Our trip begins today at the airport in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. From here, we transfer to the charming town of Todos Santos, a small but vibrant coastal village. The location of tonight?s lodging affords magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. Comfortable and spacious rooms provide the perfect place to relax after traveling. Tonight we will have our group orientation and dinner on our hotel?s rooftop terrace. Dinner tonight is included.
The first rule in Baja is you?re never too old to learn how to surf and just south of Todos Santos is Cerritos Beach, an ideal beach for swimming and surfing. With waves breaking in sections, the waves closer to shore at Cerritos Beach are small and perfect for a first time surfer. Today, Mario, our veteran surf instructor, will teach us the basics of surfing. He even guarantees that we will stand up and ride a wave?at least for a moment?before the end of our lesson. Surf enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels can participate. When you tire of catching those "gnarley" waves, Playa Los Cerritos is perfect for shell collecting and other beach activities. Comfortable chairs and umbrellas will be provided for those who simply want to sit back and relax. All meals included.
Surfing: 1-2 hours
Today we transfer to a trailhead located at Punta Lobos, where the local fishermen of Todos Santos launch their boats each morning and bring in their daily catch each afternoon. A short, steep hike up the hill brings us to breathtaking views of a dramatic coastline. From our vantage point, we can see almost 70 miles of beach stretching to the north. We also see dramatic rocky outcroppings and crashing surf down below. From here, we're likely to spot whales during several months of the year. Throughout the walk we will have the stunning combination of desert landscape on one side and ocean views on the other. At the end of our hike, we arrive at the idyllic beach of San Pedro where a picnic lunch will be waiting. San Pedro also features a beautiful marsh filled with bird life worthy of a little exploration.
This afternoon, our resident chef will invite us into his kitchen and show us how to make favorite Mexican food like quesadillas, tacos and enchiladas. Lively music and a festive atmosphere will make our hands-on cooking lesson demonstrate how fun cooking can be. The whole family gets involved. Later, we are rewarded with our hard work when we feast on the freshly made food. All meals included.
Hiking: 3 miles, elevation gain: 700'; some scrambling?
After an early breakfast, we depart our hotel and travel via La Paz to our beach camp on Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez. Isla Espiritu Santo is a wonder of natural conservation and evolution. It boasts dozens of lovely bays, rich marine life and land-based reptiles, birds and amphibians. Once we reach our camp, our comfortable and spacious walk-in tents await us!
To experience the full measure of Baja's marine splendor, getting acquainted with sea kayaking and stand up paddle boarding is a must. Before we set out on our first paddling adventure, our guides will offer us a thorough introduction to the activities. When the sea conditions are right and we're comfortable in our boats or paddle boards, we'll look forward to a day exploring the coves and coastline of the island. Please note?expect that on some days, Baja's "Norte" (North wind) will make paddling conditions unfavorable. Our guides will take weather into account and plan for the best activity suitable if we incur strong winds. All meals included.
Activities may include kayaking, hiking, snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding. Duration: 3-5 hours.
Note: Deluxe camping in safari-style tents includes bed with linens, bedside table and lanterns for nighttime reading.
Snorkeling with the sea lion pups at the permanent sea lion colony of Los Islotes is truly one of life's greatest experiences. After we don our snorkeling gear and enter the water, young and inquisitive sea lions swim out from the rocks to join us. They pirouette below and around us in the water as their curiosity gets the better of them. After a little "play time", we swim through two large rock islets, one of which is a natural arch. Below the water?s surface, we see orange fan and white fire coral swaying in the current and sea horses clinging to ribbons of seaweed. Above water, common brown boobies and their blue-footed cousins are perched on the cliffs of the rock islets. All meals included.
Activities may include kayaking, hiking, snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding. Duration: 5?6 hours.
This morning, we depart for the mainland. Upon arrival, we take a short transfer to Balandra Bay where we have the afternoon to hike and explore this beautiful area. Balandra Bay is considered one of the most beautiful bays in Baja and is a postcard-perfect end to our Baja adventure. In the afternoon, we check in to our hotel in La Paz. Tonight, we enjoy our final dinner at a local restaurant famous for its food and ambiance. All meals included.
Hiking: 2 hours.
After breakfast this morning, we board our transfer for the San Jose del Cabo airport. Expect to arrive before noon. Breakfast included.