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We tend to think of three locations when we talk about the winter calving lagoons for the California Grey Whales that lie on the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula : Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Scammon’s Lagoon) in Guerrero Negro, Laguna San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena. Magdalena, however, isn’t really a single location at all, but a 300km long complex of lagoons, and therefore there is more than one option for those who wish to visit: the largest is Puerto San Carlos (population 4,700) to the south, which is favoured by daytrippers from Los Cabos and La Paz. Less than half the size and less visited is Lopez Mateos (population 2,000), but small can be beautiful and in this case makes for a relaxed whale watching experience at least the equal of what is available elsewhere.

 

It started off as a daytrip to Ensenada - an opportunity to try out some of the newer wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe at the start of May. Aurora, Juan Carlos, Norma and myself headed south knowing that the journey would be slower than usual due to the newer road being closed for rebuilding after subsidence the previous December. This meant we'd need to follow the old road south, a road which bends inland near La Misión and offers spectacular mountain scenery in contrast to the coastal road under repair.
A paradise for campers, snorkellers and kayakers alike, Bahía Concepción (Conception Bay) also provides some of the most spectacular coastal scenery anywhere on the Baja California peninsula. If you travel along the transpeninsular highway (Mex 1) you can see nearly 50km of turquoise waters and golden sands en route between Loreto and Mulegé on the Cortés coast
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No visit to La Paz would be complete without a day's boat trip to the island archipelago which lies to the north of the city, consisting of Islas Espiritu Santo and Partida as well as the isolated rocks known as Los Islotes. This excursion is popular for good reason, as it shows off the best that La Paz can offer. Spectacular scenery ranges from dramatic rock formations to idyllic beaches. Wildlife encounters abound on and offshore in the place Jacques Cousteau dubbed "The World's Aquarium".

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