Thursday, April 24, 2014
1-800-616-1943

Gray Whale Watching Base Camp:
Experience one of the most incredible close-up wildlife encounters on the planet from our exclusive base camp situated on a secluded island beach at the very heart of whale activity in Magdalena Bay, one of the major calving lagoons for gray whales. See these magnificent, gentle giants at the height of their calving season from the safety of motor skiffs. Whales guaranteed on our gray whale watching tours! NOTE: First and last days for any Baja tour are arrival and departure days. Fly in a day early for a skiff/snorkel tour in the Sea of Cortez! Click on the BLUE TABS below for more details.
Overview
Duration 5 & 6 day itinerary
Length 3 & 4 days at basecamp
Intensity Beginner to Intermediate
Season late January - mid March
Minimum Age 6
Begins In Loreto, Baja California
Ends In Loreto, Baja California
Airport Loreto - LTO
Wildlife gray whales, bottlenose dolphins, sea birds, mangroves, sand dunes
Details

Magdalena Bay is a series of lagoons sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by low barrier islands and is the world-renowned winter nursery grounds of the California Gray Whale. January through March, hundreds of gray whales mate and bear their young in these protected waters after traveling over 5000 miles from the Bering Strait.

The gray whale lagoons in Baja enjoy strict federal protection, and one can only whale watch with a licensed tour operator. You can watch the whales and their newly born calves up close from the safety of motorized skiffs. Breaching, spy-hopping and fluking, the whales will captivate your attention with their behavior.

You can observe gray whales and discover Magdalena Bay's diverse, fascinating ecosystem of windswept sand dunes, vibrant desert flora and mangrove-lined estuaries. Only Sea Kayak Adventures has exclusive permission to camp on the island. Our five-day Gray Whales of Magdalena Bay whale watching tours include three-days at our safari-style base camp situated on a secluded beach at the center of whale activity. It is the perfect place to see the gray whales as they surface and blow right in front of our camp!

The area around our camp boasts the highest concentration of whales in Baja. Each day motorized skiffs take you out to the deeper waters of the bay, where "friendly whales" swim up to the skiffs for a closer look. On shore your guides will take you dune hiking, beachcombing and birding in mangrove channels - a mecca for migratory shorebirds.

The camp provides all the gear and amenities you need for a comfortable wilderness experience. Your guides will give entertaining, informative presentations on whale natural history. There's also an extensive library with books on whales. Ideal for families with children ages 8-18 and those wishing a shorter, more focused experience with whales.

View a slideshow of our Gray Whale Watching Basecamp. The video above shows a close encounter with a mother gray whale and her calf. Listen to the excitement from a happy customer interacting with a whale calf.

For more adventure, add a day of snorkeling around beautiful Isla Coronado in the Sea of Cortez to your Baja whale watching tour. Observe sea lions on rocks, snorkel, sunbathe, eat a picnic lunch and take a nature hike on this hat-shaped cinder cone island with sandy coves. Approx $140-170/person includes motorboat, driver, guide, snorkeling gear, wetsuit, lunch, guide, park fee.

Vew a video of kayaking in the Sea of Cortez and whale watching in Magdalena Bay.

Gray whale camp gallery

View the photo gallery for the gray whale watching basecamp.

"I’ve traveled widely, and this was one of my most sublime adventures to date. Nothing could exceed the experience of lightly touching a willing gray whale or seeing them spyhopping repeatedly right off our beach campsite."
--Stuart Howard

Trip Highlights:
Having a once-in-a-lifetime experience going eye-to-eye with a friendly gray whale.

Miscellaneous:
A video and DVD of this tour is available. Please call us for a copy.

Awards
PRESS COVERAGE
"This was a great trip and fulfilled all our expectations. We had a great time and the whale watching was superb. Our three guides were the best we have ever had on a trip. They were personable, knowledgeable and friendly. The food was excellent and the happy hour was a welcome addition compared to other companies we have used."
David & Becki Sawyer
Baja's Desert Whales
Availability
Below you will find all available instances of this trip. Place cursor over View Dates to see available departures. Place cursor over the demographic icons to get a brief overview of the demographic group. To print all dates click here.
Title Intensity Departures Adult Youth For Whom?
2014 5-day Whale Camp Beginner View Dates $1,025 $925 Family Friendly Everybody
2014 5-day Whales & Yoga Beginner to Intermediate View Dates $1,075 $995 Everybody
2014 6-day Whale Camp Beginner View Dates $1,125 $1,015 Family Friendly Everybody
2015 5-day Whale Camp Beginner View Dates $1,095 $985 Family Friendly Everybody
2015 6-day Whale Camp Beginner View Dates $1,295 $1,165 Family Friendly Everybody
Getting There

This kayak tour begins and ends in Loreto, Baja. Loreto is easily accessed via a direct flight from Los Angeles, or through other transportation methods on the peninsula.

