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“"Glamping" with the whales”
Review of Baja Discovery

Baja Discovery
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Baja Discovery is a leading ecotourism company providing natural history trips and tours in Baja California Mexico, including gray whale watching at San Ignacio Lagoon, sea kayaking, pack trips to visit cave paintings, and custom tours and treks for birding and botany.
Reviewed April 4, 2018

This was my first "camping" experience. It has the best location for seeing the whales and is the closest to the Lagoon.

THE CAMPSITE: Your tent is 10' x10 with 3 zip windows and a double zipped entry. The tent contains two single cots, two 2" pads, 2 sleeping bags, 2 single sheets with velcro to keep them in place, 2 pillows, 2 pillow cases, and 2 wool throws, a solar light to light your tent at night, and a large plastic tub to store food as well as the clothes that you want to wear the next day (the damp travels through the tent walls at night). The dust pan and brush are handy to keep the floor clean. Sand and grit WILL come in on your feet. There is also a shoe holder on the side wall to store your incidentals.

MEALS: Three GREAT meals and snacks during the day. Healthy food. Lots of vegetables and fruits, popcorn, fresh tortilla chips, chicken, FRESH fish, oysters, clams, and delicious Mexican specialties. All meals in the central tent which is the headquarters of operations, kitchen, dining room, game room, bar, coffee bar, charging central for your electronics, and site for presentations from the staff. The staff members eat with you.

COMFORT STATIONS: 3 outdoor toilets with a flushing mechanism, toilet paper, seats and lids, sanitizing liquid (5 star in my evaluation of third world country/remotely located restrooms); two hand washing stations consisting of Mexican ceramic basins, two large water containers (HOT and COLD), and two small mirrors; and four shower stalls for taking showers in the afternoon using 2 gallon bags of solar heated water with a small nozzle. There is a clothesline to dry out your wet things.

The BEST part: three days of two 90 minute panga trips to go out and pet the whales. You will see lots of Grey Whale mothers and babies. They come right up to the boat. My husband even got to pet one of the mother whales who made it very clear that she wanted to be petted. You will see them spy hopping and breaching.

WEATHER: We were there in the first week of April. It is windy every day. Not all day, but intermittently and from different directions. You will be glad if you have your wind/waterproof jacket and pants and water shoes. There wasn't a day that we didn't get wet, either from getting in and out of the boat or from the whales' breath. If it is windy or the water is choppy, the water may spray into the panga. I always wore two layers of shirts and long pants under my waterproof pants. It warms up during the day, but the fog can move in and out at all hours of the day and night. Bring layers, a hat with a brim, and LOTS of sunscreen. A wool cap and headlamp are useful for those night time outings to the toilet. If it is a full moon, you may want to bring a sleep mask because it is really bright through the white tent.

STAFF: The staff is just incredible, so friendly and helpful. Angie, the owner, runs things from state side; she is such a ball of energy and enthusiasm. Her arrangements are impeccable. Her wonderful crew in Baja: Pepe, the crew boss, has a great sense of humor, always explaining what we are going to do and how we are going to do it, with a smile. He is always looking out for the guests' safety and comfort and making sure that you have a good time. All questions are answered, including those that aren't asked. The Guides - very knowledgeable, answer any and all questions, make it fun, know the mother whales from previous seasons, make sure that you have a good whale experience, and they do great skits. The helpers at waterside guide the panga to a place where you can embark or debark (depending on the tide level), and they make sure that you get to and from the boat as well as on and off the boat safely. And they tote your luggage from the beach to the boat and back again. Glad to have them? You bet! The boat drivers are experts at finding and following the whales. They are the silent heroes of the day. They must follow the very stringent regulations that the Mexican government has set out for approaching the whales, approaching other boats that have whales around them, the number of passengers on the boat, the length of the trip, etc

The other guests: 2 families, assorted couples and friends from all over the US. We had three children ages 6-9. Oldest 81. We all got along famously because we all had an interest in nature and making sure the whales survive and thrive. We agreed that this trip was far beyond any of our expectations.

Extras: 1) tide pool walk. You will find shells with creatures in them, including octopus. Who knew?
2) kayaking in the mangroves. A nice kayak for about 30 minutes to see the birds. I missed the red spider in the leaves. Guides not only know the fish and other sea life, they know the birds too.

