Guided Overland Travel

Baja California: True Adventure in a land of Deserts and Seas

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Overview

FEEL THE RHYTHMS OF THE NATURAL WORLD REAWAKEN YOUR SENSES, AS WE EXPLORE BAJA’S DESERTS AND SEAS ON THIS 8-DAY GUIDED TOUR.

Travel with us from Loreto, BCS or San Diego, CA on a one-way trip weaving across the Peninsula, as we uncover its more remote wonders. With this guided, self-drive tour, you will be able try your hand at driving one of our fully-outfitted 4x4s across sand dunes, water crossings, and desert backroads. With the support of our professional guidance, private chef, thoughtfully curated itinerary, and all the needed camping equipment, we’ll handle all the details and logistics, so you can relax, enjoy your time off, and experience our worry-free brand of overland travel.

Baja is a magical place, with something unique and memorable for each of its visitors. Unwind in the hot springs of a palm-filled, desert oasis, explore pristine coves on the Sea of Cortez, reflect on the significance of a 9,000 year old UNESCO rock art site, marvel at the warmth and curiosity of the Gray Whale in an unrivaled, face-to-face encounter, and let your mind wander across the many, varied landscapes of the Peninsula.

This is a great trip for those with little or no “overlanding” experience, as well as those familiar with international, vehicle-dependent travel and “off-road” driving. We welcome all backgrounds and experience levels and invite you to join us.

Inclusions

An All-inclusive overland adventure

  • Outfitted 4x4 Vehicle

  • Expert GUIDance

  • VEHICLE INSTRUCTION

  • Visa, Insurance, & Fuel

  • All Listed Excursions

  • GRAY WHALE BOAT TOUR

  • UNESCO SITE VISIT

  • ORU KAYAK Use

  • DAILY ACTIVITIES

  • PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS

  • Exclusive Chef

  • Catered GOurmet meals

  • Restaurant Dining

  • Roof-top Tent Camping

  • ADditional EQUIPMENT

Included

  • We will provide you with a fully-outfitted overland vehicle with roof top tent accommodations for 2-4 people (depending on vehicle assignment and client needs). Additional ground tents/cots will be provided as needed.

  • Professional guides will be on hand to assist with border-crossing, driving, way-finding, and provide a fully-curated route and experience.

  • All meals are fully-catered, prepared by our exclusive chef, or enjoyed at local restaurants during our tour.

  • A range of daily activities including kayaking on the Sea of Cortez, hikes to hidden waterfalls and slot canyons, visiting pre-columbian rock art sites, exploring desert oases with natural hot springs, and a private chartered Gray Whale boat tour.

  • All vehicle costs: vehicle collision/liability insurance, gasoline, tolls, etc.

  • Camp showering and restroom facilities throughout your trip

NOT INCLUDED

  • Alcohol and Soft Drinks: We provide coffee, tea, and water, as well as complimentary “sun-downers” but recommend bringing your own drink of choice.

  • Airfare, airport transfers, and accommodations pre/post trip (please see FAQs for more information)

  • Travel insurance (this is required for all guests, please see FAQs)

Pricing

Pricing outline

4x4 Vehicle and:

  • 1 Driver: $4,899.00 (USD) per person

  • 2 People: $2,599.00 (USD) per person

  • 3 People: $2,199.00 (USD) per person

  • 4 People: $1,899.00 (USD) per person

Dates

Departure Dates

2020 Start and End Dates:

  • January 17 - January 24 - Southbound - San Diego, CA to Loreto, BCS

  • January 26 - February 2 - Northbound - Loreto, BCS to San Diego, CA

Please note that these tours are offered as one-way trips between Loreto, BCS and San Diego, CA.


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Packing List

Packing List

Please find the below list of required, recommended, and suggested items to bring with you on your trip.

