Land’s End: San Jose del Cabo

Jan 15, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

Today was one of transition, from the Gulf of California (i.e. Sea of Cortez) to the Pacific Ocean. As we rounded the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, we started to see humpback whales being active on the surface. These whales are in the region to mate or to give birth. It was great to see another cetacean species on our journey. At this point we could also see ‘Los Cabos,’ the two towns on the peninsula: San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. 

We had another very full day. National Geographic Venture elbowed its way into the busy marina at Cabo San Lucas. From there we divided into groups based on interest in several options on the mainland. Some chose to explore on their own in the charming town of San Jose del Cabo, while others chose a guided cultural walk or a photography walk in town. The rest of us went to ‘El Estero,’ the natural estuary in San Jose del Cabo that is famous for its excellent birdwatching opportunities.

Folks on the town walks got to learn about the town’s history, including the establishment of the church. The photo walkers were treated to a glass blowing demonstration. The birdwatching group had a fun time finding 38 species in a little over an hour.

Back on board, most of us went to the ship’s bow to look at a beautiful, iconic rock formation: The Friars, or Land’s End. The granite towers were stunningly beautiful in the light of the setting sun. Cocktail hour was on the Sun Deck, which was a perfect way to end the day.

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About the Author

Ivan Phillipsen


Ivan is a passionate naturalist with a background in scientific research. He has participated in studies of a diverse assortment of organisms: aspen trees, cactus wrens, aquatic snails, frogs, and beetles. He holds a M.S. in biology from Cal State San Bernardino and a Ph.D. in zoology from Oregon State University. The population genetics of freshwater animals was his area of focus. He has published a series of papers on the evolutionary biology of amphibians and aquatic insects. Ivan’s scientific work invariably involved backpacking into remote wilderness areas to find his secretive research subjects in their natural habitats.

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