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“Don't get confused” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Baja AirVentures Las Animas Wilderness Lodge

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Baja AirVentures Las Animas Wilderness Lodge
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100 Highway #1, Bahia de Los Angeles 20000, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Palm Desert, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Don't get confused”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

The wilderness, eco-retreat is NOT in Bahai de Las Angeles, nor is it in Las Animas. It is a completed different adventure whose reviews are mixed in this group. It's the Eco-friendly, whale watching, sea lion viewing, Yurt living, roughing it adventure, which is NOT a hotel.

Now that we have that out of the way....the yurts were located 50-60 minutes by boat from Bahai de Los Angeles. Transportation and organization by AirVentures.com. Private plane from San Diego (limit to 25 lbs luggage, which, surprisingly, can be done unless you plan to bring all your own fishing tackle).

A note about the yurts, comfy beds, siesta inducing hammocks, no running water or (at least at this point with one sort of exception), no flushing toilets. Meals prepared by Alicia in the main yurt, again with one small exception, were outstanding....what that woman can do with sea creatures and soups and flans is amazing given the facilities and the fact that the electricity is only on in the main yurt a few hours a day.

Our pilot/guide, in my opinion, is what made this adventure even more memorable and fun than it could have been. My 3 companions and I had the place to ourselves, and our purpose was first, foremost and almost singularly for Yellow Tail fishing, and fish we did, every day, catching all we could and then more (many of which were returned "home" to their fishy environs).

After a morning catch, lunch and siestas.

Beach activities include learning to scuff your feet when wading to ward of the little stingrays, kayaking, but (water was too cold during this trip), no snorkeling.

Hiking, guided by Tom, included the prehistoric petrified oyster beds, secluded beaches, and a trek through the tidal flats over by Las Animas.

We ate what we caught or gathered for our main course meals, and in that one short week we consumed expertly prepared yellow tail, grouper, cod, halibut, oysters, clams, and squid (now I KNOW what calamari is SUPPOSED to taste like!)

Gained 3 lbs. Slept to seal song and a full moon.

Serenity, peace, beauty (wild and potentially hazardous) but beautiful none-the- less. Not for the high energy need to be doing something every given moment traveler. I loved it.

We enjoyed perfect weather (rare, for the winds did not blow and they usually do), and outrageously excellent fishing.

Room Tip: Pick a yurt, any yurt, but the current "Taj Mahal" of yurts (as yurts go) is the first one...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
adventureguy2, Guest Relations Manager at Baja AirVentures Las Animas Wilderness Lodge, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Thanks NilaB for your visit and great comments.

It's true. The fishing around Las Animas can epic and almost guaranteed catching. And interestingly, the majority come to experience play in and round the water, islands, and deserts, with fishing being one of many activities.

We pride ourselves in being the "Cabo-alternative" for Baja. Being remote and rustic, yet comfortable, relaxing and close to nature's show, makes us the wilderness Eco-retreat you mentioned.

Thanks so much for spreading the word, posting some picture here and on our Baja airVentures fan page too.

Thanks again. Please visit again soon.
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46 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

Numerous reviews on the Las Animas Wilderness Lodge which I will not replicate but the trip consists of two linked adventures, whale watching in Laguna Ojo de Liebre/Sea of Cortes. and Las Animas, or so it was when we went during w/c 5th March 2012.During that week, the whale count was the highest so far, 1600 Adults and 1100 Calves. On the 4 sessions, we saw dozens of grey whales, many of them swimming alongside and under our boat and a number coming alongside to be stroked without fear. It was an unforgettable experience and the best of our whale watching trips to Greenland, Antartica and the Azores.
in both locations the food was excellent catering for our special dietary needs. Our piot,Fred was both an excellent pilot and a very knowledgeable guide.
The showers at Las Animas need upgrading, they are far too basic. Our yurt which was pretty solid was extremely comfortable. Expensive but good value.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
adventureguy2, Public Relations Manager at Baja AirVentures Las Animas Wilderness Lodge, responded to this review, March 25, 2014
So glad you had a great trip and saw a lot whales.