Required Items:

  • Current/valid passport (plus printed copy)

  • Current/valid driver’s license (plus printed copy)

  • Printed copy of travel insurance including trip protection and emergency medical coverages

  • Adequate supply of any active/current prescription medications

Recommended Items:

  • Backpacking sleeping bag rated at 0°F – 30°F (synthetic or down)

  • Pillow and bottom sheet

  • Quick-dry towel

  • Headlamp

  • Duffle bag or small roller bag

  • 1 pair of pants (any type of durable pant will do)

  • 2-3 moisture wicking t-shirts

  • 2-3 pairs of wool/synthetic socks (short for hiking, long for warmth)

  • First layer style thermal underwear top and bottom (optional)

  • Warmer top or lightweight insulated jacket (rated 40°F – 70°F)

  • Warm insulated down/synthetic jacket (rated 30°F – 50°F)

  • Waterproof shell jacket and pants (useful in the event of rain and for boat tours)

  • UV protectant hat

  • Warmer wool/synthetic knit-cap/beanie 

  • UV protectant Sunglasses

  • Bathing suit

  • Lightweight and comfortable closed-toe footwear for camp/hiking

  • Sandal or lightweight open-toe footwear for beach/hiking

  • Personal care items and toiletries (including biodegradable sunscreen and soaps, DEET insect repellent)

  • Triple antibiotic ointment, loperamide, and ciprofloxacin

Suggested Items:

  • Binoculars

  • DSLR camera or equivalent

  • Snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel, fins)

  • 4/3 mm or 3/2 mm, full length wetsuit (water temperature averages 65 degrees in Jan/Feb)

Additional Personal Items:

  • Any food and beverage items that you would want to supplement our catered offerings (i.e. bars, soft drinks, alcohol, etc.)

Itinerary

Itinerary

Please Read over our sample itinerary from our ‘Southbound’ route. Please note that while a detailed itinerary is provided to all guests once reserved, itineraries may be subject to change.

  • Day 1 - Desert Oasis

    After an orientation on the San Diego waterfront, we'll start our adventure into Baja. Soon border crossings and dusty dirt tracks along some of the most spectacular routes are well rewarded by an evening spent in a lush desert oasis. A hearty camp dinner welcomes you and soaks in naturally heated hot springs are the perfect start to your week exploring the Peninsula.

  • Day 2 - Mountains & Seas

    Relax in our palm filled oasis or join us on a waterfall hike up a desert canyon before we continue our route further down the Peninsula. Weather permitting, we'll travel into the Sierras to camping in high-altitude pine forests or hug the Sea of Cortez and sleep among the dunes.

  • Day 3 - Valle de los Cirios

    Our route will take us across the heart of the Peninsula and to one of Baja's crowning ecological jewels, the Valle de los Cirios, or Valley of Candels, named after the remarkable catci found only here. Enjoy boundering and exploring the unique desert surrounds, before a magical night spent sleeping in this surprisingly rich, desert paradise.

  • Day 4 - Pacific Coast

    There's no better time to enjoy the desert than in the morning. Explore the soft light and vibratant colors over a leisurely breakfast before we depart for the Pacific Coast. Try your hand at low-range driving, as our route crosses over some moderately technical dirt roads to our camp in the coastal dunes.

  • Day 5 - Gray Whale Encounter

    Half way through our trip our guests encounter a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter. One of the world's longest animal migrations starts and ends in the prestine lagunas of Baja Sur, where Gray Whales come to give birth to their calves. Here we'll come face to face with newborns and adults and have the unigue opportunity to make direct contact with these majestic creatures.

  • Day 6 - Unesco World Heritage Site

    Our adventure takes us alongside Baja's only active volcanos and into the foothills of the Sierras, where we will hike to some of the oldest and most impressive rock art in North America. Following our visit to this Unesco World Heritage site, we will enjoy our first taste of tropical Mexico, as we camp along the Sea of Cortez.

  • Day 7 - Sea of Cortez

    Snorkle, kayak, island hop, and beach comb, as Bahia Concepcion and the crystal clear waters of its many coves are beyond inviting. Our final night will be spent at a remote and prestine beach far beyond worldly concerns: our idea of heaven on earth.

  • Day 8 - Colonial Mexico

    Watch the coastal wildlife and enjoy the sounds of the seas lapping at your feet. The last day of our trip sees our guests off in Loreto where we recommend spending at least one night following the trip to enjoy the local cuisine and scenes around the colonial zocolo.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How much driving will we be doing?

Tours average around 100-150 miles driven per day with much of this on paved surfaces, as our destinations are spread across the Peninsula. We will also spend roughly 10%-20% of our time traveling on dirt roads.

