Dates and Cost

March 16-28, 2018
Cost: $4400 per person ($800 single supplement)

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About this Trip

The Baja Peninsula is a geographic phenomenon, being barely connected to California and Arizona and separating the Sea of Cortez from the Pacific Ocean. At its narrowest spot it is a mere 25 miles wide and at its widest nearly 200 miles. Most of the peninsula is desert and xeric shrub lands, although in parts there are impressive boojum/cardon forest and palm-filled oases and chaparral, woodlands and pine-oak forests are also found in the more mountainous regions. Over the years, the peninsula has been inhabited by numerous native people, followed by Spanish explorers, zealous missionaries and adventurous travelers. Today, Baja is influenced by its proximity to the USA and yet it is still distinctly and refreshingly Mexican, imbued with and almost ‘island-like’ mentality. It is a popular destination for travelers of all kinds seeking out fun and adventure and Baja is a lot to offer….whale watching, surfing, wind-surfing, off road sports, snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing and much more.
This is a classic road trip, with birding and other great adventures along the way. Baja is a great place to pick up a few unique Mexican endemic birds and to find a number of interesting species, but probably not the place to go if you are only looking to see a lot of new birds. However…if you have a desire to do the road trip of a lifetime, seeing Baja from north to south, this is the way to appreciate the dramatic geography, changing landscapes, historical heritage and unique culture of the 775 mile long peninsula!
We begin in San Diego, crossing the border in Tecate. What better way to begin the trip than take some time in the renowned Valle de Guadalupe wine country where we’ll enjoy wine tasting and fine cuisine, followed by some lagoon and estuary birding. Heading south, we pass through the historic ‘Ruta de Vino’, doing a bit more tasting, before heading into the San Pedro Martir mountains, where we are treated to amazing scenery, and great rancho hospitality. We spend a full day birding in the seldom visited national park in pine-fir forest intermixed with meadows and aspen groves. From the top, on a clear day it is possible to see both the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez! Back down to the lowlands, we stop at the expansive, bird-rich Bahia San Quintin before heading to Cataviña, a spectacular oasis in the middle of the peninsula. Driving south, the boojum forest continue and begin to intermix with other habitats, eventually ending in the vast Vizcaino Desert. The wetlands west of Guerrero Negro are the next destination before driving through more desert to another oasis, San Ignacio, a small town with lush palm groves and an impressive mission. We then spend two great days at Campo Cortez, an eco-lodge perched right on the edge Laguna de San Ignacio where you might hear the whales breathing at night! Leaving this tranquil spot, we finally hit the Sea of Cortez and the eastern edge of the peninsula. We’ll stop bird in Mulege and enjoy a picnic lunch on the scenic Bahia de Concepcion, one of the most beautiful places in all of Baja. In Loreto, we’ll bird the road up to the San Javier Mission and enjoy some downtime in this quaint Pueblo Magico. Leaving Loreto we’ll climb up through the Sierra de la Giganta and take some time to bird the agricultural fields around Ciudad Constitucion before going on to La Paz, one of Baja’s biggest cities. A night on the lively Malecon is a great way to get a taste of this bustling community. In the remote Sierra de la Laguna, we’ll go in search of a few of the Baja endemics, including the Cape Pygmy Owl and spend the night in Los Barriles. On our last full day, we have the chance to head up into the mountains again, or make our way to San Jose del Cabo where we’ll bird in the estuary. To cap off our north to south road trip, we’ll take a sunset cocktail cruise out of Cabo San Lucas to the rocks at the very tip of the peninsula!

Accommodations

On this longer trip, our accommodations are as varied as the peninsula itself! We stay at a few small boutique hotels, a historic and rustic mountain ranch, a few of the classic original hotels on the transpeninsular highway, a couple of nice seaside resorts and an eco-lodge in the middle of nowhere on a lagoon!

This trip starts in San Diego, CA and ends in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.

To book your trip or for more information, please contact us by email or call 888-383-0062.