The Baja Experience
50th Anniversary Expedition:
Dive Deep, Explore Wide, Celebrate Wild
The Baja Experience
Dive/Snorkel Liveaboard Experience
July 20 – July 27, 2024
Prepare for an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind adventure as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Baja Experience—a journey so remarkable that it’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before, and may never do again! Your hosts, Meghann, Executive Director of VSI, and her mother, Janet, will guide you through this truly exceptional live aboard expedition in the captivating Midriff Islands of the Gulf of California. Dive into crystal-clear waters, explore vibrant marine life, and make lasting memories on this once-in-a-lifetime trip celebrating the 50th anniversary of our first field course to the Vermilion Sea Field Station!
Our adventure begins in Puerto Peñasco where we’ll board the spacious and stable Rocio del Mar for an unforgettable sunset cruise heading south to Bahía de Los Ángeles. As the sun rises on our first morning near Isla Angel de la Guarda, we’ll dive into the sea, refreshing our scuba and snorkeling skills in one of Earth’s most extraordinary underwater habitats.
After rediscovering our sense of wonder in the sea, we’ll visit the vibrant fishing village of Bahía de los Ángeles and the Vermilion Sea Field Station. Learn about the station’s century-long legacy and the 50-year history of “The Baja Experience.” Connect with the future of the Gulf through discussions and presentations led by enthusiastic young Aventureros.
Our skilled captain will navigate the pristine Midriff Islands, including Esteban, Las Animas, and Ángel de la Guarda. Over seven days, enjoy five days of immersive diving and snorkeling adventures in these captivating locations. Plus, experience the thrill of snorkeling alongside majestic whale sharks in the Bahia de Los Angeles Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Mexican Heritage Site.
Throughout the trip, our experienced Divemasters will assist you with equipment and underwater exploration. Enhance your navigation skills and embark on a thrilling night dive. Scuba divers can also benefit from Nitrox certification, graciously offered by Meghann at no extra charge (excluding PADI fees).
The Gulf of California is a haven for SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and exploration, often referred to as the “world’s aquarium” by legendary diver Jacques Cousteau. Encounter large and small whale species, swim with playful sea lions, and explore a vibrant underwater world inhabited by eels, octopus, fish, and leaping mobula rays. Macro photographers will relish capturing nudibranchs, colorful blennies, dancing jawfish, and seahorses. Between dives, explore remote, uninhabited islets and gaze at the Milky Way.
Onboard the comfortable Rocio del Mar vessel, enjoy delectable cuisine and attentive service. With a maximum of 20 guests, each cabin features a private bathroom for two people.
Photo by Amanda Hinton
Photo by Autumn Moore
Photo by Gary Tucker
Our trip begins when we board the boat in Puerto Peñasco.
Most guests choose to fly into Phoenix, Arizona Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) as their gateway to Puerto Peñasco. You can use the services of “Head Out To Rocky Point,” a private shuttle company offering a convenient round trip for $150 (special pricing for Rocio passengers). Enjoy a scenic 3-hour journey through saguaro forests with restroom breaks and opportunities to purchase snacks and beverages.
For your return to Phoenix, the shuttle will pick you up at 7:30 am.
At a Glance
Dates: July 20 – 27, 2024
Departure: Puerto Peñasco, México
Destination: Bahía de los Ángeles, México and the Midriff Islands
Program Cost: $3,450
Recommended for: Active individuals with a passion for the sea and a desire for adventure.
Inquiries: Contact Janet at [email protected]
Photo by Alex Jordan
Day 1 – Embark Rocio del Mar at 5 pm in Puerto Peñasco / Dinner and departure at approximately 7 pm
Day 2 – Isla Ángel de la Guarda / 3 dives / Sunset cruise with sea lions
Day 3 – Bahía de los Ángeles / Visit the Vermilion Sea Field Station / Snorkel with whale sharks**
Day 4 – Isla San Pedro Mártir / 3-4 dives
Day 5 – Isla San Pedro Mártir / 3-4 dives
Day 6 – Isla Salsipuedes / Isla Las Ánimas / 3-4 dives
Day 7 – Isla Ángel de la Guarda / 3 dives
Day 8 – Arrive in Puerto Peñasco and disembark at 7:30 am
Important Note: Although we anticipate encountering a diverse range of wildlife, including whale sharks, we cannot guarantee the presence of any specific species.
During our Baja Experience, we encourage you to embrace being “unplugged” with limited access to cell/wifi (except for emergencies). This allows you to connect more deeply with the local environment and fellow travelers.
Cruise on the 110-foot Rocio del Mar with 10 staterooms on two decks, each with a private bathroom/shower. Rooms are double occupancy, with singles having the option to choose a roommate or be paired. See boat layout and vessel photos HERE.
- Round trip travel aboard the Rocio del Mar from Puerto Peñasco to Bahía de los Ángeles, México
- Onboard lodging on the Rocio del Mar
- Delicious chef-prepared meals, beer, wine, and snacks while aboard the boat
- Shore excursions, snorkeling, and scuba diving for certified divers.
- Tanks, air, and weights
- Marine park fees and port fees
- Nitrox certification course (optional for certified divers)
- Travel to/from Puerto Peñasco from home location
- Lodging in Phoenix/Puerto Peñasco before/after the trip (optional)
- Mandatory Travel & Medical Emergency Insurance
- Nitrox tank fills, equipment rental
- Nitrox certification fee (optional)
Registration for the trip is a two-step process:
Step 1 – Initial Registration: During this phase, please provide your contact information and submit a non-refundable deposit of $950.
Step 2 – Secondary Registration (Due Before January 5th): Guests will need to complete the secondary registration by this date, which includes settling the remaining balance of $2500. If needed, payment plans can be arranged upon request.
Please ensure the following requirements:
- Valid Passport: Every participant must possess a valid passport. Please double-check your passport’s expiration date as soon as possible.
- Travel Insurance: It is mandatory for all participants to have travel insurance through Divers Alert Network.
- Optional Trip Cancellation Insurance: VSI offers the option of trip cancellation insurance for $200. This insurance safeguards your payment after you’ve made the deposit, providing peace of mind for unexpected changes or cancellations.