Baja whale watching combined with Sea of Cortez kayaking in Loreto makes this tour a guest favorite. One guest described it as, "It's hands-down one of the most incredible wildlife encounters I've ever had. As I pet a massive gray whale mother, I somehow began to understand my insignificant place in this world. It's humbling and thrilling at the same time."
Baja whale watching allows you to get up close and personal with gorgeous gray whales in Magdalena Bay's calving lagoon. You are so close, you can literally pet whales as they bob their head up out of the water to say hello. By kayak, cross the waters of the Baja Peninsula alongside dolphins, sea lions and more whales! It's an unforgettable kayak tour as you see these sea animals from a much closer distance than doing it aboard a boat. Embrace the opportunity to snorkel the warm, blue-green waters of pocket coves with sea lions and colorful fish.
Note: This itinerary can depart from either Loreto or LaPaz Tour from La Paz have an added $100 per person transportation fee.
As the whales migrate north to arctic waters, we also move our whale watching tours north from Magdalena Bay to San Ignacio Lagoon. This is one of the three prime whale watching areas in Baja, with several hundred whales visiting each winter. While not as close to Loreto as our Magdalena Bay whale camp, traveling to San Ignacio gives us the opportunity to have the powerful experience of getting up close to the gray whales for another month into the spring. To get to San Igancio Lagoon, we drive north from Loreto to the historic French mining town of Santa Rosalia (where we visit a church designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel tower fame) and on to the historic Spanish mission town of San Ignacio. From here it's another hour to the bay and our accommodations. This trip is offered as a stand-alone whale watching tour, or better yet, combined with our 5 days of sea kayaking in the Islands of Loreto.
Inquire with your Adventure Consultant to discuss details on the San Ignacio based itinerary!
Images & Videos
Arrive in Loreto or La Paz
After checking into your hotel (Not included in trip cost), you're on your own for sightseeing until the orientation meeting in the Hacienda Suites hotel lobby, where your guides will answer questions and review the morning plan.
Whale Camp at Magdelena Bay
It's time for your wonderful whale watching experience at Magdalena Bay. Located off of Baja California's west coast, it is the wintering grounds of the magnificent gray whale. Imagine the excitement you'll feel getting closer than the average human to these incredible creatures. You get two great nights of camping and three days of whale watching.
All meals, camping gear and daily rides to view whales are conveniently included, as well as transport over to the Pacific side of the peninsula. Some of your guides may even be marine biologists. Now that you've seen the whales, you just might be inspired to save them! You return to Loreto or LaPaz at the end of your stay at camp for a good night's sleep in the hotel after an orientation meeting for your kayak trip.
Sea Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez
Time to go kayaking! After a thorough safety orientation, launch the kayaks and head out for five days and four nights of camping on the islands in the Sea of Cortez. Enjoy sunrises and sunsets that reinvent the rainbow! In between, you're be busy discovering the hidden secrets of the cliffs and coves. Besides some killer kayaking, other activities include superb snorkeling, swell swimming and terrific tide pooling. You could also choose to just walk the pristine beaches, or join us on a hike for visually rich views of the surrounding desert area.
You paddle about three or four hours per day if conditions allow, but mother nature ultimately determines your routes and time on the water. On your final day of kayaking, return to the hotel in the early afternoon with plenty of time to clean up before a farewell dinner with your guides and group.
It's sad to say good-bye the lovely Baja, but at least you have a host of wonderful memories to take with you! Extend your holiday if eight days just isn't enough. There are day tour and add-on options aplenty! You can go whale watching in the Sea of Cortez off Loreto to look for blue and fin whales, snorkel with whale sharks in La Paz, hike a canyon, or learn about the fascinating desert culture of Baja.
For similar but shorter trips, consider the following options:
- 3x3 Combo: 3 days kayaking plus 3 days at our whale camp in Magdalena Bay - our most popular trip!
- Just the whale camp! We are delighted to organize whale camp only itineraries without kayaking.
Please note: We will always do our best to make good on the schedule listed above. However, the included itinerary may be subject to adjustments due to reasons beyond our control (e.g., wind, waves, inclement weather). Please note that the kayaking section of your tour may precede the whale watching.
Dates & Rates
6-Day, 3x3 Tours depart out of Loreto only.
8-Day, 3x5 Mag Bay Tour depart from Loreto or La Paz. ($100 additional transportation cost on La Paz Departures)
San Ignacio tours depart from Loreto and runs Mid March to end of April.
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 $100 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.
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.
Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wish to have your own hotel room (or we are unable to pair you up with another solo traveler), an additional single supplement of $85 USD for Loreto-based combos and $105 USD for La Paz-based combos is required. Solo travelers will always be provided with a single tent while kayaking, but may be asked to share a large stand-up canvas tent with another guest at Magdalena Bay Whale Camp.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. Please inquire at time of booking if you have any questions.
Tour Does Not Include:
FAQ & More
Please check out our Transportation Guide for our recommendations on how to get to Loreto.
Airport transfers are not included in your tour package price.
Yes, all of our tour pricing is in US Dollars.
Packages Include: Hotel accommodations in between activites Only, all paddling and camping equipment, all snorkeling gear, all meals and beverages once the tour begins,bi-lingual certified Guides and the full service of our Adventure Consultants. Dates provided reflect your arrival date; all packages include an arrival and departure day.
Packages do not Include: Airfare, transportation to and from airport, Hotel accommodations Before & After activities, gratuities, $25 National Parks & Biosphere Reserves access fees required by itinerary, and items of a personal nature.
Our Combo tours are offered late January through mid-March, when the gray whales are present in Magdalena Bay to calve. We GUARANTEE gray whale sightings on our combo tours! This time of year in Baja can have cooler days (75-80*F/23-27*C) and a chance of wind, with temperatures rising in late February and March. As an added bonus to spring trips, the islands of Loreto National Marine Park, located in the Sea of Cortez (where you will kayak), are home for 6 different species of whales including Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Bryde's and Pilot whales. They swim up into the Sea of Cortez from late January through April. There are few other places that harbor such a concentration and diversity of whales.
For all of our Baja tours we use high quality, fiberglass kayaks, made by Seward. The majority of our fleet is comprised of tandems, as these boats offer the greatest stability, speed, and ease of paddling. There are typically a small number of single kayaks present on the tour, which will be utilized by the guides. Depending on weather conditions, and interest, they may allow guests to rotate into singles; however this will be at the guide's' discretion based on safety and the paddling objectives for the day. We also have a limited number of solo kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost) for paddlers who have ocean kayaking experience.
Yes, if at any time a guest does not want to paddle they are welcome to ride in the panga instead.
We have single kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost of $100) for paddlers who have previous ocean paddling experience. If you would like to reserve a single kayak for your trip you will need to contact our Adventure Consultants to add this to your reservation and provide a summary of your ocean paddling experience.
When stopping at shore, you should be able to climb in and out of the kayaks on your own. They will be floating in calf-deep water. Your guides are happy to assist, but balance and limberness are required. When you get to your evening campsite, all group members must to be able to help carry the kayaks above the high tide line, in teams of 6-8, before the group disperses. You will change camp sites almost every night, but may have a layover day. Camp sites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour.
During the kayaking portion of the tour, you will paddle to a new campsite almost every day but may have a layover day. Campsites are assigned by the National Park Service immediately prior to the tour. We endeavor to secure the very best campsites for the natural beauty and amenities of the area. Your guides will give a demonstration of how to set up and take down your provided dome tent. We also will provide you with a sleeping bag, liner sheet, pillow and an inflatable thermarest sleeping pad. There will be a kitchen/dining area and shade tarps where you can sit back and relax. While kayaking, we can only carry enough fresh water for drinking and cooking. There are no fresh water sources on most of the coastline and islands we visit. You can clean up with saltwater and soap off above the high tide line, or bring disposable shower wipes. A porta potty will fit into a hatch of the kayak or on the panga support boat, and will be transported to each campsite and set into a sheltered area for solid waste. Liquid waste can be expelled below the high tide line, or in a separate porta-potty bucket.
While on the whale watching portion of the tour, you will stay at our exclusive base camp located on a sand-dune barriers island. Our whale camp has pre-assembled 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.
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 are interested in more specific information, check out our general Bajapacking list here! 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!
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.
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.
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included hotel nights. Solo travelers who would like their own single hotel room can pay a single supplement (see "Dates & Rates" above for the single supplement price for this tour), or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our hotel costs. Solo travelers will always have their own tent during kayaking tours, and will typically have their own tent at whale camp, both 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.
A deposit of $500 per person is required within 10 days of your reservation to hold your spaces. If the tour you are signing up for is activities departure your deposit is non-refundable. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance to protect your vacation investment. US residents may purchase travel insurance directly through ROW Sea Kayak Adventures offered by Travel Insured International.
Full payment is due 60 days prior to the launch date, as indicated on your invoice. Due to the high demand for these trips, please be sure to pay your balance on time so as to not jeopardize your reservation. Your final payment must be paid by check or bank draft in US funds. Alternatively, you may pay your final balance with a credit card, but a 3% administrative fee will be added.