Whales of Baja
This exclusive expedition showcases the whales of Baja and unique experiences with each species—an intimate encounter with friendly gray whales (in San Ignacio Lagoon), an extraordinary experience with the biggest animal that ever lived (blue whales of Loreto), and spectacular whale action from humpbacks in Cabo San Lucas.
Take whale watching in Baja to a new level. For a few weeks each year, Baja California Sur is a magnet for migratory whales of all sizes and shapes. Whale watchers are hard put to choose where to go in this brief window of opportunity. Now Whales of Baja makes it possible to have it all. With Cabo Expeditions, exploring all three habitats—adds up to the best whale watching in Baja. You’ll travel around 400 miles with Cabo Expeditions on this comprehensive survey of Baja’s renowned whale species. On the east side of the peninsula, the harbor of Loreto on the Sea of Cortez will be our base. From there we’ll loop north to San Ignacio Lagoon for a day of gray whale interactions and a night of catered camping in cabanas. We’ll return for three days to explore for blue whales, then we’ll head south toward Land’s End for whale watching in Cabo San Lucas, where everyone’s favorite acrobats put on a show for the opposite sex. Photographers and whale lovers will especially enjoy this experience.
Whales of Baja
A first in whale watching: see all of Baja’s Big Three whale species on one expedition. Acrobatic humpbacks of Cabo, friendly grays in San Ignacio Lagoon, and giants of them all, blue whales in Loreto Marine Park—we’ll see them up close from zodiacs or pangas. The popular big three are just the beginning – 15 whale species travel these waters. No wonder the world’s best whale watching is in Baja California. Now for the first time, you can have it all. Modern, well-paved roads join Cabo to Loreto and the whale lagoons on the Pacific. This 7-day expedition is a new and unique opportunity offered only by this certified tour company. You’ll be pampered and protected all the way by our seasoned and attentive crew. Let no whale go unseen!
LAP-LOR Day 1 - Arrival in Cabo San Lucas
As your plane descends into Cabo San Lucas International Airport, you’ll see miles of beach stretching along the rocky peninsula that divides the Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Cortez. Dark mountains contrast with the sun-baked desert. You will be met at the airport with an air-conditioned van to take you to your room at San Angel Suites in the heart of Cabo. You may wish to explore the nearby Marina. (Hotel)
Day 2 - Humpback whale watching in Cabo San Lucas
A 7:00 a.m. breakfast gets us off to an early start to see humpback whales at play. We’ll head out in zodiacs, fast and stable inflatable boats made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Humpbacks are the easiest whale to identify, at least when they breach. Watch for the long white flippers on these giant gymnasts. We’ll pause for an early lunch and some free time before our afternoon rendezvous with whales. We’ll return to the hotel for a short rest before going back out again for dinner by the marina, extending our day of sun and salt air. (Hotel, B, L, D)
Day 3 - Transfer day (Cabo San Lucas to Loreto)
After breakfast we’ll depart in air-conditioned vans for La Paz. On the way we’ll pass the mission town and art center of Todos Santos. The harbor of La Paz once sheltered pirates. Today it’s a quiet port with a friendly seaside walk, the Malecon. We’ll lunch on traditional Baja cuisine, then depart for Loreto. You’ll have free time to sightsee in Loreto, oldest mission in the New World, before dinner. (Hotel, B, L, D)
Day 4 - Blue whale watching in Loreto
After breakfast, we’ll take the zodiacs whale watching among the islands of Loreto Marine Park. The park, established by Loreto citizens and The Nature Conservancy, features five islands, big and small—Del Carmen, Danzante, Coronado, Catalina, and Montserrat—and the waters around them, rich with biodiversity. (Danzante Island is where three ancient tribes—Cochimi, Guaycura, and Pericu— gathered for days of dances entreating rain gods.) Whales here include the giant blue whale, biggest animal that ever lived. We could also see sperm whales, pilot whales, and many other species. We’ll lunch on the beach then return for an afternoon of whale-watching. Returning to the shady arches of Hotel Angra, we’ll feast on a Loreto-style dinner. (Hotel, B, L, D)
Day 5 - Gray whale watching in San Ignacio Lagoon
After breakfast, we’ll head northwest to see the third of Baja’s Big Three whale species. The mass migration of gray whales to San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the world’s amazing wildlife experiences. First we’ll get settled in our private cabanas with big beds and hardwood floor above the sand. Camping was never so comfortable and easy! Then we’ll go out in open boats called pangas to meet the whales. After a lunch and more whale watching, we’ll relax with happy hour and dinner. (Cabana, B, L, D)
Day 6 - Gray whale watching and sightseeing in San Ignacio
A Mexican breakfast will fuel us for a morning with gray whales. We’ll go into the mission town of San Ignacio for lunch and sightseeing. This was a Cochimi Indian community before the Spanish founded a mission in 1728. We wrap up the day in Loreto back at the Hotel Angra for a free evening, (Hotel, B, L)
Day 7 - Departure from Loreto
As we fly out from Loreto, we see the islands of the marine park with new eyes, as the home of the whales. (There’s also an option to return to Cabo San Lucas –we can arrange it for you at an additional fee.)
