Todos Santos Eco Adventures (TOSEA) is the leading eco-adventure company in Baja California Sur. For 12 years they’ve been sharing their passion for the phenomenal natural beauty, unique culture, and extraordinary wildlife of Baja with visitors. No one knows Baja better than TOSEA! We’re here to share our favorites places for hiking, surfing, biking, kayaking, snorkeling (with sea lions and whale sharks!), whale watching, cooking, pottery making, bird watching, horseback riding, star gazing… and more!
The Baja peninsula is comprised of an amazing collection of diverse ecosystems, and TOSEA creates adventures that allow visitors to explore – and help conserve – the oceans, deserts, mountains, islands, estuaries, dunes, coastlines and mangroves that support one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. TOSEA guides and instructors are all year-round residents of Baja who have a deep knowledge and love for the area, and take great pride in sharing their knowledge and expertise. All guides are certified Wilderness First Responders, and the whole team is dedicated to superior customer service, safety and, let’s just say it, having as much fun as possible! When you travel with Todos Santos Eco Adventures, you don’t just visit Baja, you live Baja.
The Kusini Collection is proud to represent a group of like-minded businesses in Africa and Latin America, who believe in having a positive impact on our world. They collaborate with local communities and conservation organizations within their destinations with the belief that empowerment of people and place and being a voice for wildlife and natural areas will result in healthy ecosystems and communities. Here’s just a taste of what they are up to…
COMMUNITY AND CONSERVATION
TOSEA is committed to the health and well-being of the local environment, which covers not only the local ecosystems, but the people and businesses of Baja California Sur as well. They work closely with and support local individuals and businesses including the local fishing cooperatives along the Pacific coastline, the ranchers and burreros of the Sierra La Laguna mountains, local and independent adventure professionals, and locally owned and operated art galleries, shops, restaurants, hotels, and nonprofit organizations working for the betterment of the local community. TOSEA are proud sponsors of the Todos Santos Music Festival, the GastroVino Festival, the Todos Santos Film Festival, as well as local boxing, soccer and baseball clubs.
They have published two books, Birding in Baja California Sur and Cooking Adventures in Baja California Sur. The third book, Gardens of Baja California Sur, will be published in the coming months. TOSEA are members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the Family Travel Association, the Educational Travel Community, the Todos Santos Hotel Association, and Amigos de la Costa de Todos Santos. They are also founding members of the Todos Santos chapter of WildCoast/CostaSalvaje.
Todos Santos Eco Adventures was founded by the current owner/operators, Sergio Jauregui Marino and Bryan Batson Jauregui. Twenty years ago Sergio left his job as a professional clown in Mexico City, moved to Baja, and hasn’t looked back since! Sergio started his Baja guiding career as a kayak guide in the Sea of Cortez, and it is in that capacity that he met Bryan and her sisters on a kayaking trip in February 2000. The wedding followed two years later, and together they have built a company with trips that cover the entire state of Baja California Sur.
They also own and operate the gorgeous Camp Cecil on Isla Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez and a boutique hotel, Los Colibris Casitas, and many of their adventure programs are based out of this beautiful spot on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Sergio handles the operational side of the business while Bryan, who holds an MA in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, focuses on the business side. Sergio and Bryan have spent the last fourteen years helping Baja Californians – fishermen, ranchers, farmers – benefit from the tourism economy while preserving their local culture. The warm welcome and genuine care provided by Bryan and Sergio can’t be beat!
The TOSEA adventure team are all year-round residents of Baja who have a deep knowledge and love for the area, and take great pride in sharing their knowledge and expertise. All guides are certified Wilderness First Responders, ocean safety and open water rescue, and the whole team is dedicated to superior customer service, safety, and let’s just say it, having as much fun as possible! They are also trained to the British Canoe Union 3 star level for open water kayaking. Senior guides are also licensed to transport tourists on federal highways in Mexico. Regular opportunities are provided for them to attend seminars on Baja history, nature, and culture. The TOSEA adventure team guarantees that while exploring, travelers are in the best of hands and having a ton of fun too!
