baja whale stamp
  • 6 days / 5 nights
  • Next Departure: Oct 28, 2019
  • From $2,995.00 / person

President’s Trip | Swimming with Whale Sharks

Join owners Dan and Carol Austin on this exclusive President’s Adventure to Baja, Mexico! This beautiful destination is highlighted by the Las Animas Ecolodge, a self-sustaining, solar-powered retreat consisting of eight well-appointed beachside yurts, but it has another attraction—Baja is one of four places in the world where Whale Sharks annually congregate to feed on algae, plankton, and krill. Experience the thrill of swimming alongside these gentle giants in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez! Explore isolated islands and coves as you snorkel in search for Baja’s native species, including fin and blue whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and manta rays. Take advantage of some world-class sea kayaking or simply relax in a hammock on the beach.

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  • Specials & Unique Trips
  • New Trips of 2019!
  • North America Vacations
  • Adult only
  • Hiking
  • Paddling/Rafting
  • Snorkeling/Swimming
  • Safari/Wildlife
This Tour
While it may be true that few mainstream adventurous travelers have heard about Las Animas Ecolodge, an hour’s boat ride south of Bahia de Los Angeles along the Sea of Cortez, all who do come for a visit just can’t seem to stop talking about it. Comfortably accommodating on average only a dozen visitors per week, guests sleep in well-appointed beachside yurts with the sound of the gentle surf lapping a private beach just yards from the door. From August into November, the main attraction is snorkeling with the Whale Sharks that congregate annually to feed on algae, plankton, and krill. Swimming alongside these 40-foot docile creatures as they slowly feed can be a life-changing experience.
  • Snorkel alongside enormous whale sharks, staring in awe at these gentle giants of the sea from up close
  • Cruise isolated islands and coves looking for fin and blue whales, dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, and of course, whale sharks
  • Relax in an oceanfront hammock, falling asleep to the sound of gentle waves in the late afternoon
  • Kayak crystal clear waters and never-ending coves as you search for playful dolphins and sea lions
  • Glamp in style in one of eight romantic, beach-side yurts equipped with comforts that will make you feel right at home
  • Join Dan & Carol Austin on this once-in-a-lifetime Presidents' Trip to the secluded, private side of Baja most visitors never get to see
baja whale shark
Photo: baja whale shark

Austin Adventures is top notch in service, equipment, professionalism, and fun.

Janice Perkins

[From 1 to 10], 10 is TOO LOW for these pros. They were spectacular! I would go anywhere with them!

David Neal

I've traveled to many amazing places worldwide, but snorkeling with whale sharks is still on my bucket list. Join my wife and I in Baja this October for the trip of a lifetime!

Dan Austin

& Map
Day 1: San Diego / Sea of Cortez / Las Animas Ecolodge
baja 1
Meals Included:  L, D
Early morning meet up at Brown Field Municipal Airport in San Diego • We fly from San Diego by private air carriage to San Felipe to clear Mexico customs • Then we continue our flight taking in jaw-dropping aerial views of the Sea of Cortez and the magical Midriff Island Region • Eventually we land at Bahia de Los Angeles (LA Bay) where we transfer to our boats • Scenic boat ride past desert islands and magical bays to Las Animas Wilderness Ecolodge, arriving in the early afternoon • We have time to explore our home and its surroundings by boat, snorkel and swimming, of course keeping an eye out for the gentle Baja Whale Sharks we’ve come to see! • Enjoy dinner at the lodge and settle into your comfortable, private beachside yurt

