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Scammon's Lagoon
Whale Watching
San Ignacio
Whale Watching
Scammon's & San Ignacio
Whale Watching Combo
Espiritu Santo
Kayak La Paz
Sierra Giganta
Kayak Loreto


Baja Mexico whale watch locations: Sea of Cortez to the East & Pacific Ocean to the West
When to whale watch Baja: What whale species to watch according to seasons

Baja California peninsula is a vast territory stretching for nearly 1100 miles South from the border of California-USA with Mexico. It is almost as long as the west coast of the US but, the average width of the peninsula is only 50-75 miles.

This table has been compiled by G.Meyer & B.Tershey following their research and observations in "Bahia De Los Angeles" (Bay Of Angels) on the Sea Of Cortez.
CETACEANS LATIN
NAME
SEASON
2 SEE
BLUE
WHALE
Balaenoptera
musculus
ALL
YEAR
FIN
WHALE
Balaenoptera
physalus
ALL
YEAR
BRYDES
WHALE
Balaenoptera
edeni
ALL
YEAR
MINKE
WHALE
Balaenoptera
acutorostrata
ALL
YEAR
HUMPBACK
WHALE
Megaptera
novaeangleae
WINT
SPRG
SUMR
GRAY
WHALE
Eschrictius
robustus
WINT
SPRING
SPERM
WHALE
Physeter
macrocephalus
ALL
YEAR
DWARF SPERM
WHALE
Kogia
simus
FALL
PILOT
WHALE
Globicephala
macrorhynchus
ALL
YEAR
FALSE KILLER
WHALE
Pseudorca
crassidens
SUMR
FALL
BOTLENOSE
DOLPHIN
Tursiops
truncatus
ALL
YEAR
COMMON
DOLPHIN
Delphinus
delphis
ALL
YEAR
PINNEPEDS LATIN
NAME
SEASON
2 SEE
CALIFORNIA
SEA LION
Zalophus
californianus
ALL
YEAR
NORTHER
ELEPHANT
SEAL
Mirounga
angustirostris
SPRING
The East coast of Baja is bordered by the Sea of Cortez, supporting the largest and most varied population of whales in the world, as well as one of the last sanctuaries for the endangered Fin-back and Blue whales, the largest of the cetaceans (twice the size of Gray whale).

Why such a bounty and diversity?
The Sea of Cortez is exceptionally nutrient-rich, especially around islands; The tides flowing around the islands form gentle water-upheavals, mixing oxygen, salt water, and sediments from the bottom, creating perfect conditions for plankton growth.
The plankton (microscopic organisms) are the base of the ecological food chain. The small fish and crustaceans feed on plankton, bigger fish feed on small fish, etc.
If you look at a map of Baja, in the area of Bahia de Los Angeles (the Bay of Angels), the islands stretch all the way across the sea forming a natural barrier against the tidal flow, consequently creating the optimum food balance for small fish, sardines, pelicans, sea lions, dolphins and ultimately whales.

The West coast of Baja is bordered by the Pacific ocean. Here is where the Gray whales migrate to, from the Bering Sea and North Pacific. Every year virtually the entire population of Grays led by the pregnant females makes the 6000 mile migration to the calving lagoons of Baja California. Here, from mid-December to mid-March they will give birth and nurse their offspring.

There are three lagoons on the Pacific coast of Baja where Gray whales find the optimum conditions for their nurseries. The lagoons are government protected marine parks, and access for whale watching is only allowed on permit basis.
Only motor boats (pangas) with trained guides may be used for whale watching.
Sea kayaking in the lagoons is prohibited during the whale migration.

1) Scammon's lagoon is Baja 's most northern whale watching location (and the closest to the US), about 440 miles South of San Diego, California. Scammon's is also the largest of the three whale watching lagoon; Usually, well over 1000 whales are here during each season and, on some exceptional seasons, Baja whale watching experts counted over 2000 Gray whales, (including baby whales).

2) San Ignacio lagoon is about 530 miles South of the border, somewhat smaller, slightly fewer whales but, exhibiting note-worthy different behaviors.

3) Magdalena Bay, 800 miles from the border, is the furthest South, and least protected lagoon on the Pacific coast of Baja. It is perhaps one of the main reasons why, the numbers of the Gray whales here fluctuate considerable from season to season.

Conclusion: The lagoons of the Pacific coast of Baja have the greatest concentration of whales per square mile, but only from mid-December to mid-April, with the numbers peaking in January, February & March, and only Gray whales.
The Sea of Cortez is blessed, maybe not with such great concentration of whales per square mile, but with a variety of whale species, and high chances that you will see some whale activity practically any time of the year (some species live here all year, see table above).

If Gray whale watching is your main interest, the Pacific lagoons of Baja are the right places during January & February & March of every year.

If your interest is sea kayaking expedition-style, in a spectacular marine environment with oportunities of encountering a rich variety of sea life including the true giants of the Earth, the Blue whales, our sea kayaking trips on the Sea of Cortez are the best choice.

Scammon's Lagoon
Whale Watching
San Ignacio
Whale Watching
Scammon's & San Ignacio
Whale Watching Combo
Espiritu Santo
Kayak La Paz
Sierra Giganta
Kayak Loreto

Home Trip Calendar Baja Whales Logistics Registration E-mail us About Us

We are not always around a phone. The best way to reach us is by email: info@miramar-adventures.com     Or, call: (206) 322-6559

Miramar Adventures
PO Box 480043 Los Angeles CA 90048