This is the trip for all whale enthusiasts!
Baja Unbound's Whale Extravaganza tour offers the ideal panaroma of Baja and its whales for non-kayakers. Settle into our exclusive Magdalena Bay gray whale basecamp for 4 days before setting off for 2 days to explore the great blue whales and fin whales of the Sea of Cortez.
Witness the California gray whales in the sheltered warm waters of their calving lagoons. These friendly whales and their calves often come right up to the boats hoping for a nose scratch, and with our basecamp right nearby you may often wake up to passing whales just offshore. As we cross to the other side of the peninsula, you gaze upon sherbert colored mountains looming over the turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez within thevThe Loreto Bay National Marine Park. This is where the massive blue whales come to play near the shore--a rare opportunity.
If you're hoping to fit in some paddle time along with some whale watching, check out our Baja Whale Camp & Kayak tour.
- Up close encounters with California Gray Whales
- A chance to glimpse the great blue whale--the largest animal ever found on planet Earth!
- Camping & hiking in wind-swept dunes
Images & Videos
Arrive in Loreto
Fly into Loreto before catching a cab to your hotel. Settle in before setting off to explore the sights of historic Loreto. Visit the impressive Mission, explore the bustle and wares of the local market and enjoy your first authentic Mexican dinner. Later, meet your guides and fellow guests at the evening orientation. The adventure begins tomorrow!
Blue & Fin Whale Watching Day Tour
Rise early and enjoy an early breakfast before meeting with the rest of the crew at the Loreto Marina. We spend the day cruising the Sea of Cortez, watching for blue whales surfing the waters of Loreto Bay National Marine Park. These massive creatures--easily 100-feet long--sometimes surface near your boat, or you can spot their blow reaching 25 feet high into the sky. These whales are usually deep water creatures, so enjoy this rare encouter.
Lookout for humpback whales and fin whales that also cruise these waters, alongside dolphins and the other spectacular Baja marine life. We spend most of the day out on the water with a break for a picnic lunch surrounded by nature.
Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay
Meet up with the group after breakfast and then travel across the peninsula to the quaint seaside town of Puerto Lopez Mateos on Magdalena Bay.
Baja Unbound's exclusive Magdalena Bay basecamp located on a sandy barrier island at the heart of grey whale activity, lets you explore the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival, settle in and then set off in a skiff for two hours of whale watching. Break for lunch before stretching your legs on a hike across the surrounding wind-swept dune. Return to camp for appetizers and a fresh, delicious dinner under Baja's skies.
Whale Watching in Magdalena Bay
We fill our days with plenty whale watching in Magdalena Bay, taking a trip twice a day to enjoy the sights as they play and the occasional visitor to our skiff. When you're not on the water, enjoy all the adventures Baja has to offer: combing beaches, birding throughout mangrove-lined estuaries, hiking sand dunes, swimming, snorkeling, and soaking in the sun. Each day, enjoy freshly prepared food with happy hours, hor do'oeuvres and fresh coffee and tea every morning. It's camping in comfort with the relaxing sound of waves and whales breathing nearby.
Return to Loreto
Wake one final time to the sight of baby whales playing right off the shore. After breakfast, enjoy one last whale watching excursion before returning to Puerto Lopez Mateo for lunch. After, you're transported back to Loreto, where you settle into your hotel and enjoy a no-host farewell dinner with your duides and fellow travelers before bed.
Fit in one last breakfast and possibly some more exploration of Loreto before catching your return flight home. Happy travels!
Dates & Rates
2020 Dates and Rates Coming Soon!
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 naturalist and bi-lingual guides
- All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary
- All transportation while on tour
- Camping equipment
- All National Parks & Biosphere Reserve access fees required by itinerary
- Whale watching sessions by Panga
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Items of a personal nature
- Hotel before and after the tour (and between activities when dictated by the itinerary)
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.
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, Hotels before and after your tour, National Park fees, gratuities, and items of a personal nature.
On our gray whale base camp tours, we GUARANTEE whale sightings. These tours offer one of the most spectacular, up-close encounters for wild whales on the planet, as these gray whales have become "friendly" and curious towards humans. With 4 days and 3 nights at camp, surrounded by whales in the lagoon and visiting them respectfully by skiff, you will have a unique opportunity to interact with these gentle giants. When you visit the Sea of Cortez for your snorkel tour and Blue & Fin Whale tour, you will be taken by panga throughout the Loreto Bay National Marine Park. The channel between the islands that make up this Park is called the "Blue Whale Corridor" due to their relative frequency in this area. Blue whales are typically pelagic (deep ocean) animals, so the Sea of Cortez offers a rare opportunity for humans to glimpse them. Considering that there are fewer than 10,000 blue whales alive (less than 5% of their pre-whaling numbers), the regularity we see them in Baja February-April is astonishing. However, they are often solo travelers and their patterns are yet unknown, so they are not always within motorboat distance of Loreto. If you don't see a blue whale, you have a high likelihood of encountering the second largest animal on Earth, the wonderful fin whale, as well as other whales such as humpbacks. Dolphins are also frequent sightings in the Sea of Cortez.
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.
We 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.
Please check out this great website Weather Underground for temperature averages in Baja.
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.
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 at check in time.
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.
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.