21975
Mexico
Kayak and Hike Baja California Sur: A Family Sea and Desert Adventure
There’s a world of history in Mexico’s Baja California. Learn about this unique region with your family as you kayak clear waters, snorkel calm bays and hike to historic missions.
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Program No. 21975RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,949
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9 days
8 nights
22 meals
8 B 7 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrive Los Cabos, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
San Jose del Cabo
D
Tropicana Inn

Activity note: Independent arrival in San José del Cabo. Independent transfer to the hotel. Shuttles and taxis are readily available at the airport. It is a 20 minutes ride to the hotel. GENERAL INFORMATION ON ACTIVITIES: Specialized local leaders accompany each activity, with the exception of bike riding. Single and double sit-in kayaks are provided. Snorkels are included.

Afternoon: 5:00 pm Gather by the poolside under the shade of tropical vegetation in the cozy garden of the hotel. Families meet other participants as well as the leader who will assist you with the sites and logistics during the exciting days to come.

Dinner: A welcome dinner takes place in the hotel’s beautiful, well known hacienda style restaurant consisting of a choice of beef or fish with vegetables. The restaurant includes a mariachi-type music group to liven the dinner.

Evening: You may take an evening stroll in the plaza and along the narrow streets that offer galleries, boutiques, cafés and restaurants.

DAY
2
Mining Days in lush Vegetation/ Peaceful Sea of Cortes
La Paz, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hyatt Place La Paz

Activity note: Hike 1 1/2 hours on uneven ground with smooth grades viewing mining remains in a sub tropical ambiance. Paddle Board 2 hours in calm water of a protected bay. Driving time 2 1/2 hours. Hiking and beach attire required.

Breakfast: A choice of eggs as well as coffee, juice, and sweet rolls is served at the hotel’s veranda restaurant.

Morning: Depart for La Paz via the East Cape along the shores of the Sea Of Cortes. Enter Sierra de la Laguna, the southernmost mountain range of the peninsula, for a hike in sub-tropical vegetation sighting ex gold and silver mines. Silver and gold were discovered in the southern B.C.S. mountains in the mid 1800s attracting miners and adventurers from many countries. The recently restored town of El Triunfo was once the largest city in B.C.S with more than 10,000 miners. The mines shut down in 1926 and most people left. Brief hike in the hillside to view remnants of the mining heydays, including the 35-meter-high (over 100 ft) smokestack designed by Gustav Eiffel and the various cemeteries for each ethnic group. 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, not of mining but of music! Visit the museum and a cooperative of women basket makers.

Lunch: Lunch is in a lovely original home of El Triunfo adapted as a restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue to La Paz, the capital and most important city of Baja California Sur. Its tree-lined streets and calm clear beaches inspire tranquility. A walk along the malecón (boardwalk) is a treat. The new hotel is located within the elegant Costa Baja Marina complex which includes a private beach, pools and restaurants. Begin the water fun with paddle boarding in the calm bay of the Costa Baja Resort. Enjoy the private beach and the beautiful pool.

Dinner: Choose, fish, meat or pasta served plated in a suggestive restaurant on the Costa Baja marina. One glass of wine, beer, or soft drink is included. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Stroll along the romantic marina, perhaps stopping in one of the outdoor restaurant-bar.

DAY
3
Magnificent UNESCO Island
La Paz, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hyatt Place La Paz

Activity note: Boat to the island 3 hours round trip in an outboard motor type boat in generally calm water with the possibility of encountering swells. Kayak 2 hours in crystal clear calm water along colorful cliffs of Espiritu Santos Island. Snorkel 1/2 hour in a cove, home to a sea lion colony and a pristine coral reef. Additional independent kayaking and snorkeling if desired. Kayaking, beach attire and water shoes required.

Breakfast: A full buffet breakfast is served in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Described by Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world”, the Sea of Cortes is unmatched and unique in the diversity of underwater life. Depart for Espiritu Santos Island, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a full day of exploration of the land and sea. The protected island is a paradise to discover. Snorkel with playful sea lions and tropical fish along cliffs where blue-footed boobies perch. Kayak in hidden coves along reddish and black and white cliffs that reveal fascinating geology.

Lunch: Picnic lunch is on the island. Beer and non-alcoholic beverages are available for the group throughout the excursion.