Good news. We continue to make upgrades at Las Animas in facilities, showers and more.

We just finished another record year for California Gray whales. Now onto Whale Shark snorkeling August - October. Hope you can join us.

Thanks for spreading the word to your UK friends especially since there is a new direct fright from London to San Diego.
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England
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

I had extremely high expectations for this trip based on the website. Here's a quote from the website "
John Steinbeck's
"Galapagos of Mexico" - Sea of Cortez

There really is no question as to why John Steinbeck coined this area of Mexico as the countries Galapagos! The Sonoran desert and the crystal blue waters surrounding Las Animas near the Bay of the Angels are home to an impressive variety of abundant food supply and diverse habitats. You'll experience perhaps the most spectacular collection of marine plants, birds and mammals found anywhere in the world. 23 species of dolphins and whales, including the largest whales in the world, the Fin and Blue whales," Also, in the birds section on the website, it states that there's 50 species of birds including blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. We did see blue-footed boobies - fleetingly on the boat trip to the retreat. We didn't see frigate birds or most of the other 50 species as well. My dissappointment is probably my own fault as I've been to the Galapagos and walked amongst boobies and frigate birds and from the website, expected the same. Even though it didn't specifically state you did walk amongst them, the impression is that there's an abundance of wildlife to equal the Galapagos and that wasn't the case.
The whales were magnificent and awe-inspiring, the sea lions were fun. We saw the grand total of 2 dolphins.
Of the 2 1/2 days we had at Las Animas, we could only go out on the water on one day. On day 2 and the day we left, the wind was severe and we couldn't go out on the water. So no kayaking, no snorkeling, no more whale watching. I was very dissappointed with this but again, this is probably my naievety. I had not read anywhere about adverse weather conditions. Thankfully we had had one good day otherwise I would have been totally gutted.

The pilot /guides are great. Fred and Darren were a great double act that complement each other perfectly and go out of their way to ensure you have the best experience possible with the limited options available.

The yurts are comfortable. Ours was on the hill - great for views but awful when the wind ripped round it all night. We were really worried that the roof was going to blow off. The composting toilet is remarkably efficient and there were no unpleasant smells. The shower not so. It was hard to regulate the temperature and you used up a lot of your daily bucketful trying to get it right so after scalding my brother, we gave up. Thankfully I had taken wet wipes even though they weren't suggested on the website.

Food. After the first day when my vegetarianism had not been taken care of so lunch consisted of an orange and a small chocolate bar, Fred took control and really made sure that our dietary needs were fully catered for. He really is a gem.

The boat drivers were fantastic (I think one was Federico) and I felt safe (even though extremely scared) on the really rough boat trip back (which Fred charmingly called "rowdy").

I have to agree with a previous reviewer about the not quite value for money aspect as we needed a lot more for tips than expected and this has to be factored into the overall cost.

I feel that the website should be amended and the Galapagos comparisons removed as this just creates an unrealistic expectation. It would also be helpful to be warned that whilst there's plenty to do when the weather is good, high winds may mean that you do absolutely nothing.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Del Mar CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2012

Most of what we would say has already been written. We took our 12 year old grandson to see the gray whales (in the Pacific side of the trip) and were thrilled at the adventure of having them come right up to the boats to be touched. Then on to Las Animas. I would say that this is a trip for any age 8-80 + if one is in good health and agile. Weather was perfect, yurts were extremely comfortable and in addition to whale spotting, one can fish, kayak, paddle board, shell and star gaze.

The Pilots act as guides once you have touched down and do all that they can to be accommodating and interactive.

Two things that need working on are more efficient showers and more accommodation to vegetarian eaters. This can be difficult because all of the food has to arrive by boat and be sustainable in limited quantities. More available snacks during the day would be nice as well.

All in all it was a great experience in a pristine and beautifully quiet setting.

