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Extend your Great Whales expedition with an exploration of the desert landscape and turquoise seas around historic Loreto, Baja California's first colonial settlement. The tranquil town fronting the Sea of Cortez was founded in 1697 by Jesuit missionaries, who found a steady spring of fresh water on this site. Sail the clear waters of Bahia Loreto National Marine Park in search of blue and fin whales, Earth's two largest animals. Visit the 18th-century Mission San Francisco Javier de Vigge-Biaundo, founded by the Jesuits, which remains the finest preserved stone mission in Baja California. And hike the rugged Sierra de la Giganta Mountains that form the picturesque backdrop to this small Mexican community. Along the way, cross canyon and desert habitat home to coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, myriad lizards and endemic bird species including the gray thrasher and Xantus’s hummingbird.
Seek Out Earth's Two Largest AnimalsCruise protected Loreto Bay in search of elusive blue whales and fin whales, along with 75% of the marine mammal species that frequent Mexico's coasts
Hike in the Baja DesertDiscover the rugged ecosystem of the Sierra de la Giganta range, which includes Baja's tallest peak and is home to roadrunners, gila woodpeckers and more
Explore Mexico's Colonial HistoryVisit the 18th-century Mission of San Javier, known as the jewel of Baja California, and meander the tranquil cobbled streets of Loreto