Pacific side of the Baja peninsula is probably most famous for one of it's
repeat visitors, rather than it's numerous geographic traits or any cultural attributes. The magnificent gray whale has known about the
peaceful lagoons along the Pacific coast of southern Baja for centuries and is, to this
day, a frequent visitor to the waters of Baja. The journey to Baja is
a long one for the gray whales, It is 10,000 mile round trip from their summer home in
the Arctic sea. The whales do not seem to mind, as they make this
journey to Baja year after year.
Pacific side of Baja, especially in the north, has a much milder climate
than the rest of the peninsula. The Pacific currents and the winds
that come off of the ocean tend to keep the Pacific side much cooler than
the Sea of Cortez side. Much of the northern Pacific side of the peninsula has
a climate like that of Southern California, and that can be a welcome relief
to travelers in the hot summer months, especially if they are traveling from the southern part of
along the Pacific coast is one of the main tourist attractions and is good
to great along the
entire coast of Baja, from Ensenada in the north, all the way to Cabo San
Lucas on the southern tip of the peninsula. Many of the best fishing
areas of the central Pacific coast are somewhat difficult to get to for the
average tourist, unless they are driving.
produced by swells that were born deep in the southern hemisphere provide
excellent surf along the entire Baja coast. Surfers from all over Baja
and southern California head for their favorite break at the first word of a
swell. Surfers today have a great advantage over previous generations
as they can look on the Internet for the current conditions and reports.
This advantage lets them drive to almost anywhere in Baja and get there just as the swell
is hitting their favorite beach.
Guerrero Negro area, known for it's cool to cold climate, is the northernmost stop
for the migrating gray whales. Guerrero Negro is also home to the
world's largest producer of salt. Acre upon acre is devoted to salt
production, and a short drive west of town will reveal hundreds of
evaporating ponds and mountains of salt ready to be loaded onto ships.
separate lagoons of Laguna Guerrero Negro and Laguna Ojo de Liebre (aka
Scammon's Lagoon) are where the whales come to give birth, teach their
babies to swim and let the young get strong enough for their 5000 mile
return trip to the Arctic sea. While all of this is taking place
these incredible mammals find time to interact with humans. Older
whales, with their babies in tow, will swim right up to the pangas, rub the
boat and let you pet them, young or old, it makes no difference. On
one trip we
had one of our group who was able to kiss a whale from the panga. This
happen in Baja!
further south is another lagoon that is more remote than the others. Laguna San Ignacio
opens to the Pacific but there is no development of any kind nearby.
There are a few eco-tourism camps on the shore, set up for the purpose of
whale watching. These camps are built to have a very small
impact on the local environment. This shallow bay is thought to have the
friendliest whales in Baja.
Ignacio is forty miles (of pretty bad road) from the small town of San Ignacio,
where you can arrange one day tours or overnight stays at one of the
eco-camps on the shore of Laguna San Ignacio. Be sure to book a tour
which includes whale watching from a panga. You can watch the whales
from shore, but if you came this far to see these magnificent creatures you
will surely want to get really close. Be sure to remember your camera
and take plenty of pictures, as this may be the only time you will ever be
this close to these magnificent creatures.
again is Puerto López Mateos, which sits on the northern end of Bahía
Magdalena. Puerto López Mateos is a small town devoted almost entirely
to whale watching. There is also some fishing activity, but the whales
are the big attraction. There is a tourist dock for the renting of pangas to take
you whale watching. This is the best place to see the whales from shore
as the lagoon is rather narrow here.
Magdalena is the southernmost location that the gray whales visit to give birth.
A series of canals and estuaries stretch along the coast for over one
hundred miles. This bay is unique, because it is so long with so many
entrances and it supports one of the richest marine environments in southern
Baja. Protected from the mighty Pacific by a string of barrier islands
the bay at times will seem to be overflowing with gray whales. Whale
watching tours are readily available in San Carlos.
beautiful bay is a great place for windsurfers and kayakers, with near
perfect conditions much of the year. The estuaries, shallow bays and
mangroves support an overly abundant marine eco-system. Bird watching
is becoming very popular in Mag Bay.
San Carlos, a working port where agricultural
products and fish are shipped out of the area, is located within the lagoon.
San Carlos has a few tourist facilities. A boat ramp, a couple of
hotels, restaurants, a gas station taco stands, limited supplies and there
are a couple of rather basic camping facilities.
The entire Pacific
coast of Baja, from Ensenada south to Cabo San Lucas, is dotted with
deserted beaches and small fish (or lobster/abalone) camps. These
locations make for safe places to camp, with great eats close by that can
usually be bought for next to nothing. There are long stretches of
beach where the surf fishing is spectacular. You will find more than a
few beaches in Baja where there is an over abundance of clams at low tide.
Plus, giant sand dunes that seem to have no end, tide pools to explore,
small towns and villages with great fish tacos and numerous surf spots with
Pacific side of Baja is home to countless places to encounter world class
adventure! You just have to find the time and have
a vehicle that is capable of Baja torture. If you have the first two items needed, then all you need
is the right frame of mind for a great adventure.
San Juanico - Scorpion Bay
Cabo San Lucas
The Whales of Baja
Bahía Magdalena (aka Mag Bay)
Cabo San Lucas Videos
Todos Santos Videos
Whale Watching Videos
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