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Gracias EcoTravelers!
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The terms eco-tourism, eco- adventures, eco-friendly, etc. is thrown around as much as false green, natural or organic products are advertised; a concept coined as "greenwashing".  Just because an activity is outdoors, doesn�t signify that is an actual "ECO-activity".  For example, should driving all-terrain vehicles (ATV, 4x4, quads, hummers, jeeps, etc) through the desert, coastal dunes, or wetlands be considered ecotourism?    This activity, studied in Baja California Sur by wildlife biologists, has shown that there is less diversity and abundance of plants and wildlife species, yet more erosion in these areas.   Even if an activity truly is considered ecotourism, are people following the rules even when no one is checking?  What defines an eco-activity, anyway?


The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990). This involves mixing active conservation efforts, habitat protection and restoration, research, sustainable travel and, of course, all of it must benefit local communities.  They go on to list principals and guidelines a company or traveler should consider when claiming "eco" anything.   However, there is no mandatory certification, rule, nor law as to who can claim eco-tour or eco-adventure in their title.  Travelers and actual eco-travel companies are thus required to be responsible themselves and promote, support, inspire, and encourage the principals of ecotourism. 

 kayak & Mangroves

There are many tourism operators to choose from in Baja California Sur and we are grateful for all our responsible travelers, past, present, and future.  If you don�t know or maybe forgot, but BajaEx has been and continues to be at the forefront of ecotourism and the principals that frame this term.  Tim Means, owner, is one of the founding members of Niparaj�, a Mexican based non-profit environmental 7 conservation organization.  He also founded Friends of Wild Baja, a foundation for ongoing conservation efforts here in B.C.S.  He also promotes the work of researchers, such as myself, Den� Ramerez, Hoyt Peckam, Wallace, J. Nichols and others through sustainable eco-adventures by introducing travelers and inviting them to participate in our research efforts. 


The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) prepared a detailed report regarding alternative coastal tourism in Mexico.  Their report validates and justifies true ecotourism because Mexico is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global tourism industry.  Because of this, coastlines and oceans are being heavily impacted by large-scale tourism related development.  Thus the responsibility of promoting true ecotourism eco-adventures lies within each of us.  


So THANK YOU to all our EcoTravlers!  You have inspired BajaEx to continue into our 40th year as the world�s leader and most trusted company in eco-adventures to Baja California.  



BajaEx Update...
This summer, Baja Expeditions is going through some changes to improve our services and keep you better informed.  We have a new sales staff, a new Facebook "Friend" page, sea turtle research trips, stand up paddle board trips and swim whale shark trips.  So stay tuned - you don't want to miss the progress!  Don't worry, we still have many of your old, faithful favorite trips planned for 2013.  
The new website and 2013 schedule should be ready before October, but if you just can't wait another minute, contact us directly toll free - 800-843-6967.  Cheers and happy travels!
NO EXCUSES!  Air Calafia now has inexpensive flights between Tijuana, Loreto, La Paz, and Los Cabos.  So you can easily make a combo trip to Loreto then ride to San Ignacio to see Gray Whales, then down to La Paz to visit Sea Turtles in Magdalena Bay or Sea Lions at Isla Espiritu Santo.  Website is in English! Super Easy!  

Quick Links!
             Email Us                                      BajaEx
Caba�as San Ignacio                       Air Calafia

SUP it UP!

What is SUP?  SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle.  It is the newest, best way to paddle through the water.  Kayaking is great and will remain as a classic water activity to enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the Gulf of California.  However, SUP provides a new vantage point to paddling. 

Consider this scenario: You and your friend kayak to a rock reef at Isla Espiritu Santo.  Your partner spots a resting juvenile sea turtle between the rocks.  You position your water proof camera in the water as your kayak drifts over the turtle; you look over the side of your kayak too far, tip over, and fall in.  The turtle wakes up and speeds away out of sight and you miss your shot.   As you try to get back into your kayak, you feel like a sea lion clambering up the rocks at Isla Islotes. 

Benefits of SUP:

  1. Paddling while standing up provides a new vantage point to see marine life under the water.
  2. The wide shape of the board provides stability which makes it easy for anyone to SUP, no matter the age and fitness level.  
  3. The long, flat design of the board makes getting on and off super simple and the ability to glide effortlessly over shallow reefs. 
  4. Fins provide speed and easy maneuvers over reefs and through winding mangroves.
  5.  Standing allow you to use all your muscles so you don�t tire as easy, but still gives you a total body workout.
Now imagine yourself, paddling effortlessly on a SUP board, skimming the surface of the rocks, spotting the same sea turtle.  You put on your mask, paddle over to your partner so he can hold your board, you slip easily into the water, submerse yourself and Click!  The ultimate, perfect shot because you had a vantage point to see the turtle before you came too close to scare it away. 


Baja Expeditions and Harker Board Co. have teamed up to provide you the ultimate and exclusive eco-adventure in "SUPing" Baja California Sur, M�xico.  We can take you out to Isla Espiritu Santo where you can SUP with a small group of sea lions, over rock reefs teaming with colorful marine life, through mangrove wetlands, Playa Blandra, under a full moon or into a famous La Paz sunset, and coming soon, next to whale sharks.  Join us for a SUP and snorkel Isla Espiritu Santo, SUP though mangrove wetlands at Mogote or join a live-aboard Catamaran cruise where you can SUP and snorkel different bays and islands on a 3 night/4 day wildlife watching cruise through the gulf of California.    We are even planning a SUP race to be held in October and a SUP expedition around the island, so stay tuned for even more exciting SUP eco-adventures!   


