Category Archives: Baja

Trips to the Baja Peninsula

Gray and Blue Whale Watching in BCS

Ellen and I joined friends on a whale watching trip to Baja California Sur, Mexico. We are good friends with four of the couples having met for dinner often and taken outings to the wine country and hiking trips over the past decade (longer for Ellen). The other two couples quickly became friends of ours as well.

The trip was fun. We enjoyed the camaraderie of banter over dinner, good food, and cervesa. We flew into Loreto, Mexico and drove to Puerto San Carlos on Magdalena Bay in two vans. Loreto is surrounded by a mountain range. It took two hours to drive from the Bay of California to Puerto San Carlos on the pacific side. Cyn pointed out that this is a relatively short drive. On last year’s whale watching trip it took six hours to drive north to their destination on the Bay of California!

This is the time of year that the whales calf in the Sea of Cortez. We went to see the mommy and baby whales, both gray and blue.

The two hour drive to Puerto San Carlos went by very quickly and in no time we were settling into our rooms. The rooms at Mar y Arena Eco Hotel are large and tiled with a sliding glass door facing Magdalena Bay. Each casita was two story with one room downstairs and one upstairs with a total of about six casitas in all. For us, the accommodations were quite comfortable though hot water was in short supply.

Two took two full days from sunrise to nearly sunset at Puerto San Carlos. We had a fabulous captain who did not crowd the whales and let them come to us. Sadly most whales didn’t come to us, though a few came close. We did drift over the tail of one gray whale and have some great video of that. We also had a baby swim alongside and we touched the whale.

We then drove back to Loreto for the blue whales. I got terribly sick on the drive back to Loreto. That put me out for two days. Some of our group did go out to see the blue whales. They are huge and the boats would not get close to them. “They are so big, you only see part of them at a time. They look like a huge log on the water”. They’re far less exciting to see than are the gray whales.

I wanted to go fishing from Loreto. Larry and Barb went fishing two days and caught “yellow tail”. Not yellow tail tuna, but another fish that’s pretty good eating. The Giggling Dolphin cooked the fish for our group for a few nights. Had I not been sick, I would have been out fishing too.

This was BIG FUN. Ellen and I will return next year, though we’ll probably opt for the 6 hour drive to the “friendly whales”.