Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur – Whales to pet

After crossing the imaginary border to Baja California Sur and travelling into another time zone, we arrived at the Laguna Ojo de Liebre close to Guerrero Negro where the gray whales meet every year to give birth to their calves or to mate. There are three main bays along the Baja coast, but the northernmost and largest one is at the same time the one with most whales. You can see the whales with binoculars from the coast, but the real experience is from a boat.

We decide to book with a renowned operator with bilingual staff, Mario’s Tours, which also runs a campground and a restaurant. A microbus brings us to the boat mooring on the salt plant area, from where we start with a speed boat into the perfectly calm and sunny morning. There are not many whales left, but that’s not the point. The intense experience is crucial. The experienced boat captain approaches the whales very slowly, and he stops the engine far from the whales. The whales approach the boat if they like. They do, and it is unbelievable. They swim around the boat, they turn to the side to watch us with one eye, the poke their head out of the water, and yes, we can touch and pet them. Dolphins compete for our attention. At least the whales are so polite to keep a distance when jumping out of the water.

During the last years the whales arrived and left a bit later than usual, so now the season lasts from beginning of December to the end of April with its peak in February and March. There is another option to watch grey whales: Go to the salt plant south of Guerrero Negro, pay a little fee, and rent a boat on spot. That might be a little bit more inexpensive, but I’m not sure about professionalism.

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