A Baja Bubble JourneyTM
Our Bubble JourneysTM are designed for small groups who want to travel privately. You choose your dates and who you want to travel with. Our trips are led by our friendly and knowledgeable guides who open doors to exclusive and often spontaneous experiences of discovery. These trips are perfect for couples, families, or a group of friends.
Ultimate Loreto - Kayaking, Snorkeling, Walking & Whale Watching Adventure
This incredible adventure brings you the best of Baja and is only available during the gray whale watching season from January to late March. You visit the expansive beaches and idyllic waters of the Sea of Cortez, travel into the canyons and peaks of the Sierra la Giganta mountain range, spend two nights in the oasis village of San Miguel de Comondu, and top it all off with 2 or 3 days of whale watching on the Pacific Coast at Magdalena Bay.
Your tour is led by our friendly and professional bilingual staff of local guides with a keen passion for Baja. They are complemented by other locals who share stories, culinary delights and provide a window into the culture of Baja today.
Images & Videos
Arrive in Loreto, Evening Dinner with Guides
Fly to Loreto, BCS via nonstop flights. On arrival, transfer to the quiet historic seaside town of Loreto! Stretch your legs on the Malecon and enjoy a welcome dinner with your local guide.
Please see our Baja Travel Guide for full details on travel to and from Baja.
Because weather determines conditions for our sea-based activities, we have designed this tour with built-in flexibility to allow for various options including hiking, sea kayaking, hiking and snorkeling. These options include:
Hiking in Tabor Canyon aka Steinbeck Canyon
Just a little ways south from Loreto we find a tight and narrow canyon that is a path into the Sierra La Giganta mountains. With boulders and a rocky trail, this is a moderately challenging hike led by our naturalist guides.
It is known locally as Steinbeck Canyon, because the famous author John Steinbeck came here in 1940 as he sailed along Baja’s coast in the Sea of Cortez. He was traveling with his good friend and teacher, biologist Edward F. Ricketts (known as “Doc” in Cannery Row and other books). As they sailed along the coast on the boat named the Western Flyer, they took a break at Puerto Escondido. Some locals met them here and led them into the rugged canyon. Steinbeck wrote: “After a short climb we emerged on a level place in a deep cleft in the granite mountains. In this cleft a tiny stream of water fell hundreds of feet from pool to pool. There were palm trees and wild grapevines and large ferns, and the water was cool and sweet. This little stream, coming from so high up in the mountains and falling so far, never had the final dignity of reaching the ocean.”
We take the same path, winding among large boulders and rewarded with intimate views and a picnic lunch along the creek. Later in the day we scramble back, descending gradually to the coast. By late afternoon we are back in Loreto.
Snorkeling and swimming with optional kayaking - Tour to Isla Coronado
Isla Coronado sits just north of Loreto, rising dramatically from the sea and surrounded by azure waters. Part of the Loreto Bay National Park, it is an ancient volcanoe. You have a choice of traveling to the island by kayak (about 1 ½ miles each way, or by a panga (fisherman’s motorboat). It’s a tropical paradise with long, enticing white sand beaches where we find places to snorkel with brightly colored fish and see a colony of sea lions.
Your naturalist guide is there to tell you as much as you want about the wonders of this ocean world. They will teach you to snorkel if you don’t know how and while snorkeling it is not uncommon to see over 20 species of fish and many other marine organisms. We have lunch on the island and in the late afternoon return to Loreto.
Kayaking to Punta Coyote
Loreto Bay National Park in particular, and the Sea of Cortez in general is world-famous among sea kayakers. The combination of abundant wildlife (dolphins, mantas, whales, birds and more), clear water and stunning scenery are the reasons this is on every kayaker’s bucket list. Today you are introduced to the fun and excitement of kayaking in the Sea of Cortez.
We drive south of Loreto a short way to our put-in where we have an orientation and kayak safety talk. Soon we disembark from the beach, sliding our kayaks into the blue waters where gigantic mountains rise up behind us. Our destination is an island called Danzante. After a stimulating morning paddle we arrive at a crescent moon-shaped cove and pull our kayaks up on the gravel beach. This is the perfect place to walk among cactus and desert plants, snorkel in what Jacques Cousteau called the “Aquarium of the World” and soak in the warm Baja sun. After a filling and delectable lunch of Mexican treats we paddle back to our starting point.
The Loreto Bay National Park was protected because it’s an important home to a wide variety of sea life. There are rays, numerous fish, sea stars, dolphins and many shorebirds. We usually see some of these and as an added bonus, during February and March, you may also see blue and minke whales. We paddle back to our launch point and return to Loreto for the evening.
Depending on what we have already done, we will choose today’s activity. By having flexibility we can choose the best weather day for either our kayak tour or the Isla Coronado tour.
By late afternoon, return to Loreto for dinner and overnight.
