Whale Watching Season Has Begun In Baja California Sur

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The official whale watching season for Baja California Sur has begun! The season started on December 15, 2018 and ends on May 30, 2019. Populations of close to 2,000 are expected to arrive to the waters of Baja, the regional delegate of the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp), Benito Bermúdez Almada, announced.

For the 2018-2019 season, a total of 450 permits were distributed to local tourist service providers in different regions and with different dates, to meet the arrival of humpback whales, blue whales and grey whales in Southern Californian waters, he explained.

“For the particular case of the Puerto Adolfo López Mateos region, Puerto San Carlos, Magdalena Bay and Santa María, all in the municipality of Comondú, permits are dated from January 1 to April 30, 2019. This is also the case for Puerto Chale and Magdalena Bay in the municipality of La Paz, which covers the official season for the observation of gray whales in these communities,” Bermúdez Almada added.

Without a doubt, one of the greatest spectacles in the state is the arrival of thousands of gray whales. These mammals migrate from the Arctic to Baja California to feed and give birth.  

Officials are estimating that there could be up to 2000 whales by the end of February, which is good news for tourism.  Whale watching season usually brings in about 10,000 tourists to the area and officials hope that this season will be much the same.

Tourist service providers concede that although January 1st marked the official start to whale watching season, the majority of tourists arrive in late January and the month of February.

In the state of Baja California Sur, there are four major areas for whale sightings: Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Guerrero Negro, Laguna de San Ignacio and Magdalena Bay.

La Laguna Ojo de Libre, for example, is located near the community of Guerrero Negro and Laguna de San Ignacio is located half way up the BCS peninsula, around 770 kilometers north of La Paz and 760 kilometers south of Tijuana. Both communities area located in the municipality of Mulege.

Whale watching is also possible from Puerto San Carlos and Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos in the municipality of Comondu.  Both communities are much closer to La Paz and therefore receive the majority of tourists.  Those communities are located about 215 kilometers from the state capital.

The gray whale and her habitat have been protected by law in the Official Mexican Norm NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010.