WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SEE GRAY WHALES?
Each month has it’s unique behaviors and activities.
In January we see pregnant females often accompanied by what may be a midwife, whales in labor, birthing, newborn whales, nursing and lots of mating. The pangas have few people on them which is nice!
In February the weather warms up and the calves are getting bigger and the mothers bring them to the pangas to meet us. Early February is nice as there are fewer people on the boats. There is still mating going on, nursing the babies and whale school where the mom teaches her calf swimming skills and survival tactics. We usually have physical contact on all trips in February. Wise to avoid the crowds of Presidents Day Weekend!
In March the calves are bigger so they explore & interact more with the pangas. The whales begin to leave the lagoon for their migration north in mid March. There are whales present until the end of March but not the ones we have relationships with so not all tours have friendly whales the last week of March and the wind increases then too.
HOW MANY WHALES WILL WE SEE
There are dozens of whales right in front of our camp and around the pangas every day no matter what the weather. The peak is in mid February-mid March. We usually have around 1,500-2,000 whales in the lagoon!
HOW CLOSE WILL WE GET
The lagoon is famous for close encounters. Our method is to simply approach a group of whales and wait for them to come to us. They are curious and will approach if interested. Whales who don’t want to be around boats just swim away. They come right up to and under the panga. They turn to look you in the eye and many seem to enjoy being rubbed and scratched. They often play with the boat like a toy by pushing it around or gently lifting it up.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
It can be cool in the morning so dress in layers you can take off when it warms up. A hat or cap to keep the sun off & a waterproof jacket is advisable to protect you from whale spray! Light tennis shoes or water shoes are best in the boat to reduce noise on the bottom of the boat. A plastic bag to protect your camera or phone is handy.
HOW DO THE TOURS WORK?
Our groups meet at our office at Baja Magic(on google maps) in Guerrero Negro. You need to check in to our office the day before your tour to register and pay the balance of your trip and confirm departure times in the morning, which vary day to day depending on weather, tides and groups. We try to get you out during the optimum weather windows.
We have breakfast at our Hacienda Baja Magic and a whale talk, then we take you to the lagoon in our van and you leave your vehicle in our safe compound. It is about a 40 minute ride along the lagoons edge to get to our remote Whale Camp where the pangas leave from. We are at least 2 hours with whales on our naturalist guided tour and then head back to town after the trip. Please remember to bring money to tip your Captain, guide and van driver!
WHERE DO WE STAY?
We work with several hotels in Guerrero Negro which we reserve for you as part of our packages. The hotels here are not fancy hotels but are clean & economical and only a few blocks from our office at the Hacienda Baja Magic. We also have some rooms, a hostel bunkhouse, glamping and camping at our hacienda where the tours leave from.
HOW DO WE GET THERE?
Most people just drive to Guerrero Negro from up north and highway 5 is fantastic and takes a couple hours off the drive from the border.
Some fly into Loreto and rent a car or take a bus to Guerrero Negro.
INFO ON FLYING or DRIVING DOWN
Are you flying into San Diego and renting a car? It is a 12 hour drive down from the border, so many do it in 2 days stopping for the night in El Rosario at Baja Cactus, a really nice hotel too. I can make those reservations for you if you like.
International flights into Loreto There are flights from LA and it is easy to rent a car. It is a beautiful 6 hour drive to Guerrero Negro … or it’s easy to take the bus too after getting off the plane and we can pick you up at the bus depot and take you to the hotel. We also pick you up and deliver you in our vans to and from the hotel so you really dont need a car unless you want to make a vacation out of it and see the sights and stop different place along the way. It is fun to stay a night in Loreto and see the Mission. There is a nice hotel across from the bus terminal and lots of hotels and restaurants.
Alaska Air to Loreto Flight no. 256/244 from LAX to LTO to LAX*. Check Low Fare Calendar on Alaskaair.com Sold Out that day if no flight listed.
WestJet to Loreto from Canada now flying nonstop from Calgary to Loreto! Oct-June 2-3 days per week. Currently Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Aerocalafia flies from Tijuana or La Paz direct to Loreto. Walk or taxi over Border. Tues, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Aeroservicios Guerrero Negro from Ensenada Mon/Wed/Fri to Cedros Island then Guerrero Negro 2,500 pesos (15 kilos baggage, 3 kilos carry-on)
www.asg.com.mx for reservations with credit card
From HERMOSILLO-Guerrero Negro Mon/Thurs/Saturday
From GUAYMAS-GN Monday/Thursday/Saturday
Phone # 615 157 0132 GN 646-152-1800 fills up fast so you need a reservation.
**Or you can charter a plane and depart from Brown’s Field in San Diego
Call FIRST FLIGHT Ruby or Tom at 619-661-6522 (3 passenger Cessna 182 or PA-32 for 5 passengers) tell them Shari from Whale Magic Tours sent you!
Or charter from Ensenada Aero Express- 646-177-2793