There are many locations to go whale watching in Mexico and in most areas of the Pacific Coast there are particular occasions of 12 months the place they’ll be drifting by. However the Baja Peninsula off the west coast of Mexico, south of San Diego, is whale heaven in case you time it proper. There are two bays there the place grey whales come to provide beginning and nurse their younger, so these are a number of the greatest spots on the earth to see child whales up shut.
Baja Sur is the Mexican state with probably the most shoreline and there are a number of bays and migration channels cherished by whales of every kind. You’re virtually positive of seeing humpback whales round Los Cabos in January and February: I even noticed some whereas teeing off at a golf course. You would possibly even see water capturing up from a spouting blue whale blowhole round Loreto.
Should you journey to 2 particular spots on the west facet of Baja, nonetheless, you’ll be able to stand up shut and private with moms and their cubs.
Child Whales at San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja
I didn’t fairly imagine this encounter was going to occur till I used to be really out on the water and a child whale poked its snout up proper in conjunction with the boat. It was prohibited to the touch them, however then the naturalists discovered that the little tykes really prefer it. They get pleasure from being petted in the identical method your cat does and apparently the moms like sending the children off to play.
So we’d see mama cruising across the boat after poking her head up to take a look at the scene. “Spyhopping” that is referred to as and it’s a dramatic factor to witness. It’s not unusual to see 5 – 6 mom/little one combos in the middle of an hour and a half that the boats are allowed to go to. The moms swim very near the boats, or often underneath them, developing and spraying from their blowhole. The infants come proper as much as the boat and take a look at the passengers with their large eye. The director on the camp mentioned they prefer to be rubbed round their lips.
It’s not assured this can occur after all. They could resolve you don’t appear like a perfect playmate. However there’s a fairly good likelihood of it taking place and if nothing else you’ll see some whales in a lot nearer proximity than traditional.
San Ignacio Lagoon is actually an enormous nursery. There’s mating occurring, which you’ll be able to see early within the season typically (be suggested it’s type of tough). Then there’s beginning—only one cub per mom—and the males take off after the deed is finished. On this protected bay the youngsters can develop up and get sturdy. The world the place the boats are allowed is the play space, however there’s a a lot bigger space the place boats are prohibited: the whales can go there anytime they wish to have some peace and quiet.
This well-managed protected space helps about 90 native Mexican households, lots of them fisherman who’ve seen the sunshine and develop into sustainable tourism sorts as a substitute. Fishing shares have been declining for many years and this fashion they’ve acquired extra of an opportunity of recovering, plus it’s a steadier revenue for members.
It’s an extended haul to get to San Ignacio Lagoon as you journey a number of hours north from Loreto, to the oasis city of that title, then trip throughout some barren salt flats to get to the lagoon. This can be a pristine, protected space proper at sea degree so that you gained’t discover large resorts fouling up the bottom and sea. As an alternative you keep in small huts or eco-friendly camps run by native communities, just like the one I stayed with: Kuyima.
They’ve a couple of totally different choices for sleeping. There are mattresses on cots in tents or you’ll be able to hire a solar-powered cabin with a everlasting mattress. There’s a superb restaurant with a bar powered by wind and photo voltaic.
The easiest way to work out this journey is to make it a part of a multi-day journey with an journey tour firm that runs journeys within the area. They’ll combine in nature walks, visits to historic missions, and a cease by a well-known cave portray spot over a number of days. See our previous characteristic article on journey journey in Baja for extra.
The busiest occasions, if you’re positive to see loads of whales, are from January by March. The insider recommendation although is to return in April. There are nonetheless loads of whales who haven’t gone north but, however the crowds have dwindled down significantly.
Magdalena Bay Child Whales
The second time I noticed child grey whales, it was greater than only a one-day encounter. I stayed at a seasonal tented camp on a barrier island and went out a number of occasions on a ship to see the grey whale moms and infants.
This was a visit organized by Sea Kayak Adventures, although be suggested you’re not really allowed to kayak across the whales. You’ll have to attend till you’re in Loreto, La Paz, or Espiritu Santo Island for that. What makes this journey so particular, nonetheless, is that you simply’re out on a motorboat earlier than the day-tripper boats get there, plus typically you’ll be able to see whales swimming by within the morning from the camp throughout breakfast. Right here’s the place you have got your sundowner drink on the finish of the day:
There was no scarcity of whales after I visited Magdalena Bay in Baja, however the guides mentioned the whales got here out later that 12 months, maybe due to local weather change, however no one knew for positive. The tides and barrier islands are always transferring because the winds push the sands round from 12 months to 12 months.
The infants had been a little bit shyer in Magdalena Bay after I was there than they had been in San Ignacio Lagoon, nevertheless it may have been the time of the 12 months, rougher waters, or another issue. I didn’t really get to pat one on the top in my few days there, however we did see a couple of of them come as much as different boats close by. Even the infants will not be precisely small although. They weigh a ton (actually) once they’re born after which can acquire 60 kilos of weight per day. Inside per week, they’ve acquired barnacles connected to their our bodies.
You gained’t at all times see a whale up shut, however in case you come in the course of the prime a part of the season, you’ll a minimum of see some within the distance and your boat captain can normally pull nearer when there’s a pod. Deliver a superb digicam with a zoom although as a result of the boats do have to take care of a protected distance and lower their motors once they get shut. It may be exhausting to get good cellphone pictures in case you’re not proper on prime of them.
Grey whales aren’t all that photogenic anyway, plus they’ll typically be the identical coloration because the water, so some persistence is required to get a superb picture. Generally it’s higher to only relax and benefit from the encounter than making 20 makes an attempt to get the timing proper for a child whales picture.
Should you don’t wish to sleep in a tent and go #2 in a latrine, there are some fundamental accommodations in Puerto Lopez Mateos city the place the boats dock at night time. In any other case you’ll be able to come to the whale sanctuary on a day journey from La Paz. That’s an extended journey although, throughout the entire peninsula from the Sea of Cortez. It might take a whole day after which some, most of it in transit.
Should you can tough it for a couple of days although, you sleep on cots with camp mattresses within the tents and there’s an enormous dome tent the place you have got meals, drinks, and nature shows. We went on hikes among the many dunes and took a ship journey to a mangrove space the place there have been a number of seabirds. It could get surprisingly chilly at night time right here although, regardless of being at sea degree in Mexico, so carry ample layers and a jacket.
See an itinerary and costs right here.
For extra data, see the hyperlinks above and likewise the Go to Baja Sur web site.