds.

Baja Wildlife

What am I going to see 

Baja California is the best place on earth to look for whales. It is also a wildlife hotspot both on land and sea. Traveling on a boat and island hopping is the best way to experience this amazing corner of the world. 

Blue Whale "fluking", Sea of Cortez ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Laguna San Ignacio ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Gray Whale calf resting on mom, San Ignacio Lagoon ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Ash-throated Flycatcher migrating through Baja ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Skiff ride at Isla Partida, Sea of Cortez ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Full moon over Santa Catalina Island, Sea of Cortez ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Green Heron on mangrove roots, Laguna San Ignacio ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Guadalupe Fur Seals ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom

Northern Elephant Seal pup ⓒ Juan-Carlos Solis

press to zoom
bottom of page