12157
Mexico
Mexico’s Baja Tip to Toe: Landscape, Heritage, People & Whales
Come to Baja to explore unique beaches, deserts and World Heritage Sites as you join local experts to learn about the region’s wildlife and get up-close and personal with gray whales!
Rating (5)
Program No. 12157RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
2,899
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13 days
12 nights
33 meals
12 B 11 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Program orientation, Lecture and Welcome Dinner
San Diego, California
D
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley/Hotel Circle

Activity note: Hotel check-in is from 3:00 pm Program begins at 5:00 pm. Please check the hotel event board for the Road Scholar private meeting room.

Dinner: Dinner is served in the same private room buffet style. Iced tea, water, coffee or tea is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Following dinner, in the private meeting room, an informative lecture providing an introduction to Baja California and the adventures to come is imparted by a specialist. Please check the scheduled lecturer for your specific travel date.

DAY
2
The Busy North / Scenic Coastline
Ensenada, Baja California
B,L,D
Hotel Corona

Activity note: A valid passport as well as a personal permit is required for entry into Mexico. The permit is issued by the Immigration Bureau upon entering Mexico; please keep this permit with you as it will be required to return it when leaving Mexico. You will be accompanied through this procedure by your Group Leader. Total day’s driving time approximately 2 hours.

Breakfast: In a private section of the hotel’s main lobby, you’ll have a hot breakfast buffet with coffee, tea, and orange juice.

Morning: Meet for the last time in Road Scholar’s designated room for a lecture to gain a fascinating insight into the history, culture and economy of the contrasting border region imparted by Norma Iglesia, a Mexican sociologist, presently a professor at San Diego State University. Northern Baja exemplifies the strong cultural and economic ties that exist between the U.S. and Mexico. Check out of the hotel, then board your motorcoach to begin the journey south, driving through the most-crossed border in the world, separating the United States and Mexico at San Ysidro. A sensorial experience welcomes you into Mexico: see, touch and smell many of Mexico’s delights as you walk through a colorful lively market led by your expert Group Leader who will purchase some of the exotic products for you to taste.

Lunch: Caesar Cardini invented the internationally famous Caesar salad. The original restaurant is proud to continue to serve the classic salad prepared at your table side. Observe the tossing technique, that’s where the secret lies! Soup, chicken strips and bread complement the meal. One beer or soft drink is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, you will have an expert-led field trip to the Tijuana Cultural Center, more commonly known as CECUT. The modern Museo de las California’s located inside uses visual displays to describe the history of both states of the Baja California Peninsula – Baja California and Baja California Sur. You then continue by motorcoach to the town of Ensenada. You will be following Highway One from the very beginning in Tijuana to the end in Los Cabos! The portion of the day’s drive along scenic Pacific Ocean offers breathtaking viewpoints. Settle in the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free. You may choose to stroll along the main street of town lined by cafés and Mexican shops or you may relax at the hotel taking advantage of the SPA. Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Dinner is at the hotel on your own time. Choose an entrée from your voucher, served plated together with a salad, dessert and a margarita or lemonade; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Independent discovery of the city’s nightlife. If desired, the Group Leader will assist you with the logistics of your chosen destination.

DAY
3
Mexico’s Wine Country, Pleasant City
Ensenada, Baja California
B,L,D
Hotel Corona

Activity note: Total standing time with short walks and some steps is up to 2 hours. Total day’s driving time 1 hour.

Breakfast: A choice of Mexican and international specialties are served plated in the hotel dining room. Sweet rolls and toast, juice, coffee and tea are included; additional beverages are available for purchase.

Morning: With your Group Leader, walk to the Riviera del Pacífico, once an extravagant casino and glamorous resort during the US prohibition years, today a social and convention center. Enjoy the gardens and the Spanish style building while listening to tales of its glorious past! A melting pot of adventurers seeking fortunes in nearby mines established the city of Ensenada on the shores of beautiful Todos Santos Bay. Today it is a pleasant city offering a Mediterranean climate, friendly people and a historical ambiance. At the end of the 1800’s, the English brought prefabricated wooden homes, which are still standing today. Depart by motorcoach for a drive through the older part of town and continue to the adjacent wine country which produces over 90% of Mexico’s wines, now gaining world fame. First stop is at the “Escuelita”, a small hands-on non-profit school and cooperative established by local enologists to spread their knowledge on processing local products such as grapes, olives and agaves; some graduates have become top winemakers. Walk through the ecologically built installations and participate in a lecture on the bounty of the region imparted by a winemaker.

