2-DAY MAGDALENA BAY GRAY WHALE VAN TOUR
Each year in October the Gray Whales start their 7.000 miles long migration from their summer feeding grounds near the arctic to their winter mating and calving grounds off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. A total of 3 lagoons are used along this coast by the gray whales to give birth and nurse their young, Magdalena Bay being the most southern of the three. These Lagoons shelter mothers and babies from the rough Pacific Ocean Waters and it’s predators, and provide shallow warm waters giving their young a better chance of survival.
Over a century ago Gray whales were hunted to near extinction in these very lagoons and were known as Devil Fish as they fought viciously to protect their young when attacked. However nowadays, Gray Whales are known as the Friendly Whale as they often approach whale watching boats in these same lagoons.
During our 2-Day Van Tour guests will spend a total of 6 hours whale watching, providing them with the best chance for an up-close and personal encounter with the Gray Whales. Each tour will be led by a Marine Biologist guide, explaining in detail the biology and history of these gentle giants. The guide will also takes photos during the tour, which are provided to our guests free of charge.
Because of it’s location and ecosystem, Magdalena Bay is home to many other species, including dolphins, turtles, many sea and migratory birds. The lagoon is sheltered by the sandy barrier islands of Isla Magdalena and Isla Santa Margarita from the Pacific Ocean where coyotes can be spotted occasionally while whale watching in the bay. The mangrove swamps offer sea birds shelter and food, making it a perfect habitat for them.
If an intimate encounter with mother and baby Gray whales is on your bucket list, you will be sure to love this tour!
Day 1 – The tour departs at 6am from our office in the Cabo San Lucas Marina. From there we start the 6 hour drive up north to Magdalena Bay, during which we pass through Todos Santos, La Paz and Constitucion. Around 12:00 noon we arrive in the small fishing town of San Carlos, check-in to the hotel and get ready for an afternoon of whale watching. Lunch will be enjoyed in a local restaurant, options include fish tacos, quesadillas and other Mexican dishes.
After lunch your guide and captain will take you out on a private panga to find the most receptive gray whales. You will spend a total of 3 hours out on the water, looking for the friendly giants, dolphins and different sea bird species. Your guide share with you information about Magdalena Bay and it’s history related to whaling and whale watching, the marine life species that can be found here and why these lagoons are of such importance to sustain whole ecosystems.
Once returned from the tour, you will have some time to relax, freshen up and spend some free time to explore the village of San Carlos before heading out for a sea food dinner with the rest of the group.
Day 2 – After a Mexican style breakfast at 7am, we will head out for our second whale watch experience. An early start to the day gives us the best opportunity to encounter mother and baby gray whale pairs without other boats around. Giving our guests a very intimate experience.
Around noon we start the drive back to Cabo San Lucas, making short stops along the way to take some photos of the beautiful Baja scenery.
We expect to return to Cabo San Lucas around 6-7 PM.
RECOMMENDED TRIP PREPARATION
Magdalena Bay is located 6 hours driving north of Cabo San Lucas. We recommend traveling light and packing only the minimum as cargo space is limited in the van. The climate in San Carlos can vary quite a bit from day to day, bringing clothes to keep you comfortable in different temperatures is important. Once the sun is out and there is little to no wind it warm up fast. Being on the water gives us double exposure to the sun, therefore we strongly advice our guests to bring a hat or ball cap, a thin long sleeve shirt, sunglasses (polarized is best) and sunscreen with high SPF. Unfortunately the boats in Magdalena Bay do not offer any shade. Other days it can be more windy and chill on the water and a wind breaker and fleece or light padded jacket is the way to go.
The guide will take photos of the whales and the scenery, which are included with your tour at no extra charge. We recommend people to bring their own cameras as well to get the best chance of not missing out on those special moments. If you own a GoPro or similar camera, you’re welcome to bring it to get some amazing underwater video footage of the whales as they approach the boat. Please be advised we cannot be held responsible for any valuables you bring on the trip with you.