Where the Desert Meets the Sea - Beyond Loreto Tour, A Baja Bubble JourneyTM
Ideal for couples, families, or small groups of friends, our Bubble JourneysTM are private expeditions where you choose who you want to travel with and your preferred dates. Led by friendly and knowledgeable guides, these are exclusive experiences that offer plenty of opportunities for spontaneous discoveries.
Experience the best Baja California Sur has to offer on this week-long adventure that takes you from the sparkling Sea of Cortez into the peninsula’s rugged interior. Kayak and snorkel in the majestic Loreto Bay National Marine Park and follow in the footsteps of John Steinbeck on a canyon hike before journeying into the spectacular Sierra La Giganta mountains. Here, you’ll discover charming villages and lush valleys that are well off-the-beaten tourist track, including several historic mission settlements.
Led by friendly and knowledgeable bilingual guides, this is a rare opportunity to travel where few others have visited. You’ll delve deep into the local traditions while meeting Baja California’s residents and dine on delicious cuisine that’s like nowhere else on Earth.
Please see our Baja Travel Guide for more information on traveling to and from Baja.
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Arrive in Loreto
Fly from your home city to Loreto International Airport, with nonstop flights available with Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles, American Airlines from Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth, and Westjet from Calgary. Alternatively, you can fly into Tijuana Airport using the Cross Border Bridge before transferring to the lovely town of Loreto. Take time to settle into your hotel before meeting your guides and fellow travelers over a welcome dinner.
Taking into account the weather, there are various activities possible over the next two days, ranging from sea kayaking to snorkeling and hiking. Depending on the sea conditions, our itinerary will be flexible to ensure the best experience possible during the following activities:
Hiking in Tabor Canyon (also known as “Steinbeck Canyon”)
Embark on a spectacular hike through this boulder-strewn canyon, which cuts west into the Sierra La Giganta mountains. Accompanied by a naturalist guide, you’ll discover the unique adaptations of local animals and plants that have enabled them to thrive in this desert ecosystem.
The Tabor Canyon is also linked to the American author, John Steinbeck, who came here in 1940 when traveling with his friend, biologist Edward F. Ricketts (also known as “Doc” in Cannery Row). Sailing aboard the Western Flyer, they stopped at Puerto Escondido and traveled with locals to the Sierra la Giganta to explore its rugged landscapes.
“After a short climb we emerged on a level place in a deep cleft in the granite mountains. In this cleft a tiny stream of water fell hundreds of feet from pool to pool. There were palm trees and wild grapevines and large ferns, and the water was cool and sweet. This little stream, coming from so high up in the mountains and falling so far, never had the final dignity of reaching the ocean.”
Follow in the footsteps of Steinbeck as we hike along the same trails, stopping to picnic beside a small creek framed by soaring canyon walls. In the late afternoon, we’ll head back to our starting point and make the return drive to Loreto.
Snorkeling and swimming (with optional kayaking) at Isla Coronado
Forming part of Loreto Bay National Park, Isla Coronado is a conical-shaped volcanic island that serves as our backdrop for the day. Depending on how adventurous you feel, you may opt to kayak to the island (around 1.5 miles each way) or travel there by motorboat. On arrival, you’ll have plenty of time to relax on the island’s idyllic beaches and snorkel surrounded by colorful fish, as well as visit a nearby sea lion colony.
Led by a naturalist guide, you’ll learn about some of the marine animals that inhabit this sanctuary, with most people seeing up to 30 different species of fish while snorkeling. A picnic lunch will be served in the middle of the day before we return to Loreto in the late afternoon.
Kayaking to Punta Coyote
Baja California is one of Mexico’s most famous sea kayaking destinations, with crystal clear waters, spectacular scenery, and abundant wildlife. On this full-day trip, you’ll discover the wonders of the Sea of Cortez during a kayaking expedition that’s ideal for all experience levels.
Our launch point is situated around 30 minutes drive south of Loreto and it’s here that you’ll be given a short orientation and safety briefing. It’s then time to launch our kayaks into the warm waters and begin paddling towards Isla Danzante (part of Loreto Bay National Marine Park), with rugged mountains serving as our constant backdrop. We’ll make our way to the protected bay of Punta Coyote and hike from its gravel beach up a cacti-studded hillside. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about some of the island’s desert fauna before lunch is served back on the beach.
In addition to snorkeling with the local marine life, the afternoon will be spent spotting dolphins, rays, and shorebirds that call the Gulf of California “home”. If you are visiting in February or March, you may also be lucky enough to see blue and minke whales on their annual migration.
Today will be spent doing one of the activities that we didn’t do yesterday before returning to Loreto for dinner in the evening.
San Javier and San Miguel de Comondu
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart Loreto and make the 1,400-foot (420-meter) ascent into the Sierra La Giganta mountains towards the small town of San Javier. Surrounded by dramatic scenery, we’ll spend time wandering around the mid-18th-century San Javier Mission before driving further inland to admire a series of prehistoric cave paintings.
After lunch at a local ranch, we’ll continue driving through the starkly-beautiful desert where elephant trees, mesquite, cholla cacti, and palo verde grow, eventually arrive at San Miguel de Comondu. This historic mission town was founded by the Jesuits and lies well off-the-beaten tourist track. However, a passionate local historian has established a small hotel here where we’ll spend the night, with the opportunity to meet and chat with some of the local residents.
San Miguel de Comondu
Today will be spent learning about life in San Miguel de Comondu with the local residents as they show us their farming techniques and take us on a series of short hikes. You may have the opportunity to learn about cheese-making and the cultivation of date palms, as well as visiting the ruins of the original mission church.
After a relaxed day, we’ll enjoy a locally-sourced dinner featuring produce from some of San Miguel de Comondu’s farms.
La Purisimo and return to Loreto
Leaving San Miguel de Comondu, we’ll continue north to another oasis town that nestles in the picturesque valley of La Purisimo, with spectacular volcanic rocks framing the scene. Our drive back to Loreto will be leisurely, with several new discoveries along the way. We’ll convene for a farewell dinner in the evening and share stories of the adventures had.
Flight home or onward travel
It’s time to say goodbye to your group as you make your own way back to Loreto International Airport or continue your travels through Baja California. We offer a variety of single-day Trip Extensions, as well as multi-day sea kayaking and whale watching adventures through Loreto Bay National Marine Park.
Dates & Rates
Daily departures available for private groups Nov through May
**PLEASE INQUIRE FOR 23/24 PRICING
* Where there are options for accommodations we have based rates on mid range hotels. Should you wish to look at higher range properties or private vacation rentals for your group we are happy to get a quote for the trip based on this. Please just ask your Adventure Consultant.
Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wish to have your own hotel room an additional single supplement of $270.00 is required. Please inquire at time of booking if you have any questions.
- Full services of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional bi-lingual guide
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- Hotel accommodations between activities as dictated by the itinerary
All transportation while on tour
All kayaking, camping and snorkeling equipment
All entrance fees and National Park fees
Tour Does Not Include:
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Hotel accommodations before and after tour
- Items of a personal nature
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.