Lunch: At the Escuelita, you will have a nice simple lunch prepared using the local fresh products, served picnic style and accompanied by wine and lemon water!

Afternoon: Several mid-sized wineries producing quality wines dot Guadalupe Valley, the heart of the wine country. You will visit one of them, possibly Monte Xanic located on a hillside with a panoramic view of the vineyards and a small lake. Personnel from the winery will take you through the wine-making process ending in the tasting room where you taste delicious wines accompanied by locally made cheese. The valley was once home to people with diverse heritage: Kumiai Native Indians, Spanish missionaries and a colony of Molokay Russians. The Group Leader explains the intricate past of the region on a visit to a small museum. Returning to Ensenada, again you may choose to remain in town to stroll along the main street or you may return to the hotel to relax.

Dinner: Continue to delight your taste buds with a chocolate event just for Scholars. One of Mexico’s most important culinary gifts to the world is chocolate. Together with your Group Leader and an expert local cook, learn about the uses of cacao and participate in a hands-on event to prepare chocolate-based recipes such as “mole” and chocolate patties. Savor a traditional dinner served plated consisting of chicken and rice covered with the thick “mole” sauce, followed by chocolate and vanilla based desserts, and delicious Mexican hot chocolate. “Quesadillas” and fresh fruit water are also available.

Evening: Return to the hotel or continue to discover the city’s night life on your own.

DAY
4
Powerful Blowhole, Welcome to the Desert
Cataviña, Baja California
B,L,D
Mision Catavina

Activity note: The Bufadora requires a 20 min round-trip walk on paved slightly uphill road with a flight of steps. Walks in the desert are short but on uneven gravely paths. Total day’s driving time approximately 5 ½ hours.

Breakfast: A choice of Mexican and international specialties are served plated in the hotel dining room. Sweet rolls and toast, juice, coffee and tea are included; additional beverages are available for purchase.

Morning: Board the motorcoach for a scenic drive along Todos Santos Bay to Punta Banda peninsula. At the tip of a spectacular cliff, marvel at the powerful blow of the Bufadora, one of the world’s highest natural sea spouts. Your Group Leader will point out how the action of the waves force water into an underwater crevice displacing the air and creating a spout which shoots water over 100 ft. high together with a tremendous roar. Careful, you might get splashed! Continue the road south with a brief stop at a small Community Museum in San Vicente. Cross an agricultural area, the vegetable garden of Baja California, arriving in San Quintín for lunch.

Lunch: In a local restaurant of San Quintin, you will choose from several local specialties an entrée served plated. Special au-derves are served to taste: a healthy salad prepared with the leaf of the national plant of Mexico: the prickly pear cactus, and the delicious “ceviche”, a fish salad cooked in lime. One beer or a non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Plunge into the desert, admire the scenery and begin to explore its wonders. The mountainous peninsula is covered by innumerable species of flora, many of which are endemic. Among them, the Cirio (boojum tree), Baja's signature plant, is probably the most notable. Your Group Leader will impart presentations on the unique vegetation on board the bus, as well as leading nature walks through the magnificent landscape. Your day will end in Cataviña, located in the middle of the Valle de los Cirios Nature Reserve. A combination of sun, sand, gigantic granite boulders, and amusing collages of Boojums, Cardons, and Elephant trees make Cataviña a superb desert garden. Due to this setting, nights in Cataviña are memorable.

Dinner: At the hotel, you will taste a selection of traditional Mexican finger foods including taquitos, quesadillas, guacamole, and more, plus a margarita and lemonade; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: In the hotel patio (weather permitting), participate in a small Mexican Fiesta which includes a taste of tequila. Break a piñata while learning about Mexican traditions and how to choose a good tequila, the national drink of Mexico.