Equipped with a degree in Biology from Mexico’s most prestigious university, UNAM, Bernardo first came to Baja California in 1999 to conduct a survey of geese in Magdalena Bay for a Mexican NGO. He immediately fell in love with the area, and continued his career as a biologist first with Pronatura Noroestre, then with CONABIO, the National Commission for Biodiversity in Mexico. A lot of his work centered on using bird monitoring and the resulting data as a way of assessing the health of ecosystems and related conservation programs throughout the southern part of Mexico. Well versed, he wanted to be further immersed in nature and switched to guiding, where he quickly became one of the most respected guides in the state. Bernardo spends free time mountain biking or running.
Mauricio has been a guide with Todos Santos Eco Adventures for over a decade! He is widely known throughout the peninsula for his vast knowledge of local flora, fauna and history, great story telling skills, and big grin. Originally from Mexico City, Mauricio has been living in Baja for over 20 years and is very involved with the local Todos Santos youth community. He is one of the founders of Todos Santos Box, a boxing program for local kids coached by Mexican boxing great Ramiro Reducindo. They’ve won gold at the state championships for the last two years!
Alan was born in La Paz and grew up in Cabo San Lucas, making him a true child of Baja California Sur. Throughout his childhood he went with his family on great adventures around Baja, often kayaking the islands of the Sea of Cortez and hiking the peaks of the Sierras. He was also a champion on the Mexican Junior Golf Association circuit. He started working on a degree in architecture, but found it wasn’t his passion – he missed sunsets and the night sky too much – so he switched his focus to permaculture and was certified at La Ribera, the largest seed bank in Latin America. Now Alan loves sharing the incredible beauty of Baja he grew up exploring with visitors to the area, while continuing to practice the permaculture principles of sustainable living on his land in Todos Santos.
Born in Sinaloa on the Sea of Cortez, Hernando first developed his guiding skills in Cancun on the Caribbean. He lead snorkeling and whale watching tours there, as well as trips to sites of significant cultural and historical importance, such as the Mayan ruins of Tulum. But when he came to Baja on vacation in 2006, he knew this was where he was meant to be and he’s been there ever since, once again spending time on the Sea of Cortez as well as the Pacific. Painting is one of Hernando’s passions and he settled in Todos Santos, a renowned artists’ colony for the same reasons so many artists have done so before him: the incredible lighting, the fantastic scenery, the remarkable culture and the warmth of the local population.
Diego Bautista is a Todos Santos native with a degree in alternative tourism from the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur. He loves nothing more than sharing the cool local hotspots. He is an avid soccer, volleyball, and basketball player, and can often be found playing with his neighborhood teams around Todos Santos. Diego just completed his third year of guiding.
Sergio is a native of Baja California Sur and has spent his entire life exploring the state’s natural beauty. He has a degree in Alternative Tourism from Universidad Mundial in La Paz and has spent his career working for adventure companies in Baja. He has a Level 3 sea kayaking rating from the American Canoe Association, has served as a NOLS kayak instructor, and, like all TOSEA guides, is a certified Wilderness First Responder. Sergio is working on his dive master’s certification and has a 5 year-old son who is an aspiring kayak guide!
Luli, born in Leon, Mexico, is a former environmental attorney who worked as a community program coordinator in rural parts of Mexico. She won a scholarship to get her dive master’s certification, and this experience inspired her to complete an outdoor educator course with Outward Bound in Minnesota. She subsequently went to work for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Baja, then moved into guiding kayak trips along the coast of Baja California Sur. Luli speaks 5 languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese), is learning to play the saxophone, and is a total cross-fit enthusiast.
Iker is the author of Cooking Adventures in Baja California Sur, and has been an integral part of the Todos Santos Eco Adventures team since almost the first day of business. He prepares all the wonderfully fresh food that goes out with guests on day trips, and is chef-in-residence at Los Colibris Casitas where he manages Iker’s Colibris Cafe, turning out some of the best home-cooked Mexican food you can find anywhere; his cooking classes are legendary. Iker grew up in Mexico City and moved to Baja in 1983 to start a career that took him all over the peninsula – and eventually to cooking. He worked as a federal agent for 12 years, then as a court translator, an official with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, a Mexican ATF agent, and as a Customs officer. He even got a law degree and worked as a lawyer. In short, Iker served as all those people that you love to hate, which makes it all the more amazing that Iker and Iker’s Colibris Cafe are two of the most-loved institutions in town.
