The Giant Manta is a mystical and illusive creature. Impressive up close, and obviously intelligent, they rarely seem threatened by the sea life that surrounds them. Both the Giant Mantas and their fun relatives, the Mobula rays, (these are the ones that love to jump high out of the water making a large smacking sound as they belly-flop the ocean surface), convey a sense of serenity as they move smoothly through ocean shallows. In some ways, the Giant Manta is similar to a whale shark; they are both massive gentle giants that cause no harm to humans, and they both cover large oceanic distances filtering tropical seas for plankton.
Unknown to most, the Giant Manta, has a huge brain. It is the smartest fish in the sea, and they are widely believed to be self-aware. Although shy, they sometimes display a curiosity of humans. If not threatened, they are known to swim in wide circles around those showing a benign interest in them. They glide through warm seas seemingly oblivious to the struggles of other sea life. They appear both majestic and magical, with enormous wing spans of twelve to twenty feet in width, and they weigh in at up to two tons, and more!
For years, the only way one could hope to experience the Giant Manta in the wild, at least in the Western Hemisphere, was to do a week long liveaboard scuba cruise to the Socorro Islands, about 250 miles offshore of Cabo San Lucas, or fly to the Galapagos Islands some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. But now, as the video above clearly demonstrates, some large Manta’s are returning to their former habitat at a seamount and reef on the inside Sea of Cortez. Here we found them last year moving through shallow waters suitable for both snorkeling or scuba. They are out of the way of our other nautical activities, so it takes a bit longer than going to Isla Espiritu Santo island. There seemed to be about a dozen of them last year. We are anxious to see what this season brings. We expect them to hang around their ancient homeland reef for about 4 ½ months.
Returning guests will already know, that we are an eco-friendly service provider. We are very careful to not harm or disturb corals, reefs, and especially endangered species. And, although we do catch fish from time to time for immediate preparation by our on-board chef. We do not fish near reefs or protected areas. What we do is very low impact on the environment. We are primarily focused on educating and observing, and when available, and not detrimental, interacting directly with sea life. We will not anchor around the sea mount and reef areas, but rather free float, so as to not take the chance of damaging anything under water.
Captain, engineer, hostess, and chef
Chef prepared meals
Sodas and beer
Full array of safety equipment
Two paddle boards
Snorkel gear in various sizes
Portable seats, layout cushions, outdoor pillows and beach awnings.
Comfortable indoor and outdoor seating and lay-out areas
Inside air conditioning
Sleeps 9 in 4 cabins
Master Queen Salon, VIP Queen Salon, Double bunk cabin, Triple bunk cabin
Additional sleeping arrangements available
4 complete bathrooms
Space for up to 60 day-time guests
Swim steps and stainless ladder for easy access to water
Ice and purified water
The Giant Manta arrives late July and leaves in October or early November. Mobula Rays, aka: Devil Rays and Jumping Rays, arrive in their millions twice a year. April - July & November - January
Pacifica 96’ triple-deck cruising yacht
Ground transportation, chef, meals, bottled water, sodas, beer, open bar, marine biologist, snorkel equipment, separate snorkel boat and certified helmsperson, paddle boards, kayaks, and sports fishing.
One full extended day, or two days and one night.
Four cabins: nine beds and bunks
Additional potential sleeping areas: Main salon, bow, mid-deck stern, top deck, 4 bathrooms with showers
Five crew members minimum, plus additions as guest count requires. Scuba personnel are extra, when this option is selected.
Ground transportation from the greater Cabo area.
Welcome aboard the triple-deck, 96’, cruising yacht, Pacifica. The Bar will be open for snorkelers in modest amounts. Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, Beer, Margaritas, sodas, bottled water, coffee, etc., are all available at no charge. Scuba divers must refrain from alcohol until finished with their dives. There are multiple lay-out areas on Pacifica, and numerous places to relax and enjoy the incredible views as you begin your cruise.
A nautical narration tour as we head out towards La Reina reef. Breakfast will be served, followed by a main salon video, lecture, and Q&A, on the amazing sea life of the local area, given by our marine biologist.
Once clear of the channel, crew will rig sports fishing rods with lures for the trip out to the reef. Land a legal, edible fish, and we will turn it over to the chef for preparation as ceviche, fish tacos, or fillets.
For the scuba certified that have opted for a scuba package, a separate dive boat will join Pacifica after we pass Pichilingue bay. Divers will board the dive boat and speed away to the sea mount and reef where the Mantas were in force last year.
Pacific turns the corner on the peninsula and cruises past Tecolote Beach, snorkelers will board Echo for the run to the Giant Manta’s playground.
Snorkelers in the water at the reef with a certified guide and a certified and licensed snorkel boat helmsperson. Scuba divers will also be in the water by this time under the supervision of a separate dive boat, dive master, and certified helmsperson.
