Baja's Ultimate Whale Watching Trip
Attention whale lovers! ROW Sea Kayak Adventures has a new trip just for you.This non-kayaking panorama of Baja whales takes you from the sheltered calving lagoons of the California gray whale on the Pacific side of the peninsula to the russet mountains and turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez, home to the exquisite blue whale. Spend 4-days at our exclusive gray whale basecamp, followed by 2 day trips on the Sea of Cortez in the waters of the great blue and fin whales. (if you are looking for our 5 or 6 day whale watching base camp tours, go here)
This non-kayaking itinerary is Baja whale watching at its best, and perfect for youth 6+ or adventurers who prefer not to paddle. The 6-day itinerary includes 4 days at our very special, safari-style gray whale basecamps in the heart of Magdalena Bay. The whales in these lagoons have become "friendly" with boat operators and tour guests, and so babies will often come right over to see the people looking at them. Our basecamp is located on the mouth of Magdalena Bay's exit to the sea, and gray whales like to hang out in these deep waters. Consequently, we are privileged to see whales right off shore from our campsite quite regularly. This greatly increases the "whale time" for our guests, as whale watching by boat is regulated by time and duration for all companies.
When you've had your fill of looking eye-to-eye with charming whale babies, we'll cross to the other side of the peninsula in the Sea of Cortez for two day tours exploring the waters of Loreto Bay National Marine Park in search of the largest animal on Earth: the blue whale. These whales are normally deep-ocean creatures, so this part of the Sea of Cortez offers a rare opportunity to find them near shore. Most human beings never have a chance to encounter them!
6-day itinerary includes 3 nights camping in wall tents with cots, all camping equipment, meals during camp and day tours, taxes, and bilingual marine biologist guides. Go here for the shorter options: Whale Base Camp Trips
Up close encounters with California Gray Whales, and a chance to glimpse the great blue whale, which is the largest animal ever found on planet Earth!
Images & Videos
Arrive in Loreto
Upon your arrival in Loreto take a quick cab ride to your hotel and check in (Not included in trip cost). You are free to spend your afternoon exploring lovely Loreto. Tour the historic Mission located in the center of town, stroll through the local market and dine on authentic Mexican cuisine before your evening orientation meeting in the Hacienda Suites hotel lobby.
Blue & Fin Whale Watching Day Tour
After an early breakfast on your own, you will meet early at the Loreto Marina to prepare for a fun, thrill-of-a-lifetime day on Sea of Cortez watching blue whales cruise the waters of Loreto Bay National Marine Park. Words cannot describe the incredible experience of witnessing a 100-foot blue whale surfacing near your 25-foot boat, its blow is 25 feet high and its tail is the width of a 747 tail section. You will stare gap-jawed when the massive tail comes out of the water as the whale prepares to dive. Blue whales are the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth, with a body mass equal to 24 elephants and a mouth that could swallow a railroad box car. They cruise the local waters near Loreto searching for tasty krill. Fin and humpback whales are also seen in these waters, along with dolphins and other marine mammals. You will spend most of the day on the water but a picnic lunch is also provided.
Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay
Meet in the morning at the hotel, where your group will be picked up in a large, air-conditioned van. You will be transported across the peninsula to the Pacific coast and the tiny, seaside town of Puerto Lopez Mateos on Magdalena Bay. Our base camp is located on a sandy barrier island at the heart of whale activity, and you'll go whale watching for two hours in a federally-regulated skiff. After lunch, you'll have a chance to settle into camp before hiking across the dunes to the Pacific ocean. Sleep in roomy, full-height canvas tents on comfortable cots.
Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay
The finest Baja whale watching is combined with hiking sand dunes, combing beaches, building castles, watching birds, spotting dolphins on the ocean, or relaxing to the sounds of breathing whales offshore. Twice a day you will take a motorized skiff into the bay for two hours of close encounters with gray whales, leaving ample time for exploration of the area and relaxation. All meals will be freshly prepared from scratch by our fantastic guides and chefs, and coffee and tea will be ready first thing in the morning. Happy hour and hors d'oeuvres will greet you after your afternoon whale time. You can also enjoy skiff birding tours into the mangrove areas, or part whale watching, part birding sessions.
Return to Loreto
After waking up once last time to baby whales splashing off shore, a hearty breakfast will start the day right for your last whale watching session in Magdalena Bay. You will return via skiff to Puerto Lopez Mateos for lunch, and then board the van for transport back to Loreto. Enjoy warm showers and clean clothing, followed by a no-host Farewell Dinner with your guides (not included in the trip cost). Enjoy the feeling of real beds once again at your hotel!
A final breakfast and perhaps some shopping time in town will precede your trip back home. Have a smooth flight, and be sure to send us pictures of your Baja whale watching adventure!
Dates & Rates
Single Supplement: Solo travelers can have their own tent at whale camp, for an additional cost. However, we are unable to guarantee individual tents at whale camp due to limited tent capacity. If you are asked to share a tent at our whale camp, rest assured that tents are very spacious, full-height canvas wall tents, with two cots and plenty of room to stand and maneuver around your tent-mate without difficulty.
If you're looking for the ultimate Baja experience, add one of our many Day Trip Extensions to the beginning or end of your Whale Camp tour!
- Full services of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional naturalist and bi-lingual guides
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- All transportation while on tour
- All camping equipment
- Whale watching sessions by Panga
- All National Parks & Biosphere Reserve access fees required by itinerary
Tour Does Not Include:
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Hotel before and after activities
- Items of a personal nature
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
FAQ & More
Please check out our Transportation Guide for our recommendations on how to get to Loreto.
Airport transfers are not included in your tour package price.
Yes, all of our tour pricing is in US Dollars.
Packages Include: All camping equipment, all meals and beverages once the tour begins, all National Parks & Biosphere Reserve access fees required by itinerary, bi-lingual certified guides and the full service of our Adventure Consultants. Dates provided reflect your arrival date; all packages include a arrival and departure day.
Packages do not Include: Airfare, transportation to and from airport, Hotel accommodations before and after the tour, gratuities, and items of a personal nature.
On our gray whale base camp tours, we GUARANTEE whale sightings. These tours offer one of the most spectacular, up-close encounters for wild whales on the planet, as these gray whales have become "friendly" and curious towards humans. With 4 days and 3 nights at camp, surrounded by whales in the lagoon and visiting them respectfully by skiff, you will have a unique opportunity to interact with these gentle giants. When you visit the Sea of Cortez for your snorkel tour and Blue & Fin Whale tour, you will be taken by panga throughout the Loreto Bay National Marine Park. The channel between the islands that make up this Park is called the "Blue Whale Corridor" due to their relative frequency in this area. Blue whales are typically pelagic (deep ocean) animals, so the Sea of Cortez offers a rare opportunity for humans to glimpse them. Considering that there are fewer than 10,000 blue whales alive (less than 5% of their pre-whaling numbers), the regularity we see them in Baja February-April is astonishing. However, they are often solo travelers and their patterns are yet unknown, so they are not always within motorboat distance of Loreto. If you don't see a blue whale, you have a high likelihood of encountering the second largest animal on Earth, the wonderful fin whale, as well as other whales such as humpbacks. Dolphins are also frequent sightings in the Sea of Cortez.
All whale watching excursions are in open fiberglass 22-foot motorized boats called “pangas” that hold a maximum of six passengers each, plus a guide and driver. Each panga is equipped with life jackets, radio, first aid kit, and piloted by an experienced, government-licensed Mexican “pangero” who will allow us safe and proximate viewing of the California Gray Whale.
No kayaks or private boats are allowed in the nursery lagoons of Baja’s Pacific Coast including San Ignacio. Only licensed Mexican whale watching boats are allowed in the lagoons when the whales are present.
