Each year hundreds of California Gray Whales spend up to three months in the protected, calm waters of San Ignacio Lagoon on the Pacific Coast of the Baja Peninsula. Here they mate, give birth, and raise their young in preparation for the long migration north to the feeding grounds of the Arctic. It was in this very lagoon in 1977 where Doug Thompson, our Director of Expeditions, was one of the first to experience the phenomenon that changed the relationship between humans and whales — a mother whale presenting her baby for us to touch. Now, almost 40 years later of visiting this magical lagoon nearly every year, this wonderful experience “visiting the home of the friendly whales” is something we encourage you to experience. Coming face-to-face with a gentle giant is an encounter you will never forget.
Expeditions to experience the friendly Gray Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California
San Ignacio Lagoon has a ruggedness, magnificence, and variety of scenery and wildlife that delights anyone with a love of adventure and beauty. Baja is a wonderland to be experienced, most of it remaining as it was a thousand years ago.
The SummerTree Institute recommends you discover for yourself the gentleness of these wondrous friendly Gray Whales, and explore ancient stories, mystical lore, and rare insights into new scientific discoveries about these amazing creatures and the oceans that they call home.
Over the years, The SummerTree Institute has led many expeditions to San Ignacio Lagoon. There are several outfitters that currently run camps around the lagoon that host guests as they experience the friendly Gray Whales in their ancestral breeding ground. Aboard their skiffs, you’ll get excitingly close to enormous Gray Whales as they cruise the lagoon and investigate curious humans in small crafts. Nothing compares to being within an arm’s length of a living, breathing, friendly whale. Here in this secluded sanctuary, whales not only teach their newborn calves how to survive, but they also teach us how to have a new relationship with the wild creatures of our oceans.