NaturArte EcoTours & Talks 2018-06-05T13:05:31+00:00

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Join us on a naturalist-guided adventure to one of the many spectacular marine, coastal, and desert habitats of the northern Gulf of California and Sonoran Desert. Go for a leisurely hike through a corner of North America’s most extensive sand dunes, a veritable sea of sand; walk or kayak along the tidal channels of our verdant wetland, Morúa Estuary; bird-watch, dolphin-watch, and snorkel alongside sea lions at San Jorge Island; or venture out after dark to explore the surprisingly diverse marine life that awaits you in some of the planet’s most incredible tide-pools.

All our tours are described in-detail below.

  • Tours range from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the tour
  • Guests have the option of using their own transportation
  • Some tours are dependent on the tides (tide-pooling at low tide and kayaking at high tide)
  • A minimum of 4 people is required, unless you are willing to pay a small premium
  • Reservations should be made at least 2 days prior to the scheduled tour date, and preferably one week prior.
  • To inquire about or reserve a tour, please email our tour coordinator, Alejandra Flores, at alejandra@cedo.org. You may also call our field station in Mexico at (011-52-638-382-0113).
  • Our Events Calendar lists our scheduled tours, but with enough notice we can plan tours at your convenience with no added fees.

What is NaturArte?

CEDO’s NaturArte program is an award-winning, not-for-profit conservation project, designed to strengthen ties between tourists, local communities and ecosystems while raising cultural and environmental awareness. All proceeds from our tours go towards supporting CEDO’s research, education and conservation programs. CEDO maintains a “leave only footprints & take only photos” ethic, and minimizes impacts on the areas we visit. We also emphasize sharing our knowledge about the natural and cultural history of the region with clients, and about the work that CEDO is doing to protect and conserve these invaluable habitats and species. In 2018, we are working on improving our ability to transport visitors to the places we love to visit (see our wish list), and on building partnerships with local community businesses who are interested in taking advantage of the growing tourism economy in a sustainable, eco-friendly way. These partnerships aim to create stable, alternative livelihoods to small-scale fishing, taking pressure off of people and ecosystems. For more information about how you can support this program, email us at info@cedo.org.

Dec
18
Tue
Plática de Historia Natural
Dec 18 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Dec
22
Sat
Plática de Historia Natural
Dec 22 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
CEDO Nature Talk @ CEDO Intercultural
Dec 22 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

A well-known local tradition since the 1980’s, CEDO holds a natural history talk and exhibits tour every Tuesday and Saturday. This is a perfect opportunity to answer your questions about the local environment. Bring your family to learn about the Gulf of California’s extreme tides, the endangered vaquita porpoise and CEDO’s current projects.

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Tour Descriptions

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Famous for its dramatic tidal fluxes, the Northern Gulf of California has some of the best tide pooling in the world. We explore the intimate wonders of the rocky inter-tidal “ecotone,” a transitional world along the shoreline composed of igneous rock and Coquina reef.

Aided by the eyes and tools of experienced naturalists, you will be initiated into a world of invertebrates and plant life that literally hangs on for life in one of the most extreme habitats on Earth. You will learn of their fascinating adaptations and relationships to one another, as well as how lunar cycles affect all life on Earth, including our own.

This truly informative and explorative tour is a whole lot of fun for kids and adults alike. The best part about tidepooling is that you never know what you are going to find! We always go at low tide and provide flashlights for our guests after sunset.

Tour includes: Transportation, Trip insurance, Flashlights, Nets and Containers
Please bring dive booties or water shoes, and gloves if you have them

Estimated duration: 2-3 hours
Availability: low tide only
Price: $15 per person; $11 per kid under 12

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Take a scenic boat ride to explore and snorkel the waters of Isla San Jorge, or Bird Island, a series of iceberg-like rocks located 28 miles from Puerto Peñasco. The waters around San Jorge are home to various species of dolphins and often accompany us on our ride out there. In winter, from October to April, you also have the chance of seeing Orcas and whales! Many species migrate to the Northern Gulf to forage with the upwelling currents, such as the majestic fin whale that is the second biggest animal on Earth.

San Jorge itself is one of the 898 protected islands in the Gulf, and hosts a rich diversity of flora and fauna. You can expect to see an array of sea birds such as boobies, cormorants, red-billed tropicbirds, and brown pelicans. The island is also perhaps most famous for its colony of about 2,500 California sea lions, gregarious marine mammals that when not out fishing, like to bask on the sunny rocks and play in the protected reefs.

Snorkeling with the curious sea lions is one of the most fun interactions you can have with wildlife. In the spring you can see sea lion pups. Snorkeling also offers the opportunity to see a huge variety of beautiful fish and marine invertebrates that live in the rocky reef habitat. This tour guarantees excitement and adventure on the open sea.

