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Reviewed September 12, 2009

I highly recommend Kuyima Travel Services in Baja California Sur.

Last winter we traveled to San Ignacio to view the ancient cave art in the canyons and to watch whales. My husband and I were travelling with my 12 year old niece during her winter vacation so our time was limited. Kuyima arranged a custom trip for us into the canyons. At first, I thought the cost was high but after the trip, I was amazed at the value of our investment. Our guide, Raul, was one to the founders of the company. He came to Baja from Sinaloa many years before and was, for a time, plant engineer for the local fish cannery. Then the era of sushi intervened and the loss of demand for processed fish led to the closing of the plant. In the mean time, the lagoon had been declared a whale preserve and the local fishermen were out to work.

Raul taught himself English and started the Kuyima Travel Services, hiring the fisherman to take tourist out for whale watching trips. He also contracted with the local ranchers to guide tourists into the canyons to view the art.

Previously, the locals had informally guided individuals and this led to some destruction of the cave art by souvenir hunters. Kuyima, with Raul’s direction, provides an interface to bridge the cultural differences between tourists and local guides, while educating the locals in the importance of preserving the art so that it remains a tourist attraction.

Raul Contracts with local cooks to provide delicious fresh food for the tour and is quite a magician with a cook stove himself.

When our local guide was late to meet us, Raul even had some informative books with pictures and turned our van into an impromptu classroom. He paced the tour well according to our desires and abilities and we were able to see even more than we expected. I had high expectations but Kuyima exceeded them.

Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
3  Thank unguidedmissal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2009

Besides the 2 hr long washboard drive on a dirt rd from the town to the lagoon, it was totally worth it! Carlos, the camp manager is a wonderful , funny , talented man who runs a good camp. His wife Paula, is the head cook, (wonderful girl)and she along with Irma and Marichu(spelling?) prepare tasty meals. Our boat driver Gabriel , and our guide Maggie were awesome at getting us opportunities 3 out of the 4 times we went out to touch, pet and even kiss the awesome majestic whales, adults and newborn babies ( 12 weeks old) The cabanas were clean and adequate, as were the outhouses. This is not a luxury trip ,it is ecoturism, and Carlos will be happy to educate you about protecting the whales and their environment. All the people who work there live close by. Bring sunscreen, a windbreaker, you'll need them. I was happy to get to know the people there, they are a part of my most awesome experience of my life!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank goosemomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2008

I highly recommend Kuyima for a whale-watching experience that you will never forget. The whales at Laguna San Ignacio are the friendliest you will ever encounter. They adults and the young ones swim right up to the boat, close enough to be touched. At one time our boat had four pairs circling it, and we even saw one breaching just yards from the boat.

Accommodations are simple cabanas, pretty basic but comfortable. The food they serve is delicious, and the the guides are very helpful. I would reccommend that you ride out to the Lagoon in the bus provided by Kuyima, unless you have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle. The road is very rocky and washboarded, and you feel as though every screw in the vehicle is being shaken loose

Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
7  Thank BajaJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2008

I had the pleasure of staying at the Kuyima Camp at San Ignacio Lagoon for a few days in April 2008.

The camp consists of a dozen or so wooden cabanas, and eco friendly facilities, such as compost and sea-water toilets, and showers where you carry water via bucket from a solar heating unit. This is definitey adventure travel, but don't let that detour you! I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this non-traditional travel accomodation!

The staff here are very friendly, speak english, and are happy to help you practice your espanol. The food is delicious (they serve you three meals a day) and they are happy to accomodate your dining preferences w/ some advance notice. The staff will also entertain you with stories and musical entertainment after dinner. Ask Carlos to sing the "happy whale" song.

The cabanas are simple wood huts that protect you from the winds of the lagoon and provide you with a comfy place to rest your weary head after a day of whale watching, kayaking, bird watching or beach combing. Most of the units sleep two people in twin size platform beds that have a simple mattress, sleeping bag, and pillow. There is one light in the room but no plug ins.

The star attraction at San Ignacio Lagoon are the friendly whales, if you are lucky they will swim up to your boat and you can pet and hug and kiss them. It is amazing to say the least. The Kuyima crew do a fantastic job of taking good care of their guests and taking good care of this precious grey whale birthing sanctuary in the Lagoon. If you are fortunate enough to go visit the whales at San Igancio Lagoon, you will be well suited to stay a few days with the folks at Kuyima.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled on business
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3  Thank Travel212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2018
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  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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