A grilled lunch will be served. For those who wish, they may return to the water for another hour after lunch. Perhaps this is a good time to visit the year-round sea lion colony that lives on the end of the reef at the sea mount.
Day snorkelers will board Echo for a trip to a beautiful white sand beach, where their ground transport will meet them. Day scuba divers will do the same from the separate dive boat. Those continuing on for a special evening at anchor at a beach, cove, or bay of Holy Spirit Island, will depart the reef for the island, aboard Pacifica. Echo will rendezvous with Pacifica.
Overnight guests will have paddle boards, and kayaks set out at the beach, bay, or cove, that Pacifica’s captain believes the best for spending the night. This is based primarily on winds and currents. Guests may explore the beach or beaches, have a crew member cruise them about on Echo for sight-seeing and touring larger areas, swim, snorkel, lay-out, use the paddle boards, etc.
Cocktail hour, pre-dinner snacks, study the amazing views in all directions, stake out your place on the top deck, bow or stern, for watching the sunset later in the evening.
A high quality dinner is served. Literally, everyone loves our chef. In the photo beside this itinerary, you will see chef Jon surrounded by girls that were previously yelling at him for making them gain weight on a recent trip. Seriously. Not kidding. Depending upon the time of summer, the sun will begin to set within the hour. The sunsets in and around these islands are simply breath-taking. Usually, the next hour or so, are so impressive it is hard not to fall in love with our inside Sea.
About this time of the evening, one of the crew will lower lights to illuminate the water around Pacifica. Typically, within an hour or so, there will be dozens of Mobula rays charging in to investigate the light. They swirl about dancing in the sea. A very impressive sight and alone well worth the trip. About this time, the vessel’s generator will be shut down for the night. Lights for the evening hours will come from our large house batteries.
Lights out. Settle in for the night.
Breakfast is served. Look around your quiet beach, bay, or cove, for one last time as the anchor will be coming up for a leisurely return cruise.
Return to dock and prepare to disembark. Your ground transportation will be standing by to whisk you away on your return to civilization. However, we will make a stop in the art and beach community of Todos Santos on the return trip. A bathroom break, and stop for souvenirs at the Hotel California of the musical Eagles group mythology, is your last stop before returning to your hotel, or resort.
Minimum age is six years old. Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Strong swimming ability is normally NOT required. However, only guests that are reasonably fit and healthy with good balance, should enter the water at the reef. If you are not strong enough to manage your weight getting into and out of the water on a stainless-steel boat ladder, it is best to stay in the boat and simply watch from there.
To scuba at La Reina Reef you must be Open Water certified.
Scuba Equipment Rental
There is a $189.50 charge per diver for equipment rental, tanks, and separate dive boat with Dive Master and certified captain. Four divers minimum.
is a non-profit, conservation and educational program focused on the restoration of reefs and mangroves in the Sea of Cortez. This is a volunteer organization with NO PAID personal. Each month, RNAM coordinates, directs, and participates in cleaning beaches, reefs, sea lion colonies, and mangroves. Volunteer marine biologists, divers, surfers, kayakers, paddle board enthusiasts and ocean lovers of every type, participate in these projects. Baja Cat is a RNAM sponsoring partner, providing funding, resources and personal, in support of these worthy projects.
In 1995, an underwater national park was formed by the Mexican government at the request of the fishing families of the tiny village of Cabo Pulmo. Since then, no fishing or anchoring has been allowed. The reef sprung back to life in an amazing way. Fish returned, spawned, and grew to maturity in huge numbers, along with turtles, dolphins, sea lions, and sharks. Coral and sea life have become incredibly abundant. In addition to the fee Baja Charters pays to the National Park for every guest who visits with us, we also make a donation to the Cabo Pulmo Welcome Center for reef preservation for each of our customers.
Baja Charters is a contributing partner to the Leave No Trace association, and actively promotes its outdoor ethics programs.
Environmental education. In addition to “hands-on” clean up, RNAM, provides marine science educational instruction in schools throughout Baja Sur. Recently, over 1,000 students were taught how to preserve habitat and reduce pollution in a single month. Baja Charters provides resources and direct experiential interaction for teachers and professors supporting environmental instruction and hosts an annual all day private charter for the top-performing 25 educators in this area.
Project AWARE is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. We connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation to create lasting change. Baja Charters has adopted a snorkel and dive site for continual clean-up and preservation.
Los Cabos Humane Society rescues and finds homes for dogs and cats. Don't buy, adopt!
Charter our most popular yacht! And it's popular for a reason. Boasting a ton of space to hang out, both indoors and outdoors, Baja Cat, let's you breathe! Come play, explore, or just sit back and take it all in!
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