Mexico – Great Whites, Whale Sharks & Cenotes
August 27 – September 09, 2017

 

Overview:

Interact with two of the ocean’s mightiest creatures, Great Whites and Whale Sharks, in a unique and absolutely thrilling Mexican journey. This is a rare opportunity to explore both the Caribbean and the Pacific, indulging in the very best diving and snorkeling experiences. Be guided from land to sea, where hundreds of Whale Sharks, Mantas, and Mobula rays congregate to feed in the warm waters off Isla Mujeres, an underwater spectacle not to be missed. Explore Mayan ruins of Coba and Tulum, steeped in ancient cultural and archaeological significance, while staying at a lovely beach resort in charming Tulum. Dive and snorkel the crystal clear ancient Mayan wells and underwater passageways of the Cenotes caves before traveling to Guadalupe Island, a tiny spec in the Pacific Ocean, for the ultimate ocean wildlife experience. Relish three days in crystal clear waters with high concentrations of Great White sharks. Guadalupe is regarded as the best location in the world for viewing and photographing this Apex predator.
 
Brief Itinerary:
Day 1: Depart Home / En-route to Cancun, Mexico
Day 2: Arrive in Cancun / Isla Mujeres
Day 3-4: Isla Mujeres / Whale sharks  
Day 5: Isla Mujeres / Cenotes Caves / Tulum
Day 6: Tulum / Cenotes Caves / Biosphere
Day 7: Tulum / Coba / Valladolid
Day 8: Tulum / Cancun / San Diego
Day 9: San Diego / Ensanada, Mexico / En-route to Guadalupe
Day 10-12: Guadalupe / Great White Sharks
Day 13: Ensanada / San Diego / Fly home
Day 14: Arrive home

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Expedition Easy Team.
 

Mexico – Great Whites, Whale Sharks & Cenotes
August 27 – September 09, 2017

Day-by-day Itinerary:

Day 1 – Sunday, August 27, 2017 – Depart Home / En-route to Cancun, Mexico

Anyone outside North America depart home and fly to Cancun, Mexico. If flying across the Date Line you will gain a day flying to the US and arrive on the same day.

Day 02 – Monday, August 28, 2017 –  Depart Home / Arrive in Cancun, Mexico

Depart the US and arrive at Cancun airport where you will transfer to Gran Puerto. Take a short ferry ride across to the exquisite island of Isla Mujeres, where a taxi will drive you to the resort, your home for the next 3 nights. This evening, indulge in a Welcome Cocktail Party, followed by a Welcome Dinner. We highly recommend arriving a day before the expedition departure, so you can acclimatize, are well rested and most importantly, don’t miss the trip. We can assist with booking any additional hotel nights.  Overnight:  Na Balam Resort – Deluxe Ocean View (D)

Day 03-04 – Tuesday – Wednesday,  August 29-30, 2017 Isla Mujeres / Whale sharks

 Rise early to board our privately chartered vessels and travel to the waters where the Whale sharks feed. This time of year this area is visited by hundreds of whale sharks feeding in the plankton rich waters. There’s also a very good chance of having close encounters with feeding Mantas, Mobula rays and other filter feeders. This aweinspiring opportunity is a once in a lifetime encounter – swimming alongside the largest fish in the ocean. Normally you have to swim quite hard to keep up with Whale sharks, here you just stay put as they will be all around you. If there’s none around, wait a minute and another will appear out of the blue. Out-of-water time is productive too with great views of the sharks from the boat. Lunch will be served onboard before we return back to the resort in the early afternoon, where you’ll have time to bask in the beauty of white sand and endless ocean. Spend time exploring the wonderful island of Isla Mujeres on little electro carts. See the local iguanas bask in the sun on rocks. Reminisce about your day whilst enjoying sundowners and dining at a local restaurant in the quaint little tourist town.  Overnight:  Na Balam Resort – Deluxe Ocean View (B, L, D)
Day 05 – Thursday, August 31, 2017 – Isla Mujeres / Cenotes Caves / Tulum Ruins
After breakfast we return to mainland Yucatan and travel south along the famous “Riviera Maya”. The natural wonders and clear waters of a private Cenotes cave await us. These underwater Mayan passageways are one of the world’s most stunning in-water experiences. Regarded as the largest network of caverns in the world, they abound with stalactites and stalagmites. After exploring and snorkeling the Mayans “sacred well”, a delicious ceviche lunch awaits. Head on to visit the Tulum archeological site; the well preserved Mayan ruins that sit on top of an inviting white-sand beach. The only Mayan city to be built on the coast, Tulum is surrounded by a huge limestone wall. The most impressive of the structures is the castle perched on the edge of a 12meter limestone cliff. From here the views of the Caribbean coast are stunning. In the evening we head to the coastal town of Tulum, famous for its stunning endless white sandy beaches and turquoise waters.  Enjoy a late afternoon stroll on the beach and a dip in the warm Caribbean Sea.  Dinner and an overnight stay at El Pez Boutique hotel. Overnight:  El Pez Boutique Hotel – Sea Front Room (B, L, D)

