Whale-Watching at the San Ignacio Lagoon – A Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience

Whale-watching at the San Ignacio Lagoon is an incredible experience. Before venturing out on this trip, I had heard that it would be a spectacular scenario but what I encountered firsthand exceeded my wildest expectations. The lagoon is full of life with cute baby whales and their massive moms frolicking around at a hand-shaking distance. Cuddle the babies, kiss and pet the moms, and you will keep asking for more.

This close bonding with nature is what makes this trip so special. The babies have grown up, they are healthier and stronger and ready to make the long trip North, one of the longest migrations in the history of our planet. These gentle giants have gifted us with life’s lessons on how to be huge and strong and yet so gentle and playful.

On to the Observation Area for Whale Watching     

What an amazing day, we started at 7:45 in the morning with everyone on the beach excited about the first whale-watching experience. The day was a bit cold, but that did not matter as everybody was so excited about the whales. When we went into the area, we started looking for spouts everywhere but it took us a while, about 30 min to find a friendly whale.

And it was an incredible sight. There was a mom and a calf and this baby loved to be petted. He also opened his mouth so that people could put their hands into the baby’s mouth. We all went crazy about this unique experience. Then we headed to the beach to take a break.

After the break we did the second whale watching, we found the same whales, the mom, and the baby, but this time I was the one with the hand inside the baby’s mouth and it was great to feel the thong. I would say that the second session was better so far as our interaction with the big creatures was concerned. We petted a calf and a mom, but the best part was just a few minutes later as the same calf was jumping out of the water.

This afternoon was a little slow at the beginning, but we found a friendly whale that stayed with us during the complete whale-watching session. The rest of the time we were entertained with lots of spy hops and by the evening we saw many whales but none approached the boat because the sea was very choppy.

I must say that for me the day’s events and the whale-watching camp were like a spiritual retreat. This powerful and magical place allowed me to reset my mind and disconnect from the modern chaotic life and reconnect with nature and myself. I will miss the sound of the whales at night, the golden sunsets, the starry nights, and the howls of the naughty coyotes.

The second day was equally special as the first and just as entertaining. We departed from the camp at 12:30 and had a good ride as there was almost no wind. As we entered the observation area, we saw a few mother whales with their babies playing around. It seemed that the mom and the baby pairs had arrived from the south (Magdalena Bay) and were socializing and playing together.

Surprisingly, we found a mother and a baby that we recognized as we had played and been friendly with them before. We stayed close to them and as they approached us, they again became very playful as was their nature. Everybody got a chance to play with them and have physical contact. They kept on coming for a while and soon lots of other pairs joined them, moving close to us, and making eye contact. It was a magnificent session. Eventually, they left but even then, there was no room for disappointment. Another pair came up close and got playful and interacted with us for some time until it was time to go for a break.

We took our 30-minute break at a mangrove estuary. Some went beach combing while others just relaxed around.

Back in the observation area we once again saw a friendly whale that was scratching itself against a big boat anchored in the middle of the area. We tried to catch its attention but with no success – the whale just ignored us. We ended up seeing different pairs but by now, the southwest wind had picked up and the seas were starting to get choppy so we decided to head back to camp.

What a glorious day, one that will stay etched in my memory for a lifetime.

A Fabulous Hike to Los Cerritos – Going Back in Time

From whale-watching to seeing fossilized remains of nature was an experience I am unlikely to ever forget.

We left camp at 8.00 for Los Cerritos, hiking with Tal Levy our guide. We got dropped off in the intertidal zone since the tide was low and started walking in the water and hiked up to the base of the hill on the north side. We changed our shoes for the climb and as we set out on our journey, we immediately came upon lots of petrified shells, sand dollars, and dilapidated caves that seem to have been formed by wind erosion. The petrified shells were all over the place, and we assumed that they were the main materials in the rock formations, a sign that the twin hills better known as Los Cerritos, had been under the sea thousands or maybe millions of years ago.

The climb was easy and we made it to the top quickly. As we started walking on the top, we found piles of shells that looked to have been transported up there, most likely by the tribes that inhabited the area who might have climbed to eat clams and other sea snails on top of the hills.

We explored around the north side hill walking all over the top and going down the middle of them and back up to climb the north hill. The climb was also very easy, we found the same kind of rock formation and evidence that natives had been around this place long back. The view of the Lagoon and the estuary at the base of the hills was spectacular from above. After exploring the north hill, we took a lunch break on the highest spot of the south hill.

By noon we started descending and headed to the mangrove estuary. As we walked along the side of it, we were surprised to find hundreds of fiddler crabs of all sizes. We carried on across 4 estuaries walking in the mud and sometimes in the salt flats in between them. Eventually, we reached the coast and suddenly came across a full-size whale carcass that had been there for at least a decade. Even though the bones were broken, we could still see that it had been a very big whale. We kept walking in the intertidal area tide pooling and finding some blue crabs and fiddlers as well.

We got to the little Shell Islands near the camp where we took a 30-minute break at around 3 pm, and headed over to camp, reaching it by 4:30 pm. All of us were very happy with the hike. It was as if we had gone back ages in a time machine.

Amazing Backend Support by The Staff and Crew

No trip to an exotic place can ever be successful without the maximum support and help from the staff and crew.   

On our trip, every Staff member has been incredible, friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful! Our experience with the whales and staying in such prestige nature area has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience thanks to all of you. Thank you for sharing this special place with us. Special thanks to Scarlett and Roberto for our amazing whale encounters and Adriana and Ramiro in the dining room and everyone behind the scenes for making our stay such a wonderful experience.

However, I would like to make a point here and this has got nothing to do with our astounding whale-watching activities. Even though I cannot thank Pam and Tico enough for their skill, expertise, and compassion, I wish they had taught the guests more about the connection between veganism and the whales. We all know that mass-scale fishing is not sustainable and many whales and other sea life are killed by the seafood industry.

Why do you not hold a camp on veganism to drive home this point? I am sure that when people are amid nature, watching these magnificent creatures before their eyes, this thought will be very well taken.

Summing Up

Everything about this trip has exceeded my expectations! The food has been better than any restaurant I have visited in Mexico. The staff has always been friendly and helpful with an attitude warm enough to melt our hearts. They are doing a tough job and we appreciate everything that goes on beyond the scenes to make our trip so wonderful.

By Nautilus Guests

Recent stories, comments, and news from our guests onboard the Nautilus vessels.

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