Mexico's Sea of Cortes and Copper Canyon Experience

Travel Idea:

Mexico's Sea of Cortes and Copper Canyon Experience

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Destination for this trip:

Chihuahua, Mexico; La Paz, Mexico; Loreto, Mexico; Mexico

Length of trip:

12 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 2000 to $ 6000

Best travel dates to go:

January, February, March, December

Detailed Description of this trip:

Group Rates for Individual Bookings – Your Choice of Sailing Date, Your Choice of Cabin! Now you can receive the 10% Group Discount anytime throughout the season even if you don't have a group, by booking exclusively with us! We are so excited to offer this wonderful cruise itinerary through our friends at Cruise West, a small-ship cruise line that offers life-enriching experiences in extraordinary destinations! Small ships can go where large ships cannot - through narrow waterways, to tiny ports, and to islands, inlets and coves without docks. Mexico’s Sea of Cortés is filled with wonders – many of which are found nowhere else on earth. From giant gray whales, to unspoiled islands, you’ll find yourself in the heart of a magnificent, mysterious world. Spend idyllic days exploring remote islands, turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, bountiful marine life and towns that echo a bygone era. Extend your Sea of Cortés experience with an optional visit to Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Journey by rail from the Pacific Ocean around rock bluffs, through tunnels and over trestles into the canyon – narrower, deeper, more verdant and four times larger than the Grand Canyon. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of standing on a canyon rim surrounded by pine-oak woodland, and looking down on a maze of steep-walled gorges, giant cacti and tropical trees thousands of feet below. Extend your stay in a Cabo San Lucas hotel overlooking the sparkling Sea of Cortés, and witness gorgeous sunsets. Save even more: Book your December 2008 Sea of Cortes cruise by March 28, 2008 and save $250 per person. Save an additional $100 per person when you pay in full by March 28, 2008.

Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Mexico

    Ocean Cruise

    Transfer from Los Cabos Airport to your ship at Cabo¹s inner harbor. Begin your Sea of Cortés cruise at sunset, to enjoy evening scenery and cruising.

  • Day 2 - Mexico


    This 23,383-acre island near La Paz is centered in one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world and is a major environmental success story. Several plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world, including the blacktailed jack rabbit and antelope squirrel. John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts, who jointly wrote "Sea of Cortez" And "The Log of the Sea of Cortez," explored this island's tide pools at two places, a sandy stretch at the south end of the island and a coral-head environment at Bahía San Gabriel.
    Take a guided walk among the tangle of exotic cacti, or swim, snorkel, and kayak the crystal clear sea here that supports 900 species of fish. No need to bring snorkel gear or wetsuits as gear will be provided to you.

  • Day 3 - Mexico

    Ocean Cruise

    This whole day is spent pursuing up-close viewing of marine life. The Sea of Cortés is home to huge schools of common and bottle-nosed dolphins, as well as humpback, minke, fin, and blue whales. In the shallow lagoons of Baja's Pacific shore, hundreds of gray whales annually congregate to calf - most reliably from mid-January to mid-March. When our local contacts tell us the whales are present, we'll cross the peninsula by motorcoach to the Pacific side. There board an outboard-equipped panga to observe the grays, who have migrated some 6,000 miles from Alaska's Bering Sea to mate, give birth, and rear their young. When whales are not present in Bahía Magdalena, we will use our maneuverable small ship to search for whales and other marine life in the Sea of Cortés.

  • Day 4 - Mexico


    Guided by the weather and tides, visit one of the beautiful and special islands of the Sea of Cortés on a day full of island exploration and nature appreciation. Isla Coronado's volcanic cone rises above the horizon. There will be time to kayak, hike, beachcomb, snorkel, swim or relax on the beach. Isla San Francisco and Isla San José offer excellent snorkeling and kayaking opportunities - wind permitting. And look for dolphins in the cove.

