Thanks to our friends at Baja.com - a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel advice on Baja California, Mexico - we spent the day aboard a spectacular yacht in the Sea of Cortez, explored the beautiful Balandra Beach and swam with whale sharks. While our guests at Villa Santa Cruz, Boutique Hotel on the Beach, are usually quite content enjoying the Villa and Todos Santos, this day trip to La Paz is a "must do" for any guest of Villa Santa Cruz and any traveler to Baja Sur.
The Samurai - what a beauty!
Arriving bright and early to the La Paz marina after an hour drive from Todos Santos, we were welcomed by Kenny Busick, the owner and captain of our vessel for the day, The One Baja's 56' Samurai Luxury Yacht. Over piping hot coffee and breakfast on board, we met up with the Baja.com team and other Baja "ambassadors" with whom we would spend the day. The impressive list of locals included Tim Means, a passionate Baja conservationist and owner of the outdoor adventure company, Baja Expeditions, Roy Stock - Principal of Wide Open Baja, an off road touring company, James Curtis - Owner of the Cortez Club, the best diving and watersports center in La Paz, who regaled us with amazing tales of personal encounters with whales and dolphins in the Sea of Cortez, and Restaurateurs Miguel Ochoa (Hotel Casa Tota and La Santena Restaurant & Bar), Geoffrey Lujan (Las Tres Virgines Restaurant in La Paz) and Rafael Rodriguez (Salsipuedes Bar & Restaurant in La Paz) and more!
Once we settled in on the yacht, we were soon heading north through the La Paz Bay. With the morning sun on our shoulders, it was a beautiful sight watching the coast from the sea. Within minutes, the crew on the top deck spotted a friendly whale shark near our boat. Jim Pickell, the CEO of Baja.com, was the only one brave enough to jump in and get up close and personal with him.
Whale Shark Mouth
Jim with the Whale Shark
We made our way to Balandra Beach, one of the most breath taking stretches in all of Baja Sur. With crystal clear water, powder white sand and gently lapping waves, an afternoon here is one spent in paradise. Captain Kenny anchored the boat in the bay and let us explore.
Beautiful Balandra Beach
Kayaking around Balandra
Balandra's Famous Mushroom Rock
Docking back at the Marina, we were sad to say good-bye to all our new friends and to such a great day out on the water. We'd like to extend a huge thank you to everyone at Baja.com for such a fun day. We look forward to sending our Villa Santa Cruz guests out for the same adventure!
Location. La Paz is located approximately one hour northeast of Todos Santos by car. With a completed four-lane highway, the drive is easy and quick. The Samurai is located here.
About the Samurai. The Samurai is a luxury yacht for cruising, fishing and family fun. It is a luxurious, smooth riding stable platform that offers a 20 knot cruise, great for sport fishing and perfect for multi-island exploration or long range voyages, manufactured by Ronin Shipbuilding in Puerto Rico. She is completely self-sufficient with two generators, four air conditioners, 800 per day fresh water maker, three private staterooms, two private heads, complete chef's galley, two custom BBQ's, main dining room and underwater lights for night time fishing action.
Charter Includes. They typical day includes full breakfast, lunch and snacks as well as beer and wine. Guests can take the dinghy to explore beaches, snorkel, kayak, dive, fish, paddleboard and more.
Cost. The cost varies with the number of people, itinerary and menu, but is usually around $3,000 USD/day (plus 10-20% tip). Overnight trips are quoted upon request.
Reservations. Reservations can be made through Samurai's listing on Baja.com.