Be a BajaEx SUPer!      


World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27, 2012.   This year, we are promoting voluntourism activities.  Voluntourism is a way for you to travel, make memories, and partipcate in research or conservation efforts with Baja Expeditions and partners.  Currently, we have Voluntourism opportunties to work with Sea Turtles and Whale Sharks!  We will be adding more voluntourism opportunties for Sea lions, Coastal Birds, and Sierra La Laguna Ecosystems.  Keep reading to determine which Voluntourism adventure is perfect for you!  
For more information, email  
Marine Turtle Nesting Camp


Have you ever seen a 100 lb sea turtle lay her eggs in the sand or held a baby sea turtle in your hand before releasing it into the great, wild ocean?  Then you are missing out on one of the most incredible experiences in nature.  Now you can be a part of marine turtle research with Baja Expeditions with our resident wildlife biologist at Playa San Cristobal, a private, remote beach maintained by ASUPMATOMA, a Mexican non-profit environmental organization.     


A project entitled ProFaunaBaja has been initiated at Playa San Cristobal thanks to a pilot program by Ecology Project International (EPI).  EPI received generous fund to implement 6 trips during sea turtle nesting season.  These trips incorporate an environmental program for 12-14 local high school students each trip.  The students learn about sea turtles, coastal dune and beach ecology, and coastal habitat conservation.   Now YOU too can participate in nightly nest patrols, measure and record nesting females, relocate eggs, and release baby hatchlings.     

Baby hatchling


Baja Expeditions has four trips planned September - October to the turtle camp.  Visitors participate in patrols and releases, enjoy a bonfire with biologists,  camp on the beach, and in the morning release baby hatchlings.  We provide tents, ground transportation from La Paz to Playa San Cristobal, meals, and of course the turtles! 


Reserve your spot today!  




Magdalena Bay


Magdalena Bay is truly an amazing and magical place.   Enjoy comfortable camping along the edge of the bay where you will sleep in a tent on a comfortable mattress.  During the day, you will not be bored as you can explore the mangrove wetlands in a kayak, participate in sea turtle research with fishermen and biologists, identify more than 200 species of coastal birds, and during winter migration season,  enjoy looking deep into the massive eye of a gray or blue whale. 


Ground transportation and camping accommodations and your conservation eco-adventure is provided through RED sustainable travel and Baja Expeditions. What you didn't know about sustainable fisheries and sea turtles, you will learn and appreciate on this true ecotourism trip. Magdalena Bay is special because of the biodiversity of sea turtle species, birds, whales, dolphins, invertebrates, and fish.  The mangroves along the bay�s edge provide a nursery ground for all species of marine fauna during their natural water filtering properties and rich nutrients that is the basis of the food chain.  At night, take a walk along the beach where plankton lights up with florescent blue and green colors every step you take.  


Baja Expeditions is ready to schedule your Magdalena Bay eco-adventure.  Call or email us today for pricing and dates.  

3rd prize Sep1-08 Gayle Van Leer



Coastal and Island Kayaking Expeditions  

We still have a few spaces open for the October and November coastal kayaking expeditions!  Choose from a 9 night/ 10 day kayaking expedition Loreto to La Paz: Leaving October 17th or November 5th 2012.  A coastal kayak expedition is a fantastic way to experience the incredible wildlife, protected islands, and warm waters of the Gulf of California, also known as the Mexican Galapagos.  The trip includes experienced naturalist guide, freshly prepared Mexican cuisine, and a motorized support vessel that transports camping gear, personal gear, and camp crew, $1535 per person.  

Don�t miss this eco-adventure!  Email or call us for more information today! 


SEE the Wild  launched their inaugural digital journal.  The first issue included a cover story of the return of the black marine turtle in Magdalena Bay.  Click the link to the journal to read it for yourself!    

Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)


In August, Baja Ex had the pleasure of taking David Krantz and Juan Luna (a.k.a. Johnny Moon) SCUBA diving at Isla Espiritu Santo.  During the trip, we learned that CREST and Stanford University are organizing the 2nd International Executive Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism in Los Cabos, B.C.S., M�xico from May 15th - 17th.  


This symposium brings together sustainability innovators in coastal tourism from across Mexico and the Americas.  Learn more at  CREST also publishes reference documents which our very own resident wildlife biologist will be using in her research reports regarding coastal habitat conservation in Baja California Sur, M�xico (see Playa San Cristobal article in this newsletter for more information on her research).  Finally, in support of CREST, Baja Expeditions will be donating an eco-adventure trip on for their fall eco-auction.  This auction is CREST�s most important fundraising activity and they use it to showcase only companies with exemplary social and environmental practices.  Visit the CREST website: to bid!      





El Mechudo Live Aboard



You and up to 7 friends should charter our 45ft catamaran, El Mechudo for an incredible eco-adventure through the Gulf of California.  Enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, freshly prepared Mexican cuisine, sunsets and sunrises, dolphins, whales, birds, coral reefs, and so much more!  Spend the nights in an air-conditioned cabin and your days exploring the various islands, inlets, and bays.  This is a prefect way to use your new SLR digital camera or just get away from it all and relax and have some fun! You deserve it!    






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