Designated by UNESCO as a marine world heritage site and dubbed “the world’s aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau, the waters and islands of the Gulf of California are places of legendary biodiversity. This is an expedition of pure discovery, sailing to islands that lie in close proximity to the peninsula but have a palpable feel of rugged isolation. This geographic isolation is the major contributing factor to the long list of endemic plants and animals. And the seas, roiling with productivity, beckon whales—this is, arguably, the best place in the world to see a vast variety of whale species plus massive pods of dolphins, leaping Mobula rays, and seabirds.
Search for large pods of dolphins and a variety of marine wildlife including sea lions and, with luck, leaping mobula rays, which flap for a moment before belly-flopping back in the water
Explore water-level caves by kayak, hike uninhabited beaches, and snorkel among fish and acrobatic sea lions
Photograph the landscape as the light changes and the golden hour approaches, with its deep red hues that seem to engulf the desert environment
Conditions permitting, visit Isla Rasa. Composed of Pleistocene and Holocene basalt lava flows, this is where 90 percent of the world’s Heermann’s gulls and a large population of elegant terns come to breed
Visit the old mining town of Santa Rosalia, with its wooden homes and historic steel church, designed by Gustave Eiffel