San Jose Channel and Puerto Los Gatos

Jan 08, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


One thing that makes the Gulf of California so special is its incredible sunrises and sunsets. This morning as we sailed north, the sun came out painting the entire sky in pinks and purples. A particularly beautiful scene to witness sunrise is the magnificent Sierra de la Giganta, or “Mountain Range of the Giantess.” The volcanic rocks form walls that emerge from the sea, reflecting some of the warmest and most beautiful light.

Our wildlife sighting for the morning was a blue whale. This may be one of the first blue whales of the season to arrive in this part of the gulf.  The conditions were a bit challenging, since the wind would quickly erase the blow from the horizon. It was a matter or patience, and finally most people got to see the tall blow, and learn some interesting facts about the largest animal that has inhabited our planet.

Puerto Los Gatos was our afternoon destination. Located on the peninsula, the private ranch called “Rancho Timbabichi,” is the perfect setting for desert hikes, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, photography and of course… yoga on the beach.

We spent the entire afternoon hiking quite a distance into the Sonoran Desert biome, to learn about the plants and animals, or just to get some time working out surrounded by nature. The protected cove allowed us to explore the bay by kayak, paddleboard, Zodiac and snorkeling.

One of the highlights for this trip is to find ideal natural settings to practice yoga. Many of us enjoyed an amazing yoga session with our Exhale yoga instructor.

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About the Author

Alberto Montaudon

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Alberto fell in love with nature as a young child. Born and raised in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico, he spent most of his childhood exploring the Chairlel Lagoon and the Tamesi River. Each morning he would patiently wait in his rowboat for sunrise to witness the great groups of migrating birds that would land on the water. His father taught him from a very early age to understand, love, and respect nature. As a result of his upbringing, Alberto became biologist and decided to follow his passion and became a naturalist. At age 21, Alberto began working with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic in Baja California. Since then he has been sharing interests that range from bird biology to undersea exploration to wildlife photography with thousands of guests.

About the Photographer

Rich Reid

National Geographic Photographer

Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Rich Reid has specialized in environmental and adventure photography for over two decades. On assignment with National Geographic Adventure magazine, he cycled Alaska’s Inside Passage by ferry and explored California’s Gaviota Coast by bike and kayak. North American Nature Photography Association elected Rich as a Fellow for his significant contributions to the nature photography industry, and he was a finalist for the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his time-lapse video documenting forest fire ecology.

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