We are proud to continue 27 years of continuous beach camp operations with the gray whales at San Ignacio Lagoon while providing an injection of new energy, excellence in guest experience and safety, new equipment and the introduction of luxury and sophistication. Tim Means and Baja Expeditions truly pioneered eco-tourism in Baja including the first gray whale camp at San Ignacio Lagoon 27 years ago.
After a couple of minutes of watching blows all over the lagoon, our Captain explained a very simple action that would change my life. He told us to be gentle and splash the water with our hands. After a few minutes of splashing, a curious calf approached and came straight to me. I started rubbing and scratching the baby and she was so happy about that I think she started purring. She stayed with us for a long time and changed the life of all of us on the panga. I’ve seen and done a lot of things in my life but this was far away the most amazing experience ever. The star lit sky that night in camp was second!
— Ronald Z.
Getting closer to a gray whale than you ever imagined
Imagine a 49 foot long gray whale, no more than an arms length away, raising its great head from the water to look you directly in the eye. A mother whale approaches and gently nudges her newborn calf towards your boat, presenting him to be admired. There is a remote lagoon in Baja California where these dreamlike encounters are a reality, and a visit there will touch your soul. At Camp Tio Timo, with Nautilus and Baja Expeditions, we invite you to share in this unforgettable experience.
Once hunted to near extinction and branded as “devilfish” due to aggressive attacks on whaling boats, gray whales have since undergone both a remarkable recovery in population and a moving transformation in their view of humankind. San Ignacio Lagoon, with decades of respectful ecotourism, has been the center of this heartwarming display of forgiveness and redemption, where gray whales place their trust in humans to the point of seeking out interaction with visitors.
You may wonder…
What am I going to see ?
You can expect up close and personal interactions with Pacific gray whales! San Ignacio Lagoon is also home to a variety of bird species including nesting ospreys and egrets.
When should I go?
The peak season of San Ignacio whale watching is between the end of January to early April.
What do you mean by virtually unlimited whale watching?
2 things. We reckon that if you have travelled all the way to San Ignacio Lagoon for gray whale encounters, we should facilitate as much time with the whales as you want. If you want, we will start early when the reserve opens at 8 am. with 2 back-to-back sessions before lunch. And then 1 or 2 more sessions after lunch! or you can can take it easy and do a couple of sessions in the morning and then relax and enjoy other activities in the afternoon. The other thing to note is that a maximum of 20 pangas are allowed in the reserve at one time while there are 26 permitted pangas. This means that during very busy peak season, each panga can stay in the reserve for 90 minutes and then needs to step back to allow another waiting panga in. The other camps typically do 2 whale watching sessions, one at 1000 and another session at 2 pm. We like to start early and finish late to avoid crowding with the other boats..
Why do your trips leave out of Cabo San Lucas?
Because the shortest charter flight to the Lagoon is from Cabo which is super easy to get to with service from 15 different US cities, most of Mexico and even direct flights from overseas. Because Cabo San Lucas in the winter and spring is a really fun place to visit!! Because you won’t have any border crossing hassles. And because we offer all sorts of other activities from our Cabo base including swimming with whale sharks and other adventures into the Sea of Cortez, scuba diving including our Socorro giant manta liveaboard trips, Backscatter photography workshops and much more
Is there another way to get to camp or do I have to fly with you from Cabo San Lucas?
We are very happy to host you no matter which way you arrive from camp and you will save money with a self-arrival. It’s a 13 hour drive plus border crossing from California or a 6 hour drive from Loreto. Pilots are welcome to fly in to the 4000 ft dirt airstrip adjoining our beach camp. Alternatively, there is an 8000 ft paved runway 2.3 hours away at Guerrero Negro with either charter flight or ground transfers to the Lagoon. Guerrero Negro airport is tightly guarded by the military and your airplane will be happy and safe while you are in camp. We have our own aircraft and are happy to assist with arrangements..
What kind of Glamping accommodations can I expect?
Standard Glamping tents are safari-style with adjustable twin beds or 1 king bed. The Superior Suite Glamping tents are Weatherhaven tents with flooring and attached private head and shower, offering 2 twin beds or 1 king bed. Premium Tents are more spacious with a private sitting area. We have a central palapa that hosts the dining area, bar, and lounge, as well as our nightly natural history sessions.
What’s included in the trip?
Return chartered flight from Cabo. Hotel transfers in Cabo. Accommodation, activities, meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages plus unlimited whale watching subject to capacity control and weather. On-site naturalist. Park fees, gift shop, bar, gratuities and camera rentals are NOT included.
What airport do I fly into?
SJD Los Cabos International for both commercial airlines and private aircraft.
Private aircraft are welcome to use the 3000 ft compacted sand strip at our camp. There is a 6000 ft paved airport 1.5 hours away at Guerrero Negro with connecting transfers.