Room Tip: Since all yurts face the sea on a crescent beach, I'd say there is no "bad" choice. T...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville VA
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

We celebrated our 50th anniversary by returning to Las Animas. Actually we were at the first camp about 11 years ago and remembered the silence and the amazing bright stars.

Swimming with the whale sharks was a great plus. We enjoyed the people we were with -- from Oz to Great Britain, from 11 years old up to us as the camp elders. We are not bothered by the lack of running water or electricity. (The generator is on in late afternoon to chill up the fridges and recharge the iPods and cameras.)

The compost toilet was fine and we quick-showered each day with the solar heated water bag which was adequate.

We saw not only whale sharks, but pilot whales, humpbacks, sperm whales, and dolphins.

Other reviews give all the details, so I'll just say my feet sure hated to get into my shoes when it was time to come home. Love this place!

Room Tip: We chose Yurt #1 so no one was walking past us. Yurt #8 is also on the end, but a bit of a hike up...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2011

This was a great trip! I highly recommend it! We snorkeled with whale sharks in the mornings. One morning when it was too windy we went instead on a nature hike through a mangrove forest, then went clamming. In the afternoons you could kayak, sail a trimaran, paddle board, fish, or snorkel, or the guides would take you on a nature hike (or you could take yourself). Of course if you preferred, you could relax in your yurt, or the communal yurt/patio. The guides were excellent! They were fun, friendly and informative. The entire staff was great. In additional to snorkeling with whale sharks, we snorkeled with sea lions cavorting all around us, and a variety of fish, anenomes, urchins, starfish, and other marine life. We spotted dolphins, orca, a blue whale and sperm whales, and aquatic birds galore including blue footed boobies.

This is indeed a wilderness camp so folks should expect basic accommodations, basic sanitation and basic food. But my yurt was perfectly comfortable and the food was fine and often fresh from the sea.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2011

In the past my wife and I have gone on snorkeling trips to a number of remote areas of the world but we had never been able to put together a trip to see whale sharks. We had looked into it a number of times but were always put off by either the uncertainty of actually being in the right area at the right time or the expense of the trip. One of our friends, knowing that we were very interested in doing this, found Baja Air Ventures on the internet and we decided to go together. It was a wonderful experience. We were able to snorkel with the largest fish in the sea, the gentle giants, almost every day. It was an experience we will remember forever! In addition, the days were taken up with snorkeling with sea lions, hiking with Fred, one of the pilots and a naturalist, who explained the flora and fauna of a dwarf red mangrove tidal wetlands, which is one of the most productive environments we have ever seen. The accommodations were better than we had expected for being so remote; the yurts were roomy and comfortable. Everything has to be transported by boat to the site, including filtered water. A second filtration process before having it available for drinking helps to prevent problems. Every afternoon at 4 Tom, another pilot and guide, took a boat of guests fishing, each time with great success. In fact, the fresh fish was dinner a number of nights. Speaking of the food, we must say that the cook Kevin employs was outstanding. Every night she presented us with delicious Mexican dishes, including enchiladas with tamarind sauce, posole, and enchiladas with mole - selections we don't ordinarily get even though we frequent Mexican restaurants in Southern California. So, the ultimate question: would we do this trip again? Our answer is absolutely yes! It was terrific!
Lee and Mickey

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baja AirVentures Las Animas Wilderness Lodge

Address: 100 Highway #1, Bahia de Los Angeles 20000, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Norte > Bahia de Los Angeles
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Bahia de Los Angeles
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1989 Baja Airventure's Las Animas Eco-adventure Tours & Lodge is the only remote boat-in lodge in the Sea of Cortez with 1000's of happy guests. All-inclusive lodging packages from San Diego include R/T air, delicious food, beverages and daily water, nature & sport activities. Look forward to total privacy and relaxation with group size averaging 12 - 14. We cater to all age groups. Come to Las Animas Wilderness Lodge for the soft eco-adventure of a lifetime! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Las Animas Wilderness Retreat Hotel Bahia De Los Angeles
Baja AirVentures Las Animas Wilderness Lodge Bahia De Los Angeles, Mexico

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