Sea Lions, Whale Sharks + Mobulas
SEA OF CORTEZ—Oct 27-Nov 3, 2019
JOIN BACKSCATTER UNDERWATER VIDEO & PHOTO ALONG WITH JOANNA LENTINI & ALEX ROSE TO THE SEA OF CORTEZ FOR EPIC MARINE LIFE ENCOUNTERS IN OCTOBER OF 2019
Imagine coming face to face with California sea lion pups, whale sharks, and mobula rays all in the matter of one week! Now imagine, camping under the stars and exploring one of the Baja Peninsula’s most treasured natural wonders. The Sea of Cortez is a playground for ocean enthusiasts. Here you can find abundant wildlife, and turquoise bays surrounded by spectacular, terra cotta colored mountain ranges. On your way to and from dive sites, pods of dolphins, and whales glide by in search of food—while mobulas can be spotted hurling themselves out of the sea and into the air. And seabirds patrol the air. This is the ocean lover’s realm.
In October 2019, we are running a 7-day snorkel, dive, and photography trip to La Paz, Mexico—at the southeastern tip of Baja California. Join underwater and wildlife photographers, us on this epic adventure.
A MAXIMUM OF 14 GUESTS
Dates: October 27 – November 3, 2019
Duration: 6 days / 7 nights
Destination: La Paz, Mexico
Deposit: $500 USD, Final payment due 90 days prior to trip
Getting there: Fly into either La Paz via Mexico City or fly into Cabo San Lucas and transfer by air-conditioned shuttle with wifi to La Paz—about 2.5 hours.
Activities: Two nights camping at Isla Espiritu National Reserve, one day swimming with whale sharks, night dives/snorkels with mobulas, diving/snorkeling with California sea lions at Los Islotes, and many photography opportunities.
Included: Four nights accommodations at Seven Crown La Paz Centro Hotel, two nights accommodations and all meals at the campsite, boat charter, park fees, guides, tanks and weights provided, all diving/snorkeling, and daily transfers between hotel and marina, photography talks.
Not Included: Tips, alcohol, dive/snorkel equipment rental, shuttle bus, flights
Underwater or Topside Photography Instruction Available — Please Inquire
- Day One — If you are flying into Cabo san Lucas’ SJD airport, you’ll want to reserve a seat on the shuttle bus ecobajatours.com. The rates are very reasonable and the shuttle bus picks you up just outside the airport exit and whisks you away to La Paz. It’s a very scenic two hour drive with a stop along the way. Once everyone has arrived to the Seven Crown Hotel we will connect in the hotel lobby to discuss all of the excellent dining options within minutes of the hotel, and the exciting itinerary for the week ahead.
- Day Two — Today we set sail for our first encounters with the boisterous sea lion colony at Los Islotes. Here we will swim, snorkel, or dive around the rocky outcrop and come face to face with these adorable “puppies of the sea.” No worries about food, lunch will be provided each day on the boat. On our way back to La Paz we cruise past the stunning terra-cotta stained terrain of the National Park as we make our way back into the bay to investigate the whale shark scene. The crew will do their best to get us as close as possible to the whale sharks but they do move fast so be prepared to swim!
- Day Three — Depending on the weather we will either stay in La Paz Bay and hang out with the insatiable whale sharks as they feed on plankton, or head over to Los Islotes to explore the other side of the island. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore around the island that locals are still discovering new spots. Be sure to bring your reef-safe sunscreen as the sun is always shining in La Paz!
- Day Four — It’s time for a serious break as we head off the grid to go camping in the desert. For the next 48 hours we will disconnect from the world, and relish in life’s simple pleasures. As the sea lion colony is a short jaunt from the camp, we will put the whale shark encounters on hold and focus on getting more intimate with the sea lion pups. We’ll have a midday break at the camp where we can soak up the sun, paddle board, swim, or read a book under an umbrella. After lunch we head back out to the sea lion colony as we wait for nightfall. After dinner we gear up and quietly make our way out into the shallow, sandy bay. Lighting up the sea floor, we wait patiently for the mobula rays to grace us with their presence. It’s definitely a waiting game but once they arrive all havoc breaks loose. We descend to the sandy seafloor and position ourselves just on the rim of the light as the rays sweep in and out of the light as they feast on plankton. It’s a magical scene as we witness the rays gliding through the water like a flock of bats in the night sky.
- Day Five — Today will be a repeat of the activities from the day before. But perhaps you’ll find yourself preferring a little terra firma for a change? A peaceful hike through the cacti forest behind the camp or some astrophotography in the evening might be in order. And be sure not to leave the camp without catching a glimpse of the resident hare they’ve named Pancho!
- Day Six — Check out of the campground and make our way back to La Paz. Along the way we may encounter dolphins, whales, or rays so have your fins/cameras ready to go! Depending on everyone’s eagerness for a proper shower, we may also stop by to say hello to the whale sharks.
- Day Seven — One last farewell to the resident California sea lions and whale sharks as we wind down the week, let our gear dry, and explore the Malecon for our last night in La Paz.
- Day Eight — Time to say our goodbyes, as we check out of the hotel and head back to the airport via shuttle bus (ecobajatours.com). But we take with us some of the most magical encounters on offer around the Baja peninsula, and perhaps the world.
Please note: The campsite is situated on a picturesque, turquoise bay and has solar powered electricity, running showers, and flushing toilets. And while it is the ideal time of the year for marine life encounters in this region the only guarantee we can provide is for the sea lion encounters—as they are permanent residents—however, it is highly likely we will see the others mentioned above. The itinerary is subject to shift depending on weather.
“The trip to the Sea of Cortez with Joanna and Alex was a magical experience I’ll never forget. Whether you are a master or recreational diver or you stay topside and snorkel, you will have the most amazing wildlife encounters imaginable. Every part of this trip was well thought out by Joanna and Alex. The hotel was conveniently located, clean and had a huge shower which was very useful for cleaning your dive and snorkel gear. The camping was perfect! Showers, electricity and an on-site cook to prepare meals make it hard to call it camping. The night sky at the campsite looked like something from a movie set. The dive operators that Joanna and Alex work with are pros who know everything about the areas we were exploring. Even though Joanna and Alex thought through every detail, the real mind-blowing experience was the wildlife itself. We snorkeled with whale sharks, went night diving with mobula rays, saw hundreds of species of fish but nothing quite compares to the sea lion colony at Los Islotes. Hundreds of sea lions swim, play and interact with you in one of the most beautiful settings on earth. The experience will live with me the rest of my life. I am so glad to have gone on this adventure, I met some amazing people in our group and I will definitely be looking to do more trips with Joanna and Alex.”
—James Kozack (joined the Ocotber 2017 Sea of Cortez Trip)
“This was one of the best tours I’ve been a part of. I usually travel solo and wasn’t sure if I should be a part of a tour to a diving trip in Mexico. Joanna and Alex are both masterful in organizing and making sure that everybody in the group is taken care of with any special requests, needs etc. From the hotel in La Paz to the camping site on a dreamy island under the stars and the encounters with the sea lions and whale sharks, everything was smooth and simply perfect. They went out of their way to help us with camera issues, questions and techniques too! There was no way to get this experience if I had gone solo on this one and I am very grateful for the lifelong memories. To more trips ahead!”
—Berna Tural (joined the Ocotber 2017 Sea of Cortez Trip)