Baja: A Whale of an Adventure

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This itinerary in the southern part of Mexico’s sunny Baja Peninsula provides an experience that cannot be matched. On this Mexico family vacation, you'll witness an extraordinary Baja whale watch! Experience hordes of magnificent gray whales using Magdalena Bay as their breeding and birthing ground at the tail end (no pun intended!) of their migration from the frigid and distant waters of Alaska. Two whale-watching excursions deliver an incredibly close view of these majestic giants breaching the surface – so close, in fact, that you may just get the chance to reach out and touch them!

This supreme privilege comes as an added bonus at the end of an already life-changing family trip! In the quaint artists’ town of Todos Santos, you’ll ride on horseback down a vast strip of white sand beach, meet and spend quality time with your kids’ Mexican pen pals, and learn how to surf from an expert instructor. And in the laid-back little beachfront city of La Paz, the fun is just as endless; hike through desert cliffs overlooking stunningly blue ocean views, swim with playful sea lions around the rocky islets they use as their hangout, and kayak around the mangroves in the crystal clear waters of Balandra Bay!

 

 

2015 Dates
Dates 10 or more
travelers
6 to 9
travelers
2 to 5
travelers
02/14 - 02/22 $3,190 $3,390 $3,590

Child Discount: $200 per child under 12

Triple Discount: $300 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

Prices are based on the number of people in your party.

Price includes: All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bi-lingual guide throughout, all meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

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Day 1 – Depart home / Arrive San Jose del Cabo

Welcome to Mexico’s Baja! Bordered by both the wild Pacific Ocean and the protected Sea of Cortez, this finger-like desert peninsula is a haven for exotic plants, birds and animals (both terrestrial and marine) and home to friendly and welcoming people. Whether vacationing with teens or with youngsters—the Baja offers unexpected delights and adventures for all ages.

 

  • Welcome dinner at Santo Vino
Days 2-4 – Todos Santos

An undiscovered gem, Todos Santos is back-dropped by the Sierra de Laguna Mountains and rimmed with gorgeous beaches and lush gardens. It’s an official Pueblo Mágico—one of Mexico’s 50 off-the-beaten-path towns known for their “magical” ambiance. During your time here, you and the kids will have the chance to make local friends and fully explore this fascinating, less-traveled area—on foot, by horseback, and in the water.

 

  • Todos Santos Historical Tour
  • Horseback ride on the beach
  • Fun with local kids
  • Hang Ten! Learn to surf
  • Beach time
  • Friends Across Borders Meeting (pen pals)
  • Dinners at Landi's and La Casita Tapas & Wine Bar
  • Hike striking desert cliffs overlooking the ocean
  • Beach Picnic
  • Mexican cooking lesson
Days 5-6 - La Paz

Cross the peninsula, arriving in La Paz on the Sea of Cortez. Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez— one of the planet’s most bio-diverse ecosystems—“the aquarium of the world” and “the Galapagos of North America.” Our adventure at Los Islotes today is a trip highlight—an unforgettable nose-to-nose (literally!) encounter with the local sea lions that thrive in these nutrient-rich waters.

 

  • Transfer to La Paz
  • Kayaking in picturesque, tranquil Balandra Bay
  • Swimming with sea lions
  • Dinner at El Bismarkcito
Day 7 – La Paz / Magdalena Bay

Magdalena Bay is one of the best places on the continent to view the seasonal migration of California gray whales. From the nutrient-rich waters of Alaska, the grays begin their southbound journey in autumn, swimming more than 4,000 miles to the Baja coast. From late January through mid-March, the 35-mile-long Magdalena Bay, sheltered from the wild Pacific by barrier sand islands, serves as the whales’ breeding and birthing ground. During our time here, two whale-watching excursions will put you and your family right in the thick of things... you’ll be so close to these magnificent mammals, it will take your breath away.

 

  • Magdalena Bay whale watching
Day 8 - Magdalena Bay
 
  • Magdalena Bay – more whale watching
  • Transfer to Todos Santos
  • Farewell dinner
Day 9 – Todos Santos to San Jose del Cabo / Arrive home

After a fond farewell, a Thomson Family Adventures representative will help with your transfer to the airport in San Jose del Cabo for your international flight home. Hasta luego...! 

Serendipity

Located on the ocean side of Todos Santos, Serendipity is a beautiful property with gorgeous views. The individually configured casitas (little houses) each feature comfortable beds, air conditioning and a full bath. Other amenity highlights include a pool and Jacuzzi, and a central pavilion with a fireplace.

Seven Crown La Paz Centro Hotel

The Seven Crown La Paz Centro Hotel is located in downtown La Paz, Baja California Sur just 2 blocks from the Malecon. This hotel features 50 Guest Rooms and Suites, a swimming pool, wireless internet access, and exceptional service.

