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The day begins at the CEDO institute with one of their traditional natural history talks, introducing you to this incredible area where the Great Desert of Altar merges with the Gulf of California in a spectacular explosion of color and biodiversity.

An expert will guide you through the ecological, geological and cultural characteristics that define this zone as a unique place, showing you the skeleton of an enormous fin whale, marine turtle shells and an earth ship constructed from old car tires and tin cans.

Enriched by this information you will head directly to the Morua Estuary, a beautiful coastal lagoon situated 7km from the town of Puerto Peñasco. There you will meet a cooperative of locals who have dedicated their time and energies over the last 20 years to the cultivation of oysters. A local guide will speak with you about the life forms and systems of production that have, through their sustainable usage, permitted the locals to survive in the extreme environments that characterize this part of the Gulf of California.

While in the estuary a naturalist guide from CEDO will take you to discover the great biodiversity of species which live there. Get a little muddied hunting for the famous violin crab which develops one pincer bigger than the other, and uses it to attract the attention of the females through a singularly outstanding dance. Lifting rocks you wills see sea stars, sea urchins, clams and much more.

Raising your head from the attractions that are, quite literally lying at your feet, you will see some of the many different species of birds that inhabit the area, like the American Oyster Catcher or Snowy Egret, birds adapted to feed in the estuary, a good example of which is the Long Billed Curlew, and endemic species such as the Heermann’s Gull.

After the hike you will have the opportunity to discuss all you have seen and learned about the area with the naturalist guide, to contemplate the threats that are facing these fragile ecosystems and the solutions possible for its conservation.

Following on from this discussion, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch prepared with the freshest oysters you can find, cultured and harvested only meters away from the restaurant in which you will then enjoy them, freshly cooked by the women of the Cooperative Unica de Mujeres.

Duration of the tour – Approximately 6 hours.

You can expect to see
• The beautiful landscape of the estero,
• Halophytes (plants adapted to live within a saline environment)
• Many species of birds including American the Oyster Catcher or the Fosters tern
• Marine invertebrates such as Fidler crabs or blue Crabs, and many more

Requirements
• Between 12 and 60 years of age
(children under 12 years to be accompanied by an adult)
• Be of good health

Recommendations
Bring a sunhat, sunscreen, walking boots, binoculars and a camera.

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Prices:
Adults $40
Children (under 12) $30
Residents and members $35
Resident child $30
Prices in US dollars

The tour includes
• A bilingual naturalist guide for the duration of the journey
• A natural history talk
• A local guide to interpret flora and fauna
• Food and drinks (non alcoholic)

Land transportation not included. Individuals must follow the group to and from the estuary in their own vehicle.

Itinerary
0:00 Meeting at CEDO
0:15 Natural History Talk
1:15 Arrive at the Estero Morúa, oyster farmer talk on the area
1:45 Hike
4:45 Seafood lunch and free time to explore
6:00 End of the tour

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