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Desert & Sea Expeditions

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Loreto, Mexico
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About Desert & Sea Expeditions
Desert & Sea Expeditions is an environmentally aware tour operator and offers guided tours in and around Loreto, Baja California Sur. Tours include Blue Whale Watching between January and March, year-round tours to view cave paintings in Mulege and Canipole, and visits to the pristine islands of Carmen and Coronado in the Loreto Marine National Park. Desert & Sea also offers ground transportation around Loreto and throughout Baja California.
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Panamajoe2017 wrote a review Feb 2020
Sechelt, Canada319 contributions63 helpful votes
Went blue whale watching with this company. On the positive side, the driver was competent, the guide was well informed and gave us loads of information, and we saw lots of dolphins and three or four blue whales, including a mother and calf. On the negative side, the sandwiches were put in the forward hold, which had sea water in it, so the sandwiches soaked up some sea water and were partially inedible. Why not use waterproof containers? The other negative were the captains of several pontoon type boats that approached the whales at a high rate of speed, scaring the whales away, while we were waiting patiently, as you are supposed to. Can’t believe these clowns have not been reported and have had their licences jerked. These morons were not associated with Desert and Sea, but were an issue that should be addressed by the responsible companies.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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sydnymaisy wrote a review Oct 2019
Grass Valley4 contributions1 helpful vote
We had the most amazing trip! First he picked us up right on the beach where we were staying. Then he took us out to the ocean where we quickly found dozens of manta rays. They were so beautiful and graceful. Next up were hundreds of dolphins that were sop close to our boat that they splashed water on our faces while jumping all around us. Then on to our first snorkeling spot where we found tons of beautiful fish. Julio was great at making sure all of our equipment worked well and fit properly. On to the next spot where we swam with sea lions including the cutest little baby who came right up to us. Next was the beautiful white sandy beach where he left us with yummy lunch and a cooler full of cold drinks. We brought an avocado which made the baguette sandwiches even yummier. Finally one more secret spot with another million fish. Such a magical day. My kids and I will remember for the rest of our lives. Thanks Julio!
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Date of experience: October 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Traveler537171 wrote a review Jul 2019
6 contributions
we visit beach santa ixpack grate place to take your family and kids have a lots of fun, so is the beach el requezon. in the morning you could walk to the isle when the sea its low and in the afternoon too but the ocean will be about waist, grate scenery road trip from Loreto to Muleje, and back.
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Date of experience: July 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Rick E wrote a review Dec 2018
Pullman, Washington41 contributions12 helpful votes
To complement our review of the San Javier Mission we wanted to put in a good word for our driver and guide working for Desert & Sea Expeditions . Necky, spoke fluent English and offered numerous historic and ecologically-oriented area attributes during our November ~ 4 hour trip to the Mission in a very suitable 4 wheel drive vehicle. Our experience with 2 other companies in Loreto have pointed out the need to not only talk directly with the tour office personnel r.e. your expectations but to scan online reviews like Trip Advisor for names of companies/guides that seem to have expertise let alone communication skills (correlating with your Spanish skills). Be aware that there are plenty of taxis willing to take you where ever but may not be licensed as guides. If you take the time to shop around a bit you might be pleasantly surprised both with the tour price but the eventual quality of your experience. If you also want to experience some of the other day trip offerings in the Loreto area Necky shared that he serves as a guide both for land and sea tours. I think he could be a good choice - we would certainly feel comfortable in seeking him out for any future day trips on subsequent visits to Loreto.
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Date of experience: December 2018
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SeattleSueSeattle wrote a review Feb 2018
Seattle, Washington309 contributions103 helpful votes
We used Desert and Sea Expeditions for two different trips and had very different experiences, based on differences in the personalities and experience of the captains of the boats. However, the organizational issues with the company itself caused problems and led us to have expectations of the captains that were not fulfilled. When we first went to get information, there were two people on staff, a man and a woman. We spoke primarily with the woman, and the information she provided, her responsiveness to our questions, and her warm personality caused us to choose this company after gathering information from several. When we returned to make reservations, she wasn’t there and we dealt only with the man (manager or owner?). We talked in a combination of English and Spanish, since his English was not better than our Spanish, as far as we could tell. However, some things we understood fairly clearly: The first trip we wanted to take was a snorkeling trip to Coronado Island, and we had been advised that a specific spot (by the rock called “Snoopy”) was the best place to snorkel, and he made it abundantly clear that we could do that, in fact, that the boat would be at our disposal to do whatever we wanted during the time of the excursion; we also asked about the need for wet suits, and he replied that “It depends. Sometimes you need them, sometimes not.” We understood this to mean that we could decide at the time of the trip, depending on conditions. At no time did he suggest that we would need to reserve the wet suits in advance. In the brochure that the company provides about this specific trip “Día de paseo a Isla Coronado,” it states that “La expedición incluye: . . . Guía capitán experimentado, equipo para hacer esnórkel.” My understanding of Spanish is that “experimentado” does NOT mean “experimental,” but “experienced!” This statement led us to expect the captain to act as an experienced guide and also that snorkeling equipment (including wet suits) would be provided. There were three groups of clients on the boat. One group spoke only English. One group spoke French and Spanish. We spoke English, French, and some Spanish. The captain of the boat, Enrique, was fine as a driver of the boat. He did that and passed out lunch (simple sandwiches, nothing fancy, which was fine) and cold drinks. He didn’t really give any instructions or information in either English or Spanish. He didn’t provide anything remotely resembling “guiding.” He didn’t provide any options or choices. Because of the different groups (total of 10 passengers), we did not have a coordinated plan or request for him. My husband was able to share a little history and geology of the Marine Sanctuary and the islands with me based on a kayaking trip he had taken with another company that provided an excellent guide (in addition to the boat captain that took the kayaks out to the area where they were going to kayak). To be fair, the costs through that company were significantly higher. First, we discovered that while one group had reserved wet suits, those were the only wet suits on board. There was no option for the rest of us to use wet suits. If you didn’t reserve them in advance, they were not on the boat. When we observed people from another boat snorkeling with sea lions, the group with the wet suits asked to stop there so they could snorkel. I joined in, without a wet suit (I’m pretty used to cold water), but the others in my party didn’t because of the cold water. Next, Enrique took us to a beautiful beach, where we stopped. He gave no information, not how long we would stay, not that we would have lunch there, nothing about where to snorkel, not that there was a trail (which my husband discovered and hiked ), not that there were restrooms at one end of the beach (which my husband discovered on the hike, but of which others were not aware). My husband and I snorkeled but saw little for most of the time, finally seeing one school of colorful fish. My grandson was more cautious due to the coldness of the water and mostly stayed near the beach, playing in the shallow water. I asked then about “Snoopy” rock, and Enrique said we had already passed it, and it was too late to go there. (Okay, I should have made my request known at the outset, but I had told the owner or manager, and he was there when we got on the boat and conversed with Enrique; also, since there was never any discussion among the three groups about what each wanted, and no indication from Enrique that we had any choices, I never really felt there was an opening to do that.) While nothing could spoil the beauty of this island and beach, our purpose of seeing interesting and colorful fish while snorkeling was not met. I was very disappointed. Our reason for taking this excursion was snorkeling, and we were thwarted by the lack of wet suits and the limitations on where we snorkeled. (My husband and grandson saw many more fish from their kayaks and when snorkeling on the kayak trip I’ve mentioned with a different company.) The promises extended by the company were not met. At the same time we booked this excursion, we also booked a blue whale-watching excursion for the following day. We understood that we could not count on seeing blue whales, as they were just beginning to come into the Sea of Cortez. However, having never seen blue whales before, we were willing to take the chance. Our captain for that trip was Arturo. What a difference! He explained things to us, in a combination of English and Spanish. His English was a little better than Enrique’s, but it was really his attitude and his attempt to communicate that made the difference. We did see blue whales, several, including a mother and baby, at distances of around 100 feet (I think Arturo said the restrictions on approaching are 30 or 35 meters, so that’s about as close as we could come.) It was quite thrilling!
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Date of experience: February 2018
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