Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field


  • At Sea

    National Geographic Venture departed Cabo San Lucas last night. We sailed all night and all day today, on our way to San Ignacio Lagoon, where we will arrive tomorrow. We had a very nice day, which started with a beautiful sunrise near Isla Santa Margarita, one of the four islands that form Bahia Magdalena. The mountains of these exotic terrains were adorned with thick fog sitting on their summits, and the early morning light made them look spectacular.

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  • Land’s End: San Jose del Cabo

    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. 

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  • Los Islotes and San Francisco Island

    Our second full day exploring Mexico’s Sea of Cortez started in a gorgeous way with a beautiful sunrise that painted not only the sky, but the islands and the peninsula of Baja California, with great colors. We thought that it is possibly true that those early Spaniard explorers from the 1500s named this place the “Vermillion Sea” and the “Red Sea” after the impressive sunrises and sunsets here. Shortly afterwards we arrived to Los Islotes, which was our morning destination. Los Islotes is one of three islands that are part of the “Espiritu Santo Island-Complex Biosphere Reserve,” part of the Natural Protected Areas network that Mexico has put together. That reserve is also world-famous for the colony of California sea lions that call Los Islotes home, and being fairly close to the capital city of La Paz, many people visit them. And that’s exactly what we did immediately after breakfast! We got our snorkel gear, donned our wetsuits, and jumped into the water to admire and interact with those awesome creatures. Oh my lord, they are fun! Visiting them underwater is the best way to really appreciate how marvelously adapted they are to the marine realm, and I have to admit that I always get jealous of their swimming and diving capabilities. We also visited them using our Zodiacs and got the chance to observe them from a different perspective as they rested, socialized and vocalized on the rocks.

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  • Gulf of California and Puerto Gato

    Dolphins! Get up, get on deck, and join the dolphins at sunrise. Pilot whales! Not up yet? Then come for the pilot whales and dolphins. Okay, now it’s time for breakfast. Are you finished yet? Because there are sperm whales! Swallow that oatmeal and come on out, but wait, what are those splashes to the west? Bottlenose dolphins! The cetaceans did not seem to want to stop this morning, we were so lucky and grateful for such an awesome showing of wildlife.

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  • Isla San Franciscito

    It was the last day of the trip, and National Geographic Venture began the day with an Exhale-led stretch class on the aft deck and a stunning sunrise off the bow. The ship anchored at Isla San Franciscito and everyone headed to shore for a day of adventure. The shore activities started with hikes and tide pooling. Later on, the kayaks and stand up paddle-boards were unloaded, giving us all the chance to play in the water. After lunch snorkeling was a big hit and the day ended as it began, with Exhale-led yoga and a beautiful sunset.

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  • Los Islotes & Kelly’s Beach

    Today was an awesome day here in Baja on National Geographic Venture. From swimming with sea lions, to bow riding dolphins, to a beach BBQ, our guests enjoyed an adventurous full day.

  • San Jose Channel and Puerto Los Gatos

    One thing that makes the Gulf of California so special is its incredible sunrises and sunsets. This morning as we sailed north, the sun came out painting the entire sky in pinks and purples. A particularly beautiful scene to witness sunrise is the magnificent Sierra de la Giganta, or “Mountain Range of the Giantess.” The volcanic rocks form walls that emerge from the sea, reflecting some of the warmest and most beautiful light.

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  • Isla San Francisco, Baja California Sur, Mexico

    Our morning onshore at Isla San Francisco was an outstanding continuation of a fantastic Baja California Sur expedition. On arrival, brown pelicans and Brandt’s cormorants were dancing together in a large group above the water directly adjacent to the large boulders lining the harbor. Swirls and splashes continued late into the morning as we rode our Zodiacs to shore and began exploring our latest destination.

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  • Los Islotes, Espiritu Santo National Park

    The second day of our adventure found National Geographic Venture at Los Islotes, a small rock outcropping in Espiritu Santo National Park. This small island is home to a colony of California sea lions. We spent the morning in the water, snorkeling with the juvenile sea lion pups. In the afternoon the ship repositioned so everyone could go ashore, but on the way we were distracted by a huge pod of common dolphins. The dolphins played in our wake and rode the bow as we cut through the water. When we finally did pull ourselves away from the marine acrobats, we had a chance to play on Kelly’s Beach. We broke into groups and tried out kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, and even beach yoga!

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  • Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida

    On our first day, we left the dock at La Paz and spent the morning sailing through the Sea of Cortez. We arrived at Ensenada Grande in Espiritu Santo National Park, and spent the day doing a number of activities. Our guest ventured into the rocky arroyo on nature and photo walks to discover this vivid desert landscape and the flora and fauna that call it home. Other guests took to the water to snorkel and discover the beauty that lays beneath the crystal blue seas, while others kayaked and stand-up paddleboarded above. We ended the day with a chill yoga session with our Exhale yoga teacher, Jaclyn Allen. What an incredible way to start our trip here in Baja. We headed back aboard National Geographic Venture at sunset for cocktail hour and dinner. Now, with a sense of what Baja has to offer, our guests are excited to see what tomorrow brings.

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