Can we choose our vehicle?

Yes! Please let us know your vehicle preference during checkout, and we will do our best to match you with the vehicle of your choosing. Vehicle placement is determined on a first-come, first-served basis as well as by party size (i.e. 4 guests will be placed in 4-sleeper options).

WHAT ACCOMMODATIONS ARE PROVIDED During our Trip?

As this tour is an overland camping trip, without hotel stays, guests can choose from dual occupancy roof top tents or cot beds in ground tents during their stay with us.

Are there showers and bathrooms available?

While all vehicles come equipped with solar showers, and some come equipped with powered on-board water systems, our guide trailer will be able to provide heated showers periodically. We also recommend taking advantage of a jump into the Sea of Cortez to rinse off with your favorite biodegradable soap and that you bring along disposable bath-wipes, as these are an easy and convenient way to freshen-up when on the trail.

Some of our stops will have plumbed toilets, while others will be entirely in the wild. When we are away for the conveniences of civilization, we aim to minimize our impacts on the places we camp and practice ‘leave no trace’ principles. A portable camp toilet will be available to guests during the duration of the tour, and we will provide an orientations on the dos and don’ts of nature doo-doos.

How many guests are on each tour?

All of our tours are capped at a total of 5 vehicles, and group size is generally between 8-12 guests.

WHAT FLIGHTS DO YOU RECOMMEND TO/FROM LORETO AND SAN DIEGO?

For flights in and out of Loreto we recommend connecting from either Los Angeles or Tijuana. Tijuana International Airport can be quickly and easily accessed from the United States by using Cross Border Express, which allows expedited access across the border. A shuttle from San Diego (SAN) to Tijuana (TIJ) is provided through this service as well, making airport transfer more convenient.

Loreto International Airport (LTO) is serviced by:

  • Alaska with direct flights from Los Angeles (LAX) - $$

  • Calafia with direct flights from Tijuana (TIJ) - $

  • Volaris with direct flights from Tijuana (TIJ) - $

  • Westjet with direct flights from Calgary (YYC) - $$

San Diego International Airport (SAN) is serviced by all major domestic carriers.

WHAT HOTELS DO YOU RECOMMEND IN LORETO AND SAN DIEGO?

San Diego is a popular tourist town with countless options to choose from. For those wanting to be close to our tour’s meeting point, as well as San Diego’s restaurants, attractions, and airport, we recommend choosing a hotel on the waterfront or downtown. If you are looking to experience San Diego’s beach communities, we recommend staying in La Jolla or Coronado Island.

Loreto is a vibrant colonial town on the Sea of Cortez with wonderful boutique hotels and a larger resort property to suit all traveler’s needs. For those wanting to remain in walking distance from our tour’s meeting point, the town center, and the local restaurants, we recommend staying at La Misión Loreto or Hotel Posada de Las Flores. And for those wanting easy access to golfing, diving, and kayaking at a resort, we recommend Villa del Palmar (40 minutes south of Loreto).

Can I join as a single traveler?

Yes! If you would like to join us in a vehicle with like-mind travelers, please visit Bolt Travel to learn more.

Do you offer tours of Baja on alternative dates?

Yes. If you have specific dates or itineraries in mind, we may be able to offer your group a custom tour.

Do you provide private tours?

Yes. Please contact us directly to inquire.

Do YOU ACCOMMODATE DIFFERENT DIETARY NEEDS?

Yes. All diets are welcome, and we will do our best to accommodate specific requests, be they for vegan, vegetarian, or other options.

IS MEXICO AND BAJA SAFE?

Safety is always our top priority, and we have contingency plans in place for a range of events should something go wrong on a trip.

Despite Mexico being the most frequented foreign country for American tourists, seeing over 40 million annual visitors, there are real dangers in certain states and municipalities. Our tours avoid the major tourist areas and population centers, where crime is more common and only enter the states of Baja and Baja California Sur, where there are no active travel restrictions.

We coordinate directly with State Department and US Consulate in Tijuana prior, during, and after all tours to insure we have the most up-to-date information and local government contacts during our operating period. To further insure our client’s safety, all driving is scheduled during daylight hours, and follows the recommendations of the State Department for government employees.

