For the past five days, we have explored the theme of contrasts in the Baja peninsula. Hiking through the sparse, arid landscape of the Sonoran Desert to snorkeling in the abundant and diverse waters of the Sea of Cortez. Today, we landed at Puerto Los Gatos for a day of activities to emphasize this theme.

Our morning began onshore with guided walks through the arroyos and along the bright red sandstone of the shoreline. As we discussed the geology that makes this place so desolate and otherworldly, a display offshore interrupted us: a megapod of short-beaked common dolphins surrounded the ship. We quickly took to our Zodiacs to play within the megapod and get a closer look at the dolphins. They surfed in our wake and breached out of the water around us. Later, we returned to the beach to continue our exploration of the coastline’s tide pools. We took a look underwater with guided snorkels among the coral heads and reef fish.

Such an utterly magical experience between two worlds can only happen in Baja.