Discovering the Sea of Cortez: Hidden Beaches, Whales, and Whale Sharks



Days: 7


Take our fully customizable week-long Sea of Cortez vacation and discover what legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau dubbed “The World’s Aquarium”.

With a base in La Paz, journey onto the waters for unique encounters with wildlife, including whale sharks, migratory birds, sea turtles, sea lions, and gray whales.

Across the seven days, you’ll also learn about the magnificent flora and fauna, on both land and sea, by interacting with researches, scientists, and expert guides. Snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking adventures bring the opportunity to discover pristine bays and virgin beaches on your own terms.


Whale sharks – Venture to the shores near La Paz to swim and snorkel with the docile whale shark

Whale watching in Magdalena Bay – Encounter magnificent gray whales and sea turtles with a whale watching trip

Espiritu Santo Island – Snorkel with sea lions and beautiful reef fish, kayak around the turquoise waters, and discover virgin beaches

Day 1: Arrival to La Paz

Arriving in La Paz, a private driver will meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel.

Overnight: Baja Club Hotel


Day 2: La Paz Walking City Tour

La Paz, the historic capital of the Californias, is tranquil, scenic and a great town to get to know on foot. Experience it through a local’s eyes, and your stomach! Our guide will accompany you on a tour of the culture, history and architecture of the town, including the street art of the of the La Paz Ciudad Mural project. Meet some true paceños, and along the way stop to try a few local delicacies.

Overnight: Baja Club Hotel


Day 3: Private whale shark tour and beach lunch

A truly special event, head out onto the Sea of Cortez to swim alongside the world’s largest fish, the mighty whale shark! Enjoy the ride as an experienced captain transports you to where the whale sharks are swimming. Upon arrival, jump in the water to swim next to these gentle giants.

The day is made extra special as you will be joined by a whale shark researcher. Learn from the expert as they take you through the ecology of these magnificent creatures, the role they play in the ecosystem, and their feeding, mating, and migratory habits.

After, the trip continues to Balandra Bay, a natural protected area home to pristine beaches, mangroves, and stunning scenery. Have a tasty lunch, explore the nature trails, snorkel in the crystalline waters, and relax before heading back to your hotel.

Overnight: Baja Club Hotel

Optional Researcher for a Day: Learn what it is like to be a whale shark researcher! A local investigator will join your trip to teach you about the ecology of these magnificent creatures, the role they play in the ecosystem, and their feeding, mating and migratory habits. Before getting in the water with the researcher you’ll learn how to identify individuals and document age, sex and other characteristics. ENQUIRE FOR AVAILABILITY and Cost.


Day 4: Private whale watching Magdalena Bay

Escape to Magdalena Bay on an overnight adventure to see the amazing gray whales that travel to these protected waters to mate and calve.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel early in the morning with snacks and fresh fruit. Arriving at Puerto López Mateos we check in to the hotel and you are free to enjoy lunch (not included) before boarding the skiff to head out into the bay in search of whales. Your naturalist guide will share their knowledge of these magnificent creatures and the story of their incredible yearly migration. Enjoy a sundowner in the dunes overlooking the Pacific before returning to your hotel.

Overnight: Mangrove Inn


Day 5: Private whale watching excursion in Magdalena Bay / Transfer to La Paz

After a good night’s rest, get up early and watch Magdalena Bay come to life and you will see why it is known as the jewel of the Pacific. After a hot breakfast we will head back out into the Bay to search for friendly whales. We will have lunch at the hotel before returning back to La Paz, full of amazing memories from Magdalena Bay!

Overnight: Baja Club Hotel

Please note:We will make all efforts to adhere to the itinerary described above, but we may modify the itinerary due to wind, weather, and other factors. The safety and enjoyment of our travelers are our top priorities. Please see our terms and conditions for more information. We do not guarantee wildlife sightings, interaction or behavior. All travelers must comply with communicated protocols and regulations regarding activities within natural protected areas and interactions with wildlife.


Day 6: Espiritu Santo Island Hiking Day trip

Today you´ll get to hike the trails on Espíritu Santo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to numerous marine, aviary and terrestrial species.

In the morning, set out by boat to the island from La Paz Bay, accompanied by your private naturalist guide, who will brief you on the island’s natural history along the way. Arriving at the island, you´ll explore one of its eight marked nature trails that offer a wide variety of length, difficulty and vertical gain.

The trails range from the light but scenic Cascada Seca at Playa Candelero to El Rincón, which rises quickly from the water’s edge, at the end offering a spectacular view of the Gulf of California. You can pick one of these, a trail that’s somewhere in between, or plan to take two hikes.

Throughout the day your naturalist guide will interpret the natural history of the island and help you spot some of the endemic plant and animal species. You’ll have time to enjoy a picnic lunch, snorkel in the crystal waters, and visit the local sea lion colony* where you can swim, snorkel and interact with the playful sea lions*with your guide.

Overnight: Costa Baja Resort


Day 7: Private Transfer to Los Cabos Airport

Finish your Sea of Cortez vacation in style, with a private transfer to Los Cabos (or Laz Paz airport) for your onward flight home.


This trip can be customized for a private journey in the months of February and March.
Note: Gray Whale season in Magdalena Bay typically is February and March; Whale shark season typically is October to April.


Our custom-tailored journeys start from $1,000 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.

Please note, our pricing guideline is a starting from price and is not necessarily applicable to the suggested hotels contained within the suggested itineraries on this web site. Itineraries are customized prior to final pricing.