There are only three places on Earth where gray whales birth their calves: Magdalena Bay, San Ignacio Lagoon and Scammon’s Lagoon in Baja California Sur, Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, which is often referred to as the “World’s Aquarium” with its legendary status among divers and snorkelers, including Jacques Cousteau.

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One of the World's Best Close Encounters With Wild Whales Petting a grey whale calf, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Credit: Bigstock.com
Petting a grey whale calf, Baja California Sur, Mexico

One of the World's Best Close Encounters With Wild Whales

If you love marine life, but would rather not see it in a pool or otherwise confined, like in a zoo or aquarium, this is one of the best ways to come face-to-face gray whales. While the gentle gray giants may be the bay’s most famous attraction, lots of other animals enjoy the shelter found here as well, including an abundance of sea birds seeking sanctuary in the large swathes of mangroves neighboring the bay.

Visiting 'The Friendlies' During Their Annual Migration
Credit: K.C. Dermody

Visiting 'The Friendlies' During Their Annual Migration

“The Friendlies,” as these aptly named gray whales are referred to, congregate here between mid-January and mid-April before heading north to Alaska on their annual migration.

The Ultimate Experience With Jahaziel of Baja Sur Tours Jahaziel of Baja Sur Tours on gray whale excursion
Credit: K.C. Dermody
Jahaziel of Baja Sur Tours on gray whale excursion

The Ultimate Experience With Jahaziel of Baja Sur Tours

Magdalena Bay is about a three-hour journey from La Paz (or four hours from Cabo San Lucas), and while you could drive yourself, arguably the best way to experience this bucket-list adventure is to book an excursion with Jahaziel of Baja Sur Tours.

Jahaziel will pick you up from your accommodation in La Paz, and you’ll enjoy several stops along the way, including a tasty breakfast and the opportunity to pick up unique souvenirs, like the megalodon shark teeth fossils that are often found in this remote stretch of Baja.

The Gray Whales Come to You gray whale Magdalena Bay
Credit: K.C. Dermody
gray whale Magdalena Bay

The Gray Whales Come to You

With its pristine waters and unparalleled whale sightings, Magdalena Bay has become a mecca for adventurists and wildlife enthusiasts, but you won’t see hundreds of other boats, or “pangas” as they’re called, out on the water.

And, there’s no need to “chase” the whales at high speeds which would surely disturb their tranquil environment, as they decide who to come to, not the other way around. Singing, calling their “names,” like lovely Olivia and Gabriella, or splashing the water around the boat, often encourages them to come your way, though the pangas maintain their distance, unless the whales approach, which they often do.

How To Book a Baja Gray Whale Encounter petting one of the gray whales, Magdalena Bay
Credit: K.C. Dermody
petting one of the gray whales, Magdalena Bay

How To Book a Baja Gray Whale Encounter

Baja Sur Tours offers multiple options for day trips like this one which includes snacks, breakfast, lunch and two hours of whale watching.

Baja Sur Tours
Muelle Fiscal on the Malecon in La Paz
Phone: 612-131-8167
Official Website