Baja Gray Whale Watching

Experience one of the most incredible close-up wildlife encounters on the planet from our exclusive base camp situated on a secluded island beach at the very heart of whale activity in Magdalena Bay, one of the major calving lagoons for gray whales. See these magnificent, gentle giants at the height of their calving season from the safety of motor skiffs as they allow you to reach down and actually touch the friendly giants! Whales are guaranteed on our gray whale watching tours.

Magdalena Bay is a series of lagoons sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by low barrier islands and is the world-renowned winter nursery grounds of the California Gray Whale. January through March, hundreds of gray whales mate and bear their young in these protected waters after traveling over 5000 miles from the Bering Strait.

The gray whale lagoons in Baja enjoy strict federal protection, and one can only whale watch with a licensed tour operator. You can watch the whales and their newly born calves up close from the safety of motorized skiffs. Breaching, spy-hopping and fluking, the whales will captivate your attention with their behavior.

You can observe gray whales and discover Magdalena Bay's diverse, fascinating ecosystem of windswept sand dunes, vibrant desert flora and mangrove-lined estuaries. Only ROW Sea Kayak Adventures has exclusive permission to camp on the island. Our three-day Gray Whales of Magdalena Bay whale watching tours include three-days at our safari-style base camp situated on a secluded beach at the center of whale activity. It is the perfect place to see the gray whales as they surface and blow right in front of our camp!

The area around our camp boasts the highest concentration of whales in Baja. Each day motorized skiffs take you out to the deeper waters of the bay, where "friendly whales" swim up to the skiffs for a closer look and often let guests touch their noses. On shore your guides will take you dune hiking, beachcombing and birding in mangrove channels - a mecca for migratory shorebirds.

The camp provides all the gear and amenities you need for a comfortable wilderness experience. Your guides will give entertaining, informative presentations on whale natural history. There's also an extensive library with books on whales. Ideal for families with children ages 8-18 and those wishing a shorter, more focused experience with whales.

NOTE: First and last days for any Baja tour are arrival and departure days. Fly in a day early for a skiff/snorkel tour in the Sea of Cortez!

Images & Videos

gray whale in Baja
gray whale spy hopping
sand dunes magdalena Bay
gray whale in baja's pacific lagoons
whale watching camp baja
people on sand dunes baja
whale camp dome baja
gray whale watching baja
woman watching whales from beach
gray whale in Baja
gray whale spy hopping
sand dunes magdalena Bay
gray whale in baja's pacific lagoons
whale watching camp baja
people on sand dunes baja
whale camp dome baja
gray whale watching baja
woman watching whales from beach

Itinerary

Collapse all days

Day 0

Arrive in Loreto

Upon arrival at the Loreto Airport take a quick cab ride to your hotel.  After checking in (Not included in the tour cost) you are on your own to explore Loreto, take a walk down the malecon, or relax by the hotel pool before your evening orientation meeting.  At the orientation meeting you will meet your guides who will give you details about the plan for the next morning and answer any questions you may have.

Please see our Baja Travel Guide for full details on travel to and from Baja.

ACCOMMODATION : Not included

Day 1

Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay

After a good hearty  breakfast be ready to depart 7:30am sharp for van transportation two hours to the Pacific coast, to Puerto Lopez Mateos on Magdalena Bay. Your first whale watching session will start immediately upon arrival. You might even see whales right from the dock! At the end of the two-hour session, the boat driver will ferry you across the bay to our exclusive base camp on a sand-dune barrier island. You’ll have a chance to unload your gear and settle into your pre-assembled tent before a hearty lunch. This afternoon, your guides will lead a hike across the dunes to the Pacific Ocean. You can meander back to camp along the beach in the sunset, just in time for happy hour and a dinner under the stars.

ACCOMMODATION : Magdalena Bay Whale Camp
MEALS INCLUDED : Lunch, Dinner

Day 2

Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay

Tea and coffee greet you with the morning sun, and you’re welcome to stroll along the beach and watch the whales wake up while your guides prepare a hot breakfast. Your day is filled with whale watching, hiking along the sand dunes and beachcombing the Pacific beaches. In the morning and afternoon we will take a motorized stiff into the bay for two hours of close encounters with gray whales (included in price), leaving the afternoon free for swimming, dune walking, whale watching from shore and exploring.  We can also lead skiff birding tours into the mangrove areas, or part whale watching, part birding sessions.  Our bilingual naturalist guides include marine biology graduate students from the University of La Paz. Be sure to board the skiff as soon as it arrives, as the clock starts ticking on the strictly 2 hour whale-watching session.

ACCOMMODATION : Magdalena Bay Whale Watching
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Return to Loreto

You’ll enjoy one final whale watching session after breakfast in the morning before you are returned to Puerto Lopez Mateos by panga. After a chance to purchase a commemorative token in the small shops at the port, you’ll enjoy a hot seafood lunch at a local restaurant before the van ride back to Loreto. Check back into your hotel for a shower or take a stroll along the malecon before a farewell dinner (no-host) with your group where you can reminise about spy hopping whales, and frolicking dolphins.

ACCOMMODATION : not included
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Depature Day

There are no activities planned for this day so you are free to depart whenever you desire. 

Please note: The 4-day Itinerary will follow the same schedule as the 3-day itinerary, but with one more day of whale watching and camping. The first and last day remain arrival (fly in) and departure (fly out) days.

