Lagoon Tour: Whale Watching at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

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Baja California is the earth's longest and narrowest peninsula--more than 300 miles long and only about 60-70 miles across. This land route toward the gray whales' winter home is rugged and arid. Journey North's Jane Duden traveled (about 9 hours by car) from San Diego, CA, across the Mexican border and south to the 28th parallel to visit Guerrero Negro and nearby Laguna Ojo de Liebre. Here's what she saw:

(Click photos to enlarge.)





This way to the whales!

Gray Whales: Humanity's Heritage

Vizcaino Desert Biosphere Reserve is a 7-million acre area that protects Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Laguna San Ignacio, bighorn sheep habitat, and pre-Columbian cave paintings.

Entrance to the beach for whale watching at Laguna Ojo de Liebre




Whale skeleton in front of Visitor Center/Restaurant

Rules for whale watchers

A panga (boat) holds 10 people and the driver, who is well-trained and careful around the whales.

Wading in shallow water to get into our panga. Farther out, the water is about 30-40 feet deep.




Ice or snow? SALT!

A fin

A tail

"Footprint" or glassy area that shows where a whale went down




Coming closer...A 45-foot, 35-ton gray is about the same size and weight as 10 big elephants.

A friendly whale lets us touch her.

Close, but swimming away

Heading back to the Visitor Center


Sign at Visitor Center tells about migration

Migration route

About the barnacles on whales. Once they have settled on "their" gray, these small crustaceans spend their entire lives in the same place. A big whale can carry over 200 pounds of barnacles!

The dunes along the lagoon