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



Days: 7


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

This fully customizable itinerary is the perfect starting point for ideas on how to explore Baja California Sur and the Sea of Cortez. With a base in La Paz, travelers can experience unique encounters with wildlife, including whale sharks, migratory birds, sea turtles, sea lions, and gray whales. We encourage our travelers to not only experience the Sea of Cortez, but also learn about the magnificent flora and fauna, both land and sea, by interacting with researches, scientists, and expert guides. Between your snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking encounters, you will discover pristine bays and virgin beaches for some time to take in your surroundings.



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

Magdalena Bay Whale Watching – Encounter magnificent gray whales and sea turtles

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

Welcome to Mexico! Your private driver will meet you at the La Paz International Airport and you will be driven to your hotel.
Overnight: Costa Baja Resort

Day 2: Private Half Day Trip – La Paz City Tour an Urban Experience beyond the Malecon

La Paz is the historic capital of the Californias, 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 us 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.

Afterwards, we can optionally visit the Serpentarium or Museum of History and Anthropology, topping off a day focused on local culture and learning. Afterwards, your driver will take you back to your hotel.

Experience available from October to April.
Overnight: Costa Baja Resort

Day 3: Private Whale Shark Researcher for a day + beach lunch

Whale sharks are the true “gentle giants” of the oceans. The largest fish on the planet, these gentle beasts return yearly to the coast just off La Paz. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 8:15 am and head to the operations office to try on our equipment. After a short walk to the tourism pier we will board the boat our head out in search of whale sharks. If you are lucky and feeling adventurous, grab your snorkel and mask and get in the water with your guide to see the whale sharks up close.

On board you will also learn what it is like to be a whale shark researcher! A local investigator will join your trip (subject to availability) to take you through 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. Your trip continues to Balandra Bay, a natural protected area and home to pristine beaches, mangroves, and stunning scenery. Here we’ll have a tasty lunch, explore the nature trails, snorkel in the crystal water and relax and unwind before heading back to your hotel.

Experience Available: from October to April.
Subject to availability

Overnight: Costa Baja Resort

Day 4: Private Whale Watching Adventure from Puerto San Carlos to Lopez Mateos in Magdalena Bay

After breakfast & hotel check out, your guide will meet you at your hotel early in the morning with snacks and fresh fruit. Arriving to Puerto San Carlos we will check in to the hotel and have lunch 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. Toast the sunset from amongst the dunes of Magdalena Island before returning to the hotel for dinner and rest up for tomorrow.
Overnight: Villas Mar y Arena

Day 5: Private Whale Watching Excursion in Magdalena Bay and return 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 north by boat through the mangrove canals, taking in the incredible untouched scenery and wildlife, searching for friendly whales and stopping at a secluded beach on Magdalena Island for a picnic lunch and a hike up the sand dunes. Arriving at Puerto López Mateos we will board the van and head back to La Paz, full of amazing memories from Magdalena Bay!

Overnight: Costa Baja Resort
Whale’s experience Available: from February to March.

Day 6: Private Day Trip to Espíritu Santo Island

Early this morning you will meet your driver at the hotel lobby for a private transfer to La Paz’s marina docks. Once aboard your boat, the expert guides will give you a small briefing about the trip as we head out from the Bay of La Paz. We will navigate the waters around the island, and after roughly 1.5 hours, we arrive at the sea lion colony. You’ll have plenty of time to swim, snorkel and interact with the playful sea lions in the company of your guide. Afterwards, our world-class nature guide will seek out a secluded beach for a tasty lunch (dietary restrictions taken into account). You’ll have time to relax, swim, explore the island on foot or by kayak, and learn about the natural and cultural history of this unique place before heading back to La Paz in time for dinner.

Overnight: Costa Baja Resort

Day 7: Departure from La Paz

Today you will be privately transferred to La 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 $800 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.