As fall arrives so do the gray whales. Every year they travel thousands of miles south in what is known as the longest mammal migration on earth. This amazing journey starts in the Arctic region and continues along the Pacific coast of Canada and the United States, finally ending in the warm lagoons and bays of Baja California Sur, where the whales mate and give birth to their calves.
Once in the shallow and warm waters of these natural sanctuaries, the whales can be approached by boats and seen at relatively close range. The Cortez Club is one of the premier outfitters in La Paz, and has years of experience providing whale watching trips to one of these remarkable sanctuaries: beautiful Magdalena Bay, located on the Pacific side of Baja Sur. The 50 kilometer long bay is surrounded by mangrove swamps, white sand dune shores and a line of Islands that create a safe enclosure away from predators, making it an ideal spot for the whales.
A day trip with The Cortez Club features transportation from La Paz to Magdalena Bay, breakfast and lunch, a knowledgeable guide and a two hour boat tour for $180 U.S. dollars per person. The Cortez Club also offers customized packages, which may include longer whale watching expeditions, as well as other activities such as camping, kayaking and snorkeling. The whale watching season extends from December to the beginning of March.
If you want to stay closer to La Paz, the bountiful waters of the Sea of Cortez offer plenty of opportunities to encounter a variety of marine species. It is not uncommon to come across pods of dolphins, giant Pacific manta rays, fin whales, humpback whales and enormous orcas in the waters around Isla Espiritu Santo.
But perhaps the most impressive species you can see up close and personal are whale sharks, the largest fish on the planet. Between the months of November and April, a school of whale sharks congregate near El Mogote, the strip of land located across the city’s bay. These impressive fish average 25′ in length and feed on plankton. They are gentle and move slowly allowing for swimmers to get very, very close. The Cortez Club offers an unforgettable whale shark experience for only $55 U.S. dollars per person, with tours leaving from their strategic location at Playa Caimancito.
Looking for VIP treatment? The One Baja is a charter yacht company that provides you with modern boats, delicious meals and superb service. Why not travel in luxury on your way to swim with the whale sharks: with your family and friends aboard a 50′ Samurai yacht? The vessels can accommodate up to 12 guests.
The One Baja experience is an all-inclusive one that can be customized to suit your needs. Their skillful captain has more than 25 years of experience, and will take you to the best spots to witness whale sharks in their natural habitat. The attentive crew prepares delicious meals using only the freshest local ingredients (make sure and savor their legendary breakfast burritos with homemade tortillas and fresh salsa). Lunch entrees include grass-fed filet mignon, freshly caught local fish, sushi or chicken. The boat also features an open bar with an assortment of soft drinks, Mexican beer, and tequila, rum or vodka cocktails.
Guests aboard the luxurious yacht may take full advantage of the boat’s “toys” to indulge in kayaking, water skiing, snorkeling, inflatable tube rides and wake boarding in the pristine waters of the Sea of Cortez. To provide the ultimate in worry free service, The One Baja trips include photo and video services to help you preserve special moments.
The season is nearly upon us, so make plans to come swim next to the whale sharks in Bahia La Paz, or visit the gray whales at their breeding ground in Magdalena Bay. Whichever you choose, it will be a magical and unforgettable experience.
Ready to experience whale watching season in La Paz? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.
Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels, vacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at email@example.com.
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