Dates and Cost

September 20-26, 2017 (Note: NEW DATES)
$2700 per person ($450 single supplement)

Images

About This Trip

Northern Baja is a great and beautiful place to pick a few Mexican endemics and find a number of interesting species in a variety of habitats. In addition, it is becoming well known for some excellent vineyards that are producing some very fine wines! This is a birding trip that will leave allow liberal time for sampling some of Baja’s best wines while eating at some of the best restaurants in Mexico!  We also explore coastal northern Baja and one remote national park in the central mountains.

The Baja Peninsula is a geographic phenomenon. The 775 mile long peninsula separates the Sea of Cortez from the Pacific Ocean. At its narrowest spot, it is a mere 25 miles wide and at its widest it is approximately 200 miles. Most of the peninsula is desert and xeric shrub lands, although 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, the northern region of Baja is influenced by its proximity to the USA and yet it is still distinctly and refreshingly Mexican!

We begin in San Diego and head to the border, crossing in Tecate. The breathtaking mountains around Tecate are a fine introduction to the beauty of Baja. Our introduction to the wine country begins with a tour and tasting at LA Cetto . In Ensenada, we visit the fish market and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch. Just south of Ensenada lies La Lagunita and  the big Estero Punta Banda, where we can see loons, grebes, ducks, shorebirds, gulls, skimmers, rails and sparrows. On our layover day here, we head inland into the Ojos Negros valley for birding, cheese tasting and a delicious meal at La Cava de Marcelo .  From the estuary, La Bufadora and Punta Banda, we head south to the expansive, bird-rich Bahia San Quintin, stopping at the very historic Santo Tomas winery in the original ‘Ruta de Vino’. After birding around San Quintin, we make our way up to San Pedro Martir. On the climb up into the mountains, we’ll stop and bird the various habitats, starting in the cactus desert and farmland, then up into the chaparral and oaks where we’ll spend the a couple nights. On our layover day in the mountains, we’ll bird the drainage by our hotel before climbing up into the pine-fir forest intermixed with meadows and aspen groves. At the top, there is an astronomical observatory and a little visited national park. It is a beautiful corner of the world up on top and on a clear day it is possible to see both the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez! After getting our fill of the mountains, we’ll make our way into the Valle de Guadalupe. We stay at a boutique hotel with excellent food and hospitality. Our days in the valley will be spent birding the best spots in the morning, followed by wine tastings in the afternoon! Among the birds we can see on the tour are Black-vented Shearwater, Grey and California Thrashers, Red Crossbill, Pinyon Jay, Pygmy Nuthatch, Saw-whet Owl, Mountain Quail, Sierran Fox Sparrow, Least Storm-Petrel, Yellow-footed gulls, California Gnatcatcher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blackpoll Warbler, Bald and Golden Eagles and many more.

Accommodations

On the coast, we stay two nights at the comfortable Estero Beach Hotel which has a great location right at the mouth of the estuary. In San Quintin, we stay at the nice and simple, Hotel Santa Maria, located right on the beach. Up in the mountains, we spend another two nights at the historic, family run Rancho Meling. The last two nights are spent in a beautiful and comfortable Hacienda Guadalupe with a great view of the valley.

This trip starts and ends in San Diego.

 

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