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Mexico: The Great Gray Whale Migration and Baja’s Natural Wonders

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Road Scholar
Program #12315RJ
8 Days | 7 Nights
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Mary from Greer, SC Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 03/23/14 - 03/30/14
The opportunity to interact with these 40 ton gentle giants is unparalleled. It was exciting and moving to "pat" baby whales and to watch the mothers and calves swim, dive and spy-hop. Few things are more moving than the mutual trust that we will do not harm to the whales and in turn they will not harm us. Mankind could learn something here.

Joan from Wausau, WI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/23/14 - 03/30/14
This experience at-large exceeded all expectations. Engaging with the magnificent gray whale cows and calves so directly and personally was surreal, spiritual, incredible. We will forever be in awe of them and our interactions with them. Our experiences have triggered further reading and learning, and concern for their well-being. The desert hikes and exposure to magnificent and diverse cacti was thrilling as well. We hadn't anticipated that to be such a rich bonus!Road Scholar's collaboration with Andiamo for this adventure is brilliant. Our leaders Tim and Juan were excellent. Our group of 24 was diverse, adventuresome and a joy to travel with. The whole experience ... not to be missed!

Alan from Bethesda, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/18/14 - 03/25/14
Getting up and personal with the Gray Whales was a truly unbelievable, rewarding and exciting experience in a single word - WOW!

Vicki from Spearfish, SD Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/09/14 - 03/16/14
Running my hand along a whale's back and scratching a baby whale's "chin" was an indescribable experience--mystical, awe-inspiring, magical... Read all of the reviews and you will see how much everyone agrees.

Diane from Grand Rapids, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/02/14 - 03/09/14
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the two days of the trip going through the desert to get to the whales. It was very interesting and more beautiful than I'd expected. Road Scholar has this trip down to a science. The encounters with the whales were beyond my imagining as well. I feel privileged to have seen and touched and enjoyed these marvelous creatures!

Liz from Mansfield, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/02/14 - 03/09/14
This was a fantastic program and I would return in a heart beat. Never thought I would be that up close and personal with a whale much less more than one. Also did not know the desert could be so beautiful--just think of it as hot! Tim and Juan did a great job.

Norma Jean from Mountain View, CA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 02/27/14 - 03/06/14
Words cannot convey the wonder of having these gentle giants approach humans in small boats, with evident curiosity, interest, trust, and playfulness, astonishing after our having nearly hunted them to extinction. This is a never-to-be-forgotten experience that reduces one to a state of total childlike wonder and delight. If you sign up, do not fail to allow time to read Eye of the Whale (from the recommended reading list) before you go, as it will greatly enhance the experience. Expect to get wet & bring Goretex pants as well as jacket, & be prepared to protect your camera from salt water splashes. The packing list suggests possibly bringing something slightly dressy; this is not necessary. Road Scholar offers the option of vegetarian meals, but no provision is made for such. Our guide & assistant scrambled to try to find something to eat for the 4/24 in my group who had opted for vegetarian meals.

Madelyn from Friday Harbor, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/02/14 - 03/09/14
This was our first experience with Road Scholars and it did not disappoint! Its still hard to believe we experienced the whales so intimately. It was awe inspiring. Sunsets on the beach and in the desert were an added bonus. Our wonderful guide, Tim, made the hours on the bus interesting, accommodations were very comfortable, food excellent, and all those "welcome Margaritas" added to the celebratory dimenson of this trip.

Betty from Knoxville, TN Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/27/14 - 03/06/14
Having complete trust in a 35-ton whale, who has just slipped under your small boat, is a feeling that will last a lifetime.

Beth from Eugene, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/27/14 - 03/06/14
For many, many years I have gone to places on the Pacific coast hoping to catch a glimpse of a gray whale or see a "blow". To go to Baja to the lagoons at Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio and sit out in the water and be surrounded by these beautiful animals is a dream come true and an experience beyond description. Touching a gray whale was deeply emotional for me. The Baja peninsula is an amazing place and you will see and learn much about it on this trip.

