In conjunction with our two voyages, Among the Great Whales and Wild Baja Escape: The Whales of Magdalena Bay,* we are excited to offer a 3-day/2-night post-voyage extension to explore the fascinating region surrounding Loreto. The extension will include an excursion into the waters of the Sea of Cortez and Bahia Loreto National Park with the possibility of encountering blue or fin whales, the two largest animals in the world. In addition, we will visit the Jesuit-founded Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó and learn about the rich history of the mission and the surrounding area. With time to explore and experience Loreto itself, we will enjoy a group dinner in this tranquil town, the first colonial settlement in Baja California. Finally, we have the chance to hike the rugged Sierra de la Gigante mountain range, which forms the picturesque backdrop to Loreto. The canyon and desert habitat in this area are home to a variety of wildlife including coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, Baja-endemic bird species such as gray thrasher and Xantus’s hummingbird, along with myriad lizards and other small reptiles.
Day 1 - Disembark/Colonial Mission of San Javier/Loreto
After disembarking National Geographic Venture or National Geographic Sea Lion, we depart for our expedition into the past, visiting the stunning colonial mission of San Javier, built in the early 1700s, After a picnic lunch and a short nature hike, we continue to Loreto and check into Hotel La Mision, our base for our exploration of the region. This evening, we will dine at one of Loreto’s enchanting eateries. (B,L,D)
Day 2 - Bahia Loreto National Park – Blue & Fin Whale Excursion
After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the pier to board local boats for our excursion into the wildlife-rich waters of the Loreto Bay National Park in search of the magnificent blue whale, the planet’s largest animal, as well as the second largest, the fin whale. Following lunch, we return to Loreto. Tonight, enjoy the sights and sounds of Loreto with dinner on your own. (B,L)
Day 3 - Morning Hiking Tour/Flights Home
Following breakfast at the hotel, we depart for our morning hiking tour into the fascinating desert and canyon ecosystems of the rugged and spectacular Sierra de la Gigante. Learn about the geology of this amazing area while keeping our eyes peeled for desert wildlife including roadrunners, gila woodpeckers, lizards, and mammals. Here, at the northern end of its range, we have a chance to encounter the Baja-endemic Xantu’s hummingbird, which can be seen darting about and hovering at nectar sources. After our exploration, we return to the hotel for lunch with time to freshen up before departing for the Loreto Airport and flights home. (B,L)
Costs & What's Included
Accommodations, meals indicated, transfers, sightseeing, transfer, and entrance fees.
**Depending on your disembarkation port, the sequence of the itinerary may vary.