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Review: San Ignacio Lagoon

Specialist Holiday - Safari/wildlife

Baja California Sur, Mexico

A Life changing experience to see the friendly grey whales

  • By SilverTraveller LizRye

    10 reviews


  • April 2016
  • Adult family
  • Other

34 people found this review helpful

Having just returned from Baja California, Mexico I am still reeling from the most wonderful experience that I have ever had.

I discovered Wildlife Worldwide last year through my daughter’s friend. She had been and experienced the most fantastic week and sold the idea to me. She has travelled the world but in her opinion this was the best experience she had ever had.

My daughter and I started our trip in San Diego for two nights and on the Saturday morning we met our 18 other travelers in reception to take a coach across the border to Tijuana airport. Once there we boarded two 10 seater planes for our trip to the coast in a very remote part of Mexico to a place called San Ignacio Lagoon. I had never been on a small plane before and I boarded with some trepidation but it was fantastic and it was wonderful to see the country and coast so close up. We landed on a sandy airstrip in the middle of nowhere!

We were transferred to our lodge which was only 10 minutes away by the lodge’s mini bus. A quick lunch before we were off on our first outing to see the friendly grey whales. We donned our life jackets and we were greeted by our guide who drove the small speedboat that took eight of us twice a day for the next six days to have the most amazing experience ever.

Our first encounter with these gentle giants was pure magic. Life is so hectic it is often difficult for us to appreciate the beauty around us, but when you touch your first whale, it is impossible not to experience the kind of “awe” we had when we were young. You will remember this feeling for a lifetime….it’s just that magical! I was struck with the respect for the whales and care for the environment of everyone involved.

Only 6-8 of us in the boat, and with our experienced guides they knew exactly where to go to see the mothers with their babies. We were encouraged to make “whooping” noises and splash the water and before long the whales came to our boat. The mother would nudge her baby to approach the boat and with the noise we were making the baby would come alongside the small boat. Not once did I feel frightened as these huge mammals nudged out boat, swam underneath the small boat and splashed us. They showed off and loved every minute of the humans in the boats coming to see them. We were able to touch the babies, even kissing the odd one, look into their eye and the most special experience of even putting your hand into a whales mouth. They loved it as much as us. We squealed with delight and howled with joy as we observed and touched these amazing animals. The louder we were the more the whales enjoyed it. At one point we were surrounded by eight whales.

For a 45 – 50 foot female to bring her calf up to your boat and encourage it to be scratched and rubbed and then to push it slightly to one side so that she could share the experience is beyond reason. It was a truly memorable and humbling experience and one I shall never forget. If you love wildlife and only plan one trip in your lifetime, go to the Grey Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon and enjoy an experience of a lifetime.

I am still basking in the glow of visiting and touching grey whales!! The camp of Antonio is very accommodating, no frills but clean, expertly run and very fun and friendly people. Antonio and his family make the camp seem like it runs on its own and the guests are taken care of from the minute they wake up. The accommodation is basic. The food is good and freshly cooked for each meal. 

If you love nature and animals and are looking for a true life changing experience, then this trip should be considered. I have been to the Galapagos which was wonderful but the experience of the whales at San Ignacio Lagoon in my opinion is better.

We went at the beginning of April which is the best time of year to go. The males have left and the babies and mothers are ready to leave the lagoon at the end of the month back up north along the coast of the Pacific. The mothers seem to want to show off their babies and get human approval of what good mothers they are!

After six days going out in a small boat twice a day I never tired of seeing these giant, gentle grey whales. I am in love with them.

And to finish the day, every evening we had a talk from Mark Carwardine, one of the leading experts on whales, which was so informative and fun.

A MUST for someone who loves nature and wants something different.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • Debbie
    over 4 years ago
    A lovely review - I once saw whales off the coast of Cape Cod and will never forget it.