San Javier and west to San Miguel de Comondu
Departing Loreto we climb from sea level to 1400’ (420 meters) into the mountains to visit the tiny town of San Javier. Entering into the Sierra La Giganta range gives us a dramatic scenery change and the mission town feels so very different from coastal Loreto. We explore on foot, visiting small shops and the historic 1744 San Javier Mission. From San Javier we drive further inland to see cave paintings from prehistoric time and sit down for lunch at a local ranch.
In the afternoon we wind our way on dirt roads, enveloped by the beauty of this dry, desolate land. Even though it’s dry, the earth here supports a surprising variety of plants and animals. We see agave, cholla cacti, elephant trees, mesquite, pitaya and more. Soon we arrive at our destination, the old mission town of San Miguel de Comondu. This small village sees few travelers and incredibly there is a small hotel built by one of the townspeople. We settle into our rooms, take a stroll along the dirt streets and then join for dinner.
San Miguel de Comondu
Today is a day for asking questions and learning about a way of life that is seldom found in our modernizing world. Learning from locals, we see how they farm, make palm mats, wine and cheese. Then we take a hike through magical geologic formations. It’s a day to relax, slow down and nourish our souls with sharing and friendship.
Back at our small hotel we are served a dinner made of local fare. Some of the villagers may join us to share tales and song.
On to Magdalena Bay
After a casual morning of exploration we arrive at Lopez Mateos for lunch and the start of our first whale watching session. We leave the docks and spend about 2 hours quietly motoring north among the gray whales who congregate here every winter to raise their young. This is one of life’s great wildlife experiences!
By later afternoon we arrive at our whale watching camp. Set on a sand-dune island that separates the crashing surf of the Pacific from the quiet lagoons of Magdalena Bay, it’s a magical place of fresh sea air and dark star-filled night skies. Accommodations are in walk-in canvas tents with cots.
Whale Watching & Return to Loreto
The quiet screech of seabirds and lapping waters on the beach make for a gentle awakening. Coffee is ready and from our camp you can see whales and dolphins in the lagoon. Breakfast is served and we pack up. Our whale watching panga arrives around 9:00 AM and off we go for a 2-hour whale watching session. Typically when our guide sees a whale and calf, we approach and stop about 100-150 meters away. The motor is put into idle. Then it’s up to the whale to come closer or not. Some do and some don’t. Depending on conditions we either stay in the bay entirely or may head out through the mouth of the bay (the boca) to see whales in the more open seas. Eventually we make our way back to the town dock at Lopez Mateos. We have lunch in a local restaurant run by a fishing cooperative, then continue about 2 ½ hours back to Loreto.
We have a farewell dinner and share memories of our time together.
Extend Your Stay or Departure Day
Option of spending one more day at the whale camp is possible. If not extending your stay head home or on to further travels.
Note: Our whale camp has 10 tents and a capacity for up to 20 guests. While you may be in a smaller group during the Loreto and mountain exploration portions of the trip, there may be other people sharing the whale camp. Each tent is separated from other tents by 20-50 feet (7-15 meters). Meals are served outdoors, weather permitting. Otherwise they are served in our large 30’ diameter dome tents where we also give our evening naturalist presentations.
Dates & Rates
Daily departures available for private groups Mid-January to Mid-March.
**PLEASE INQUIRE FOR 23/24 PRICING
Where there are options we have based these prices on mid range accommodations. Should you wish higher range hotels or private vacation rentals we are happy to provide a quote. Please just ask your Adventures Consultant.
Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wish to have your own hotel room in Loreto an additional single supplement is required. Solo travelers may be asked to share a large stand-up canvas tent with another guest at Magdalena Bay Whale Camp.If you are asked to share a tent at our whale camp, rest assured that tents are very spacious, full-height canvas wall tents, with two cots and plenty of room to stand and maneuver around your tent-mate without difficulty. Please inquire at time of booking if you have any questions.
- Full services of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional bi-lingual guide
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- Hotel accommodations between activities as dictated by the itinerary
All transportation while on tour
All kayaking, camping and snorkeling equipment
All entrance fees and National Park fees
Tour Does Not Include:
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Hotel accommodations before and after tour
- Items of a personal nature
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
FAQ & More
Please see our Baja Travel Guide for full details on travel to and from Baja.
Airport transfers are not included in your tour package price.
Yes, all of our tour pricing is in US Dollars.
Packages Include: Hotel accommodations in between activities only, all paddling and camping equipment, all snorkeling gear, all meals and beverages once the tour begins, all National Parks & Biosphere Reserve access fees required by itinerary, bi-lingual certified Guides and the full service of our Adventure Consultants. Dates provided reflect your arrival date; all packages include an arrival and departure day.
Packages do not Include: Airfare, transportation to and from airport, Hotel accommodations before and after tour, gratuities, $25 National Parks & Biosphere Reserves access fees required by itinerary, and items of a personal nature.