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Jan 14, 2022 to Jan 16, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 19, 2022 to Jan 21, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 21, 2022 to Jan 23, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 23, 2022 to Jan 25, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 25, 2022 to Jan 28, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 26, 2022 to Jan 28, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 28, 2022 to Jan 30, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 30, 2022 to Feb 01, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 01, 2022 to Feb 04, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 02, 2022 to Feb 04, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 04, 2022 to Feb 06, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 06, 2022 to Feb 08, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 08, 2021 to Feb 11, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 09, 2022 to Feb 11, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 11, 2022 to Feb 13, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 13, 2022 to Feb 15, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 15, 2022 to Feb 18, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 16, 2022 to Feb 18, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 18, 2022 to Feb 20, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 20, 2022 to Feb 22, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 22, 2022 to Feb 25, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 25, 2022 to Feb 27, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 01, 2022 to Mar 04, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 02, 2022 to Mar 04, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 04, 2022 to Mar 06, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 08, 2022 to Mar 11, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 09, 2022 to Mar 11, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 11, 2022 to Mar 13, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 13, 2022 to Mar 15, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 15, 2022 to Mar 18, 2022
4 Day Whale Camp
$1,290£0€0$0$0$1,190£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 16, 2022 to Mar 18, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 18, 2022 to Mar 20, 2022
3 Day Whale Camp
$990£0€0$0$0$950£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

Departure Details

3 - Day Magdalena Bay Tour (Loreto departure) 

Groups of 6 or more:

Adults: $990
Child: $950
 
Groups of 4- 5 will have a $300 per person supplement
*La Paz departure options on Friday's- $100 transportation fee added

 Single Supplement - $120 per person per day

4 Day Magdalena Bay Whale Camp Departures (Loreto) :

Adults: $1290
Child: $1190
Single Supplement - $120 per person per day

Groups of 4- 5 will have a $300 per person supplement

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! 

Please Note: This tour involves transportation to and from Loreto or La Paz to the whale camp at Magdalena Bay. An additional transportation fee of $50 will be added to any combo trips running in LaPaz. Guests requesting a trip arriving in La Paz and departing in Loreto (or vice versa), if the option is available, may also be subject to additional fees for shuttle transportation. Please discuss this with our office staff if it's something you're interested in.

Tour Includes:

  • 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
  • Taxes

Tour Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Hotel before and after activities
  • Gratuities
  • 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.

Reviews

5
Average: 5 (25 votes)

Reviews

5

Magdelina Bay whale watching

Amazing trip for young and not so young! I took my 11 year old grandson and joined my two daughters on the kyaking and whale watching tour. The look of awesome joy on Calebs face as he kissed a whale will remain with us forever. We all learned so much from our guides and enjoyed all the adventures they introduced.

5

So exceeded my expectations!!!

We chose the combo kayak and whale camp trip and it was spectacular! It has been a dream of mine for many years and this trip did not disappoint! Our guides were great, giving us an education along with providing great hiking and food! I cannot say enough about our time on the water - experiencing breaches, spy hops, mamas and calves all around us. The camp was just right also, tent cabins very comfortable and roomy. Sunset and sunrise always stunning- we toured the shallows and saw many varieties of birds snd a coyote in the distance. I would return to do this trip again in a heartbeat!! The video is very representative of the trip, but you need to expert this in person!!

5

Magdalena whale watching in late January

This was a wonderful trip. Loved the camp and our guide, Mario, was the best. Very knowledgeable and a joy to be around. I would recommend this trip and hope to return in the future.

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FAQ & More

How do I get to Loreto?

Please see our Baja Travel Guide for full details on travel to and from Baja.

Do you provide transportation to and from the airport?

Airport transfers are not included in your tour package price.

Are your tour prices in USD?

Yes, all of our tour pricing is in US Dollars.

What’s included in this whale watching package? What’s not included?

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, Hotel accommodations before and after the tour, transportation to and from airport, gratuities, and items of a personal nature.

What’s the difference between San Ignacio and Magdalena Bay?

Visit this page for a better understanding of which whale watching tour is best for you: San Ignacio Lagoon vs Magdalena Bay.

When is the best time to see whales?

We design our wilderness adventures to provide you with the best whale encounters imaginable. Magdalena Bay is a whale-watchers' paradise and we GUARANTEE gray whale sightings on this tour! The whales migrate down from their Alaskan home waters to calve in Magdalena Bay  from January through mid-March, so this is the only window to see them in Baja.

How long are the whale watching sessions?

You will spend two-hour sessions on the water in motorized skiffs (called pangas) whale watching. Be ready to go immediately when the boat arrives to maximize your time out whale watching, as the 2-hour session starts promptly.

How many people are in a panga during the whale watching session?

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.

Can I kayak with grey whales?

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.

Are there any physical requirements?

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.

What is whale camp like? Are there toilets and showers at camp?

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.

What common space is available?

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!

How big are the tents at whale camp?

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.

What gear do I need?

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 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!

Who will my guides be?

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.

What kind of food will I eat? Do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

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.

How many guests per tour?

To keep our group size small and our impact minimal, we typically limit our tours to 14 people or less. Our standard minimum to confirm a departure is 4 guests for our Magdalena Bay whale watching tour.

Is there a single supplement fee for solo travelers?

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.

What’s the weather like in Baja?

Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.

Where can I store my luggage while I’m on your tour?

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. Be sure to confirm at check in.

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