WHALE WATCHING IN THE SAN IGNACIO LAGOON
San Ignacio Whale Watching Base-Camp
Kitchen, Base-Camp San Ignacio
PRICE: $3,440 (5 Days and 4 Nights)
Single Suplement - $750
Winter Trip Dates 2020
(Feb. 7 - 11) (Feb. 11 - 15) (Feb. 15 - 19)
(Feb. 19 - 23) (Feb. 23 - 27) (Feb. 27 - Mar. 2)
(Mar. 2 - 6) (Mar. 6 - 10) (Mar. 10 - 14) (Mar. 14 - 18)
(Mar. 18 - 22) (Mar. 22 - 26) (Mar. 26 - 30)
INCLUDES: Ground transfer from hotel in San Diego to air field on day 1 and return on day 5.
Roundtrip charter flight from nearby San Diego to San Ignacio lagoon
Catered camping on nights 1-4; snack/L/D on day 1, B/L/D on days 2-4 and B/L on day 5.
Delicious Mexican food, happy hour every day (with soft & alcoholic beverages).
Comfortable safari-style walk-in tent with cots, sleeping pad, sleeping bag with clean liner and pillow.
Clean bathroom facilities & solar heated showers available.
English-speaking knowledgeable & caring guides. Open-deck motor-boat & boat operator. 2 whale watching excursions per day.
EXCLUDES: Meals in San Diego. Hotel nights in San Diego before the trip and on the evening of Day 5. $30 Conservation Fee (this covers the use of Mexico's Protected Marine Parks in Baja).
LOCATION: The spectacular annual migration of Gray whales, destined for the three shallow lagoons on the Pacific coast of Baja, arrives in January each year.
San Ignacio Lagoon, the most remote of the three, lies midway between Magdalena Bay to the south, and Scammon's Lagoon to the north. Click here to see a map of Baja
Surrounded by low dunes and mangrove lined estuaries, San Ignacio Lagoon provides a perfect winter home for hundreds of Gray whales, to give birth and nurse their offspring.
San Ignacio lagoon is also a rich, natural aviary. In between whale watching excursions you can bird watch the mangrove estuaries, or comb the peaceful shoreline to discover remnants of the sea.
The lagoon is a "marine protected area" and, was recently designated a World Heritage Site.
The base-camp is located at water's edge, at the historic "La Frederia" site, where presumably Scammons whalers made their seasonal camps in the 1850s.
Twice-daily skiff rides deliver you to the whale viewing area, where you'll observe these gentle giants rolling, breaching, and tending their young.
The base-campp is fully catered and features safari-style tents with cots, and solar-heated showers, You can enjoy happy hour each evening, while delicious food with a Mexican flare is freshly prepared, and served in the spacious palapa lounge.
There's also plenty of down time to use our mountain bikes, walk the salt flats or, bird watch with a friendly guide.
THE WHALES, especially the babies (called calves), are curious and very friendly creatures.
On numerous occasions the cows gently push their calves towards our boats, seemingly to introduce them.
Once contact is established, the calves enjoy interacting with people, nudging the boat and popping their head out of the water, allowing the stretched hands to touch and caress.
All this happens while the mother lazily and unconcerned, suns herself around the boat. Sometimes the mother herself comes close to get some attention.
It’s truly amazing. One may be concerned about their shear size (up to 45 feet) but they are incredibly gentle and aware of their surroundings.
THE BOATS: On these whale watching tours we use 24 ft., well maintained, open-deck motorboats. The size of the boats is ideal for the needed mobility, unobstructed view, and closeness to the water - essential for the quality of this activity.
Each boat has four sitting benches, accommodating three passengers per bench. You can expect 10-12 people on the boat per trip. Life Preservers will be supplied and are mandatory while on the water.
Your professional boat operator will be in permanent contact with your accompanying private guide, and with the shore-base via VHF radio.
NOTE: Upon reserving your whale watching Baja tour, we will send you a “Clothing and What-to-Bring” list. You will also receive an Invoice/Confirmation, a Medical form, a Liability Release form and detailed pre-departure information to help you plan your trip.
TRIP ITINERARY: This is a general itinerary and it is subject to change
DAY 1: SAN DIEGO TO SAN IGNACIO LAGOON.
Today we will transfer by comfortable motor coach from the Hacienda Hotel in San Diego to a nearby air field. After a quick baggage inspection our airplane will take us to the Lagoons landing strip. Flight time is approximately two hours.
Upon arrival, an orientation to camp procedures and assignment of tents will leave you fully prepared to begin your adventure. Time to relax and explore the surroundings or comb the beach before Happy Hour beginning at 5:30 PM, followed by a delicious welcome dinner. (snack, L, D)
DAY 2 to 4: SAN IGNACIO LAGOON BASE CAMP.
On your first full day in camp, you will be fitted with a PFD (life jacket) and waterproof wading boots that you'll use while in camp. After a hearty breakfast (provided in the dining area each morning) and a short safety briefing, it's finally time for your first exciting excursion to see the gray whales!
Each excursion starts with a short, 10-minute skiff ride into the whale-viewing area of the Lagoon, where, for approximately 90 minutes, we can observe the gray whales spy hopping, breaching, and nurturing their young. Each skiff is accompanied by an experienced guide and skiff driver, who can point out the many whale behaviors.
The morning excursion will be followed by lunch, and time to enjoy a walk along the beach, kayaking excursion or just some relaxing time with a book from our camp library.
A return to the whale viewing area in the early afternoon will give you another opportunity to spot more gray whales and their calves.
Following the two whale watching excursions it will be time to relax before our daily happy hour and a buffet-style dinner. After dinner, one of our experienced guides will present a natural history talk about the Baja Peninsula, its local people and the marine wildlife in the Lagoon. (B/L/D daily)
On your last evening, join our Mexican fiesta farewell dinner, where you can dance to Baja folk songs played by local musicians as you create another fond memory.
Day 5: SAN IGNACIO LAGOON TO SAN DIEGO.
After breakfast, we pack and say our good-byes to San Ignacio Lagoon. Mid-morning, we will transfer to the landing strip where you will board the airplane for the return flight to san Diego. Once we land, our chartered bus will be waiting to deliver us back to the hotel. Our arrival at the Hacienda Hotel in San Diego is planned for early evening. We recommend that you schedule your return flight for the following morning in case of any delay. (B/L)