Tour includes: Transportation, Snorkeling equipment (wetsuits not included), Lunch and a beverage, Binoculars, Trip insurance, Birding Scope for the Group

Estimated duration: 6 hours
Availability: year round, need minimum of 10 people
Price: $120 per person; $90 per kid under 12

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We will journey into the Pinacate and Great Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve, the fourth largest land reserve in Mexico. Considered one of the 13 wonders of Mexico, and on the way to becoming a United Nations International Heritage Sight, this is not a place you will soon forget.

The Pinacate Volcanic range is a vast region, rich in its biological diversity. By exploring it with an experienced naturalist you will be initiated into the geological processes that created the landscape, while taking a closer look at the fascinating flora and fauna of the Sonora Desert. You will learn about the different species of trees, wildflowers and cacti, while keeping any eye out for wildlife such as snakes, tortoises, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep, desert birds and amazing insects.

You will also learn about the ancient tribes such as the O’odham that inhabited this area for tens of thousands of years. We will also skirt the rim of El Elegante, one of the world’s largest Maar Type Craters, and you will feel as if you are walking on the moon. We will also visit the Tecolote Lava Flow and the Cerro Colorado Crater. Don’t forget your camera on this epic and scenic desert safari!

Tour includes: Transportation, Admission into Biosphere Reserve, Lunch and a beverage, Binoculars, Trip insurance

Estimated duration: 6 hours
Availability: Sept. to mid-May; need minimum of 6 people
Price: $60 per person; $42 per kid under 12

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Become an oyster farmer for a day at Punta Roja, one of the local “organic” oyster farming cooperatives. Take an inside look at a sustainable maritime economy, meet the local oyster farmers and learn about their livelihood, while learning how to prepare typical seafood dishes and sampling the tasty harvest.

Punta Roja is located on a scenic point at the eastern end of the estuary, and we will take advantage of the location to spot birds and discuss the ecosystem. The type of relationship these locals have with their environment is one that promotes a healthy habitat, because without clean water you can’t have tasty oysters. Overdevelopment of estuaries such as Morua, poses a real and immediate threat to that ecosystem, and until the importance of estuaries is fully understood, and recognized by the government and law enforcement, these estuaries will remain endangered places.

Moreover, cooperatives such as Punta Roja will not last without the support of eco-tourists and consumers like you. We thus encourage you to take part in this fascinating and delicious experience, and thank you for helping to protect the natural areas that are such an important part of our world.

Tour includes: Transportation, Seafood or alternative lunch and a beverage, Binoculars, Trip insurance

Estimated duration: 5 hours
Availabilty: year round; need minimum of 6 people
Price: $50 per person; $35 per kid under 12

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We will journey into the Pinacate and Great Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve, the fourth largest land reserve in Mexico. Considered one of the 13 wonders of Mexico, and on the way to becoming a United Nations International Heritage Sight, this is not a place you will soon forget. Walk with us on a challenging but highly rewarding trek into the “sea of sand” just north of Puerto Penasco.

Stand in awe before beautiful star dunes and be taken aback by the Saharan landscape! With the help of our guides, you will begin to understand the fascinating geology in action of this region, while learning about the unique flora and fauna, and looking for desert animal tracks and other traces of life.

This tour is truly an insider’s look at a one of a kind biosphere, and you will be happy you made the trip with us!

Tour includes: Transportation, Admission into Bioshere Reserve, Lunch and a beverage, Binoculars, Trip insurance

Estimated duration: 5-6 hours
Availability: Sept. to mid-May; need minimum of 6 people
Price: $50 per person; $35 per kid under 12

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We will visit the tranquil and pristine waters and salt flats, located just 15 minutes east of CEDO, on a leisurely exploration of Morua Estuary. The estuary abounds with wildlife in the sky and on the land. You will have the opportunity to see a diversity of graceful wading birds and spectacular sea birds foraging and flocking over the sand and mud flats.

Estuaries like this one are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, and you will learn about their formation and critical importance, while becoming an expert on the living things that depend on them. You will also have a chance to meet and learn from members of the local community at Las Mujeres, a sustainable oyster-farming cooperative. Those who love seafood will sample their harvest and have lunch at their shoreline restaurant, where you can sample the world’s best ceviche, along with fresh oysters and other local specialties!

Tour includes: Transportation, Binoculars, Trip insurance

Estimated duration: 2-3 hours
Availability: year round
Price: $30 per person; $21 per kid under 12

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The day begins at the CEDO institute from where you will head directly to the Morua Estuary; a beautiful coastal lagoon situated 7km from the town of Puerto Peñasco.
After a short lesson aboard the kayaks, and accompanied by an expert guide, head out and explore the estuary’s tranquil azure waters, enjoying nature from the best possible angle. Our silent kayaks are capable of taking you places inaccessible by other means, to discover the huge range of biodiversity that characterizes this area of breathtaking natural beauty, providing for some unique photo opportunities and furthering your understanding on how this spectacular natural area is under threat and in need of preservation.

The tour includes
• A bilingual naturalist guide for the duration of the journey
• Rental of the kayaks and safety equipment
• Travel insurance

Estimated duration: 3-4 hours
Availability: year round
Price: $50 per person; $35 per kids under 12
Note: Kids under 12 must have experience kayaking.