 Day 06 – Friday, September 1, 2017 –  Tulum / Cenotes Caves / Sian Ka’an Biosphere
 
This morning we head to the famous Dos Ojos Cenotes caves to enjoy snorkeling and diving in crystal clear waters. The word “Cenote” is derived from the Mayan word, “Dzonot” which means sacred well. A combination of various geological events and climate changes created an incredible and unique ecosystem in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. These caves and underground rivers were shaped naturally over 6,500 years ago. Over the past 20 years, experienced scuba divers have explored these caves discovering more than 300 miles of interconnected passageways and caverns that make up this amazing one of a kind ecosystem. Discover the tranquil beauty of these pristine windows to the underwater world and experience floating through corridors full of crystal clear water, stalagmites and stalactites with jungle overhead. Dos Ojos means “two eyes” and there may not be a better way to describe this magical site. The setting is perfect as you walk a short distance through the jungle to the rather large hidden away Cenote. After lunch travel to the Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve, a sublime area of natural beauty, Sian Ka’an is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, which is why the region became a designated Biosphere Reserve in 1986. A year later, Sian Ka’an was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  It remains the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean and, from a natural history perspective, is arguably the most striking region in the Yucatan Peninsula. While in the biosphere, we will enjoy a boat ride and a float down the lazy river. Return to the lovely El Pez Boutique Hotel for a relaxing evening and scrumptious dinner.  Overnight: El Pez Boutique Hotel – Sea Front Room (B, L, D) 
 Day 07 – Saturday, September 2, 2017 – Tulum / Coba Mayan Ruins / Valladolid

Enjoy a morning at leisure to soak in the sublime beauty of the Tulum coastline.  After lunch head to Coba to see the remains of the ancient Mayan city rise out of the lush tropical forest. The two impressive pyramids provide the perfect vantage point for views across the neighboring lagoons and jungle. Enjoy a nice bike ride around the ruins and explore this auspicious site with a local expert guide. Late Afternoon head to Valladolid, a colonial city of Spanish arcades and 16th-century spires on the Yucatán Peninsula. Often described being “authentic”, the city is deeply Mayan, from the cuisine to the guttural consonants of the Mayan language heard on its streets. Many women still wear the traditional Mayan Huipil – white cotton blouses or dresses adorned with bright, flowered embroidery – as they promenade the avenues at dusk. Enjoy a nice walk around the heart of the city during sunset and savor delicious local cuisine at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel for a restful sleep. Overnight: El Pez Boutique Hotel – Sea Front Room (B, L, D)

 Day 08 – Sunday, September 3, 2017 –  Tulum / Cancun / Fly to San Diego, USA

 Enjoy one last Caribbean waterfront breakfast before departing Tulum and transferring to the Cancun International airport for our afternoon group flights to San Diego, via Dallas. In the evening we’ll check into Humphrey’s Half Moon Bay Inn for dinner and our overnight stay.  Overnight: Humphrey’s Half Moon Bay Inn – Water View Guest Room (B, L, D)

 Day 09 – Sunday, September 4, 2017 –  San Diego / En route to Guadelupe, Mexico

After breakfast depart San Diego and transfer to the Mexican border before heading south to the coastal town of Ensenada. Board one themost famous live-aboard dive vessels in the world – The MV Solmar V.  Guided by a crew of ten we venture towards remote Guadalupe Island in the Pacific Ocean for one of the best big animal encounters on earth.  Overnight: MV Solmar V – Stateroom (B, L, D)

