DAY 2-7: Exploring the Sea of Cortez
Our routing is designed with flexibility in mind, to maximize opportunities for wildlife sightings. It will most likely include the islands and activities listed below, although the order may vary. (B,L,D daily)
Islas San Esteban and San Pedro Mártir: Walk up a desert wash, to search for desert birds and the endemic pinto chuckwalla—a plump, harmless desert lizard. Later visit Isla San Pedro Mártir, a 1,000-foot-high guano-covered island that is home to thousands of seabirds: brown pelicans, magnificent frigatebirds, Brandt’s cormorants and California sea lions.
Isla San Marcos: At Isla San Marcos there is a beautiful shoreline for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. In the afternoon we are again in rich whale waters, near the mouth of Bahía Concepción where we have excellent possibilities of sighting several species of whales, including fin or sperm.
Isla San José: One of the larger islands in the Sea of Cortez, San José offers several landing possibilities depending on conditions and the whim of the moment. Photograph the ochre cliffs of the island’s eastern shore, hike an “enchanted” arroyo, or visit the abandoned salt works to the west.
Bahía Loreto Marine Park: This morning we’ll search for whales in the waters south of Isla Carmen, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, and often bottlenose and common dolphins. In the afternoon we visit one of the islands of Bahía Loreto Marine Park, with ample time for kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding and possibly hiking. In the evening, enjoy a beach barbecue under the desert sky.
Los Islotes and Isla Espíritu Santo: At Los Islotes, snorkelers have one of life’s great opportunities—swimming with graceful and curious sea lions. With a deeply indented shoreline and dramatically eroded cliff faces, Isla Espíritu Santo is perhaps the most beautiful island in the Sea of Cortez. We have a leisurely afternoon for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.