Lynn from Broken Arrow, OK Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 03/02/14 - 03/09/14
I chose this trip to learn more about whales and interact with them. To actually experience them up close and be able to touch them far exceeded my expectations. Truly a once in a life time experience that will be a special memory. The group leader was fantastic and our group was interesting and friendly.

James from Eugene, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/27/14 - 03/06/14
An experience I never expected I would really have. To share the bays with so many whales and to actually touch a whale was a lifetime experience.

Lawrence from Vero Beach, FL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/27/14 - 03/06/14
The experience of seeing and touching the grey whales is a profound and unforgettable experience. The desert landscape in Baja is beautiful and unique. Carlos and Miriam, our guides, were just wonderful. This was a must do on my bucket list.

Betty from Apple Valley, MN Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 02/07/14 - 02/14/14
Our week was a kaleidoscope of unforgettable experiences. Overviews of Mexican history, life and customs, informative walks in the desert, visiting Mexican people in their homes, savoring three magical encounters with those "Magnificent Grays", plus lovely accommodations and wonderful food, all combined to leave us with priceless memories! We are deeply grateful to our superb tour guide, Karla, and her wonderful assistant, Miriam.

Judith from Daly City, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/07/14 - 02/14/14
If you want to see the grey whales up close, this is the trip for you. It is close to a religious experience. The deserts of Baja California are an added plus - absolutely beautiful.

Pamela from Chatham, NJ Number of programs attended: 21
Date attended: 01/29/14 - 02/05/14
As everyone says, the whales are fabulous! But be warned: there are loooong bus rides and a fairly rigorous schedule. Also, you definitely need layers -- even gloves and hat or scarf. Hotel rooms can be chilly, too, and doing laundry when you're only in each place for one night isn't easy: it may be the desert, but laundry doesn't dry that quickly!

Nina from Palo Alto, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/07/14 - 02/14/14
Hard to believe it really see, feel, touch, move with these gentle giants. There were mothers with their babies, courtship displays, diving, breeching, spy hopping, spouting all around. Some curious ones came up to the boat. Hands immediately reached out to feel smooth skin punctuated by rough barnacles. Such magic! Went out three times in two different lagoons. Each time was different. Each time was special. Fantastic experience.

Elna from San Jose, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/07/14 - 02/14/14
What a sheer delight, to be surprised by a great, barnacled head emerging from the water just inches away from the side of your boat and then the thrill of being able to reach out and actually touch such a magnificent creature! It doesn't get much better than this.

Judy from Delaware, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/07/14 - 02/14/14
excellent trip! I would do it again in a heartbeat!

David from Hudson, OH Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/07/14 - 02/14/14
On this trip you will see dozens, if not hundreds, of whales. Over half of you will touch a whale. You will experience the real Baja and you will interact with real residents of the Baja. This trip includes the best of what Road Scholar has to offer. Our experience was excellent because of the efforts of our tour guide team, Karla Patterson, Miriam and Andreas, our skillful driver.

Sharon from Riverside, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/29/14 - 02/05/14
This was a wonderful opportunity to get close to the gray whales and to see the very unique fauna of Baja California. Our guides were wonderful and lodgings great. The only sour note was the San Diego experience where we drove past wonderful resturants in the Gas Lamp Quarter and went to Old Town after dark when we could see nothing and ate a meal worthy of the worst drive thru fast food place.

Marion from Avon Lake, OH Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/29/14 - 02/05/14
Phenomenal experience! Walking La Jolla coast. Scrips institute to view ocean life and lecture about whales. Seeing whales and feeling their spray. Watching mothers train their babies. Viewing the beauty of the Mexican Baja desert. Help from local school students to climb hills to see cave paintings. At a resident's home to make and eat homemade tortillas. Good food, drinks, accommodations, and great tour guides. Entertainment of breaking the piñata party. disadvantage was many hours of riding on bus driving to destination

Beverly from Pasadena, CA Number of programs attended: 16
Date attended: 03/19/13 - 03/26/13
Touch a real live whale who is wild and free Help to keep them this way

Patricia from Glenview, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/10/13 - 03/17/13
Meeting whales in their beautiful lagoons, on their terms, has been a life-long dream. Travelling with Tim Fleming and Eva Betancourt helped to make this even better than I imagined! The whales are a precious part of our world and we were fortunate to say hello to them.