 Day 10-12 – Monday – Wednesday – September 5-7, 2017.- Guadalupe island / Great White Sharks

Are you ready for the ultimate thrill? We’ll spend three full days in the water with the Great White Sharks in the translucent waters of Guadalupe island. Guadalupe plays host to one of the highest concentrations of Great Whites on the planet. Snorkelers and divers will enter the ocean in specially-designed cages.  It will surpass all your expectations.  Submerged in a cage watch in awe and feel the ultimate adrenalin rush as an enormous Great White shark emerges from the blue passing by the cage. We promise a quality dive experience and maximized cage time as you come face to face with the ultimate Apex predator –  Great Whites – on their turf.  Farewell Dinner onboard. Overnight: MV Solmar V – Stateroom (B, L, D)

Day 13 – Thursday, September 8, 2017 – Ensenada / San Diego / Fly home

Arrive back into Ensenada around midday where we disembark the MV Solmar V and bid farewell to the crew. Return to San Diego in the late afternoon, where you will be dropped off at the San Diego airport for your flight home that evening. We can arrange extra hotel nights in San Diego if required. If you live in the US/Canada arrive back home the same evening. If you live overseas, arrive home the next day, or loose an additional day flying back across the Date line to Asia/Australia/New Zealand. (B, L)
 *Please note: This itinerary is subject to change. In the spirit of expedition travel, plans may change slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

 WE-SD2017

Mexico – Great Whites, Whale Sharks & Cenotes
August 27 – September 09, 2017

THOMAS BAECHTOLD
Expedition Leader & Dive Instructor

Born and raised in Switzerland, Thomas felt the travel bug from an early age on. His ceaseless passion for the outdoors, wildlife and photography, has taken him to nearly every corner of this exciting and diverse globe. Certified as a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor 22 years ago, he found a new passion in the underwater world and its wonderful inhabitants. His career as a dive instructor, dive shop manager, underwater cameraman and trip director onboard  live-aboard yachts, has taken him to most of the diving hot spots around the planet. He also pursued a career as safari guide in South Africa. After meeting Natalia in Palau (Micronesia), their love for travel and adventure, led them to working on Expedition ships. The following 10 years they had the opportunity to explore and photograph all 7 continents, working as Expedition leaders, Dive guides, Zodiac drivers, Photographers and Naturalists for various high-end expedition companies like Abercrombie & Kent, Zegrahm Expeditions, Clipper Cruise lines and onboard The World.  7 years ago Thomas and Natalia combined their years of expedition industry expertise to create Wild Earth Expeditions, creating an adventure travel company that does not compromise on quality and experience.  Thomas international reputation as a freelance photographer and videographer, depicted in many publications and videos, guarantees travelers benefit from tutorials and photographic workshops above and below the water.

DEAN MILLER   
Marine Biologist, Media Production, Snorkel Guide

Dr. Dean Miller is a scientist, multi-media expert, a PADI Dive Instructor and an Australian Geographic sponsored explorer. With a PhD in coral reef management and resource allocation and a wealth of scientific experience in the field from Antarctica to the Arctic and everywhere in between, Dean’s scientific research career has been rich and diverse. Having been involved in over 300 ocean expeditions on ships all over the globe, much of Dean’s life has been at sea in some of the most challenging environments known. While Dean loves guiding and diving just for the fun of it, his real thrill, and the reason he became a Marine Scientist, is sharks… the bigger the better!  In addition, Dean has worked tirelessly to position himself at the very top of the multimedia production field. A self-taught and accomplished cameraman, he has filmed, produced and presented documentaries from all over the planet for the BBC, National Geographic, Disney Nature, Discovery Channel and many more. Dean’s work has been narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough and has been acclaimed for its breathtaking and stunning natural history and cinematic qualities. With his diverse background, extensive experience and unique skill set, Dean is ready to take on any adventure, and share his passion for the natural world with those around him.

