MONTEREY BAY

CALIFORNIA SEA LIFE ADVENTURE

[TRIP LENGTH: 6 DAYS]

Itinerary can be customized to fit within your time frame or budgetary needs.

On this educational trip to Monterey, CA students will learn about marine endemic habitats while volunteer with conservation programs.  Explore the Monterey Submarine Canyon, the largest and deepest canyon on the west coast and the only one approaching shore. Monterey Bay is also the best place along the west coast to observe orcas and gray whales. The Submarine Canyon approaches near shore, causing migrating whales to concentrate within a few miles of shore. Along with a marine naturalist, your group will learn about cold water ocean ecology from tide pools to giant blue whales.  Students will learn about upwellings, predator/prey behavior and conservation issues that directly impact this environment.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Monterey, CA

After arriving at your hotel your student group will have an orientation program and then explore Monterey’s famous wharf region and have dinner.

Day 2 – Explore Monterey Bay and Go Sea Kayaking

Your group will take a guided tour of Monterey Bay. The students may come face to face with sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and shorebirds galore! In the afternoon enjoy a kayaking tour of the coastline that encompasses an in-depth look at various aspects of pacific ecology. Study Monterey’s fascinating history, and marine inhabitants such as sea lions, otters, sharks, and whales. Also explore Monterey’s variety of distinct habitat zones and microclimates that are home to more than 450 bird species.

 Day 3 – Monterey Bay Aquarium and Volunteer Work

After breakfast you will explore Monterey Bay’s famous aquarium. Monterey Bay Aquarium allows guests the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Monterey Bay first-hand as they explore this amazing aquarium. In the afternoon your group will be involved in aiding a homeless shelter through a clothing distribution program. Enjoy dinner near the hotel and then have a time of reflection.

Day 4 – Explore Big Sur

Today you will head out for the Big Sur area.  Your group will hike the Valley View Trail of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This 2 mile round trip hike has a 200 ft elevation gain and is dominated by the Big Sur River. After meandering through stately redwoods along Pfeiffer-Redwood Creek, you will end up at Pfeiffer Falls where the creek cascades over a 40-foot precipice to a small grotto. After enjoying the falls, stop by a lookout where the Pacific Ocean pounds the Point Sur headlands. The Big Sur River Valley is also part of the amazing view. After enjoying lunch you will head over to McWay Falls and enjoy a spectacular view of McWay Creek dropping 80-feet over a cliff onto a beach nestled in a beautiful cove. The awesome view in the other direction is of the Big Sur coastline. Stop for dinner on the way back to Monterey and a time of reflection will close out the day.

 Day 5 – Volunteer at Elkhorn Slough National Reserve

After breakfast head out to the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve which is the remainder of an ancient river valley. The main channel winds seven miles inland, feeding 2,500 acres of rich marsh and tidal flats. Pelicans, herons, egrets, as well as countless fish, shark, crab, sea lions and otters, call the slough home. Look out for birds, marine organisms, and a variety of other wildlife.  Your guide will discuss how this estuarine system provides habitat for juvenile organisms that make their home in the kelp forests as adults. The group will also spend time volunteering at the reserve to help with current preservation efforts.  Your student group will gain an understanding of how they can take their passions for the outdoors and science and use that to help protect our ecosystems. Dinner will be followed by a time of reflection.

 Day 6 – The Journey Home

After breakfast everyone will pack up and make the journey home.

Add a Day or Two and Visit Yosemite National Park or San Francisco and Muir Woods.

Itinerary subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including availability with vendors, weather conditions and flight schedules.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kayak in the pacific looking for sea otters and whales
  • Study intertidal species off the coast of Monterey Bay
  • Take in a hike and view sea lions at Point Lobos State Park
  • Explore Monterey Bay Aquarium with local biologist
  • Snorkel among kelp forests
  • Take in a whale watching adventure
  • Volunteer at a Conservation Project in Elkhorn Slew

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Qualified trip leader – Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts from naturalists to regional specialists who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes and local culture. Your guide is with the group 24/7 and also staying with you at the same hotel
Daily reflections lead by your tour leader
Overnight stays are in hotels with private bathrooms rated 4 star or more on Trip Advisor
All Meals are included but please note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
Tour Journal, T-shirt and Luggage tag
Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa.