Tailor-Made Holiday

Baja California - In Depth Baja Whale Watching

14 days

from £4,825pp (excluding flights)

Steppes Travel has teamed up with one of the few small boats holding special permits to enter the ecological reserves and national parks of Baja California and the Sea of Cortez, providing one of the most in-depth whale watching trips available.

  • See up to 12 different whale species, plus vast numbers of dolphins and sea lions.
  • Spend extended time in the Pacific coast lagoons, where grey whales are guaranteed.
  • Travel aboard one of the few small boats with special permits, accompanied by naturalist guides.

Accompanied by a highly experienced crew, benefit from the wisdom of the boat's captain, Art Taylor, who is passionate and hugely knowledgeable about this immensely rich area.  Using 'The Searcher' as a floating base, explore Baja's marine-life rich waters and startling landscape.  You will have the chance to spot a wide variety of captivating species, including grey, fin and sperm whales; common and bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, sea birds and lizards. Experience an exhilarating combination of some of the world's best whale watching and whale interaction with fascinating insights into Mexican wilderness and wildlife. 


For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4825 £ 800
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 11 night/12 day voyage on board the Searcher
  • Naturalist guides onboard the Searcher

what is excluded

  • Internal flights
  • International flights


Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

San Diego embarkation
Morning at leisure to explore San Diego independently. Drop off your bags at the Fisherman's Landing mooring early this afternoon and ensure that you are back on board before 8pm. Lines away and depart San Diego at 10pm, heading south.

San Diego on the coast of southern California is a relaxing place with year round warm, sunny weather. Despite being a large city it still retains a small town friendly feel and has miles of sandy beaches offering options for surfing, sailing or relaxing. If you tire of the coast, there are many activities to keep you amused - trekking, biking or climbing as well as a number of gardens, museums or theme parks.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 2

Islas Todos Santos
Early morning stop at Ensenada Harbour for Mexican Customs and Immigration clearance. Cruise along Todos Santos Islands to view nesting sea birds, rocky reef and cliff life and harbour seal adults and pups. Afternoon whale watching for migrating Greys heading southwards to the lagoons, dolphins and sea birds.

This unique region is one of the most interesting and diverse geographical areas of the world and is still very much a frontier. 760 miles long and as narrow as 30m in some places, the Baja Peninsula is home to some of the earth's most beautiful deserts, along with semi-tropical and mountainous regions, pine forests, and hundreds of miles of untouched beaches and coastline. The waters off Baja are one of the world's finest marine destinations and during the months of January to April they offer the best opportunity for whale watching.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 3

Islas San Benito
Hike to an old lighthouse and observe elephant seals crowded in each cove. Its early breeding season and jousting males, nursing pups and resting females make for wonderful photography. Observe nesting birds, such as osprey and ravens, as well as the unique desert plants.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 4

Laguna San Ignacio
Here anchor among the first of the Grey whales to arrive. Transfer to smaller fishing-style boats called ‘pangas’ for up-close encounters with grey whales. Here you may encounter particular mating groups and females caring for their young. Spend two whole days in this area with these amazing animals.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 5

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 6

Bahía Magdalena
Spend time observing whales, pods of common dolphins, sea turtles and pelagic seabirds, with the peninsula as a truly scenic backdrop for photography.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 7

Cabo San Lucas & Los Frailes
This area is famous for groups of humpbacks that spend time at Gorda Banks. Humpback whales are the most acrobatic of whales - breaching, spy hopping, and lunging – and thus spectacular to observe and photograph. Stop at the Los Frailes area for a snorkelling session and walk along the beautiful beach.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 8

Isla San José
Arrive at the spectacular red sandstone cliffs of Punta Colorado in time to photograph the sunrise. Take a skiff ride into a cave and along the cliffs for close views of nesting Brown and Blue-Footed Boobies, Pelicans, Yellow-Footed Gulls, Osprey and White-Throated Swifts. Afternoon whale watching for the chance to see Blue, Fin and Sperm Whales, as well as the large pods of Bottlenose Dolphin that frequent this area.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 9

Isla Santa Catalina
An early morning walk is a great way to enjoy this island, famous for its 12-foot “wavy” barrel cactus and other desert plants that grow along the canyon. Birdlife is abundant and you should see and hear Cardinals, Gila Woodpeckers, Ravens and Verdin. Other famous residents are the rare endemic Santa Catalina rattle-less rattlesnake and the abundant emerald-tailed lizards. There will be snorkelling opportunities at this island, where the shallow reefs are home to many species of fish, sea stars, sea fans and more marine life.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 10

Bahia Agua Verde
Stop at this beautiful bay on the peninsula to bird watch and snorkel among giant sea fans, with time to whale watch for Blue, Fin or other whales.

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 11

Nopol and Islas Los Islotes
Bird watch in the early morning at one of Baja's best locations, then travel to Los Islotes, two islets and underwater rocky reefs used by sea lions as haul-out sites. Skiff rides around the islets give great views of the sea lions, fish and invertebrates along the reefs, nesting boobies and other birds. Or dive in for some great snorkelling!

You will be staying at Searcher, Full board

Day 12

Cabo San Lucas disembarkation
Disembark Searcher boat in Cabo San Lucas at 9 a.m. Van style taxis are available for transport to Los Cabos (also called San Jose del Cabo) airport.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.



The 30-metre-long Searcher was built in 1970 in the US as a sports-fishing vessel....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Baja California

John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Sue Grimwood, Travel Expert

"It was tremendously helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been to Antarctica before - Sue had been on the ship we had booked, so was able to give us some very useful information. We felt that at every stage of the booking process that we were in safe hands. "

""I was uncharacteristically worried about this trip - neurotic some might say - and I was given 110% support and help with everything. I had been disappointed by not being able to get a space on the 2014 trip and so Sue was stuck with me for 2 years - a testament to her patience and professionalism. I was confident in Sue - she knows Antarctica and speaks from experience, that is worth a huge amount. Emails, which I would send were responded to almost immediately.""

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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