Mexico – Great Whites, Whale Sharks & Cenotes
August 27 – September 09, 2017

Accommodation

MV Solmar V

The MV Solmar V is a beautiful live-aboard dive vessel with a crew of 10. They are the most experienced shark operators working the Mexican Pacific coast and especially Guadelupe. The interior is outfitted in brass, rich mahogany, granite table tops and is completely carpeted. The salon is very nice and has a large-screen Plasma HDTV. The Staterooms onboard the MV Solmar V are small but very comfortable and have a larger bottom bed plus a bunk bed on top. All staterooms have top-of-the-line mattresses and down pillows, controllable air-conditioning, a TV/DVD player and a small private en-suite bathroom with toilet, shower and sink. Please remember apart from sleeping you will spend no time in your cabins. There’s a nice covered sun deck on top with deck chairs to relax in between shark dives. The food onboard the ship is great and they make a mean Margarita 😉 The ship has side scanning sonar, multiple radar systems and the most modern electronic marine technology. Twin compressors, with cascade storage for fast filling, provide guests with an endless air supply. 
When visiting Guadalupe Island all the diving is done in cages. We will use the MV Solmar V’s three spacious state-of-the-art shark cages; two four-person surface cages are connected to the swim platform using a proprietary system for stability and one three-person submersible cage that is safely lowered to 30 feet using a 4-ton crane. The submersible cage gives divers a very different perspective and is very popular with certified divers. Air for all cages is surface supplied so you don’t need a tank. SCUBA CERTIFICATION IS NOT REQUIRED FOR THE SURFACE CAGES making this trip available to anyone including snorkelers! Also enjoy a boat ride around the island to see the seals up close. The cage diving at Guadalupe is bar none the greatest on the planet, with up to 100 feet + of visibility! The water temperature ranges from 65-70F degrees which along with the incredible visibility makes Guadalupe the ultimate White Shark destination. 

Mexico – Great Whites, Whale Sharks & Cenotes
August 27 – September 09, 2017

Rates:

August 27 – September 09, 2017

Double Occupancy: USD $11,890 per person  
Single Supplement Surcharge: USD $5,990 per person 

Please note: We only have 2 single spaces available on this expedition and single occupancy rates apply. If you are wanting to share accommodations, a roommate will be assigned to you and double occupancy rates apply.  If we cannot pair you with a roommate, the single supplement surcharge applies.

Rates are based on per person sharing and are approximate until the time of booking. Rates are quoted in USD and subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Flights:

International Airfare:
International air is not included. Africa Easy does not book international flights into and out of Africa, however we can put you in touch with our airline partner at if you would like assistance booking your international air.

Rates are approximate until the time of booking. Please note rates are subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc. Airfare prices are subject to change until booked and ticketed
 

Included:

All accommodations in twin/double share rooms as outlined in the itinerary; Exclusive yacht charter onboard the MV Solmar V; Exclusive day boat charters in Isla Mujeres and La Jolla; All group meals; Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions; Soft drinks, drinking water, tea and regular filter coffee during lunch/dinner at all hotels and onboard the MV Solmar V; Onboard the MV Solmar V beer and wine are included with dinner; Drinking water while on tours; All group transfers and baggage handling; All tours, excursions, diving and snorkeling as outlined in the itinerary; Exclusive services of English speaking professional guides and naturalists; Services of 2 Wild Earth Expedition Leaders; All gratuities to porters, guides, drivers, dive crew, ship-, resort- and wait staff;  Government- Service- and Room taxes; All permits, Harbor fees, Entrance and Marine park fees; Complimentary slideshow and photos; Dive tanks/weights for Scuba divers; Donation to Reef Conservation Project.

Not Included:

All international and domestic airfares; Any airport arrival and departure taxes; Passport and visa fees; Immunization costs; Meals outside the group travel itinerary; Mandatory Travel insurance (including medical, medical evacuation and accident); Personal items, such as laundry, any alcoholic beverages or bar charges (unless specified above), WiFi/email, telephone, fax calls and excess baggage charges; Tips for your 2 Wild Earth Leaders and any non-group services; Cenotes camera fee ($20); Dive gear and wetsuit rental. Any sudden increase in price, due to currency fluctuations, a steep hike in fuel cost, change in government tax policy or for any reason beyond our control, will be adjusted with the final invoice due 4 months prior to the expedition.

Deposit & Payments

A completed & signed Expedition Easy Reservation Form, along with your 20% trip deposit and full regional and/or domestic air payment (if applicable) is required at the time of booking.

Reservations

This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Expedition Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.
To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Expedition Easy Team.


August 27 - September 09, 2017