Kuyima San Ignacio Lagoon Whale Trip
Discover the Friendly Gray Whales! A recent trip south to the Kuyimá Camp to see the Gray Whales deliver their new calves to the sea and breed yielded a very special and unique adventure. The road to the San Ignacio Lagoon, perhaps the most pristine whale sanctuary on the planet, winds down the Baja peninsula through many different terrain and foliage contrasts. One minute you will be skirting the sea, and an hour later in the midst of the desert. The Baja Trans-peninsular highway is paved and in good repair for the 400 miles that you will travel to the little ciudad of San Ignacio. The last 38 miles to the Kuyimá Camp is a typical Baja dirt washboard path, kept up properly as this is an important tourist trail to see the gray whales in their indigenous environment.
The whales annually make the trek from Alaska to Baja during the months of December to mid- April. April and May they can be seen off the coast heading back north to Alaska for the warm summer months before the cycle repeats itself in the winter. They seek the lagoons for protection while they are enabling the newly born calves to grow strong for the trip north. The lagoons are strictly protected by the Mexican authorities and any panga that enters the restricted whale occupied zone is counted, documented, and allowed only a 90 minute span of time to approach the whales up close and personal.
The whales can be seen getting really frisky, 3 males may be observed courting a single female, and that process is very spirited indeed! Cavorting around the female, the males can be seen emerging repeatedly from the lagoon and spinning sideways showing you a rare view of their pectoral fin. All the while blowing out tremendous heart shaped spouts of air with a sound that you have never heard on earth before! A deep dive will allow you to get a close-up photo of the whales flukes as they dive and rise repeatedly in the mating progression. The babies are very friendly, sometimes approaching the panga for a pet on the head, all the while watched closely by the whale mother. The larger whales also approach the pangas, their size is breathtaking as they peer out of the sea at you.
Once hunted by whalers, now the whales share these special moments with adventurous travelers coming from all over the world to enjoy this incredibly sacred experience. It is very moving to be so close to this mammal assembly, all the while realizing that man came close to driving the species into extinction.
In order to accommodate you, Kuyimá offers you two programs from which you can choose according to your time availability and budget. Kuyimá features a camping area by the San Ignacio Lagoon Whale Sanctuary with tent-sites and parking for your camper vehicle (no water or electricity hook ups). They also have 10 rustic and cozy thatched huts. Each cabin is designed to accommodate two persons. Both sites have a restaurant serving a delicious menu 3 times daily. The cost of the panga ride to view the whales is $40 per person. Visit the Kuyimá Camp website at http://www.kuyima.com.
This video is a photo collection from a recent trip to visit scenic San Ignacio Lagoon. These photos are available for sale individually. Contact us if you would like to purchase one of these photos from this classic Baja adventure.
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