A complete guide to traveling to Loreto may be found here [.pdf download]

Please call our office at 1-800-616-1943 or 1-208-765-3116 if you have any questions about flights or travel, as we have decades of experience in ensuring our guests have smooth transit to their destinations.  We cannot book flights for you, but a recommendation for a travel agent is located in the guide above.

Awards
PRESS COVERAGE
"This was a great trip and fulfilled all our expectations. We had a great time and the whale watching was superb. Our three guides were the best we have ever had on a trip. They were personable, knowledgeable and friendly. The food was excellent and the happy hour was a welcome addition compared to other companies we have used."
David & Becki Sawyer
Baja's Desert Whales
FAQ

Please review our FAQ section for general questions and details about our Baja kayak tours. See below for specific questions relating to this particular tour.

Are there any physical requirements?
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 on our barrier island, as the terrain is composed of sand dunes and flat sandy beaches. Although most of our group hikes are no longer than one to two hours, there are literally miles of uninhabited, remote beaches to explore.  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.

What is the minimum age limit?
The minimum age for our family whale watching base camp trips is 8. We do make exceptions on occasion, so call us if you think your child is physically capable of participating in this tour.

When is the best time to see whales?
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 late January through mid-March, so this is the only window to see them in Baja. (Blue, fin, humpback, and other whales may be seen on our kayak tours in the Sea of Cortez)

Can I kayak with the gray whales?

No kayaks or private boats are allowed in the nursery lagoons of Baja’s Pacific Coast including Magdalena Bay. Only licensed Mexican whale watching boats are allowed in the lagoons when the whales are present

Awards
PRESS COVERAGE
"This was a great trip and fulfilled all our expectations. We had a great time and the whale watching was superb. Our three guides were the best we have ever had on a trip. They were personable, knowledgeable and friendly. The food was excellent and the happy hour was a welcome addition compared to other companies we have used."
David & Becki Sawyer
Baja's Desert Whales
Itinerary

**Fly in a day early for a skiff/snorkel tour in the Sea of Cortez! $110-$160 per person (depending on group size).

Five-Day Itinerary (for Six-Day tour, just add an extra day at camp)

Day 1: Arrival in Loreto airport. Meet our ground service and transfer to your hotel. Check into pre-assigned rooms (included in trip cost). Pre-trip meeting at the hotel later in evening with your guides.

Day 2: Meet 7:30 AM in hotel, van transportation two hours to the Pacific coast, to Puerto Lopez Mateos on Magdalena Bay. From there we’ll take a short boat ride (15 minutes) across the bay to our base camp on a sandy barrier island located at the heart of whale watching activity, and we’ll go whale watching for two hours in a skiff.  After lunch we’ll settle into camp and later go for a hike across the dunes.

Day 3 (& Day 4 for 6-day tour): Your day is filled with whale watching, hiking along the sand dunes and beachcombing the Pacific beaches. In the morning and afternoon we will take a motorized stiff into the bay for two hours of close encounters with gray whales (included in price), leaving the afternoon free for swimming, dune walking, whale watching from shore and exploring.  We can also lead skiff birding tours into the mangrove areas, or part whale watching, part birding sessions.  Our bilingual naturalist guides include marine biology graduate students from the University of La Paz. Be sure to board the skiff as soon as it arrives, as the clock starts ticking on the strictly 2 hour whale-watching session.

Day 4: Several motorized skiffs will meet us at camp for two hours of whale watching in Boca Soledad before returning to Puerto Lopez Mateos or similar area for lunch and van ride to Loreto.  Evening at hotel (included in tour price).  Farewell dinner with guides (meals in Loreto not included in tour price).

Day 5: You are on your own for transportation to the airport for your flight homeward.  You can elect to take C&C bilingual air-conditioned van service $10 per person or – Spanish speaking taxis are numerous, easily found, and reasonably priced – normally about USD $8 per person.  We strongly recommend you depart for the airport no later than 2 hours prior to your flight departure time, as lines can be long.

Awards
PRESS COVERAGE
"This was a great trip and fulfilled all our expectations. We had a great time and the whale watching was superb. Our three guides were the best we have ever had on a trip. They were personable, knowledgeable and friendly. The food was excellent and the happy hour was a welcome addition compared to other companies we have used."
David & Becki Sawyer
Baja's Desert Whales
Reserve a spot
Please complete the form below to send a request to reserve a spot for this trip. We will review your request and respond to you as soon as possible. Please add any additional notes or comments that we will need to know about your request. This could be anything from specific date requirements to special food allergy information.
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Awards
PRESS COVERAGE
"This was a great trip and fulfilled all our expectations. We had a great time and the whale watching was superb. Our three guides were the best we have ever had on a trip. They were personable, knowledgeable and friendly. The food was excellent and the happy hour was a welcome addition compared to other companies we have used."
David & Becki Sawyer
Baja's Desert Whales
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.
Sea Kayak Adventures