DAY
5
Sunrise Walk, Rock Art, Vizcaino World Biosphere
Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Halfway Inn

Activity note: Short walks throughout the day up to 1 mile with slight uphills on uneven gravely paths. To visit the small cave with simple rock art, a short steep hike on gravely terrain of approximately 1/3 mile is required. Participants who can't join, may stay at the base of the hill and enjoy the stunning surroundings. Driving time approximately 3 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, you will have a plated meal with options including Mexican and international dishes accompanied by a small fruit dish with coffee, tea and orange juice

Morning: Your day begins early in the morning before breakfast joining your Group Leader for a walk from the hotel to see the thorny magnificent desert against the rising sun. After breakfast, depart the hotel for a short drive to a nearby cave home to rock art. The beautiful walk to the cave offers exceptional views both at the bottom and at the top of the hill, where the cave with the simple rock art is located. You will be joined by local school children, helping on the hike, and offering a good opportunity to interact with these local youngsters on a personal basis. Find out what life is like in such a remote place! Rock art sites are found throughout the peninsula, some monumental caves are UNESCO protected sites. Thought to be about 2,000 years old, recent testing puts some of the older paintings at closer to 7,500 years.

Lunch: Back at the hotel in Cataviña, you’ll have a choice of plated Mexican or international dishes, plus a beer or a non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase

Afternoon: Check out of the hotel and relax aboard the motorcoach while riding towards Guerrero Negro. Stop for a walk among especially tall cardons, then again among whimsical elephant trees. During the drive, your Group Leader explains the varied desert eco-systems as well as giving an introduction to Gray whales to get you enthused and ready for the memorable whale watching adventures on the following couple of days. Guerrero Negro is located on the 28th. parallel just below the border with Baja California Sur border. It also marks the beginning of the Vizcaino World Biosphere, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to the whale sanctuaries, migrant birds, endemic vegetation, gigantic rock art caves and the world’s largest salt plant. Check into the hotel and gather for a toast with fellow Road Scholars, chat, and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, you will have a plated meal featuring soup and a choice of entrees, plus a beer or a non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: As customary in Mexico, enjoy the “sobremesa”, remain at the table to chat!

DAY
6
Whales in Scammon’s Lagoon, Baja’s Birds, Lush Oasis
San Ignacio, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Desert Inn, San Ignacio

Activity note: Riding on the small boat (10-16 pax) for approximately 3 hours. Taking a step perhaps knee-high to get into the boat from an inclining pier. Bring layers, waterproof jacket or windbreaker for the boat ride, likely to get wet. Walking short distances on mostly flat, gravely, uneven terrain. Driving time approximately 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, you will have a plated meal with options including Mexican and international dishes accompanied by a small fruit dish with coffee, tea and orange juice.

Morning: Early morning hotel check out for a field trip in your motorcoach led by your Group Leader to a nature reserve in an enormous salt marsh where birds migrate from Russia, Canada, and other countries. Ospreys are particularly numerous nesting on telephone poles and even on the ground! Gray Whale adventures begin! Permission to enter the Whale Sanctuaries is only granted to a restricted number of eco-companies. You will drive to one of them, hop onto their vehicle and cross part of the salt plant learning on route about the history and process of Baja's salt production. Reach the pier on Scammon’s Lagoon and embark on your first of two memorable excursions to meet the gray whales! In your small “panga” boat, ride among the grays to view these giant mammals at arm's length, perhaps closer. Each year, gray whales travel approximately 5,000 miles from the Bering and Chukchi Seas to the warm waters of Baja’s wildlife refuges to court, mate, give birth and care for their young.

Lunch: On the boat, enjoy the tranquil lagoon while dining on a picnic style lunch including a sandwich, fruit, chocolate, and a soft drink

Afternoon: After a brief rest stop at the eco-company, return to Highway One to continue the drive into San Ignacio. With your Group Leader, share the whale experiences gaining further insight for the following whale outing. The Sierra de San Francisco mountain chain, where the majority of the monumental rock art sites are located, rises parallel to the highway. Rolling hills of red volcanic rocks change the landscape and a sea of palms fill the canyon where San Ignacio is located. The charming sleepy town developed around an imposing 18th-century mission, still in use today, in the midst of a lush, tranquil palm oasis. Settle in the hotel surrounded by palms. Gather at the bar for a welcome margarita or lemonade before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, you will have a plated meal featuring soup, a choice of entrees and a San Ignacio pie made with local dates. One beer or non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At the hotel, you will have a plated meal featuring soup, a choice of entrees and a San Ignacio pie made with local dates. One beer or non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
7
Gray Whales Continued
San Ignacio, Baja California Sur
B,L
Desert Inn, San Ignacio

Activity note: Riding aboard the boat for approximately 2 ½ hours. In San Ignacio Lagoon, being able to board small fishing boats from the beach possibly wading into shallow water up to knee high. Do not forget to bring your water shoes and your waterproof gear. Total day’s driving time approximately 3 hours round-trip to the lagoon with a short portion along a graded road

Breakfast: At the hotel, you will have a plated meal with options including Mexican and international dishes accompanied by a small fruit dish with coffee, tea and orange juice.

