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A world-class experience

We visited the Laguna San Ignacio via The Royal Polaris sportfishing boat trip set up by the... read more

Reviewed March 14, 2020
Gato77
,
Redondo Beach, California
Campo Cortez

What a wonderful place to visit. Maldo Lorna Rodrico Packo Roberto and all the other hosts were... read more

Reviewed April 10, 2019
Mary L
,
Chicago, Illinois
via mobile
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Reviewed April 5, 2008

We are caught here between letting people know about a way of seeing the Grey Whales and their calves without ruining the charm of the place and the exhilarating experience for others.

Still, travelling from the UK it took over a week of research to find a suitable hire car that would provide all the necessary insurance etc. to travel 600+ miles down into Baja Mexico, plus 2 days of hard driving, friends with very local knowledge and a dollop of good luck to get there.

The last 60 miles are the most interesting, with some mild off road experience required and a nose for the right direction as there are many unsigned roads and paths off into a desert landscape; some of which is undoubtedly treacherous sand and mud.

Don't get me wrong, though, it is hardly travelling down the Amazon and there was the beginnings of a finished road leading toward the lagoon when we visited.

To my shame, I cannot remember the name of the camp we stayed at, but it was a local independent fisherman who has only recently built plywood huts for guests to sleep in.

There is a round matting building for eating and there is cold beer available.

Sitting around a beach fire watching the sun set over Baja and the lagoon is pretty darn good, but not as good as the day you have in store when you wake the next morning.

Heading out in a roughly 35 foot fishing boat the next morning, within 15 minutes we were surrounded by 4 Grey Whales; probably 2 mothers and their calves. Even our marine biologist friend was impressed and she has seen this 4 times before.

The whales come up to your boat (not the other way around) and have a look at what is going on. Some stay and have a look, others move on. Some want to be stroked and some don't. Some blow water in your face and others don't. Some play with the numerous dolphins in the lagoon and again some don't.

All, however, give the tremendous pleasure of feeling that you have touched - both figuratively and literally - an intelligent mammal that knows another world.

Many times, our small boat was used as a mobile scratching post by both the mothers and the calves. One played with the painter on the bow (the rope used to tie the boat up).

What intelligence lies behind those cow eyes to know that the boat would capsize if they rubbed just that *little* harder? Even when the vessel is listing because we are all looking over one side the animals know not to rock the boat too hard lest we are treated to an early and maybe welcome bath.

The experience isn't life changing, but it is exhilarating and it was worth a total of four days driving, seven military checkpoints and one fruit interrogation.

We have seen whales in New England a couple of times and dolphins in countless places, but here in this place where they are together and choose to interact with us it feels special.

I just hope that highway doesn't get finished any time soon. In the interim, I dare you to find your own way without paying a tour operator £1,000 to take you.

Good luck and don't forget to take a jumper as it can be chilly...

17  Thank Christopher F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2019 via mobile
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Date of experience: March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2018 via mobile
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Date of experience: June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2018 via mobile
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Date of experience: April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2014
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Date of experience: March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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