Afternoon: Continue to enjoy the beach located in a beautiful cove lined with reddish cliffs. Free time to kayak on your own, swim or snorkel in the emerald crystal clear waters, take a short walk, or relax on the sand. Return to La Paz. In the early evening, join the local people who gather along the malecón (boardwalk) to stroll, chat, enjoy the breeze. Take advantage of the adjacent bike lane and ride up to 5 miles along the coast!

Dinner: At one of La Paz’s best known restaurants on the malecón, fish and sea food platters are served family style. One beer or non-alcoholic beverage is included with the meal. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Return to the hotel driving along the coastal road to witness La Paz by night. If desired, you may remain in town and return to the hotel independently.

DAY
4
Idyllic Bay and Charming town
Loreto, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hotel La Misión Loreto

Activity note: Kayak: 3 hours in very calm waters of Balandra Bay, enclosed by beaches and backed by mangroves with canals for kayaks. Driving time 4 1/2 hours. Beach attire required.

Breakfast: A full buffet breakfast is served in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Look for the reflection of all the Seven Shades of Blue that made Balandra Bay famous. Even though you may not see all of them, the beauty of the bay is unquestionable. Paddle your way in crystal clear waters along white pristine beaches and among thick mangroves. Spot birds, swim, take in the scenery.

Lunch: On a beach of a nearby bay, delight on a shrimp lunch under a palapa, a thatched-roofed restaurant, a La- Paz- must experience.

Afternoon: Depart for Loreto. The road crosses a desert plateau, an important agricultural area, and a ridge of the Sierra de la Giganta mountains. Loreto is the site of the oldest mission and permanent settlement of the Californias and served as the capital of the territory for over 100 years. The mission still stands today and the old missionary quarters house a museum. The elegant colonial style hotel, your perfect home for the following four nights, is centrally located in addition to facing the Sea of Cortes.

Dinner: A choice of Mexican and grilled specialties are served plated in a restaurant walking distance from the hotel. One beer or soft drink is included with the meal. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Join your Group Leader for a walk to get acquainted with the charming town at the doorstep of your hotel. On the main plaza behind the hotel get a first glimpse of the beautiful mission church, perhaps catching a wedding or a quiceañera event. A short but romantic malecón runs in front of the hotel, a perfect option for night strolls.

DAY
5
Cardons and Secluded Bays.
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 from your room balcony. Kayak: 3 hours in calm waters of protected bays and to off-shore islands. Free time on beaches. Independent snorkeling as desired. Driving time 2 1/2 hours. Kayaking, beach attire and water shoes required.

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 while others a buffet is set up.

Morning: The destination for the day explores the shores north of Loreto. Giant cardons dominate the landscape to Bahía de Concepción, one of the wonders of the Sea of Cortes. The calm clear blue water of the bay is dotted with islands and lined with secluded inner bays and unspoiled beaches. Stop at one of its most attractive inlets surrounded by cliffs. Enjoy kayaking to small islands, spot birds, and choose a beach to rest and to snorkel.

Lunch: A picnic lunch is prepared for the group on one of the beaches. Non-alcoholic beverages are available for the group throughout the excursion.

Afternoon: Continue by van to San Javier Mission and village. Known as “the jewel of the missions”, San Javier is one of the best preserved, proud of its original orchard planted by the missionaries. Back in Loreto, join a guided walk through the Loreto mission and the adjacent Museum of the Missions. The remainder of the day is at leisure for independent exploration.

Dinner: Tonight’s dinner is on your own. A choice of restaurants and cafes surround the quiet softly lit plaza and adjacent streets offering a wide range of cuisines. Your leader is available to assist you.

DAY
6
Jagged Peaks and Ancient Missions
Loreto, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hotel La Misión Loreto

Activity note: Hike: 3 hours on a mostly uphill wide uneven path crossing small water run-offs and a short stretch of boulder-hopping. Cross a mango orchard. Mule ride: 1 hour on overall flat terrain. Driving time 1 1/2 hours. Hiking attire required

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 while others a buffet is set up.

Morning: The day is dedicated to exploring the impressively rugged peaks of the Sierra de la Giganta which surround Loreto providing the scenery for one of the peninsula’s most beautiful side excursions. Depart from Loreto and head to the mountains. Leave the paved road to hike the old missionary trail along the steep walls of a reddish rock canyon to reach a plateau. The mountains and deserts 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 lives visiting a couple of ranches, riding a mule between them! The final ranch specializes in goats and 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.