Please consider referring to the State Department’s website for a complete listing of current travel advisories.

DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS OR IMMUNIZATIONS PRIOR TO MY TRIP?

Most guests will have received the necessary vaccines to visit the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you, make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip, including:

  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine

  • Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine

  • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

  • Polio vaccine

  • Yearly flu shot

  • It is also recommended that travelers consider vaccination for Hepatitis A and Typhoid.

Please note that if you are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant the CDC recommends consulting a healthcare provider regarding the risks of Zika as well as strictly adhering to the preventative measures when traveling through the United States and Mexico.

We of course recommend that you consult with a travel medicine specialist prior to any travel abroad and require that you refer to the CDCs website for a complete listing of current travel advisories and considerations.

DO I NEED A VISA?

If you are a US citizen or hold a passport form a Schengen member country, then you will not need a Visa prior to entry into Mexico. We will handle all entry paperwork with you upon arrival.

SHOULD I PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Yes, and we require it for all guests. Please follow this link to purchase a policy from our preferred provider.

Do I need to purchase vehicle insurance?

No, insurance is included with your tour.

IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE FOR DRIVERS OR ATTENDEES?

All attendees must be 21 years of age or older, and drivers must be 25 years of age or older.

HOW STRENUOUS ARE THE ACTIVITIES?

Activities are moderately strenuous, involving roughly 100-150 miles of driving per day, optional day hikes including a slot canyon experience, as well as a chartered boat experiences on the Sea of Cortez and Pacific.

DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO USE 4-WHEEL DRIVE?

You do not need to have any prior experience with 4-wheel drive, just a willingness to learn and an adventurous spirit.

CAN I BRING MY OWN CAR?

Our tours are only provided in our fleet vehicles.

What are the Terms & Conditions?

Please read over our Terms & Conditions for more information.

Have a questions but don’t see it answered here? Please Contact us Directly.

Pricing Starting at

$1899 / per person

January - Febraury 2020

Select Dates

info@pacificoverlander.com / 415-993-2101


Reservations

Select your start date and secure your spot on one of our upcoming tours

Please note that selecting 1/1/20 on the calendar will show all upcoming tours, while selecting 1/17/20 or 1/26/20 will show only that specific tour. Please contact us directly if you need assistance placing a reservation or would like a quote prepared.

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Highlights

Decades of experience in Baja boiled down to 8-days of buck-list experiences

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SEA OF CORTEZ - WORLD CLASS KAYAKING, SNORKELING, AND BEACHES

Grab one of our Oru kayaks and explore the Sea of Cortez. Described by Jacques Cousteau as “the world's aquarium,” this gulf is one of the most biologically rich marine regions on earth. Picture vast walls of fish stretching from the surface to the sand and you’ll have a pretty good sense of what you might encounter on a dive or snorkel here. Whale Sharks, Blue Whales, dolphins, sea lions and hundreds of other species call this coast home. Couple the deep blues of the Gulf with the striking desert backdrop and you have a truly magical landscape. We will camp out along beaches and coves, allowing guests an opportunity to explore the warm waters and relax on the white sand beaches.

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PACIFIC COAST - COASTAL COMMUNITIES, WHALE WATCHING, SEA LION COLONIES, & BEACH CAMPING

It may surprise some to learn that Mexico is a conservation leader. With the largest Marine Protected Area in North America and the largest Biosphere Reserve in Latin America both falling on or near the Baja Peninsula, visitors to the area are treated to some of the most spectacular natural phenomena on the planet. About halfway through the trip our route will trace the Pacific Coast, visiting the Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, known internationally as a Grey Whale hotspot. We will arrive during the peak of the Grey’s annual birthing and nursing season, offering guests a chance to come into direct contact with newborns and nursing adults. The whales in this area have been known to approach boats with curiosity, inviting human touch, and affording visitors life-changing encounters.