Morning: Together with your Group Leader, hop into local vans and drive to the secluded San Ignacio Lagoon for another adventuresome ride among whales. Each outing is different, offering new experiences. See small fishing settlements along the shore of the lagoon. Arriving at the eco-camp, get ready for your second memorable outing. A short presentation on the whales, the lagoon and the whale-counting process is imparted by camp personnel. Then board the panga boats and look for those blows, humps and fins!

Lunch: On the shore of the San Ignacio Lagoon under a traditional “ palapa” – a structure with a thatched roof – order a plated meal off the day’s menu, plus a beer or non-alcoholic beverage, coffee, and tea.

Afternoon: Spend some free time at the lagoon to relax, enjoy the peace, or keep your eyes out for migrating birds. You will then return to San Ignacio via vans, stopping at the hotel before setting out on foot for the tree-filled plaza. Accompanied by your Group Leader, visit the well preserved Mission and enter a home where date bread and pie is made.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Stroll on the plaza or enjoy the warm evening air in the hotel’s garden.

DAY
8
French Mining Town, Lush River, Scenic Mission,Sea of Cortes
Loreto, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hotel La Misión Loreto

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile with uphills mostly in towns on sidewalks with some steps, a short stretch of gravely path. Total day’s driving time 3 ½ hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, you will have a plated meal with options including Mexican and international dishes accompanied by a small fruit dish with coffee, tea and orange juice.

Morning: The variety of scenery makes this part of the road particularly interesting. The journey continues past the “Tres Virgenes” volcanoes, cones of red lava rock dotted with gracious white elephant trees. Brief walk to take in the scenery. The road then reaches one of the steepest grades in the peninsula, quite impressive, ending at the blue waters of the Sea of Cortes. A series of small towns have developed along the coast. The first in line is Santa Rosalia. With your Group Leader, explore the Old French Quarter and the Boleo mine museum to learn how the French established this copper mining town and brought over the prefabricated iron church designed by Mr. Eiffel, still standing today. The next town is Mulege, a mission settlement on a riverbed in a palm oasis. The beautiful stone mission is located on a hillside with a vast iconic view of the palm-filled river.

Lunch: In a garden restaurant in Mulege, a limited buffet lunch is prepared for Scholars. Fresh fruit water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: One of the highlights of the Sea of Cortes is Bahía Concepción. Appreciate its beauty as you drive along the crystal clear blue waters of the stunning bay dotted with islands and lined with unspoiled beaches. Rest in one, feel the water, a bit cool in the winter months, walk to a mangrove and relax in the sun. On the last stretch before Loreto, giant cardons dominate the landscape backed by the jagged peaks of the Sierra de la Giganta mountains. Crunched between the Sea of Cortes and the abrupt Sierra de la Giganta, the charming town of Loreto is the oldest mission and permanent settlement of the Californias and served as the capital of the territory for over 100 years. Settle in the elegant colonial style hotel facing the Sea of Cortes. Discover the lovely town together with your Group Leader, wander along pedestrian streets and the boardwalk, rest in the suggestive plaza, enter the mission and the museum to gain an appreciation of the town’s historical past. Meet in the hotel lobby to walk to a local restaurant for dinner.

Dinner: A buffet dinner is served in the beautiful hotel restaurant with a view of the sea.

DAY
9
Ancient Missions, Jagged Peaks, Goat Ranches
Loreto, Baja California Sur
B,L
Hotel La Misión Loreto

Activity note: Today or any morning in Loreto get an early wake up call to see the magnificent sky at dawn right from your room balcony. In the still water, small fishing boats departing quietly into the open sea designing a perfect wake. Walking ½ mile on mostly flat but uneven gravely paths and on roads in town. Driving time 2 hours on paved mountain road for San Javier excursion.

Breakfast: Choose the dining room or the outdoor terrace overlooking the sea to enjoy your breakfast. Some days it is served plated with a choice of eggs, juice and coffee or tea are included. Other times, a beautiful complete buffet is set up.