About Las Animas Wilderness Ecolodge

The Las Animas Ecolodge is a self-sustaining, solar-powered retreat consisting of eight well-appointed beachside yurts. It's is a year-round, mosquito-free (and Zika-free) destination ideally suited for anyone seeking total immersion in nature and a desert-to-sea environment. Comfortably accommodating on the average only a dozen visitors per week, guests sleep in well-appointed beachside yurts with the sound of the gentle surf lapping a private beach just yards from the door. Here nature takes full stage and it isn’t uncommon to see rays, sea lions and dolphins cavorting just off-shore, or a sea turtle scurrying back to the water after depositing a nest full of eggs.
Day 2-5: Sea of Cortez / Las Animas Ecolodge
whale shark
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Throughout the next four days, our mornings will be spent in search of the rare, elusive whale shark • With the help of radio reports from local fishermen, we’ll likely come across anywhere between 3 to 8 whale sharks! • Although Mother Nature can't guarantee sightings every outing, her track record has been very high! • When we find these gentle giants, we’ll swim and snorkel alongside them, marveling at their overwhelming size and beauty! • Head back to the lodge for a fresh, delicious lunch • Our afternoons give us plenty of opportunities for more fun in the sun • You may choose to snorkel with the nearby sea lions or take advantage of world-class sea kayaking, incredible hiking, fishing, birding, offshore island exploration by boat, or sailing • You might also opt to just relax in a hammock, beer in hand, while taking in the peace and serenity of this truly untouched wilderness area • Evenings are filled with fantastic food, a campfire at the beach, star-filled skies, tranquility and solitude •
Day 6: Las Animas Ecolodge / San Diego
baja whale 6
Meals Included:  B, L
Overnight: None
After a scrumptious breakfast and some free time this morning, we reluctantly wish our goodbyes to Las Animas Ecolodge and board our boat to head back to LA Bay • Along the way, we’ll enjoy a packed lunch and hopefully view more whale sharks, dolphins, sea lions, and other whales on our return trip • The afternoon brings an incredible, scenic flight along the shores of the Sea of Cortez on our way to San Felipe for a brief landing and then onward to San Diego • Upon landing in San Diego, clear customs and give your hugs goodbye to your fellow travelers •
Dates, Rates
& Details

Stop daydreaming and start planning your adventure today. Confirmed departure dates and rates are listed below. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Not finding what you're looking for? Over 33% of our itineraries are tailored to fit your group or family needs. Feel free to call one of our travel specialists for information on custom trips. Let us plan your next adventure of a lifetime!

  • 6 days / 5 nights
  • Next Departure: Oct 28, 2019
  • From $2,995.00 / person

Confirmed Departures

  • Oct 28, 2019 - Nov 2, 2019

Recommended Travel Months

CALL (800) 575-1540 for details

whale shark
Photo: whale shark

Additional Trip Information

Arrival & Departures

Please plan to arrive to San Diego, California at least one day prior to your departure. Day 1 begins with a 7:00 AM meet-up at San Diego’s Brown Field Municipal Airport where you’ll meet your pilot as well as the rest of the group, and then take off for paradise. Your trip ends with your flight back to San Diego on Day 6, arriving around 4:00 PM. Please book flights out of San Diego for no earlier than 7:00 PM, or choose to stay one more night in this oceanside host city.


* Daily itinerary is kept purposefully flexible to maximize wildlife sightings and natural encounters.
  • Hiking: Difficulty varies depending on group, no experience necessary.
  • Kayaking: Protected coves and inlets, no experience necessary.
  • Boating: Offshore island exploration by boat and sailing; small skiffs provide easy access to tucked-away inlets and shorelines.
  • Paddle boarding: Stand up paddling, no experience necessary.
  • Snorkeling:  No experience necessary.
  • Wildlife Viewing: No experience necessary but come prepared to look and listen.


The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages are also included in the trip price.

Included in the Trip Price

  • Private beachside “glamping” yurts
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners while on the trip
  • All beverages, including alcohol
  • Daily guided excursions with professional guides
  • Roundtrip charter flight from San Diego
  • All land and boat transfers in Baja
  • Free use of all sporting gear
  • Austin Adventures T-shirt, luggage tags and luggage service
  • Pre-departure and packing information
  • Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees

Not Included in the Trip Price

  • Gratuities to pilot, boat captains and lodge staff
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses
  • Air and land transportation to/from host cities
  • All types of personal insurance
  • Personal expenses
Pre-departure Information After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.

Regions we visit in South America: , , ...

A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
  • 1. Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish! These harmless plankton eaters tend to feed close to the sea water’s surface and are known to reach lengths of up to 60 feet!
  • 2. Sea Variety: The Sea of Cortez is home to 900 varieties of fish and 2,000 species of marine invertebrates, making it the richest body of water on the planet.
  • 3. Dubbed the “Galapagos of Mexico” by writer John Steinbeck, this section of the Sea of Cortez offers the highest concentration of whales and rare seabirds in Baja.
  • 4. Experience the original, untouched Baja. This oasis, hidden inside a breathtaking private bay, offers a natural alternative to the crowds and hotels of Southern Baja.

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