Los Colibris Casitas was made for nature lovers seeking beauty and tranquility with the services and amenities of a boutique hotel. Every casa and casita of Los Colibris boasts magnificent views of the Pacific ocean and the palm grove oasis. Guests often not only see whales from bed or one of the many terraces, but are often delighted to see manta rays leaping across the ocean’s surface, too! Los Colibris is just a 10-minute walk to 70 miles of pristine, virtually empty beach, and a 5-minute drive to the delightful restaurants, artists’ galleries and shops of Todos Santos. The grounds of Los Colibris are filled with both native plants and those imported by missionaries and other early Baja travelers, and this abundance of plant life attracts many kinds of birds, including the colibris or hummingbirds for which the property is named, as well as species endemic to Baja California Sur such as the Gray Thrasher, Belding’s Yellowthroat and Xantus’s Hummingbird. Over 150 bird species have been recorded in the area around Los Colibris!
Amenities include a swimming pool and hot tub, yoga platform (for classes or retreats), massage, and Iker’s Colibris Cafe with the best breakfast in town and fun cooking classes. Each room has a balcony, patio or rooftop terrace, a small refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave, dining utensils, bottle opener, ceiling fan, air conditioner, hair dryer, beach towels, beach umbrella, and a notebook with maps and information on the property, the town, restaurants, stores, activities. If rented in it’s entirety, Los Colibris Casitas can host up to 25 people! The casas and casitas are broken down as follows:
La Chucha: 1 bedroom (1 king/2 twins)
Casa Colibris: 2 bedrooms (1 king/2 twins per room)
Casa Colina: 2 bedrooms (1 king/room)
Mr. Bings: 1 bedroom (1 queen plus futon in living room)
Babisuri House: 2 bedrooms (2 kings/4twins per room)
About Isla Espiritu Santo
The Island Espiritu Santo National Park in the Sea of Cortez is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the best marine life viewing destinations in the world. Whales, dolphins, whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and plenty of beautiful tropical fish call the surrounding waters home, while a terrific range of bird species including Blue-footed Boobies, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Yellow-footed Gulls frequent the island’s skies and shores. The island itself is stunning, with magnificent towering cliffs, spectacular sandy bays, amazing lava rock formations, and rock art left by the now-extinct Guaycura and Pericu Indians. There’s even an endemic ring-tailed cat, the babisuri. It’s a remarkable place to explore. Todos Santos Eco Adventures offer two unique ways to enjoy the island! Either from the full comfort of Camp Cecil or in one of their colossus walk-in tents while on a migratory kayak trip.
Camp Cecil is a base camp on one of the island’s most beautiful beaches that features eight beautifully decorated walk-in safari-style tents with real beds, lovely linens, bedside tables, lanterns, beach towels, storage space, rugs, chairs, and more. Espiritu Xantus Café is where the on-site chef makes wonderful meals for you every day – and daily happy hour of course – and there are two sun showers and two compost toilet cabañas.
This is a moveable glamping and kayaking adventure along the coastline of Isla Espiritu Santo on the Sea of Cortez. On this 6-day, 5-night trip, guests kayak the length of the island, making camp at three beautiful beaches along the way. Additional activities include swimming with playful sea lions, snorkeling colorful reefs, hiking volcanic trails, bird watching (even blue-footed boobies!), and taking in the stars and Milky Way at night!