Morning: The rugged peaks of the Sierra de la Giganta, Loreto’s backdrop, provide the scenery for one of the peninsula’s most beautiful side excursions. Board local vans for the steep drive along a reddish rock canyon to reach a plateau, then follow the riverbed into San Javier. Subtropical vegetation now mingles with desert plants. Through the peaks and branches, spot the Mission tower from afar; you have arrived. A cobblestone road lined with fruit trees and thatched-roof homes ends at the mission. Known as “the jewel of the missions”, San Javier is the best preserved, proud of its original orchard planted by the missionaries. Walk to a three-hundred-plus years old olive tree and see the original irrigation system.

Lunch: In one of the thatched-roof homes adapted as a restaurant by a local family, you will have a traditional “ranchero” meal: “machaca” burritos (dry, shredded meat) and “quesadillas” (cheese filled tortillas), with a taste of locally made cheese and “ate” (a fruit paste) served plated. One soft drink or beer is included; additional beers or soft drinks available for purchase.

Afternoon: The mountains and deserts of the peninsula are sprinkled with ranches settled by past adventurers searching for fortunes or isolation. These true cowboys live today much the same as in the past. Take part in their life visiting a goat ranch which specializes in making goat cheese. Learn the process of making the cheese and enjoy the company of your host while learning to make flour tortillas by hand to taste with the cheese. Back in Loreto, the remainder of the day is free. You may wish to stroll through the peaceful town perhaps catching a wedding or a “quiceañera” event at the Mission. Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: The romantic boardwalk, a perfect option for night strolls.

DAY
10
Coast & Desert Drive, La Paz, Sunset Dinner on a Beach
La Paz, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hyatt Place La Paz

Activity note: Walking in La Paz minimum 6 blocks. Driving time 4 ½ hours with rest stops.

Breakfast: Choose the dining room or the outdoor terrace overlooking the sea to enjoy your breakfast. Some days it is served plated with a choice of eggs, juice and coffee or tea are included. Other times, a beautiful complete buffet is set up.

Morning: Check-out, board the motorcoach, and continue your travel along scenic sea-shores, through the tail end of Sierra de la Giganta, across an important agricultural area and an extensive plateau livened with colorful roadside chapels. Arrive in La Paz in time for lunch. On the bus, your Group Leader imparts lectures and leads songs and games, making the drive a flash. Although La Paz is the capital and most important city of Baja California Sur, its tree-lined streets and calm clear beaches inspire tranquility. A walk along the lively “malecón” (boardwalk) with the locals is a treat.

Lunch: Roll your own tacos with beef right off the grill! Today you experience a Mexican “taquería”. Together with tortilla soup, “quesadillas” and stuffed potatoes, savour a traditional Mexican meal with a Baja touch. Fresh fruit water or non-alcoholic beverage; limited choice of beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: With your Group Leader, get acquainted with the city center, walk to the “zocalo” (main plaza), the Cathedral, and part of the boardwalk before settling in the hotel. The hotel is located outside of town within the elegant Costa Baja Marina complex which includes a private beach, pools, restaurants, and a marina. In the late afternoon, in your motorcoach head out to the beautiful beaches lining the coves north of the city. At a beach restaurant facing the setting sun delight on a glass of Baja California wine and toast to the beauty of nature, a moment to remember. Beach “palapa” restaurants are a La Paz must experience.

Dinner: At the same beach restaurant, choose your favorite preparation for shrimps or fish filet. Salad and sides complement dinner. One beer or non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
11
Crystal Waters, White Sand, Sea Life
La Paz, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hyatt Place La Paz

Activity note: Excursion to the island is a 2 hours round trip in a Cabin Cruiser type boat with WC in generally calm water with the possibility of encountering swells. Be ready to get wet, bring your waterproof windbreaker and your water shoes. Boarding small boats from the beach and changing from one boat to another in calm waters. You may remain on the boat and enjoy the sea lions from atop. Snorkels and an expert snorkeling instructor are included. Wet suits are available for rent at $12.00.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served at the hotel.

Morning: Described by Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world”, the Sea of Cortes is unmatched and unique in the diversity of underwater life. Within the Sea of Cortes Marine Park Reserve, the protected island of Espiritu Santo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a paradise to discover. Take a boat to the island for a day full of activities. Explore crystal clear waters, fascinating geology, pristine beaches and hidden coves. Together with your Group Leader and an expert local instructor, snorkel among playful sea lions and tropical fish, spot birds including blue-footed boobies, study the geology of the black, white and reddish cliffs, and identify endemic desert vegetation. Keep your eyes focused on the water, perhaps you spot a breeching whale, a whale shark fin, a jumping ray or dolphin, a turtle… Rest on a pristine beach.

