We made reservations ahead of time to go whale watching on San Ignacio Lagoon with Antonio’s Ecotours. We arrived on the afternoon of March 14 and set up camp, which means just putting the top up on the camper. The drive from San Ignacio is 48 km with 17 of it on gravel. Our rig handles the gravel road just fine, although we did hear comments about the washboard road from people in passenger vehicles.
Our campsite was on a bluff overlooking the lagoon. There was one other campsite occupied when we arrived. We had reservations for two nights camping and the whale watching tour. We had reserved an afternoon whale watching tour on the 15th. Upon arriving, though, we discovered that we could join an earlier whale watching tour, so we signed up for the 8 AM tour.
Camping facilities at Antono’s are rather spartan. There is no electricity or water at the sites. There are composting toilets and a solar heated bucket shower. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. There are also a number of small cottages available to rent. We had dinner in the restaurant with live music before dinner.
While enjoying the view from our campground we were entertained by a pair of Osprey that were wheeling around just overhead.
In the morning we were at the camp headquarters at 7:40 to get outfitted with life jackets. Then we climbed aboard one of the pangas for the 20-minute ride to the whale watching location. I had both my Sony RX100 and a GoPro with me to document the event. Here’s a short video:
It’s just simply amazing to be sitting in one of these small boats with the Grey Whales cruising by, most often pairs with mothers and calves. They will occasionally come up so close to the boat you can reach out and touch them. In the morning, with the sun shining, the spouts would create rainbows. We spent 90 minutes with the whales, and then it was back to land. It’s astounding to think that while we were here as friendly observers, 150 years ago these animals were hunted.
Watching the sun set over the lagoon was beautiful.