You can spend each day doing exactly what pleases you – kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, swimming with sea lions, stand up paddle boarding, bird watching. Checking out cave art, hidden lagoons, deserted beaches. Reading, napping, swimming, chillin’. Sipping margaritas, gazing at stars. You will be accompanied by a bilingual guide so just tell him or her what you feel like doing that day and they’ll get it all organized. TOSEA guides are all great interpretive naturalists, so not only are all the activities a total blast, but you have a font of information on everything from marine mammals, to local ecology to Mexican history and more at your disposal all day long. This is a great adventure for couples, groups of friends, and multi-generational families as there is really something for everybody, and those who like to enjoy their outdoors in comfort will be happy to stay as long as the rest of the group.
The peninsula of Baja California, separating the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, is the earth’s second longest and contains varied habitats from the peaks of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains to the coastal dunes. The natural diversity here offers a multitude of activities to suit all interests; from surfing, hiking, and cooking lessons, to swimming with whale sharks, fishing and kayaking. Todos Santos Eco Adventures have a slew of exciting activities from their home bases of Todos Santos and Espiritu Santo, making it so easy to combine experiences for a tailor-made vacation.
On land these include yoga, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, bird-watching, volunteering, cooking classes, sea turtle camp, ranch life exploration, traditional medicine techniques, mountain potter arts, and more!
On sea these include: surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddling, whale watching, diving, swimming with whale sharks, sea turtles and sea lions, and fishing!
Additional ideas include:
Isla Espiritu Santo: Minimum Two Night Stay.
From your home base at Camp Cecil, you can spend each day doing exactly what pleases you – kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, swimming with sea lions and sea turtles, stand up paddle boarding, bird watching. Checking out cave art, hidden lagoons, deserted beaches. Reading, napping, swimming, chilling. sipping margaritas, gazing at stars. You will be accompanied by a bilingual guide so just tell him or her what you feel like doing that day and they’ll get it all organized. This is a great adventure for couples, multi-generational families and groups of friends as there is really something for everybody!
Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay January – March: 2 days/1 night
Magdalena Bay is the largest wetlands ecosystem on the west coast of Baja and one of the most important in North America. The World Wildlife Fund ranks it as one of the most important coastal habitats in Mexico. The Bay is the prime calving ground for the gray whale, and January to March it is possible to see – and often pet – a large number of whales, including mothers and calves. Magdalena Bay also has mangrove forests, barrier beaches and sand dune islands, all of which contribute to the incredible scenery and biological diversity of the area.
On the morning of Day 1 drive the 4.5 hours Mag Bay, have lunch at one of the delicious local restaurants, then head out onto the water for 3 hours of interacting with – and possibly even petting – these incredible marine mammals. We’ll spend the night at one of the simple but charming hotels in the area, and enjoy a delightful seafood dinner. After breakfast on Day 2, we’ll head back out onto the water for another 3 hours of enjoying the amazing gray whales, then return to either La Paz or Todos Santos, depending on the rest of the itinerary.
Sierra Ranch Life Adventures: October-June
The ranchero culture of Baja California Sur is quite distinct from that of the rest of Mexico. The forebears of the current generation were handpicked by Jesuit missionaries for their skills in farming and ranching, as well as for their qualities of honor, trustworthiness and focus on family. When the Jesuits were thrown out of Baja, these farmers and ranchers were given some of the Jesuit lands. Our hosts are Don Catarino, Dona Luz and their son Rogelio who have one of the prettiest ranches in the Biosphere Reserve. They are great fun, extremely knowledgeable, and love sharing the many wonderful activities that make their ranch such a great place to live and visit. Trips can be tailored to guests’ interests and workshops are available on a range of skills including traditional leather-working, cheese making, traditional tortilla-making from scratch and candy creation. Don Cata and Rogelio are famous throughout Baja for their encyclopedic knowledge of local plants and their uses and they are happy to share that knowledge with those who are interested.
Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve Sea-to- Sea Trek
The Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve is one of Baja’s most beautiful but least explored areas. Part of an island off the coast of Baja 10 million years ago, the Reserve is home to an incredible diversity of plant and animal life, many of them endemic species – over 25% of plants and 10% of animals found in the Reserve are endemic to the area. In addition to wildlife such as mountain lions, mule deer, gophers and badgers, a wonderful array of birdlife inhabits the reserve, including the endemic cape pygmy owl, Xantus hummingbird and Belding’s yellowthroat. The Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve is a magical, magnificent island in the sky.
