Magdalena Bay Sea Turtle Conservation Adventure
Take part in a trip that blurs the lines between ecotourism and black sea turtle restoration, community development and genuine cultural exchange. Join a local group of fisher-conservationists on a journey through majestic Magdalena Bay to participate in a sea turtle conservation project recognized around the world as a model for community-based conservation. Stargazing, gourmet cuisine, and discovering your inner-conservationist included.
Day 1 - La Paz to Magdalena Bay.
Take part in a trip that blurs the lines between ecotourism, and black sea turtle restoration, community development, and genuine cultural exchange. Your journey begins from the scenic Bay of La Paz, on the Gulf of California. Departing by van early morning from your hotel in La Paz with your trip guide, you will cross the desert to arrive at Magdalena Bay, on the Pacific Coast of the Baja California peninsula, home to some of Mexico´s most breathtaking land and seascapes.
Arriving in the fishing village of Magdalena Bay, you will be greeted by local conservationists who work to preserve the bay´s precious natural resources. Head out in small craft to Conchalito Island - the campsite and sea turtle monitoring base for the next 2 days, where you will meet the rest of your guides. Step off the boat, and feel your feet sink into the sand. The welcoming smiles of your fishermen hosts greet you, and you will soon discover that their hospitality is surpassed only by their prowess in the kitchen as they treat you to a delicious lunch before settling into camp. An orientation to the in-water sea turtle monitoring follows, along with happy hour. Discussion and Q&A continues, and dinner is served after sunset, blending local cuisine with gourmet flair. You’ve never experienced seafood so fresh, and delicious. After dinner your guide will lead a session of constellation and star identification.
Day 2 - Magdalena Bay sea turtle monitoring begins...
Rise shortly after the sun comes up, grab a cup of coffee, and climb aboard the panga to help your fishermen guides set nets in the channel, initiating the sea turtle monitoring. If you’ve ever dreamed about leading a life devoted to conservation, now is your chance. Put on your sea turtle biologist cap, and take part in a black sea turtle monitoring project recognized around the world as a model for community based conservation. The not-so-early risers can enjoy a relaxed breakfast, and watch the birds, marine mammals and other natural wonders that surround the island before heading out on the water.
Throughout the day, you´ll become versed in the biology of sea turtles, their important ecological function, and the threats that confront these majestic creatures, as well as the critical role your fisher guides play in preserving the sea turtles and their habitat by combining tourism and conservation. Boats will head out for monitoring every two hours. Captured turtles are weighed, measured and released. You can take a break from the sea turtle activity in the afternoon to relax and read, or identify local birds with your guide. The sea turtle discussions will continue during dinner, and you will have plenty to talk about tonight. Monitoring goes on throughout the night, and snacks, coffee and hot chocolate are always available.
Day 3 - Magdalena Bay Mangrove Exploration:
With the data collected, and the sea turtles released back into the wild, it´s time to experience more of what Magdalena Bay has to offer. After breakfast, head out in the pangas to visit with local fishermen, see what they are catching and learn about local fishing techniques. Continue on as frigate birds circle overhead, and navigate through narrow mangrove canals to arrive at Magdalena Island and the pristine sand dunes that roll down to the Pacific Ocean. After exploring the island, continue on to your hidden picnic destination where you will bid farewell to your fisher-hosts before heading back to La Paz.. The photographs, the stories, and the memories you keep will tell the tale of your adventure, and the beginning of your life as a sea turtle conservationist.
Trip length: 3 days - 2 nights Departs from: La Paz
Activities: Sea turtle monitoring, island, dune, and mangrove exploration, cultural interaction, bird watching, star gazing
Price: Starting at $770 per person for groups larger than 7 | Kids under 11 are entitled to 30% discount with paid adult
More details below the departure dates
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Accommodations: Field camping with comfortable amenities. Tents are equipped with either two singles or one double mattress with linens and pillows. Toilet and shower facilities are environmentally friendly and integrated into the landscape.
Includes: Ground transportation from La Paz to Magdalena Bay and back (about 3 hours each way), boat transportation to camp and back, all meals starting on lunch of day one and ending on lunch of day 3, drinks including wine and beer, taxes, a 3% donation to RED´s community conservation fund, comfortable camping accommodations.