Hotel Brennan

Established in 1996, the Hotel Brennan is a cozy, family-run hotel located in Puerto San Carlos.  The hotel features 14 individually decorated rooms, each with ceiling fans and satellite TV.  Not far from Magdalena Bay, Hotel Brennan is a convenient jumping off point for whale watching.

Why Baja?

The aquarium of the world
Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez “the aquarium of the world” and “the Galapagos of North America.” About 39 percent of the world’s marine mammal species and 70 percent of the world’s marine cetacean species live or migrate though here, making this region one of the planet’s most bio-diverse ecosystems. Baja is also home to small animals such as the flying mobula (very similar to manta rays) and the vaquita marina, or sea calf (declared by the Natural Resources Defense Council to be “the world’s rarest, most endangered porpoise”), as well as to the world’s largest animal—the blue whale. The Sea of Cortez also plays seasonal host to humpback, killer, pilot and grey whales and permanent resident populations of fin and sperm whales. Family travel to the region is a perfect way to share the wonders of this corner of the planet in a highly personal and up-close adventure.
An easy-to-get-to destination
As our south-of-the-border neighbor, Baja is easy to get to. Direct flights depart from many U.S. airports, including Newark, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and Seattle. It’s a great destination for families who want to experience a completely unique, beautiful, and totally different culture and environment that’s a stress-free plane ride away.
Where the desert meets the ocean
One of the most striking things about the Baja peninsula is the incredible juxtaposition of desert and sea, happy home to both cactus and seagull. Artists and photographers are lured here by the quality of light, marine sports enthusiasts come to enjoy the challenging fun above and below the surface of the inviting big blue sea, and families have discovered that a trip to the Baja offers a perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.
Warm, hospitable people
Travel with Thomson to Baja offers countless opportunities to both enjoy the great outdoor activities of the area, and to make friends with some of the local residents. The people are family-oriented, relaxed, and always ready to welcome visitors into the fold. Throughout your family trip you’ll meet English-speaking locals who happily share their stories and insights into the area. Your kids will also have the wonderful opportunity to play a soccer game and enjoy a piñata party with local children. More often than not, families find that they have not only had a great time together in Baja, but have made many new Mexican friends as well.
Surfing hotspot
The Pacific beaches of Todos Santos have some of the most famous surf breaks in the Baja Peninsula, making it a great place for your eager child to take that first lesson, or brush up on your form if you’ve already got your moves down.
The last frontier
The people of Mexico consider the Baja “the last frontier.” Ten million years ago the southern part of this peninsula was an island, and this isolation gave rise to the great diversity of native plant and animal species found here. More than 23 percent of the plants and 10 percent of the animals found in southern Baja are endemics. In addition to such fascinating wildlife as the babisuri (ring-tailed cats), mountain lions, and Baja ground squirrels, a wonderful array of birdlife inhabits the lower peninsula, including the endemic cape pygmy owl, Xantus hummingbird and Belding’s yellowthroat. This unique eco-region is also home to the last populations of pronghorn antelope, puma, mule deer and mountain sheep in Mexico. We believe the Baja is one of the great natural treasures of North America... those who visit all seem to agree.
Excellent eats
Every meal in Baja is casual and delicious. Get comfortable and enjoy some delectable, authentic Mexican comfort food. Eat chilaquiles and huevos rancheros to start off a full day of family adventure. At lunch and dinner time, get your fill of home and house-made tacos, enchiladas, and burritos with chicken, beef, fish, or pork, and tomato, green chile, and mole sauces.

Why Baja with Thomson?

Whales in Magdalena Bay
Magdalena Bay is one of the most fascinating places in the world to see gray whales. Watching them here at the end of their 4,000-mile migration from Alaska, breaching and fluking just beside your boat, is a positively spectacular experience. You may even have the chance to reach out and touch one of these gentle goliaths.
Amazing guides
Our local guides in Baja are extremely knowledgeable and proud of their beloved culture, and they are so lively and full of energy, your kids won’t even be able to keep up with them! They’ll lead your family on desert canyon hikes, join the kids in a daring leap off the side of the boat, and play in every spontaneous or organized game of beach soccer. With positive attitudes and can’t-be-fazed demeanors, our guides will see to it that everything behind the scenes is taken care of so you won’t have to worry about a single detail of your family adventure.
Full range of activities and terrains
We will never let your family get bored with any one setting or activity. You’ll traverse an arid desert landscape with dusty trails and native cacti, ride on horseback along an endless expanse of empty beach, roll down soft dunes into clear blue water, learn to surf on the waves of Los Cerritos, and kayak around magnificent rock formations in Balandra Bay, stopping to swim and play with friendly sea lions in their native habitat. We never bring our travelers on the standard, run-of-the-mill family vacation – we construct the perfect trip to make sure you experience Baja the right way.
A map of a Baja family vacation