In addition to day hikes in the Biosphere Reserve, we also offer a 3 day/2night trek from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez. This entire hike is on private land so a very exclusive experience. With burros carrying all your belongings and guides on hand to do all the cooking and show the way, you can simply relax and enjoy the walk through the magnificent scenery.
Sea Turtles: Glamping Edition
As part of the Isla Espiritu Santo glamping experience, join biologists in a turtle data collection and tagging program! We set nets in the water, and when a turtle enters we bring it into the boat immediately. The biologists conduct a 20 minute external examination, draw blood, and collect epibionts – marine invertebrates that attach to or live on a turtle. Guests can help with collecting the epibionts, as well as measuring and weighing the turtle. They can also assist the biologist in marking the turtle with a tag which has a unique serial number and contact information that the biologists will use in their research. If groups would like to fit a turtle with a GPS transmitter tag ($200-$300), they can name the turtle and the data will be broadcast online every time the turtle comes to the surface to breath. This can be watched in almost real time. Very little turtle tracking has been done from Isla Espiritu Santo so participants can be an exciting part of turtle history! All turtles are handled gently and released back into the sea.
Sea Turtles: August-October
This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to work with local biologists on the coast of the Pacific to protect endangered Olive Ridley marine turtles. Each night volunteers and biologists patrol the beach, watching for the 100-pound female turtles. Each female will leave 90- 120 white ping-pong shaped eggs in a sandy hole, camouflage the nest with a characteristic belly dance, then leave the offspring to chance. That’s where you come in. Predators, coastal development and illegal poaching all threaten sea turtle populations throughout the world. At this sea turtle research station you can help combat declining populations by volunteering with biologists as they collect the eggs and relocate them to a protective nursery. In many cases you’ll be able to see mature nests bubbling with turtle hatchlings and have the opportunity to guide the hatchlings on their way to the sea. Depart Todos Santos in the late afternoon and arrive at Sea Turtle Camp in time to settle into your tents, then watch the sun set over the magnificent Pacific beach. The guide and camp staff will prepare a simple but tasty dinner, which will be followed by an orientation by TOSEA’s wildlife biologist Stephanie Rousso. After time around the campfire, you may then choose to sleep for a few hours until the patrol starts in the wee morning hours. Stephanie will gather everyone around 1:00 AM to start the 4 kilometer round-trip patrol of the beach on foot when you’ll scout for nesting females and assist in relocating the eggs to protected corrals. In the morning enjoy a full Mexican “Turtle Camp Graduation” breakfast then head back to Todos Santos. One short night, but a lasting contribution to the revitalization of the marine turtle population in Mexico.
In this program head out with local biologists to gather data on whale sharks – the largest fish in the world – as they are feeding the Bay of La Paz. Guests are allowed to snorkel with these gentle giants – it’s an amazing experience.
Baja California Sur is a true birder’s paradise, with over 460 species in a close range of varied habitats. Choose any combination of days / habitats and TOSEA will put together the perfect birding trip for you! Some of the great places include: Todos Santos estuary and palm oasia, the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve, Isla Espiritu Santo National Marine Park, Magdalena Bay whale sanctuary – all of these places also offer tremendous bird watching opportunities as well as whale watching, kayaking, hiking and so forth. Representative species include Magnificent Frigatebird, Black-necked Stilt, Costa’s Xantus Hummingbird, Marbled Godwit, Gila Woodpecker, Caspian Tern, Blue Grosbeak, Black Phoebe, Acorn Woodpecker, Lucy’s Warbler, Oak Titmouse, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-eyed Junco, Northern Pygmy Owl, American Kestrel, Harris’s Hawk, Phainopepla, Verdin, Blue-footed Booby, Brandt’s Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Snowy Plover, Wilson’s Plover, American Avocet, and the White-faced Ibis
Day Trip Building Blocks
The following activties can be added to any itinerary to further tailor to guests’ interests. It is best to add a few extra days onto the itinerary to mix and match these to add to the adventure