Mark from Santa Fe, NM Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/28/13 - 03/07/13
The close encounters we had with the gray whale mothers and calves was a unique and thrilling experience. On all three boat trips to the lagoons we got to touch the baby whales multiple times. Also, our guide Carlos was excellent.

Martha Jo from Glendale, CA Number of programs attended: 34
Date attended: 03/10/13 - 03/17/13
anyone who thinks whale watching is from a boat off the southern california coast doesn't know what they are missing.

Ruth from Avon Lake, OH Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 02/06/13 - 02/13/13
This program had been on our "bucket list" for quite some time. We're glad we finally did it! It was everything we had hoped it would be.

Laurie from Paris, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/30/13 - 02/06/13
This trip was something I dreamed of doing since I was a teenager. I have to admit that I really did not believe that we would actually get so close to whales that we could touch them. I was even more stunned and amazed that the whales appeared to approach us, and some really seemed to be as enamored with being close to humans as we were to them. Why else would a mama stay with our boat for over an hour with a new baby and let us touch them? And truly the whale watching was the icing on the cake for the entire trip. Our guides seemed to know when we were getting tired of the bus ride and would have a desert walk or something planned. Both Karla and Miriam were wonderful guides, knowledgeable of the flora and fauna of trip and able to continually update us on the history of the Baja. The food was wonderful, the hotels were excellent and the margaritas were to die for! There was not one thing on this trip that was not excellent. Thank you Road Scholar. I'm hooked!

Laura from Piedmont, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/08/13 - 02/15/13
It was an amazing experience. Karla and Carlos were the best guides knowledgeable and compassionate. I'll never forget this. Touching the whales has touched my heart forever.

Linda from Vancouver, BC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/08/13 - 02/15/13
Wonderful adventure that allowed me to touch two whales! It is a memory to treasure forever. Excellent food, informative and caring guides, beautiful scenery, and fellow travelers who were both fun and adventuresome.

Harriet from Holladay, UT Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 02/08/13 - 02/15/13
I never thought I would be able to touch a whale. I never thought I would spend an afternoon watching dozens and dozens of whales breeching, spouting, breeding, and just being social. This trip had it all. Plus we were able to learn about history and culture of the Baja Mexican people, the geography, geology, flora and fauna of the regions of Baja. The guides were great, the food wonderful and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Karen from Fairfax, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/08/13 - 02/15/13
Great combination of desert flora, water birds, and water mammals with the most incredible guides, delicious food, fascinating sociology. Would highly recommend Karla and Carlos from Andiamo as your guides. Great Trip. Amazing Trip.

Thalia from Berkeley, CA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 02/08/13 - 02/15/13
This was one of the best trips I have ever had in my whole life. I am jealous of others who will be going again.

Sheila from Omaha, NE Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 01/30/13 - 02/06/13
This was an awesome experience. Seeing those gray whales up close and personal is beyond words. 3 days of successful whale encounters were beyond belief. How lucky for us that the whales arrived early, and there were 1000 whales reported in the lagoons. Our accommodations were clean, and spacious - take the instructions about warm pajamas ..... the heaters gave off warmth....not HEAT....but not unbearable. Long days of bus travel require reading material, but Karla and Mirriam kept us busy and informed with talks about Mexican culture, videos and lots of warm service from the bus kitchen. Food was wonderful...for those worried about spicey Mexican food....not so...Plenty of bottled water to keep us hydrated.
Anyone want to go again???? I'd go in a minute!

Marsha from Charlotte, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/30/13 - 02/06/13
This is an amazing trip. Very organized and lots of information about the Baja culture, and the whale watching was unbelievable. My first Road Scholar trip and I am VERY IMPRESSED.

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Our Value Promise To You

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at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 7 lunches, 5 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances


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