Witness and interact with the friendly California Gray Whale on this incredible adventure set right in the heart of Baja's gray whale territory: Magdalena Bay.
Magdalena Bay, a chain of lagoons protected by barrier islands, provides a favored sanctuary and winter nursery for the gray whales that travel over 5,000 miles from the Bering Strait to Baja. From January through March, pods of gray whales mate, raise their young and play in Baja's warm, sheltered waters. Baja Unbound offers an exclusive adventure as only we have permission to camp on the island so near to the calving grounds.
Watch these impressive, friendly whales as they breach, spy-hop, and fluke--and occasionally, you may reach down and actually touch these sociable giants. Spotting whales is a guarantee on these tours, so you don't have to keep your eyes peeled; instead, find yourself immersed in their world.
When you're not on the water doing some whale watching, explore Magdalena Bay's incredible ecosystem, where colorful desert flora and mangrove-hedged estauries dot the arid stretches of sand dunes. Enjoy dune hiking, birding throughout mangrove channels and beachcombing.
Our 3 and 4-day Magdalena Bay Whale Watching tours include camping at our exclusive safari-style basecamp set on a secluded beach. With the highest concentration of Baja gray whales right offshore, there's no better place to witness the gray whales as they play.
NOTE: Day zero is your arrival day to Baja. This itinerary can be run from either Loreto or LaPaz. Please inquire with an Adventure Consultant for additional details. *An additional $100 per person transportation fee will be added for all tours out of La Paz.
Add an extention and fly in a day early for a snorkel and skiff tour in the Sea of Cortez! Keep in mind that Baja's gray whale lagoons are protected by the government, and so you may only whale watch with a licensed tour operator like Baja Unbound.
Images & Videos
Land at the Loreto airport and take a short ride to your hotel for the evening. After checking in, set out to explore the historic town of Loreto, relax by the pool and soak up the Baja sun or stroll down the malecon. After, meet with your guides and fellow guests for a orientation meeting.
Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay
After breakfast, depart for a 2-hour drive to Magdalena Bay's Puerto Lopez Mateos. Your whale watching adventure beings upon arrival--and you might even be able to spot passing whales from the dock. We explore the bay and enjoy our first meet and greet with the whales before we are ferried to our exclusive Magdalena Bay basecamp situated on a secluded barrier island.
Once we've settled into our camp, enjoy a delicious lunch prepared for you. Then spend your afternoon hiking across wind-swept dunes, taking in the arid landscape and desert flora. Reach camp by sunset just in time for happy hour and a fresh, healthy dinner under Baja's balmy skies.
Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay
Wake to the fresh scent of coffee and tea, and possibly fit in an early morning whale-watching session from the beach while the guides prepare your hot breakfast. Today is filled with beachcombing, swimming, hikes through the island's dunes and, of course, plenty of whale watching.
We take out our motorized skiff in the morning and afternoon for two sessions of whale watching and close encounters with the friendly gray whales. We also have the opportunity to explore the mangrove-lined estuaries filled with flitting birds. With our naturalist guides' studies in marine biology, your time whale watching and birding is both informative and entertaining.
Return to Loreto
After breakfast, we set out for one last morning whale watching session before returning by panga to Puerto Lopez Mateos.
Take in the bustling port and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at a favorite local restaurant before our return trip to Loreto. Settle into your hotel room, relax, or finish exploring Loreto before a no-host farewell dinner with your group and guides.
We have no planned activities for today--depart whenever you wish!
Please note: The 4-day Magdalena Bay itinerary follows the same schedule as the 3-day itinerary, but with one additional day of whale watching and camping. The first and last day remain arrival and departure days.
Dates & Rates
All above dates depart from Loreto Only unless otherwise noted.
Please Note: This tour involves transportation to and from Loreto or LaPaz to the whale camp at Magdalena Bay. An additional transportation fee of $100 will be added to any Whale Camp trip running in LaPaz. Guests requesting a trip arriving in LaPaz and departing in Loreto (or vice versa), if the option is available, may also be subject to additional fees for transportation. Please discuss this with our office staff if it is something you are 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 limiited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome yout o call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations. You will be sent a pre-trip e-mail wiht the 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: Solo travelers will typically have their own tent at whale camp, 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.
- Full services of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional naturalists and bi-lingual guides
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- All transportation while on tour
- Camping equipment
- Whale watching sessions by Panga
- All National Parks & Biosphere Reserve access fees required by itinerary
Tour Does Not Include:
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Items of a personal nature
- Hotel before and after the tour as noted on the itinerary
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: All camping equipment, 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 and after the tour, all National Parks & Biosphere Reserve access fees, gratuities, and items of a personal nature.
Visit this page for a better understanding of which whale watching tour is best for you: San Ignacio Lagoon vs Magdalena Bay.
We design our wilderness adventures to provide you with the best whale encounters imaginable. Magdalena Bay is a whale-watchers' paradise and we GUARANTEE gray whale sightings on this tour! The whales migrate down from their Alaskan home waters to calve in Magdalena Bay from January through mid-March, so this is the only window to see them in Baja.
You will spend two-hour sessions on the water in motorized skiffs (called pangas) whale watching. Be ready to go immediately when the boat arrives to maximize your time out whale watching, as the 2-hour session starts promptly.
All whale watching excursions are in open fiberglass 22-foot motorized boats called “pangas” that hold a maximum of six passengers each, plus a guide and driver. Each panga is equipped with life jackets, radio, first aid kit, and piloted by an experienced, government-licensed Mexican “pangero” who will allow us safe and proximate viewing of the California Gray Whale.
No kayaks or private boats are allowed in the nursery lagoons of Baja’s Pacific Coast including San Ignacio. Only licensed Mexican whale watching boats are allowed in the lagoons when the whales are present.
It is important to understand that this is a camping trip and we want to be sure that you are prepared, both mentally and physically, for the challenges it will present, and have clear expectations about the trip. During the day, we'll spend two hour sessions on the water in motorized skiffs (called pangas) whale watching. While whale watching from a boat is not strenuous and the water is usually calm, the bay can be choppy when it is windy, so if you are susceptible to seasickness, bring medicine or whatever you need. The hiking could best be described as leisurely. We do require that anyone over 70 or with any health or weight concerns consult us before signing up to make sure you are up to fully participating.
A 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.
We have a spacious 30’ wide dome tent that serves as an evening gathering space if it’s too cool or rainy outside (rare) or just a place to get out of the sun during the day. There are also miles of beach and sand dunes to explore!
Our tents are 8’ x 12’ and about 7’ tall. They are made of canvas and have a nice big window on one side. They are equipped with cots, comfortable sleeping pads, sleeping bags and pillows.
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 Baja packing 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.
To keep our group size small and our impact minimal, we typically limit our tours to 14 people or less. Our standard minimum to confirm a departure is 4 guests for our Magdalena Bay whale watching tour.
Solo travelers will typically have their own tent at whale camp, 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.
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
You can leave your luggage at your hotel while you are on tour. We recommend getting a luggage lock if you are leaving any electronics in the bags. We’ve never had any issues with guests leaving their bags at the hotel but it’s always better to be safe just in case. Please confirm this with your hotel at check in.
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 a confirmed 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.
If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify ROW Sea Kayak Adventures in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately. If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of deposit. Deposits are not refundable. If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded. If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself. Please understand that once you've signed up, we are unable to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups. Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason we strongly recommend you consider purchasing a Travel Protection Plan to protect your vacation investment.
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.