Welcome to Baja California Sur, home of some of the world’s best beaches, brilliant displays of marine life, and a colorful Mexican culture. La Paz is the capital city of BCS, and with 220,000 citizens, it is the largest in the state. It is bordered by the Sea of Cortez, which is often referred to as the Gulf of California. This body of water is so filled with life that oceanographer Jacque Cousteau once referred to it as the “World’s Aquarium”.
So you’ve arrived. Now what? There are many things that make a visit to La Paz an exciting one, but one thing stands above the rest: Swimming with whale sharks. The experience is one so meaningful that it is a bucket list item for many. And guess what? We can help scratch that one off. And we’ll one up the goal, giving guests a day to remember both before and after their encounter with the gentle giants, the largest fish in the oceans of planet earth, the Whale Shark.
The Whale Shark is indeed a shark, but don’t worry, it doesn’t want to eat you or me. Like a whale, they are filter feeders, and find their way back to the Sea of Cortez to fatten up in the plankton and krill rich waters. Snorkeling with whale sharks is a safe and fun activity, and following the directions of the snorkel leader/dive master, will be one you aren’t likely to forget.
Upon arrival aboard Island Cat you’ll be treated to a breakfast of fresh pastries, fruits and yogurts, and beverages both non-alcoholic or otherwise are available. And our crew members can make a mean Bloody Mary, my friends.
As the large and spacious catamaran gets underway, we encourage you to relax on the bow of the ship, and enjoy the sunshine during the easy cruise. Prior to arrival our onboard Marine Biologist will tell you all about the whale shark, allowing time for Q&A before heading into the feeding area.
The whale shark doesn’t breach for air like a normal whale, which can make it tough to locate initially, but odd wave breaks, a large dorsal fin, and a large darkened mass gliding through the waters are easy giveaways. Once the massive white-spotted fish has been located, snorkelers will jump in the water in pursuit. Depending on whether the shark is eating vertically or as it moves, you may be in for a short swim. But the experience of being in the water alongside the endangered gentle giants as they feed is worth it, and is one of both awe and wonder.
Back aboard Island Cats are two full bathrooms with extra large showers if you wish to wash off the sea and clean up. When done, a complete lunch made by onboard chef using fresh, organic ingredients waits for you in the galley. It’s not uncommon for lunchtime to be a loud occasion as guests excitedly share their stories of their time underwater with the whale shark.
On the return cruise, head out to the bow of the ship for a last hour or so of being pampered in the sunshine. (Psst – ask for a Mango Margarita- you won’t regret it!) And be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins or jumping stingrays!
For further information, or to book a Whale Sharks Encounter, see: www.BajaWhaleShark.com. In the U.S. or Canada call: 541-325-7369, in Mexico call 612-152-9940.