Baja Turtle Research & Whale Watching

Baja Turtle Research & Whale Watching

Baja Turtle Research & Whale Watching

Trip Details:

Operator:   RED Travel Mexico
Price From: $1595
Ideal Age Range:  Suitable for Children (under 15), High School (15 to 18), 19 to 30, 31 to 50, Over 51
Fitness Needs:  Light Impact
Program duration: 4 days

Click To Learn More About This Trip

About this program

Take part in important sea turtle research and learn about the migration of gray whales from Alaska. Travelers will have the chance to get up close and personal with wildlife alongside local conservationists.


Project Life

Carrying out the program's activities on the beaches and forests in the area, you will live on our base at Jalova. With Tortuguero's amazing scenery, incredible beaches and through dawn patrols, spectacular sunrises as the backdrop, you will hone your research skills collecting important data. Through the processing, analysis, and recording of data, you will also get to grips with the technical aspects of field based research. Making lifelong friends, and invaluable contacts in the research world, you will live on our small but comfortable base with fellow volunteers, forging a tight-knit group experience you will never forget.

What to expect:

The center has over 60 private hectares of prime Amazon forest within which some of the animals can live freely, while others are rehabilitated prior to release. Volunteers need to be animal-lovers as well as physically fit. The work may involve opportunities to assist with teaching children or helping indigenous families to plant crops. A proportion of volunteer fees goes directly into this community.

Day 1: Arrival

Morning: Meet fellow volunteers, get settled into accommodations Mid-Day: Welcome lunch Afternoon: Introductions and Orientation; discuss goals and itinerary Evening: Discuss preconceptions and expectations. Team Building exercise. free time: shower, explore area, write in your journal, etc. Dinner

Day 2

Morning: Breakfast at hotel Mid-Morning: 9:30-5 visit to Angkor Wat temples Mid-Day: Lunch at Angkor Cafe; Journal project Afternoon: Meet with APDO to organize wheelchair project; cultural scavenger hunt activity Evening: Free time, dinner. See the sunset at Angkor Wat temple entrance.

Day 3

Morning: Breakfast at hotel, quick Khmer lesson Mid-Morning: Walk to work site; wheelchair assembly Mid-Day: Lunch Afternoon: Go to Landmine Museum; free time; go on a mission to taste Angkor beer, write in your journal, check email, explore. Evening: Free time; cooking lesson, dinner

Day 4

Morning: Give alms to monks, Breakfast, language lesson Mid-Morning: Work on wheelchair project Mid-Day: Lunch Afternoon: Visit micro library and APDO information center Evening: Free time; a cooking lesson, dinner; go to Phnom Bakheng to watch the sunset.

Day 5

Morning: Breakfast at hotel Mid-Morning: Finish wheelchairs and present to recipients Mid-Day: Lunch Afternoon: Teach English colloquialisms to novice monks Evening: Free time, cooking lesson, dinner.

Day 6

Morning: Breakfast at hotel Mid-Morning: English instruction; computer skills instruction; teach self-esteem class Mid-Day: Lunch Afternoon: Excursion to Tonle Sap Lake Evening: Free time; dinner; prepare for farewell party

Day 7

Morning: Breakfast at hotel Mid-Morning: Explore Siem Reap; free time Mid-Day: Farewell party lunch Afternoon: Visit the Killing Fields Memorial; free time, revisit temples, go to the archeological park Evening: Cooking lesson; dinner; review journal project; review scavenger hunt project.

Day 8

Morning: Breakfast at hotel; evaluations, goodbyes Mid-Morning: Depart for airport

Day 1: La Paz to Magdalena Bay

Depart from La Paz early in the morning en route to Magdalena Bay, jewel of the Pacific and home to a staggering number of migratory and marine birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals including the migratory gray whales. Breakfast will be provided en route at one of our favorite local ranchos. Settle into our secluded island camp and after happy hour, learn about the important sea turtle restoration project which will be the focus of tomorrow’s activities. Get a good night’s rest, tomorrow we search for turtles.

Day 2: Sea Turtle Monitoring

Wake up early and grab a cup of coffee and watch the fisher-conservationists prepare the nets used in the sea turtle monitoring, or stay in bed and catch a few extra z’s. During breakfast we will learn about the monitoring protocol and how we can participate in the data collection. Every two hours you will have the chance to accompany the monitoring team in pangas to check the nets for turtles. Captured sea turtles will be transported to camp where we will help take measurements and other important data before releasing them back into the wild. Throughout the day you’ll have the chance to get all your questions about sea turtles. After dinner, take in the stars in a night sky that never disappoints.

Day 3: Gray Whale Observation and Mangrove Exploration

Head down to the beach to finish measuring and weighing sea turtles before releasing them back into the wild, concluding the sea turtle monitoring portion of the trip. Today we will learn about the gray whales, their incredible migration, and the importance of Magdalena Bay for breeding and calving to these magnificent creatures. After a brief orientation, we will board the pangas and head out in search of gray whales. Friendly whales often approach the boats, and the mothers are known to push the young calves closer, which can make for an incredible interaction between two species. In the afternoon we explore the magic of the greater Magdalena Bay complex, it’s vast, rolling sand dunes and winding mangrove canals teeming with birdlife. Budding chefs can pop into the kitchen for a class on regional cuisine before dinner. Sit by the fire tonight and swap stories with your fisher guides and learn about the crucial role they play in conserving the natural resources of Magdalena Bay by combining tourism with conservation.

Day 4: Gray Whales to La Paz

In the morning, walk down to the beach to learn artisanal fishing techniques from local fishermen. We will bid farewell to our hosts and head out in the search for whales. Make sure your camera is handy to capture images of these magnificent giants. After a picnic lunch on a secluded barrier island, we start back for La Paz where the journey concludes.

Country Fast Facts


Flag  Flag_of_Mexico.svg
Continent: North America
Official Language(s) No official. National language is Spanish
Capital: Mexico City
Population 119,530,753 (2015 estimate)
Climate(s) Tropical Wet/Dry, Semi-arid, Arid Desert, Temperate, Humid Subtropical, Mediterranean
Major Airport(s): Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX), Cancun International Airport (CUN), Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport (GDL), General Mariano Escobedo International Airport (MTY)
Economic Driver(s): Agriculture, Industry, Oil, Energy, Manufacturing,Tourism

People who looked at this trip were also interested in: