Posts Tagged ‘whale watching’

November 17, 2015

10 Reasons to Take a Family Vacation in Baja

Baja, Mexico is one of our favorite spots to send families for fun-filled and unforgettable vacations. It’s a top destination for families to visit and once you go there you’ll know why. Many of the reasons to visit Baja are unique in their own right. The peninsula also has a storied and famous history of exploration that we love. Baja has an aura to it that can inspire any family to adventure in ways they never thought they would. Here are ten reasons that Baja is the perfect place for a family vacation.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding on a baja family vacation

Baja is a great place to stroll around by horseback. One of the best reasons is that it makes you feel like a modern day cowboy or cowgirl. Ride through a desert landscape with dunes and cacti dotted plains that stretch as far as the eye can see until you reach the beach and the deep blue water of the Pacific Ocean. This is a great family fun adventure!




The culture of Baja is slightly different than that of the rest of Mexico. The peninsula is very laid back and has small towns that all have their own personality. The artistic town of Todos Santos has been a haven for artists, surfers, painters, and writers for years. It has even spawned the Todos Santos Music Festival put on each January by Peter Buck of R.E.M.


Ceviche. Tacos. Guacamole. Tortillas. The list of food goes on. Baja is a haven for tasty treats that will leave you with a feeling of wanting to eat and do nothing else. The ingredients are fresh and flavorful; we promise you’ve never had Mexican cuisine like this before!

Sea Turtles

kinds playing with sea turtles while on a family vacation to Baja

During the months of October and November Baja is a hatching ground for baby sea turtles. This is an opportunity for your family to take part in the conservation effort of sea turtles that is not only fulfilling but a lot of fun! Staying up late to watch the turtles hatch and make their way to the water for the first time is unforgettable.


Baja has a different history than the rest of Mexico. After being settled by the Jesuits and operating separately from the rest of mainland Mexico, Baja was able to shape its own identity and stay out of major conflicts. Baja was cultivated on the foundation of kindness, honesty, and strong family values. These are still part of Baja’s personality and this is extended to and recognized by all that go to visit!

Whale Watching

Simply put, in the month of February there is no better place to be whale watching than in Baja. Thousands of whales arrive in Baja every year for mating and birthing. The whales are in a safe space from predators in the waters around Baja. The new babies are so curious they may swim right up to your boat to say hi!


baja landscape

The landscape in Baja is reminiscent of times more simple than what we have now. Baja has always stayed Baja, not compromising some of its most scenic spots for development projects. This authenticity is one of the largest charms that Baja has.


This is a Thomson Family Adventure classic. We love to kayak and we love sharing this fun with families travelling with us. Some of the best kayaking in the world is in Baja simply because it takes place in the Sea of Cortez, one of the most biologically diverse and beautiful places in the world.



The sun is always kind to the Baja peninsula. More often than not, visitors are able to explore in comfortable and beautiful weather. Having the sun shine on your family vacation always gives it an extra pop to make sure your vacation a happy one!



October 27, 2015

Unique Baja Family Vacations

Baja is a fantastic place to visit on a family vacation. This top destination offers endless amounts of adventure, delicious food, rare wildlife sightings, and plenty of opportunities to create long-lasting and special memories. The best part about vacationing in Baja is the unique opportunities that only it can present throughout the year. Choosing what time of year to visit Baja is one of the most important decisions to make when deciding to go there. It all depends on how your family wants to have fun! Baja is full of activities you can only do in Baja and also things you can find in other places, but they’ll be better in Baja.

Horseback Riding

a family on horseback vacationing in Baja

You can horseback ride in many places across the world and where you horseback ride adds a lot to the experience. Your kids will feel like real life cowboys and cowgirls. Baja is the place where desert sands and cacti dotted plains meets the beautiful blue hues of the Pacific Ocean. This is a great scene to share with your kids via horseback.


Another activity that can be done almost anywhere that there’s a body of water large enough, kayaking is always fun to incorporate into a family vacation. What makes kayaking so great in Baja is the Sea of Cortez (more on this a bit further down). The amount of marine life you’ll be surrounded by in the Sea of Cortez is remarkable, breathtaking, and truly memorable.

The Sea of Cortez

You can search the entire world and you won’t ever find an ecosystem like the Sea of Cortez. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been explored by the likes of Steinbeck and Cousteau and for very good reason. Cousteau actually called the Sea of Cortez the “aquarium of the world” because of the vast amounts of endemic marine life that inhabits the waters.

Magdalena Bay


During February, Baja becomes the best place in the world for whale watching. About 1/3 of the world’s whale species can be found in Baja. If whale watching will excite your children, and trust us it will, then Magdalena Bay is the place to go in the winter. This is where the gray whales migrate to for mating season. There are so many whales that it isn’t uncommon to see them jump out of the water or swim right up to your boat to say hello!

Todos Santos

This charming little town in Baja is a great place to spend time with your family. The cuisine is delicious, we love the tacos and ceviche, and the culture is uniquely artistic and wonderful. Every January Peter Buck of R.E.M hosts the Todos Santos Music Festival. The profits of the festival go towards the Palapa Society, a local children’s social benefit organization. There are several other festivals in the town also, a great trip to take with older kids that want a more cultural and mature vacation!

