March 14 to
March 22, 2024
It was just about 45 years ago, that Francisco "Pachico" Mayoral, a fisherman in San Ignacio, was the first to experience a grey whale seeking human interaction. Pachico was fishing in the Lagoon and a grey whale leaned its head on the side of his 18 foot boat, and looked him straight in the eye. Pachico always insisted the huge whale "wanted to be friends".
When Pachico returned to his village and told his story, everyone thought he was crazy. This was the very same Lagoon where whales were slaughtered for their oil, just 100 years ago! But, they found that the whales did want to be friends! Since then, this remote Lagoon has become the place in the world for us to make contact with these huge mammals (49 feet and 40 tons) we now call "friendlies".
Two nights before and after our excursion to the Lagoon, we'll be in Loreto, a historic town on the Sea of Cortez; the perfect place from which to explore the surrounding area! Our hotel is on the beach at the end of the beautiful Malecon, and close to the historic Plaza and church. Our first full day, we'll slow down to "Baja time" by going to one of the islands in the protected marine park in front of Loreto, relaxing, snorkeling in the tranquil, turquoise waters, and having a picnic.
My only bucket list trip was to go to Mexico and interact with the whales. Everything about this trip was amazing and far exceeded my hopes. The inn and the beautiful time in Loreto was wonderful. Our diverse group of travelers, being led by Deb, bonded and shared the joy and wonder. But of course the experience I will carry deepest in my heart are the whales. Everyday we would be able to pet and some days even kiss the baby whales. Sometimes our boat was surrounded by eight whales. The Whale Camp and staff were amazing. I will carry this memory forever in my heart. Thank you Deb!"
~Allis McLaughlin, Portland, Oregon
To get to the Lagoon, we drive through the palm oasis village of San Ignacio, situated on one of the only year-round rivers in all of Baja. We will stay one night in this peaceful town, near the Mision de San Ignacio Kadakaaman, built in the early 1700's, and the Plaza where we can sit and watch the world go by under the huge trees called "the great Laurels of India."
The next morning, we'll drive out to the remote, protected Lagoon that stretches 16 miles into the desert from the Pacific Ocean, and is 5 miles wide. We will stay right on the beach of the Lagoon in small cabins for 4 days/3 nights and go out in small "pangas" every day to spend time with these beautiful creatures. This is one of the only places in the world I have ever visited that is still the same as it was 25 years ago, when I first encountered gray whales here. It has been protected all this time, however, it has been threatened with development over these years.
Because we are at the Lagoon towards the end of the migratory season, the females will be the only whales there, with their young. Often, they will bring a calf to our small boats to be petted, scratched, and even kissed. On some occasions, a whale might feel so comfortable with us, that she will ask for her baleen to be scratched. Above is a photo I took during one of our last adventures. You can see she is quite a bit longer than our panga.
We'll have time to explore the mangroves and the long, untouched beaches that have been protected here for many years, and still remain pristine. There are a great number of birds here, and osprey nests everywhere!
After our time with the whales, we'll return to Loreto for a a "free day" to hike in the Sierra de las Giganta mountains, kayak, snorkel, or just share our great experiences with the friendly gray whales!
This adventure is limited to 10 guests only.
Price: $2695 USD includes: 8 nights lodging (double occupancy), all breakfasts, all meals while at the eco-camp with the whales, ground transportation between Loreto and San Ignacio Lagoon, visit to the great salt lake near the lagoon, excursions to see the whales, a day of snorkeling/lunch at one of the islands in the Sea of Cortez off Loreto, experienced hosts, and professional guides.
Not included: Roundtrip transportation to Loreto before and after the event ~ Meals en route or in Loreto, or dinner in San Ignacio ~ Tips to guides ~ personal items.
Space is limited. To reserve your place with a $800 non-refundable deposit, please click on the green button below that will take you to a secure site.