LOR-CSL Day 1 - Arrival in Loreto
The dramatic mountains of the Sierra de la Giganta, spine of the Baja peninsula, frame the mission town of Loreto. The rest is blue – blue water reaching out into a vast reach of blue sky. Islands break the water like the whales we are here to honor. You will be met at the airport with an air-conditioned van and whisk you to the Hotel Angra. (Hotel)
Day 2 - Gray whale watching in San Ignacio Lagoon
We depart for San Ignacio Lagoon after breakfast. Once known as Scammon’s Lagoon, site of mass slaughter, it’s the winter destination of thousands of gray whales from the Arctic. Today a biosphere reserve and World Heritage site, it was the world’s first whale sanctuary. We’ll check into our cabanas, then head out in small open boats, pangas, to meet the whales. Sometimes a "friendly" gray whale approaches a boat –a life-changing and emotional experience for lucky travelers. After lunch, we’ll go out again, then return to our camp. A festive happy hour and authentic Baja dinner winds up the day. After a day in the salt air, we sleep deeply in our cabanas—not exactly roughing it! with the crew providing every comfort. (Cabana, B, L, D)
Day 3 - Gray whale watching and sightseeing in San Ignacio
A Mexican breakfast fuels us for our third gray whale outing. Exhilarated after communing with these intelligent beasts, we say goodbye to the Pacific coast and prepare to explore the Sea of Cortez. We’ll drive to the mission town of San Ignacio for lunch in this classic pueblo village that recalls the old Baja. We’ll drive back to Loreto and relax in the shady arches of Hotel Angra. (Hotel, B, L, D)
Day 4 - Blue whale watching in Loreto
After breakfast, we’ll take the zodiac boats whale watching around the islands of Loreto Marine Park. Zodiacs are famously stable and fast inflatable boats. We’re looking for blues, biggest animal that ever lived, but may see sperm whales and will certainly see dolphins. We’ll take a break from "oohing" and "aahing" to eat lunch on a beach. After an adventurous afternoon of whale-watching, we’ll be ready for a hearty dinner and sound night’s sleep. (Hotel, B, L, D)
Day 5 - Transfer day (Loreto to Cabo San Lucas)
We depart for La Paz after breakfast. The well-paved road winds through grabens and breccias, faults and folds that delight geologists. (Graben is German for trench, a depressed block of land between parallel faults; breccia is like a chocolate chip cookie, with rock fragments cemented in a matrix.) Botanists note palo verde and bean trees, and cacti that go from tall cardon to creeping devil. Bird-watchers are rewarded by abundant species, from caracaras, shrikes and vultures to hummingbirds and Gila woodpeckers.
Day 6 - Humpback whale watching in Cabo San Lucas
Time for humpbacks! We’ll eat breakfast and jump in our zodiacs for an exciting day of whale watching. Exuberant humpbacks give us quite a show, slapping their long white flippers –longest in the animal world—and exploding into a burst of white spray when they breach. We’ll go back out after lunch, and then wind up our expedition with a free afternoon and evening in the famous party city of Cabo San Lucas. (Hotel, B, L)
Day 7 - Departure from Cabo San Lucas
As we fly out from Cabo San Lucas, we marvel at the dramatic rock formations of Land’s End, pointing to the playground of the humpback whales. (There’s also an option to return to Loreto –we can arrange it for you at an additional fee.)
Price per Adult / Price per Child
High-speed zodiacs for blue and humpack whale watching, wooden skiffs for gray whale watching; includes one-way ground transportation from Cabo San Lucas to Loreto (or vice versa) in comfortable, air-conditioned vans. Airport transfers are also included.
5 nights hotel accommodation and cabana accommodation on night in San Ignacio. Hotel in Cabo San Lucas: San Angel Suites; Hotel in Loreto: Hotel Angra.
Price does not include airfares, additional hotel stays, ground transportation back to Cabo San Lucas from Loreto (or vice versa), USD 30 park fee, or gratuities.
Other Necessary Information
Park Fee: USD 30 pp. Optional one-way ground transfer from Loreto to Cabo San Lucas, or vice versa: USD 110 for groups of 4 persons or more; USD 150 for groups of less than 3 persons.
- Distintivo M for Tourism Quality & Best Practices
- 2001 Certificate of Recognition, Project AWARE for "Saving a humpback whale from a fishing net"
Our guide was the "whale whisperer"
We had an incredible time whale watching! Our guide was the “whale whisperer” and made our experience truly unforgettable. Having the opportunity to learn about these magnificent creatures while watching them in their natural habitat from only a few feet away was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our family. We would recommend this excursion; it is a must-see when you are in Los Cabos!
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