Black Lava and White Sand (Offered Exclusively to Members)
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$ 1,090.00


February 2020

Single Occupancy Fee: $225.00
If choosing the Double Occupancy option and would like to designate a specific roommate, please fill out this form

February 9-12, 2020

This special travel opportunity is offered exclusively to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum members. To purchase this trip, login as a member, or purchase a Membership and then return to this page.

The volcanic landscape of the Pinacates includes huge maar craters, two varieties of lava flows, cinder cones, and majestic shifting dunes hosting their own specialized ecosystems. This young volcanic field is adjacent to the Sea of Cortez, which because of extreme low tides, allows viewing of its marvelous intertidal marine life. For a special cultural experience, we visit the Sonoran Tohono O'odham village of Quitovac, an oasis along the ancient salt pilgrimage trail to the sea.


After our border crossing, we visit the O'Odham village of Quitovac in Sonora, an oasis in the desert complete with the remnants of an orchard of heritage pomegranates. Welcoming tribal members even prepare a traditional native lunch for us. Continuing to Puerto Penasco and the Penasco del Sol hotel, we'll enjoy our first seaside sunset. (L, D)
Today we explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Sierra Pinacate - beginning with a stop at the visitor center followed by an exploration through the Volcanic fields to gain an understating not only of the geologic forces are work, but the human impact on this landscape starting 20,000 years ago. (B, L, D)
Day 3 February 11 TIDE POOLING, DUNES & SALT
We begin our day with free time for birding/tide pooling at the footsteps of our hotel. In the afternoon we head north on the new coastal road that connects Puerto Penasco with Gulfo de Santa Clara for a look at the shifting dune complex that dominates the region. We will also visit what is widely considered a terminus of the ancient salt trail of the Tohono O'odham with its rare coastal fresh water spring. (B, L, D)
Day 4 February 12 CEDO, OLD PORT - TUCSON
This morning we're off to the sea and CEDO, where we'll learn about the amazing life forms to be found in the intertidal zone followed by a visit to Old Port for lunch and the chance to peruse the many shops in the District. Border Crossing and ETA Tucson is 6:00 pm. (B, L, D)
Woman standing by lava flow

Your Leaders

Jesús García is a Naturalist/Education Specialist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and one of the founders of the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project. Jesús brings a wealth of knowledge not only of the flora and fauna indigenous to the Sonoran Desert, but of the many cultures which have and still call this place home. A master storyteller, he is also a master at identifying plant and animal species, describing their preferred growing or breeding habits and explaining their environmental connections to one another and to us.

Bob Scarborough is a former staff Geologist at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, involved in the construction of Biosphere II, advisor to the Arizona State Parks Board, consultant to the Salt River Project and to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Roosevelt Dam Safety project and Southwest naturalist with 35 years of experience working with countless organizations and tour groups. Bob’s contagious enthusiasm for all things geologic, as well as his love of natural history and a working knowledge of the native cultures of the Southwest, make him an excellent choice for this particular voyage of discovery.

Included Services

Transportation by luxury motor coach; 3 nights’ accommodations on the beach in Rocky Point at Peñasco del Sol with all rooms offering a balcony with ocean views; hosted beer and wine reception; baggage handling; all admissions and all tips. Included meals are denoted by (B, L, D) in the itinerary.

Border Crossing

You will need a valid passport or passport card to take this trip.


This special travel opportunity is offered exclusively to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum members. If you currently are not a member, but would like to join us, you may do so by following this link. The single supplement is an additional $225. We will assist in matching up singles with roommates, however if a roommate cannot be found, then the single supplement must be paid.

Cancellation Policy

All monies are refundable less a $100 per person handling fee, with written or e-mail notice of cancellation received at least 45 days prior to departure. Cancellations received within 44-30 days prior to departure will result in a 50% forfeiture penalty unless there is a waiting list and your space is resold, in which case only the $100 handling fee will apply. Cancellation received within 30 days prior to departure results in NO REFUND. These cancellation policies are strictly enforced; we strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance to safeguard yourself in a medical situation before or during a tour.


This trip is jointly run by South of the Border Tours and The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. You may register on-line or by calling Reservations Coordinator Beth MacFarlane at 883-3025 or at Inquiries regarding logistics and itinerary please contact Debby Bernier, Office Manager at 760-4000 or at

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