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DESERT INTERIOR - BIODIVERSE FLORA AND FAUNA, STUNNING LANDSCAPES, AND REMOTE CAMPING

Along the 200 mile stretch of the Peninsula known to many travelers as “the gas gap” lies one of the most beautiful stretches of desert in the world. While the area may be short on resources, isolation has allowed it to remain one of the most well preserved deserts in North America, boasting a rich biodiversity of native flora and fauna. The Valle de los Cirios Natural Protected Area, or ‘Valley of Candles,’ contains a number of unique cactus species found only here. We’ll spend a night tucked away amongst the areas giant sandstone boulders and towering cacti. Guests are invited to explore the backcountry, visit ancient rock art sites, rock climb, and take in one of the darkest night skies in Baja.

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Backcountry GOURMET - FRESH LOCAL FARE, FIRESIDE COOKOUTS, AND SMALL GROUP CAMPING

Enjoy a selection of the best local foods and catered menus during your trip shared around the campfire. Daily prepared meals will be provided by our private chef or cooked collaboratively depending on the day’s schedule. All meals will be shared in a group format with plenty of time for a sundowner. Guest are also afforded the opportunity for private dining as desired.

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DESERT OASES - HIDDEN CANYONS, HOT SPRINGS, PALM GROVES, & SPECTACULAR WATERFALL HIKES

Each trip will start or end at one of Baja’s hidden gems: a remote desert oasis nestled in the foothills of the Sierra. Spend the day hiking to a series of cascading waterfalls or relaxing in the naturally heated, hot springs that dot the palm filled, valley floor. Hovering around 102°, these pools are the perfect temperature for long, lazy soaks. It’s a great place to leave all your cares behind and simply relax.

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ROOF TOP TENT LIVING - FALL ASLEEP TO THE STARS & WAKE TO THE NATURAL WORLD

Whether staying in one of our roof-top tents or taking advantage of our ground tents and cot beds, we strive to provide the highest quality night’s sleep possible. All tents come with an internal mattress and bedding can be added upon request, while ground tents will enjoy the provision of comfortable cot beds for safari-style campouts.

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LORETO, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR - WHERE DESERT LANDSCAPES MEET ENDLESS BLUE SEAS

The first colonial outpost on the Peninsula, Lorteto still retains much of its old charm. Considered the ‘un-Cabo’ by locals, Loreto has been sheltered from much of the development that has affected other parts of Mexico. Bahia Concepcion, recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, granting it National Park protection, has managed to keep the large cruise ships out, protecting many of the animals that call this place home. Loreto is magical, with breathtaking view of the sea framed by the ruddy hues of the Sierra de la Ginganta. Enjoy a stroll down the malecon or in the old colonial plaza while the sounds of mariachi fill the night. We recommend bookending your trip with at least one night’s stay in Loreto to take it all in.

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CULTURE & HISTORY - PRE-COLUMBIAN ARCHEOLOGY, COLONIAL ANTIQUITY, PRESENT DAY PURA VIDA

If you love history, you’ll find plenty to admire. With indigenous rock art that dates back nearly 10,000 years, colonial heritage as old as the 17th century, and a vibrant modern day culture, any visit to Baja would be incomplete without an experience of its people. We will visit cave painting sites, early missions, and of course connect with the locals over a meal and in the zocalo (Spanish for central plaza).

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OVERLAND TRAVEL - WE’LL DRIVE FOR THE EXPERIENCE, NOT JUST THE NEXT DESTINATION

This is not your typical road trip. Along our route we will spend a fair amount of time traveling along dirt roads and playing in the sand. While the majority of the miles driven will be on pavement, there will be plenty of opportunity to learn basic off-road driving techniques and brush up on your overlanding skills. Whether you are interested in learning more about navigation and route planning, the use of variable tire pressures to maximize your vehicles performance, or just looking for adventure, this trip offer something for everyone.

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THE VEHICLES - WE’LL OUTFIT YOU WITH A FULLY KITTED OUT Overland Vehicle

The perfect platform for 2-4 passengers, our vehicles are incredibly capable and reliable, two qualities any overlander can appreciate. All models are built to accommodate 2-4 adults in roof top tents, and the addition of a ground tents and cots can be provided as needed. Our support vehicle will also provide supplemental storage, on-board air compressors, recovery equipment, galley kitchen, heated outdoor shower, and restroom facilities for the duration of the trip.


Please contact us with questions and inquiries info@pacificoverlander.com / 415-993-2101