For generations, grey whales have been migrating to the warm, shallow waters of San Ignacio Lagoon. Our small group tour provides the chance to witness first hand these beautiful creatures up close.
Located in Mexico’s rugged desert peninsula of Baja California, San Ignacio Lagoon provides a perfect habitat for a grey whale's life cycle. Whales migrate to the lagoon between January and April to mate and calve before the males continue their journey northwards around mid-March to distant feeding grounds.
San Ignacio Lagoon is a favourite location for Wildlife Worldwide and this small group departure will allow you to experience its magic first hand. Our founder, Chris Breen, who has visited the lagoon on several occasions, said after a recent trip: “To see grey whales is one thing, to interact with them is another; to have so many whales around the boat wanting to play with you that you don’t know where to turn, is in a different league altogether. It is probably the greatest whale watching spectacle on Earth.”
We base ourselves for six nights at the outstanding location of San Ignacio Cabanas, providing rustic yet comfortable accommodation overlooking the lagoon. From here, we take twice daily excursions out on to the lagoon, accompanied by expert local guides where we hope to get some incredible encounters with mothers and the calves. Back on dry land and away from our main highlight of the grey whales, the surrounding area is fantastic for birding with a chance to see peregrine falcon, pelican, osprey, Brandt’s and great blue heron along with great and reddish egret.
Day1: Fly to Los Angeles
We take a daytime flight from London to Los Angeles, where we overnight at a hotel near the airport.
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport, 1-night
Day2: Travel to San Ignacio Lagoon
Today is mainly a travel day as we take a flight from Los Angeles to Loreto, Mexico. Upon arrival we transfer by road (approximately six hours) to our base for the next six nights and the setting for our unique encounters with grey whales, San Ignacio Lagoon.
Over the next five days we enjoy two whale watching excursions daily. These excursions allow around an hour and half of contact time with the grey whales to minimise disturbance to these majestic giants, but allows us enough time to experience some incredible and close encounters with them.
Spending time in the lagoon will afford us with a fascinating insight into the life cycle of the grey whale. We see mothers with newborn four-and-a-half metre-long, two tonne babies, along with playful young males passing underneath the hull seeking sexually mature females to continue the lagoon’s circle of life.
Our time spent back on dry land can be as active or as relaxing as you wish. From San Igancio Cabanas there are opportunities to explore the tidal pools in search of octopus, go beachcombing, enjoy some fantastic birdwatching or similar enjoy the view over the lagoon reflecting on our encounters from the excursions. After a stunning sunset over the lagoon, the night sky here is perfect for stargazing with no light pollution to interfere with the huge star-filled sky.
Day8: Travel to Los Angeles & depart
This morning we say goodbye to the grey whales of San Ignacio Lagoon as we transfer by road back to Loreto for our flight to Los Angeles, where we then connect to an overnight flight back to London.
Day9: Arrive UK
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 9 daysfrom £3,895 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 daysfrom £3,195 pp
With over ten years experience of guiding a wide range of wildlife tours worldwide, Lee is also a professional ecologist, naturalist, photographer and writer.
He has spent eight seasons leading natural history cruises around Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, and consequently has a wealth of knowledge about the whales that frequent these waters. Lee has also worked as a bear guide in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, and has a particular passion for the wildlife of Canada’s Pacific Coast.
Helen is a member of the team at Wildlife Worldwide and although much of her travel experience is in Africa, she has discovered a new-found passion for the peninsula of Baja California and its wildlife.
Since co-leading a trip to Baja in 2017, Helen has turned her attention from guiding African safaris to watching cetaceans. With her boundless energy and eye for perfection, Helen will ensure you get the most from your time in this remarkable part of the world.
San Ignacio Lagoon is located in the Mexican province of Baja California and is one of the winter sanctuaries of the eastern Pacific grey whale. Here, males and females congregate looking for mates and newborn calves prepare themselves for the long journey north to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic.
Sat on the shores of San Ignacio lagoon, these cabanas offer rustic yet comfortable wilderness accommodation in an outstanding location. Food is freshly prepared daily by the resident Mexican family, and a naturalist guide is on hand to talk about the lagoon's grey whale migration phenomenon.