[:en]Whale season is getting underway in the Mexican Pacific, and Baja California Sur (BCS) is the place to be.
“The opportunities for whale encounters here are truly exceptional. We have the blue whale, the largest mammal on earth. We also have grays, humpback, fin, minke and pilots,” Bryan Jauregui tells Travel Agent.
Juaregui and her husband operate the boutique hotel Los Colibris Casitas, in Todos Santos. They also own Todos Santos Eco Adventures.
Todos Santos is a small Pueblo Magico, or Magic Town, located 45 miles up the coast from Cabo San Lucas. It’s about a 75-minute drive from the San Jose del Cabo Airport, and a 45-minute drive from Cabo San Lucas.
The destination attracts nature lovers and surfers throughout the year. But, whale season offers extra incentive to visit.
Humpbacks are usually the first whales to visit Todos Santos and environs. They arrive in October, stay through January and return in April. They’re known for their acrobatic breaching out of the water, to the delight of observers.
Gray whale sightings typically begin in BCS mid-January. The whales arrive to give birth in calm lagoons, then head back to their Alaskan feeding grounds with their young. It’s a 12,000-mile round trip. Encounters with them and their babies are nothing short of “transformative,” said Juaregui.
The whales give birth in Magdalena Bay, one of the most important wetlands ecosystems in North America.
“From the third week of January to mid-March, we have a two-day one-night trip there. We do six hours of whale watching in small boats. The mothers bring their babies up to us. You can put your hand out and touch them. To encounter these giant, but benign creatures in this setting is a spiritual experience,” said Juaregui.
Her company also operates a luxury tent camp on Isla Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez. The island is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the world’s best marine and bird-viewing destinations.