Natural Habitat Adventures

The Great Gray Whales of Baja

Make Giant Friendships at Sea on Mexico's Baja Peninsula
6 Days
18
From $4995

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Each winter, hundreds of gray whales return to their traditional breeding and birthing grounds along the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Their 6,000-mile migration from Alaska's Bering Sea to these sheltered lagoons is the longest mammal migration on Earth. Nearly hunted to extinction in the past, these gentle leviathans have made a dramatic comeback. Friendly and engaging, they are often intrigued with humans, swimming right up to our open boats in the warm, shallow waters of San Ignacio Lagoon. We may see mothers "showing off" their babies, and our small groups frequently interact with them at close range. The whales entertain us with breaching and spy-hopping, and we sometimes observe mating behavior as well. When you come to Baja with us to see them, you'll be forever spoiled for whale watching, because it doesn't get any better than this!
    A gray whale fluke emerges from the sea in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, MexicoTravelers in a boat view a gray whale in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, MexicoA gray whale sprays water from its blowhole, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, MexicoView of the San Ignacio Whale Cabanas eco camp, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, MexicoA traveler views a gray whale, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, MexicoA traveler having fun on the whale watching boat, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, MexicoA gray whale swims near a whale watching boat, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, MexicoA gray whale fluke emerges from the sea, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, Mexico

Trip Highlights

  • In-Depth, Up-Close Whale EncountersOn six separate small-group skiff excursions, witness the spring finale of the gray whales' annual migration from Alaska to the Baja Peninsula
  • A Remote Waterfront Eco CampOvernight in solitude in private "whale cabanas" at our eco-camp on the shore of San Ignacio Lagoon, far removed from other visitors
  • Vizcaino Desert DiscoveriesWith two naturalist Expedition Leaders, explore the salt flats and saguaro-studded desert of El Vizcaino  Biosphere Reserve, a UN-protected wilderness site

Come Eye to Eye with Whales—No One Gets You Closer!

Many whale-watching tours—off Boston or Maui, for example—take place on large commercial boats where you have to strain to see around guests crowding the rail, and if you do spot a whale, it’s likely you’ll glimpse only a tail or a spout of spray on the horizon. Our Baja whale experience couldn’t be more different! We foray into the whales’ world at close range, with frequent, intimate encounters the norm. Here's what makes this trip a real “whale of an adventure” compared to the others:
  1. SIX Whale-Watching Excursions
    Typically, we spend two hours on each whale-watching excursion (times are strictly regulated by marine reserve regulations) and make two excursions per day, for a total of six separate outings during our trip.
  2. Our Small Groups Get You Much Closer to Whales 
    Our open skiffs hold just 8–10 guests and sit low on the water, putting you practically at eye level with the whales. If a whale approaches us, everyone gets a great look. Small groups also mean more personalized interactions with our guides, with plenty of opportunities for conversation about the whales’ behavior and their habitat.
  3. Our Small Skiffs are More Maneuverable, for Better Viewing
    There’s simply nothing more exhilarating than getting close to a huge gray whale. Imagine the photo opportunities as you come within arm’s length of these charismatic cetaceans! Your skiff driver is an expert at positioning the boat to maximize proximity to the whales without disturbing them. Young whales tend to be especially curious, and mothers sometimes like to “show off” their calves by nudging them up to our boats.
  4. Stay in Unique Accommodations Secluded in Nature
    Our private whale camp lies within the protected confines of El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, with lodgings located on a quiet stretch of shoreline right on the lagoon’s edge. These rustic but comfortable private thatched cabanas are backdropped by a vast expanse of desert, where nature’s peace is palpable. The UN-protected Vizcaino ecosystem contains thousands of endemic species—plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. And the dark starry nights are a wonder in their own right.
  5. The Whale Camp is Ours Alone 
    Not only do we enjoy exceptional proximity to San Ignacio Lagoon, but genuine privacy, too. Our small group has exclusive use of the camp's 10 shoreside cabanas and dining palapa. We have the surrounding terrain to ourselves to birdwatch, hike, beachcomb and explore the mangrove estuaries, salt flats and desert dunes.
  6. Travel with an Experienced Expedition Leader—Plus the Best Local Guides!
    Our Expedition Leaders are seasoned professional naturalists with extensive experience guiding in Mexico. In addition, they receive special training and resources from WWF scientists. Top local guides also join us, ensuring the perfect mix of insider insights and attentive personal service. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  7. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Whale-Watching Adventure
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  8. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  9. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF’s Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat Adventures its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!

Read what travelers are saying about our Baja gray whale trip:

4.9 average rating out of 33 reviews
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