Excludes: Breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 3, hotels or transportation prior or after the trip, tips (usually 10-15% of the trip fee)
This trip is ideal for: Ages 5 to 70. Ability to travel in small craft over open water as well as overland by van (3hrs) is required. Allergies and special dietary needs are to be presented in pre-trip forms. This trip is appropriate for travelers of all activity levels. Sea turtle monitoring takes place both during the day and throughout the night. While night monitoring can be an exhilarating experience, travelers are free to pass the time stargazing or sleeping; the local conservation team will make sure the monitoring happens. So whether you're looking to roll up your sleeves and jump right into conservation, or are content lying on the shell beach daydreaming, this trip will accommodate you. It's your vacation.
This trip supports research on black sea turtles as part of the Grupo Tortuguero program. This information provides vital data on health, migration patterns and habitat use of sea turtles in Magdalena Bay, ultimately providing policymakers and authorities with the tools they need to make strategic decisions towards the species' conservation.
Travelers also play an important role in conserving Magdalena Bay's natural resources, providing a complementary, sustainable source of employment in a zone plagued by overfishing and poaching. Your hosts on this trip are part of RED's rigorous training and business incubation program which instills community members with principles of social equity and environmental and community stewardship. This is complemented and strengthened by the genuine personal interaction between clients and staff.
Paul Easto - Scotland
Isla Conchalito was an incredible experience. The story behind the turtle conservation project is compelling and to spend time with Nolberto and the crew was a truly memorable experience. There were many highlights of the trip from getting hands-on with the turtles, to exploring the breathtaking Pacific dune system and learning more about life in the San Carlos community. The camp and food also deserve a special mention. Huber and the team produced some fantastic meals including some of the best dishes I have ever tasted, including hand-made tacos and amazing scallop sushi. I wish you every success for the future"
Alison G. - United Kindom
All I can say is WOW! The cooks worked so hard. I didn’t expect the food to be such a highlight. Truly exceptional! We felt like a family within a few hours, the staff is warm, engaging and knowledgeable. It was so insightful to learn about the entire ecosystem, and also the gains and challenges of conservation work in Baja. This is an INSPIRING enterprise. Thanks to ALL of you for your evident hard work, passion and commitment to people, creatures and the planet that sustains us all. LOVE!
Anne M. - Washington DC, USA
What an amazing experience! Loved the nature walk, everyone learned something! Great food! Varied menu, very attentive to special needs! Cooks loved to talk about the recipes! Very FRESH! Guides are very passionate and happy! A little bit shy about speaking in english but very motivated to learn! Very attentive and helpful! I will definitely recommend this to others!”
Paulina A.- Mexico City
Discovering Conchalito was an unforgettable journey, magical and unexpected. But none of it would be the same without the welcome and hospitality we received from RED. It truly is a team of people who believe in their project, never had to speak, or try to convince us of anything. The warmth with which we were received and the love they put into each task that made this the perfect place and made every moment enjoyable for our family. We found ourselves on an island, surrounded by water, camping for the first time, yet we felt more at home than ever. The desert, mangroves, sharks, sea lions and shells. The pasta cooked with clams that the children collected themselves - the lobster bisque made with the lobster that we received right from the fishermen. All of the comforts and details were there – sending the children to bed with hot chocolate, the facilities, and the cleanliness. And the bathroom! There is no bathroom in the world with a finer view. The talks, laughter, and togetherness that we shared on that island are something we will forever keep in our hearts as a gift given to us by Mother Nature. Today we feel ever more committed to our environment. The rescue of Juan Ramos (the sea turtle we named and released) and the way the children took part in weighing, measuring, and caring for him before releasing him back to the wild. Everyone contributed to this experience. Having this as a memory in our lives will always remain a treasure, and a watershed moment in our family. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Suzanne M. - USA
It was PERFECT, such a beautiful place and wonderful people who are so excited about what they do and share that excitement and enthusiasm with us. Very helpful and fun to be with! Excellent food! Sued personal service, made a special sea food soup for me. It was DELICIOUS! The bathroom was a lovely spot, I loved the basic essentials and back to nature aspects of it, garnished with shells and beautiful view. The tents were great, clean blankets and a great mattress. Participating in the turtle monitoring was such a phenomenal experience! Thanks for that! I wish you all the best and luck – What you are doing is admirable… converting, helping, saving, SUPER!”