Gold Coast Loop
Gold Coast Loop 2015 Departures (14 Days):
Round Trip from San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego:
- Sat, Jan 10 - Sat, Jan 24
Hostel nights, Copper Canyon train ride, and ferry from La Paz to Topolobampo is not included.
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Gold Coast Loop - 14 Days
Choose the Green Tortoise adventure bus and discover the rugged Baja peninsula and mainland Mexico with fellow backpackers. Highlights include golden beaches of Baja and mainland Mexico, a ferry ride across the Sea of Cortez, and a train ride through majestic Copper Canyon. This affordable Mexico adventure is pure gold!
Our alternative bus tour departs San Francisco in the evening; we'll pick up the remaining backpackers in Los Angeles and San Diego before crossing the border into Mexico. Dine on fresh fish tacos in Ensenada, and relax in the local steam baths before snuggling in for another night drive.
Wake to the serenity of sunrise over the Baja desert wilderness. After breakfast we'll head to Laguna Ojo de Liebre and journey by boat to the gray whale nursery (optional, about $30). In the evening, cool your toes in Laguna San Ignacio. Stroll down to Mission Church, or sip a margarita at the local palapa bar. Enjoy a trademark Tortoise cookout under the date palms before overnighting to our secluded beach on the Sea of Cortez.
"Playa Escondida," the Green Tortoise's private beach, is most notable for what it lacks: no freeways, telephones, or jet-skis — just the sand and the shush of waves. Contemplate hummingbirds whirring amid the mesquite branches, and tiny crabs in the tidepools. If the relaxation gets too much, you can head into the mountains on a rented mule, kayak out to the nearby island, or go fishing with a local boatman (all optional, $30-$45).
After a few days of roughing it in style, it's time to head to the capital city, La Paz. Enjoy the local markets and beachside cafes of this charming town. Spend the day on the water with local guides and swim with the ocean's largest fish, the docile whale shark, snorkel or scuba dive with playful sea lions, or go deep sea fishing. Later, enjoy a fresh lobster dinner, shop for Mexican arts and crafts, and dance the night away in a salsa club! A ferry ride from La Paz brings us to mainland Mexico.
With 37 bridges and 89 tunnels, the Copper Canyon train has earned its reputation as one of the engineering wonders of the world. The town you'll be using as a base for your travels is nearly two miles above sea level, deep in the Sierra Tarahumara.
Spend the next few days exploring the breathtaking territory of the Copper Canyon. Hike into the canyon to visit the hot springs, hire a tour to Basaseachic Falls, or pedal out to a nearby Tarahumara Indian village. Visit the remotest depths of the canyon by colectivo van, or leave the beaten track far behind with a horse and local guide. Or spend a day in El Fuerte, where the bus is parked. Once the capital of the territory of Sonora and Sinaloa, this town is rich in history and architecture. Gaze over the parapets of the Spanish fort at the palm-lined banks of the Rio Fuerte, or get lost in the luxurious halls and gardens of the Posada del Hidalgo.
Spend a day beachcombing and snorkeling in San Carlos, and the night stargazing from atop the massive sand dune by the edge of our camp.
Leaving San Carlos after breakfast, we stop in Hermosillo for last minute souvenirs before crossing the border in Nogales. We'll make a quick stop near the Phoenix airport before night driving back to California.
At our morning stop in Los Angeles, we'll bid farewell to some of our new friends before arriving in San Francisco in time for dinner.
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Flexible Itinerary means that we may alter an itinerary depending on weather, local events, etc. Although we make every attempt to run our trips as advertised, please be aware that the itinerary may change to give you the best trip possible.
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