It is important to understand that this is a camping trip and we want to be sure that you are prepared, both mentally and physically, for the challenges it will present, and have clear expectations about the trip. During the day, we'll spend two hour sessions on the water in motorized skiffs (called pangas) whale watching. While whale watching from a boat is not strenuous and the water is usually calm, the bay can be choppy when it is windy, so if you are susceptible to seasickness, bring medicine or whatever you need. The hiking could best be described as leisurely. We do require that anyone over 70 or with any health or weight concerns consult us before signing up to make sure you are up to fully participating.
A roomy full-height wall tent with two cots, night stand, rectangular sleeping bag with clean sheet, small pillow, and comfortable self-inflating pad are provided for your convenience at camp. There is also a washroom tent with a portable toilet. We recommend packing biodegradable shower wipes to freshen up with as there is no fresh water at whale camp.
We have a spacious 30’ wide dome tent that serves as an evening gathering space if it’s too cool or rainy outside (rare) or just a place to get out of the sun during the day. There are also miles of beach and sand dunes to explore!
Our tents are 8’ x 12’ and about 7’ tall. They are made of canvas and have a nice big window on one side. They are equipped with cots, comfortable sleeping pads, sleeping bags and pillows.
Sea Kayak Adventures will provide you with a detailed packing list prior to your trip. We provide all of the necessary camping, paddling and snorkeling equipment, which you will need to fully enjoy your adventure. If you are interested in more specific information, check out our general Baja packing list here! If you have any questions, or need help deciding what to bring, you can call or e-mail one of our friendly Adventure Consultants at any time for some extra advice!
We know your Guide will make the biggest difference on your trip! Which is why we pride ourselves on employing only the best local guides for all of the incredible locations that we visit. Part of this is to support our eco-tourism efforts, but we also believe that there is no better way to experience a new destination than through they eyes of a local! We find talented and skilled local guides, train and certify them, and provide a positive and consistent source of income to them and their families. Most of our guides are with us for the long-term, despite the seasonal nature of the industry.
Our renowned wilderness meals are prepared daily by our guides using local, fresh, healthy ingredients. In Baja you can expect an authentic dining experience, with savory dishes like chiles rellenos, tostadas, ceviche, and chicken mole. We even serve delicious desserts like brownies and pineapple upside-down cake! Each morning, we serve up freshly brewed coffee or tea. Throughout the day we provide an abundance of local fruits, vegetables, and other snacks. Wine and mixed drinks are served with hors d’oeuvres each evening for happy hour.
We do our best to accommodate special dietary requests, working within the parameters of the destinations in which we operate. If you have a very strict diet, we recommend packing extra snacks that you know you can eat.
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
Solo travelers will typically have their own tent at whale camp, at no additional cost. However, we are unable to guarantee individual tents at whale camp due to limited tent capacity. If you are asked to share a tent at our whale camp, rest assured that tents are very spacious, full-height canvas wall tents, with two cots and plenty of room to stand and maneuver around your tent-mate without difficulty.
You can leave your luggage at your hotel while you are on tour. We recommend getting a luggage lock if you are leaving any electronics in the bags. We’ve never had any issues with guests leaving their bags at the hotel but it’s always better to be safe just in case. Confirm with your hotel during check in.
A deposit of $500 per person is required within 10 days of your reservation to hold your spaces. If the tour you are signing up for is a confirmed departure your deposit is non-refundable. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance to protect your vacation investment. US residents may purchase travel insurance directly through ROW Sea Kayak Adventures offered by Travel Insured International.
If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify ROW Sea Kayak Adventures in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately. If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of deposit. Deposits are not refundable. If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded. If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself. Please understand that once you've signed up, we are unable to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups. Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason we strongly recommend you consider purchasing a Travel Protection Plan to protect your vacation investment.
Full payment is due 60 days prior to the launch date, as indicated on your invoice. Due to the high demand for these trips, please be sure to pay your balance on time so as to not jeopardize your reservation. Your final payment must be paid by check or bank draft in US funds. Alternatively, you may pay your final balance with a credit card, but a 3% administrative fee will be added.