  • Day 5 - Loreto


    Founded in 1697, Loreto¹s Nuestra Señora de Loreto Mission was the original "mother" church from which all the other California missions were founded, eventually leading as far north as Sonoma, California. A museum adjacent to the mission displays artifacts and paintings from Baja¹s colonial era. Stroll the streets and plazas of this picturesque seaside village, capped by a reception with musical entertainment at the mission.
    Optional Shore Excursions (may be reserved once onboard the ship):
    Ceviche by the Sea - Learn Mexican culinary techniques and savor the results immediately! This opportunity takes place at Loreto's El Canipole restaurant, surrounded by Mexicana decor. Learn to shape a personal tortilla - round, oval, or triangular as you please - then bake it on a traditional comac. Mix ceviche (seafood "cooked" by marinating in lime juice) and savor a host of other Mexican specialties as well, including chicharrones en salse verde, refried beans, pico de gallo salsa and guacamole. Your choice of soda, Mexican beer or a margarita is also included in this lunchtime option.
    San Javier Tour. Nestled in a valley high in the Sierra de la Giganta mountains, the mission village of San Javier is one of
    Baja's secret treasures. You drive by air-conditioned van on largely gravel roads along one of Baja's most scenic interior drives, an original stretch of the old
    Camino Real. Stop in Las Parras, a natural oasis, to learn about desert agriculture and irrigation. You will also visit Los Cuevos Pintos to see some original Baja rock art paintings. Visit the village of thatched roof, stone and adobe houses surrounding Baja California's best preserved Jesuit Mission Church, Mission San Francisco Xavier de Vigge-Bloundo.
    Originally founded in 1699, the current mission building was completed in 1758, and shelters centuries-old bells, statuary and splendid gilded retablos. The original mission fathers brought irrigation and orchards to the valley. Many of the varieties of grapes, olives, figs, oranges and lemons now grown throughout California are descended from Padre Juan de Ugarte's original plantings here at San Javier. You will take a nature walk along a dry riverbed, and learn about harvesting fruit in an oasis. A homestyle Mexican lunch is included at a local restaurant. Snacks and water will be provided in the van.

  • Day 6 - Mexico


    Los Islotes is a steep seamount punctured by sea caves. Blue-footed boobies reside on the cliffs, and a large colony of California sea lions haul out on the rocks below. Weather permitting, swim and snorkel as the female sea lions and their curious young pups float about you in the sea.
    Continue to Isla Partida nearby, to hike the island¹s rugged canyons, kayak up-close to rock-walled headlands, or just relax on the beach. In the sheltered cove of Ensenada Grande, where the silky, sandy bottom shelves out very gradually for hundreds of feet, gentle waves lap onto the mangrove-backed beach.

  • Day 7 - La Paz

    LA PAZ

    Today, your ship ties up at the central waterfront of Baja California Sur's capital and largest city, which was founded in the 1530s. Explore the shops, gelaterías, and the miles-long waterfront malecón or promenade. A host of options will be available and you will have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive fiesta, complete with Mexican music, and dancers. Disembark in La Paz for dinner and overnight at your included La Paz hotel.

  • Day 8 - Mexico


    Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Los Mochis. On your way to El Fuerte stop at the Maya Indian village of Tehueco for a traditional dance performance. Travel to the Posada del Hidalgo in El Fuerte. Founded in 1564, El Fuerte for many years was a frontier outpost where expeditions to California and New Mexico began.
    You will visit the colonial-era City Hall, the town¹s oldest church, and the Main Plaza on a leisurely walking tour.

  • Day 9 - Chihuahua


    Transfer to the Chihuahua-al-Pacifico Railroad to begin the ascent into the Sierra Madres, traveling east through farmland and foothills. The Sierra Tarahumara is a maze of 200 gorges combining to form six interconnecting canyons. You will rise over 8,000 feet, crossing deep ravines and passing through more than 68 tunnels.
    Upon arrival at Divisadero, transfer to your hotel, situated near the rim of the canyon.

  • Day 10 - Mexico


    After breakfast travel by motorcoach to Cusarare to visit the Jesuit Mission and the new museum featuring recently restored 16th, 17th, and 18th century paintings collected by the Jesuit missionaries.
    While there, stop next door at the Tarahumara boarding school for a chance to interact with the children. After lunch in Creel, you will have the opportunity to wander around the small rustic town and enjoy the unique rock formations that surround the area. Overnight at a hotel near the rim of the canyon.

  • Day 11 - Chihuahua


    Descend from the mountains by motorcoach on your way to Chihuahua, the capital city of the State of Chihuahua. Along the way, stop for lunch. Continue on to Chihuahua and visit the Museum of the Revolution, formerly the home of Chihuahua¹s most famous citizen, Pancho Villa. Don¹t miss the cathedral the organ was brought from Germany with sculptures originating from Italy. Tonight, celebrate your explorations with a farewell dinner.

  • Day 12 - Chihuahua


    Transfer to the Chihuahua Airport for your trip home.

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