Whale Watching at Ojo de LiebreWhale watching at Ojo de Liebre lagoon

Ojo de Liebre lagoon (also known to Americans as Scammon’s Lagoon) extends for over 27 miles inland, and has an average width of 7 miles. It can be described as a series of intricate, narrow channels separated by shallow sand bars. The current in the channels near the mouth can reach speed of up to 5 knots. This is due to the size of the lagoon interior, the narrow mouth of the lagoon (2.5 miles) and that all the water inside needs to go out in a short period to reach low tide.

To this lagoon, the first whales start arriving as early as December 20th, and leave completely as late as April 10th. The females have most of their babies inside the lagoon, and most are born during the first week of February. In mid February, Ojo de Liebre lagoon hosts  up to 50% of the gray whale calves born each year, or what is about 800 newborn whales. The babies never separate from their mothers more than a couple of feet while in the lagoon. The total counts of the last 4 years reach 2000 whales in the lagoon at one time. This is the highest density of whales anywhere in the world.  And it is a unique and outstanding natural phenomenon that brings incredible opportunities to witness one of the biggest animals of the planet performing incredible displays of strength, speed, and at the same time the unbelievable care and delicate touch with their babies and humans in boats.   

The mothers with babies can be curious about the boats and the people in them and approach to inspect, and sometimes let the people pet the baby. This behavior is puzzling and at the same time incredible. It is the only wild animal that allows humans to get close to their babies. Something like this won't happen with any other wild animal, which are usually aggressive or extremely cautious about humans when they have their babies, avoiding any closeness.  

Near the mouth of the lagoon, whales are into their mating and courtship behavior. This is an spectacular display of strength where males compete to be able to copulate with the few receptive females who are still available to get pregnant. This area in particular gives excellent photographic opportunities, as well as a sensation to be surrounded by whales ready to surface anywhere at any time.

Bird Watching at Ojo de Liebre

Ojo de Liebre lagoon is also an outstanding bridwatching destination, comparable to San Franciso Bay in the number of birds and species that can be found during the winter months or their migrations. Several species of seabirds nest on the inner island or edges and sand bars. There is also many species of birds that take advantage of  the salt pond's brine shrimp and flies, which are abundant and a good food supply. There are as many as 200 species registered in the area, but there is always new species identified in the area.

Facilities and Services

There are several companies that provide services to go out on boats to whale watch. These have government permit are follow restrict regulations. There are also several options of accomodations and transportation to the remote town of Guerrero Negro. You can drive from San Diego border (about 10-12 hrs), take a bus (9 hrs), or by plane.

All in all, Ojo de Liebre is a little known outstanding wildlife destination.  If you want to know more about this lagoon whales and how to get there, go to TripAdvisor's Baja California Off the Beaten Path ecotour companies

Ojo de Liebre lagoon, Baja Sur, Mexico