Imagine yourself in a chair on a sandy ledge above the beach... watching the whales play in the lagoon while the sun sets... with a friend and a cold Corona. Don't miss this trip. And when you come back, spread the word!

5  Thank Lyn K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"san ignacio lagoon"
in 12 reviews
"mother whales"
in 3 reviews
"whale watching"
in 10 reviews
"grey whales"
in 5 reviews
"rocky point"
in 2 reviews
"other guests"
in 3 reviews
"these gentle giants"
in 3 reviews
"solar showers"
in 2 reviews
"first rate"
in 3 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 2 reviews
"whale experience"
in 2 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 3 reviews
"hand washing station"
in 2 reviews
"large plastic"
in 2 reviews
"fresh fish"
in 2 reviews
in 8 reviews
in 5 reviews

1 - 5 of 42 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2018

This adventure was way more than I could have imagined. We are people who travel frequently and this trip was completely organized and all the transfers to a difficult and isolated location were smooth. Angie was incredible with the planning and information pre departure. She provided an informative booklet and pre and post departure hotel information which was important for us as we are travelling from Canada and would need at least a few days on either end to accommodate our international travel. Once the adventure began at the hotel pick up, she had all things under control, the border crossing at Tijuana was well organized and we were all prepared under her direction. We had some extra time due to the Daylight Saving time and she and her staff onboard the transfer bus took the group to a nice spot along the border to experience a tiny bit of the border town, instead of hanging out in the charter terminal at the airport. The trip to the lagoon was part of the experience of coming to such a remote location and was seamless with the transfers from bus to plane to van to boat and finally to camp. The camp was rustic but completely comfortable and clean with awesome food and drinks, and we are not easy to feed. The staff was incredible and knowledgable and of course fun to be around and that includes the guides, the panaga boat men, the camp staff and even the sheriff. The whale watching trip surpassed any expectations we may have had, although we were warned not to have any. The other activities during the day were also great, we were able to kayak, take a walk in tidal pools, and have a boat tour through the mangroves. We saw, touched and kissed many whales, saw lots of dolphins, a couple sea lions and at least one sea turtle. While at camp the views were awesome, at night the sky and stars where better than we have seen almost anywhere on our travels, the sunset and sunrise were both enjoyed from the camp. I cannot forget to mention the whales that you can see from your tent and the point spraying, spyhopping and breaching, frequently during the day. I also would like to mention that we were abit apprehensive about travelling with a group, as we normally travel by ourselves, the people on our adventure with us were like minded, fun and we enjoyed them very much. If you get the opportunity this is a trip like of a lifetime for variety of reasons. We hope to return one day.

1  Thank starq2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 23, 2018

This trip is simply transformative - to be among the enormous, gentle, awesome grey whales, to receive their trust when the mamas bring the babies for us to pet and even kiss, to look them in the eye, to observe their behaviors in their natural environment - all this is unparalleled. Baja Discovery has organized this trip perfectly, from the transportation to the ecocamp to the activities to the meals. All the guides are wonderful, knowledgeable, fun and friendly. The boat drivers are masters at staying quietly near the whales. In your on-shore hours, you can walk the beach, visit the low-tide flats where octopus and other amazing life are abundant, kayak the mangroves, or sit and watch the whales spouting offshore. Altogether a fantastic experience!

3  Thank Amy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 14, 2018

You could tell right away on the 1st day of travel, how seamless and coordinated everything was going to be.
Angie Mulders' love and dedication to protecting this unique lagoon for the whales and why she is sharing this amazing experience with others is obvious...
Right away the staff made you laugh and feel comfortable. It is also evident why they are so committed to coming back year after year, they love sharing this adventure and are the protectors of this land and lagoon.
The local fisherman with their knowledge of the lagoon and respect for the whales is clear as they drive the pongas everyday so we can have this amazing up close experience.
The tent cabins are new, fresh, clean cozy cots with sleeping bags and blankets.. all you need.
"No Expectations" ... but, Our whale experience was amazing every trip out, mother and calves up close, 2 adults playing around the boat, breaching in the distance and we counted 29 spy hops one afternoon.
Can't with to return !

3  Thank lazylb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed March 1, 2018 via mobile

Baja Discovery has thought of everything! Food delicious, staff knowledgeable & kind, accommodations clean & comfortable! Flight fun & spectacular views of Baja. No camp is closer to the whales. Incredible experience!!!

2  Thank Lindsey D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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