A Baja Conservation Vacation
Rediscover your sense of wonder and dive into marine science on this unforgettable family-friendly conservation vacation to Baja California, Mexico! Swim with curious sea lions, search for whale sharks (the gentle giants of the sea), discover tidepools, learn to snorkel, participate in community science conservation research, immerse yourself in local culture and language, and so much more!
The expedition starts in Loreto, Mexico* and ends in San Diego, CA and includes an epic road trip through changing desert and ocean landscapes. Camp outside on cots under the stars at the Vermilion Sea Field Station in Bahía de los Ángeles, Mexico. Wake each morning with the sun rising over the Gulf of California to a delicious breakfast and prepare for a day full of activities. A typical day includes a boat trip around the bay or channel on pangas used by local fishermen, optional trips to town and activities and down time at the Vermilion Sea Field Station.
CampOceano is an adventure designed to engage families but also provides for unique experiences tailored for children and adults individually. Time is dedicated each day for children to join licensed science educators on discovery journeys along the shores of the sea while adults are free to kayak, hike, or socialize during relaxing seaside happy hours.
Space is limited to 18 participants. Reservations are first-come, first-serve and are NOT finalized until the reservation form is complete and payment is received. Reservation and payment details can be found below. This program is recommended for families but is open to single travelers. We also offer other community science research programs, including the Stars to Sea program.
*Please note that in 2021 the trip begins in Loreto, Mexico and ends in San Diego, California. Participants will need to plan their flights accordingly.
“It was so cool breathing underwater while snorkeling. It made me feel like a shark.” – Fiona (age 7)
At A Glace
2021 Dates: June 18 – June 23
- Adults and children 12+: $950
- Children under 12: $750
- Secure your spot with a $200 deposit per person. Final payment is due 2 months prior to trip date.
Leaves from: Loreto, Mexico
Destination: Bahía de los Ángeles, Mexico
Returns to: San Diego, California
Recommended for: Ages 6 to adult
Programs Coordinators: Angela Yeager
Inquiries: Angela Yeager welcomes any and all questions or inquiries emailed to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Travel from Loreto to VSI and from VSI to San Diego
- Lodging at the Vermilion Sea Field Station (VSFS)
- Meals at stops during road trips
- Delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared fresh at VSFS
- Boat rental fees and permits for access to the Natural Protected Area of Bahía de los Ángeles
- Wetsuits and fins for all participants and life jackets for children
- Travel to Loreto from home location
- Lodging in Loreto before the trip
- Lodging in San Diego after the trip
- Travel from San Diego to home location
- Snacks, sodas, alcohol, souvenirs
- Snorkels and masks (available for rent for $10/set)
- Travel & Medical Emergency Insurance (mandatory for every participant)
Day 1: Depart from Loreto, Mexico at 6:30 am sharp for Bahía de los Ángeles, arriving approx. 7pm-9pm. Stops on the way will include lunch, stretch breaks and scenic views. The road trip is part of the fun and gives opportunities for making new friends, playing car games, and the occasional carpool karaoke.
Day 2-5: Each day kids can participate in daily SeaCamp lessons from licensed science educators, while parents have an opportunity for optional activities including kayaking, snorkeling or relaxing on the private beach just steps away. Boat trips on 2 of the 4 days include searching for whale sharks and marine mammals, collecting data for citizen science research, exploring unique marine and coastal habitats and learning about oceanography and conservation. There may also be the option to add SCUBA or an additional snorkeling trip to your itinerary. Most evenings are free to relax, explore the town, or enjoy the following optional activities: kayaking, hiking, exploring wetlands/mangroves, reading, beachcombing, tide-pooling, stargazing, night snorkeling, and more!
Day 6: Depart Bahía de los Ángeles at 8am for San Diego, arriving approx. 7pm-9pm (please do NOT schedule returning flights on Day 6 as arrival time cannot be guaranteed).
Important Note: While whale sharks have typically visited the waters off Bahía de los Ángeles each summer, we can not predict that the sharks will be present during this program. Therefore, there is no guarantee that participants will see or swim with a whale shark.
Situated along the shores of the Gulf of California within the Bahía de los Ángeles Biosphere reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vermilion Sea Field Station (VSFS) has hosted scientists, conservationists, educators, and students since the 1970’s. Bahía de los Ángeles is a sleepy little town unlike other crowded Mexican tourist destinations. It is primarily known for fishing and was formerly a mining town. It is authentic Mexico at its finest.
Most visitors to Bahía and VSI take the rare and special opportunity to embrace being “unplugged” and find they connect more deeply with the incredible local environment because of it. However, if totally disconnecting isn’t possible, there are a handful of internet cafes in town. There is no cell service in town, but there are usually pay phones available at the internet cafes.
Additionally, if on-site WiFi is needed for specific administrative or academic needs, arrangements can be made at the time of reservation. If you have a specific need you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out.
The Vermilion Sea Field Station is first and foremost a field facility for researchers and educators in the environmental sciences with rustic yet enjoyable accommodations. The field station is comprised of a central two story adobe and stone facility with 12 multi-purpose rooms, a large kitchen, in door shower and changing room, outdoor bucket-flush bathrooms and an additional family house.
Sleeping is typically dormitory style, with cots available for sleeping either inside the field station or outside under the stars.
For additional information such as a suggested packing list and other travel related questions, please review the VSI CampOceano Trip Planner which will be provided with registration confirmation.
Our team is committed to the wellbeing and safety of all program participants and to those of the Bahia de los Angeles community. During this time of widespread pandemic, we have outlined steps that we will take to mitigate risk of exposure to Covid-19. We ask that each program participant carefully review the information and agree to the participant pledge on the last page.
You can find those VSI Safety Commitments HERE. We will periodically update as needed.
If you have any questions regarding our safety preparations or any of these commitments, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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Please don’t hesitate to email email@example.com with any questions. We hope to see you in the field!