Smithsonian Journeys has unveiled a series of exotic cultural and educational odysseys for winter getaways, including a Baja California itinerary running February 9-16 and March 1-8.
Each winter, in the coves and bays of Baja California’s Pacific coast gray whales arrive by the thousands. After making the heroic journey from their Arctic feeding grounds, they come to breed, play and nurture their young.
Marine biologist Larry Hobbs will lead eight-day voyages, starting at Bahia Magdalena, where a vast system of protected harbors and channels is surrounded by a fringe of mangrove swamps, providing ideal sheltered conditions for whale calves. In this immense natural nursery, observe these enormous yet gentle mammals deck-side and up close on smaller Zodiacs. Aspiring naturalists can also look forward to beachcombing, kayaking through dense mangroves and bird watching in the natural habitat of frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, terns, great blue herons and ibis. At Lost Islotes, snorkel with curious sea lions, and visit Espíritu Santo, one of the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez.
Rates start at $4,270 per person, based on double occupancy, and include accommodations, excursions, meals, study leader and emergency trip evacuation insurance. Visit www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/bajaca08.
Smithsonian Journeys is also offering an in-depth study on Folk Art and Crafts of Central Mexico running January 28-February 3, meeting artisans and learning about regional drafts such as maque lacquerwork, foot-loomed textiles and traditional mask making. Visit www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/folkartmexico08.