9th Annual Whale Watching Trip in Guerrero Negro, Baja Sur Feb 19-21 2016

THIS is why we are going!
February 19, 20, & 21 2016

A 3-day whalewatching trip to Guerrero Negro to ride out into the bay in pangas, to look at, photograph,and maybe touch a whale! The best season is from January through March.

SCHEDULE
Friday – February19
  • 6:00am – Depart San Diego and head south for FUN
  • Noon – Lunch and fuel break in San Quintin.
  • 6pm – Arrive in GN, get hotel rooms, eat dinner and enjoy the fabulous sunset!!

Saturday – February 20
  • 6:30am – Depart the hotel and drive to the whale watching headquarters, about 30 minutes away.
  • 8am – Board the panga for 2-hours of whale watching.
  • 10am – Repeat if necessary for more photographs!
  • 1pm – Optional free tour of the salt factory in town. Reservations required.
  • 3pm - Visit the "Haunted" Lighthouse, if you dare...

Sunday – February 21
  • 6am – Depart for San Diego.
  • 5pm – Arrive at the border.

COST
  • Guerrero Negro is about 450 miles south of the border. Passports are required. Credit cards are not accepted.
  • Gasoline: Plan on 1000 miles with side trips. At 25 mpg the fuel cost is ~$150 round trip. This cost will be split between all members in the cars.
  • Insurance: Depends on the value of your car – from $30-$60 for the weekend depending on the value of your car. This cost will be split between all members in the cars.
  • One place to check for insurance is here.

LODGING:
  • No reservations required for the hotel which costs ~$28/night/two people/two double beds.
  • Currently 350 pesos for one bed & 2 people, 400 pesos for two beds & 2 people, 460 pesos for 2 beds & 4 people, 500 pesos for three beds & 3 people, and 560 pesos for 3 beds & 6 people. (as of Jan 14, $1.00=14.2 pesos) 
  • We will share rooms and split the cost between those you have in your room.
  • The rooms aren’t heated, but they are clean and have hot showers and a TV.
FOOD:
  • Bring your own or eat in the town.
  • Most people will probably choose to eat together in town.
  • The cost for food in town is ~$1 per taco or up to $6-$10.00 for local delicacies such as birria de chivo and huaraches.
  • NOTE: if you are going to the cave paintings, bring a lunch for that day.
BOAT FEES:
  • $45.00 for adults, $35.00 for kids, for a two-hour trip.
  • You can go out more than once if you want to but you will need to pay another $45.00.
  • Here is their website
MEXICO VISA:
  • The required visa costs about ~$20 and is good for 6-months if you are a US citizen
  • 3-months for everyone else.
  • A 7-day free visa is sometimes available if certain conditions are met.
COST SUMMARY:
  • If the car is worth ~$15K and there are 4-persons/car and 4-persons/room – insurance, gas, room, one boat trip & a paid visa would be about $135 + food.
  • With the free tourist visa the cost would be ~$115 + food.
  • Warm clothes and windbreakers are a necessity!
  • Without SCUBA and camping stuff we can fit a lot of people in a car.
NOTE:
  • We drive directly to the panga launching dock through the salt flats of GN.
  • They are a large producer of salt for export and world consumption!
  • Cool side photographic spot!
  • You get to see the great Gray Whales in their natural and protected environment at Guerrero Negro Lagoon and Scammons Lagoon (Laguna Ojo de Liebre).
  • Here you will find the largest number of these mammals in the world.
  • Many Gray Whales, are born in Mexican waters so don’t miss this opportunity to possibly touch a whale or the whale’s calves.
TIPS:
  • Binoculars can help provide more detailed observations for behaviors. When viewing whales from land, 10x50 wide-angle binoculars are best. From boats or airplanes, use 8x40 or 7x50 binoculars instead.
  • This isn’t a SCUBA trip, we will be in pangas.
DRIVING DOWN SAFELY - MEXICAN CAR INSURANCE
  • Don’t drive in Mexico without it.
  • Shop for insurance where you like but one inexpensive place is Baja Bound at this link.
  • You will need to buy your insurance before joining this trip.
  • (It would take too long for all of us to buy it at the border.)
DRIVING DIRECTIONS:
  • Driving directions will be provided for the trip.
  • We will also be in a caravan using Midland Walkie-Talkies between all of the cars.
  • We will drive no faster than you are comfortable with driving.
  • Currently the group leader has four radios available for the trip.
  • Most GMRS radios should work.
  • There is a beautiful divided highway toll road along the coast from Tijuana to Ensenada with three toll booths costing around $2.25-$2.30 each.
CLOTHING:
  • It gets windy on the ponga while on the lagoon so be sure to bring a windbreaker and a couple of sweatshirts.
  • An extra pair of pants for after the whale watching may be handy if you get a little wet in the panga.
FINE PRINT:
  • PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE BEFORE FEBRUARY 16th SO CARPOOLING CAN BE ARRANGED
  • With trip confirmation, a packing list and pre trip meeting date will be sent to you.
  • The dollars to peso exchange rate can be up to 30% greater north of the border; details on exchanging money will also be sent.

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