Lunch: At the secluded beach, a hot meal is prepared for the group served plated. Soup or salad, a main dish based on fish or sea food and a dessert is the general menu. Soft drinks, beer and water are always available to help yourself.

Afternoon: Continue to enjoy the beach located in a beautiful cove lined with reddish cliffs. Free time to swim in the emerald crystal clear waters, paddle board or kayak on your own, take a short walk, or relax on the sand. Return to La Paz. The remainder of the afternoon is free to enjoy the installations of the resort. At dinner time, meet in the lobby, hop on the bus and settle in for a dinner-show event.

Dinner: In an outdoor terrace, your dinner is served plated, choose from fish, meat or vegetarian entrée, salad and dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After dinner, delight in the colorful dresses of the skillful dancers presenting a cheerful folk dancing show just for participants. Dances represent a variety of states of Mexico. Return to the hotel.

DAY
12
Colonial Mining Village, Todos Santos Oasis, Los Cabos Arch
San Jose del Cabo
B,L,D
Tropicana Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile on open smooth paths and on sidewalks. Boat excursion to the arch is 45 min. with the possibility of encountering swells. Total day’s driving time is 2 ½ hours.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served at the hotel.

Morning: Today you will drive the final stretch of the peninsula reaching the Finisterra, land’s end. On the way, enter Sierra de la Laguna, the southernmost mountain range of the peninsula. Silver and gold were discovered in these mountains in the mid 1800's attracting miners and adventurers from many countries. The recently restored town of El Triunfo was once the largest city in Baja California Sur with more than 10,000 miners. The mines shut down in 1926 and most people left. In addition, the town was a cultural center, where pianos and other instruments were brought from all over the world. Today, the pride of the town is the museum. Join your Group Leader on a walk through the remnants of the mining heydays, including the 35-meter-high (over 100 ft) smokestack designed by Gustav Eiffel and the restored colonial village. A surprise may await you at the museum. Back on the bus, drive across the península at its narrowest point to arrive at the turbulent Pacific Ocean at Todos Santos, recently declared a “Magical Town” (an acknowledgement given by Mexican Tourism Board to a series of towns that offer a magical experience because of its natural, historical, or cultural element). Situated in a fertile oasis, Todos Santos is the site of a prosperous sugar mill industry which flourished in the mid 1900’s. Currently, the town is home to many artists and the ex-haciendas house boutique hotels, restaurants and galleries. The Tropic of Cancer crosses the town, thus formally entering the sub-tropics.

Lunch: In the cozy garden of an original home, a soup and sandwich lunch is served plated together with home made bread and cookies and a heavenly smoothy made from freshly picked mangos, or an optional non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: The Trans-peninsular Highway ends at the very tip in Los Cabos. Visit the bustling resort of Cabo San Lucas where it is customary to take a short boat excursion to reach the famous arch marking the place where “land ends and heaven begins”. With your Group Leader, take a glass bottom boat to see the arch up close, ride by Lover’s Beach only reachable by boat, then round the arch and admire the impressive rock formations facing the open sea. The last segment of the highway is known as the Los Cabos Corridor, a coastal road along a stretch of beautiful beaches dotted with conspicuous hotels that connects Cabo San Lucas with San Jose del Cabo. The latter is a quiet town with colonial architecture, narrow streets and a plaza sided by a Mission Church. Boutiques and art galleries are at the doorstep of your centrally located hotel. Gather by the pool for a margarita to toast the end of an unforgettable adventure… till we meet again.

Dinner: A farewell dinner takes place in the hotel’s elegant, well known hacienda style restaurant. Your choice consists of beef or fish with vegetables served plated. One beer, margarita or non-alcoholic beverage is included; other beverages available for purchase. The restaurant includes a mariachi-type music group to liven the dinner. You are welcome to request a song.

Evening: Perhaps the hotel bar offers live entertainment or you may choose to get ready for the return flight the following day.

DAY
13
Program Concludes
San Jose del Cabo
B

Activity note: Program ends at the hotel. The permit must be returned upon leaving Mexico. Driving time to Los Cabos international airport (SJD) is ½ hour.

Breakfast: Breakfast is served at the sidewalk terraza of the hotel consisting of a choice of eggs. Final farewells until we meet again.






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