Our Combo tours are offered late January through mid-March, when the gray whales are present in Magdalena Bay to calve. We GUARANTEE gray whale sightings on our combo tours! This time of year in Baja can have cooler days (75-80*F/23-27*C) and a chance of wind, with temperatures rising in late February and March. As an added bonus to spring trips, the islands of Loreto National Marine Park, located in the Sea of Cortez (where you will kayak), are home for 6 different species of whales including Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Bryde's and Pilot whales. They swim up into the Sea of Cortez from late January through April. There are few other places that harbor such a concentration and diversity of whales.
For all of our Baja tours we use high quality, fiberglass kayaks, made by Seward. The majority of our fleet is comprised of tandems, as these boats offer the greatest stability, speed, and ease of paddling. There are typically a small number of single kayaks present on the tour, which will be utilized by the guides. Depending on weather conditions, and interest, they may allow guests to rotate into singles; however this will be at the guide's' discretion based on safety and the paddling objectives for the day. We also have a limited number of solo kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost) for paddlers who have ocean kayaking experience.
Yes, if at any time a guest does not want to paddle they are welcome to ride in the panga instead.
We have single kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost of $100) for paddlers who have previous ocean paddling experience. If you would like to reserve a single kayak for your trip you will need to contact our Adventure Consultants to add this to your reservation and provide a summary of your ocean paddling experience.
When stopping at shore, you should be able to climb in and out of the kayaks on your own. They will be floating in calf-deep water. Your guides are happy to assist, but balance and limberness are required. When you get to your evening campsite, all group members must to be able to help carry the kayaks above the high tide line, in teams of 6-8, before the group disperses. You will change camp sites almost every night, but may have a layover day. Camp sites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour.
During the kayaking portion of the tour, you will paddle to a new campsite almost every day but may have a layover day. Campsites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour. We endeavor to secure the very best campsites for the natural beauty and amenities of the area. Your guides will give a demonstration of how to set up and take down your provided dome tent. We also will provide you with a sleeping bag, liner sheet, pillow and an inflatable thermarest sleeping pad. There will be a kitchen/dining area and shade tarps where you can sit back and relax. While kayaking, we can only carry enough fresh water for drinking and cooking. There are no fresh water sources on most of the coastline and islands we visit. You can clean up with saltwater and soap off above the high tide line, or bring disposable shower wipes. A porta potty will fit into a hatch of the kayak or on the panga support boat, and will be transported to each campsite and set into a sheltered area for solid waste. Liquid waste can be expelled below the high tide line, or in a separate porta-potty bucket.
While on the whale watching portion of the tour, you will stay at our exclusive base camp located on a sand-dune barriers island. Our whale camp has pre-assembled roomy full-height wall tent with two cots, night stand, rectangular sleeping bag with clean sheet, small pillow, and comfortable self-inflating pad are provided for your convenience at camp. There is also a washroom tent with a portable toilet. We recommend packing biodegradable shower wipes to freshen up with as there is no fresh water at whale camp.
Sea Kayak Adventures will provide you with a detailed packing list prior to your trip. We provide all of the necessary camping, paddling and snorkeling equipment, which you will need to fully enjoy your adventure. If you have any questions, or need help deciding what to bring, you can call or e-mail one of our friendly Adventure Consultants at any time for some extra advice!
We know your Guide will make the biggest difference on your trip! Which is why we pride ourselves on employing only the best local guides for all of the incredible locations that we visit. Part of this is to support our eco-tourism efforts, but we also believe that there is no better way to experience a new destination than through they eyes of a local! We find talented and skilled local guides, train and certify them, and provide a positive and consistent source of income to them and their families. Most of our guides are with us for the long-term, despite the seasonal nature of the industry.
Our renowned wilderness meals are prepared daily by our guides using local, fresh, healthy ingredients. In Baja you can expect an authentic dining experience, with savory dishes like chiles rellenos, tostadas, ceviche, and chicken mole. We even serve delicious desserts like brownies and pineapple upside-down cake! Each morning, we serve up freshly brewed coffee or tea. Throughout the day we provide an abundance of local fruits, vegetables, and other snacks. Wine and mixed drinks are served with hors d’oeuvres each evening for happy hour.
We do our best to accommodate special dietary requests, working within the parameters of the destinations in which we operate. If you have a very strict diet, we recommend packing extra snacks that you know you can eat.
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included hotel nights. Solo travelers who would like their own single hotel room can pay a single supplement or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our hotel costs. Solo travelers will always have their own tent during kayaking tours, and will typically have their own tent at whale camp, both at no additional cost. However, we are unable to guarantee individual tents at whale camp due to limited tent capacity. If you are asked to share a tent at our whale camp, rest assured that tents are very spacious, full-height canvas wall tents, with two cots and plenty of room to stand and maneuver around your tent-mate without difficulty.
Please see our full Terms & Conditions HERE.