September 1, 2015

Be an Explorer in the Sea of Cortez

One of the most magical, bio-diverse, and unimaginably beautiful family vacation destinations in the world is the Sea of Cortez. While there is much to love about Baja, Mexico, the Sea of Cortez is definitely something that stands out. It sets a scene that anyone who lays eyes on it won’t ever forget. What is so captivating about the Sea of Cortez isn’t the beauty on the surface, but the wonder below it. It’s a body of water that has been explored in the past and will continue to be explored in the future. A few expeditions have become more well known than others and hearing about two of these famous journeys will make anyone excited to book a family vacation out to Baja and dive head first into the Sea of Cortez.

John Steinbeck

dolphins bajaIn 1940, author John Steinbeck went on a six-week expedition in the Sea of Cortez to collect marine specimens. What was an author doing on a marine biology expedition? Good question! Essentially, Steinbeck was looking for a new start after he gained fame for Tortilla Flat and The Grapes of Wrath. He was interested in marine biology and his friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts, was looking for a new adventure. Steinbeck’s exploration of the Sea of Cortez served as an important journey. You can read all about this expedition in Steinbeck’s book The Log from the Sea of Cortez. Steinbeck was not just a fan of the Sea of Cortez, but of the Baja peninsula as whole.

Jacques Cousteau


One of the most famous modern day explorers, the Frenchman Jacques Cousteau led more than one expedition to the Sea of Cortez.  He did much of his exploring in the 1960’s and felt strongly enough about what he saw that he called the Sea of Cortez the “Aquarium of the World.” It’s no secret any more that the waters in the sea are full of rich and biodiverse marine life. Many locals refer to Cortez as the “whale highway” because of the migration path of whales during the winter months (visitors during this time can normally see dozens of whales at a time!). Whales aren’t all that can be found here. People should keep an eye peeled for dolphins, sea lions, manta rays, and over 900 species of fish that come in all colors and sizes!

You don’t need to be a famous author or explorer to enjoy the natural treasures of the Sea of Cortez. All you need to do is go!

December 12, 2011

The Grey Whales of Baja

Families love the curious grey whales migrating through Baja

Oh, to pat a young grey whale!

Whether you spell it grey or gray, these whales are mighty interesting.

Descended from filter feeding whales that developed over 30 million years ago (30 MILLION!!), grey whales consume ocean worms and crustaceans from the ocean floor and filtered through their baleen.

Growing to 50+ feet long, and weighing as much as 80,000 pounds they are certainly formidable. But curious and friendly too as you can see. Grey whales can live up to 50 years or more, and every year they perform the longest known migration of any other mammal. Their summer feeding grounds are in the icy Arctic waters of the Bering Sea, and in winter they move to their breeding grounds, the warmer waters off the coast of California and Mexico. All along the Pacific coast you can watch their glorious journey.

Thus, thousands of grey whales arrive each year in Baja California. The warm temperature, shallow depth, and limited access to the open sea make the lagoons the ideal places for these marine mammals to mate and to give birth. This environment protects them from the Orcas who use speed when hunting – and speed is hard to obtain in these conditions. A perfect safe haven for the grey whales and their young!

The gestation period for grey whales is 11 – 13 months. The dimply, shortened face is typical of young grey whales, and up close you can see the facial hair on the babies. They can be so curious, they will leap from the water to get a closer look at you – and yes, move in for contact too. A February vacation week is the ideal time to catch this migration in Baja, when the moms and babies are plentiful.

There is someting about the mystery, magic, and curiosity of these giant beings that just makes me want to hug them. How about you?

January 4, 2011

A Man, a Plan, a Canal – a New Family Adventure!

Land Crab in Isla Iguana – there are tons of them!

In August Beth went to Panama to check out some new ideas for 2011. We’ve been showing families the beauties of Panama for years, but we are always looking for the fresh perspective, and the places waiting to be discovered. So we decided to check out some new directions. Like El Valle de Anton, inside the crater of the world’s second largest extinct volcano. (Whoa!) And for beaches and snorkeling along with fascinating wildlife we explored the Azueros Peninsula with its artisans and Spanish influenced villages.

After witnessing troops of howler monkeys swinging through the trees, humpback whales breaching, and tropical land crabs swarming the beach, Beth feels pretty confident that we’re on the right track for a unique and wonderful new family adventure. Add to that: meeting a Diablo mask maker, pen pals with the local Embera kids, a walking tour of Casco Viejo, the old part of Panama City – and of course the Panama Canal. The perfect recipe for an awesome adventure for all generations.

Call us now to book! We have space for your vacation week in February, March and April 800-262-6255

June 24, 2010

BAJA: Top Five Reasons – plus one more

Underwater play

There are many reasons Baja Mexico is an adventurous family’s delight. Maybe you haven’t considered it, but here are some reasons why you should:

1) It’s a breeze to get to, with nonstops from Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix – and more?

2) We sweep you away from the chaos of Cabo and up into the peaceful and relaxing environs of Todos Santos – such beauty!

3) Everyone knows the guide makes the trip – our TFA guide in Baja is no exception.

4) Boredom doesn’t live here: Spend your days surfing, tidepooling, hiking, and horseback riding. Kayak in crystal clear water, and snorkel with curious sea lions by your side!

5) In February come see the whales migrating through – it is said they’ll look you right in the eye and they glide by!

6) Become a language mentor, and help teach local children English while learning about their lives.

We could say more, but isn’t this enough??