Lunch: At a small home-restaurant, traditional ranch-style machaca burritos (dried shredded beef) are served plated. One non-alcoholic beverage is includes. Additional beverages are available for purchase

Afternoon: Continue driving a short distance north to visit Mulege, an ancient mission settlement in the midst of a lush palm oasis. Visit the original stone mission strategically located on a cliff over the riverbed with a view of a sea of palms against the background of the Giganta mountains. Return to Loreto.

Dinner: Drive a short distance to visit San Javier Mission and village. Known as “the jewel of the missions”, San Javier is one of the best preserved, proud of its original orchard planted by the missionaries. Return to Loreto to get ready for the New Year Eve celebration.

Evening: Continue to enjoy the plaza, the malecón, or the pool.

DAY
7
Sea Life and Volcanic Island
La Paz, Baja California Sur
B,L,D
Hyatt Place La Paz

Activity note: Boat time to and around the island in a small out board motor boat in generally calm water: 2 hours. Hike: 1 hour on a mostly level path on uneven ground crossing over some volcanic rocks. Snorkel as desired. Return drive to La Paz approximately 4 1/2 hours. Beach attire and water shoes required

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 while others a buffet is set up.

Morning: Slightly separated from the major chain of islands located within the Loreto Bay Marine Park Reserve, is the magnificent volcanic cone-shaped island of Coronado. Depart by boat to reach the island, encircle it to view the magnificent rock formations and to spot birds (many blue-footed boobies), sea lions, perhaps a giant turtle, and often large schools of dolphins. Snorkel along the shore and in an emerald cove. Go ashore on sparkling white sand and take a pleasant hike among elephant trees and red and black volcanic rock. Back on the beach, plunge in the blue-green waters, perfect for swimming.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the beach. Non-alcoholic beverages are available for the group throughout the excursion.

Afternoon: Return to Loreto and continue to La Paz arriving in the late afternoon in time for dinner. Rest stops along the way; Mexican songs and games during driving time.

Dinner: Roll your own tacos with the beef right off the grill! Together with tortilla soup, quesadillas, stuffed potatoes, enjoy a traditional Mexican meal with a Baja touch. Platters are served family style. One beer or soft drink is included with the meal. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Last chance to stroll along the La Paz malecón.

DAY
8
Crashing Surf/ The Finisterra
San Jose del Cabo
B,L,D
Tropicana Inn

Activity note: Hike: 2 hours on uneven terrain along cliffs with uphill to reach an altitude of 600 ft. and on sand crossing a beach. Boat excursion to arch: 45 min. with possibility of encountering swells. Driving time 2 hours.

Breakfast: A full buffet breakfast is served in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Depart La Paz for the last stretch returning to Los Cabos, this time taking the road that skirts the Pacific Ocean. We reach the colonial village of Todos Santos, recently declared a “Magical Town”, an acknowledgement given by the 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. Visit the town with your Group Leader. Continue on a scenic walk along the Pacific Coast with dramatic rocky outcroppings and crashing surf. In a tropical garden setting with a view of the palm oasis and the Pacific Ocean, participate in a culinary event: a cooking class imparted by a celebrated chef learning the basics of Mexican cooking.

Lunch: Lunch consists in the meal you help prepared served buffet style. Fresh fruit water accompanies the meal.

Afternoon: The Trans-peninsular Highway ends at the very tip in Los Cabos. Visit the busy 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”. See Lover’s Beach only reachable by boat, round the arch and admire the impressive rock formations. Drive along the Los Cabos Corridor, a stretch of beautiful beaches dotted with conspicuous hotels that connects Cabo San Lucas with San Jose del Cabo, a quiet colonial town of narrow streets and a major plaza lined with boutiques and art galleries. Settle at the hotel.

Dinner: Gather by the pool for a margarita or lemonade to toast the end of an unforgettable adventure. Walk to a traditional Mexican restaurant in a beautiful garden for a last gathering… till we meet again.

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

DAY
9
Program Concludes
San Jose del Cabo
B

Activity note: Check out is at 12:00 noon. Taxis are parked in front of the hotel. The drive to the airport is approximately 20 minutes.

Breakfast: A choice of eggs as well as coffee, juice, and sweet rolls is served at the hotel’s veranda restaurant.

Morning: Independent departures. Leader will assist you in organizing your transfer to the airport.






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