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Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

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Georgia
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Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

Hi everyone,

My spouse and I will be flying into Loreto from LAX next year for the whale watching season in 2014... and we are considering our options for getting from Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon. We have limited time, as this is a trip extension from a business trip to San Diego... so we were thinking about renting a car when we arrive at 1:30 p.m. and heading straight to the lagoon from LTO. I know that we should not drive after dark... but I'm hoping we would be nearly to the lagoon before it gets dark if we choose this option. Also-- we know some Spanish but we're definitely not fluent. Finally, we were wondering whether a regular vehicle as opposed to a 4WD will suffice. Anyone see any red flags with our plan??

If you have any alternative suggestions for transportation, and/or can recommend a specific rental car agency (or any to avoid) we would appreciate the info. Thanks!

rincon de...
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1. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

I have been to all whale calving areas in Baja, if you wanted to get to San Ignacio Lagoon the same day you landed you would have to drive almost 4 hours to the town then another hour for the last 30 miles to the lagoon...I have been there when it was so windy the boats would not go out...

A much friendlier spot is Puerto Lopez Mateos on Magdaleina Bay, it is a lot more visitor friendly with hotels,restaurants a pier to board the boats and many friendly whales,dolphins and sea birds...There is a barrier island which blocks much of the wind,It is only 2 hours south of Loreto and you would make it easily before dark...

Georgia
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2. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

Thanks, Carico. We will look into your suggestion... but we are also interested in learning more about the car rental idea from LTO to San Ignacio......

rincon de...
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3. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

Well rent a car at the airport and head north on Highway1, you will pass beautiful Conception Bay, the oasis town of Mulege, Santa Rosalita was built around a French copper mine ...then up,up,up a breathtaking mountain road, lava fields and a view of 3 volcanoes...Arrive San Ignacio...270 KM 3:50 min...

Drive through town to road to lagoon and drive 30KM or about 1 hour on the dirt road to the lagoon...enjoy

Seems to me that by arriving at 1:30PM,going through customs and immigration, getting a rent a car, you would not be on your way till around 3 PM, it takes about 4:50 min. to drive so you will be driving in the dark!

Georgia
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4. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

OK, thanks so much, Carico. This is very helpful information. Perhaps we will spend the night in Loreto first and leave the next morning, if we decide to to to San Ignacio Lagoon......

rincon de...
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5. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

Here is a copy of my recommendation for another board:

Puerto Lopez Mateos at Magdalena Bay

My favorite, hotels, free secure parking, free camping, 4 or 5 restaurants, clean bathrooms, 3 tour operators, pier to board panga, you are in a long ( 35 mile ) strip of water maybe a mile across, you can see many whales swimming up and down the Bay from the dock. Within 5 min. you are with the whales, very friendly whales here. lots of dolphins and bird watching. Not as windy because of barrier island.

Edited: 08 May 2013, 21:55
Georgia
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6. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

Gracias, Carico-- yes in fact I already read this post :-) We are definitely looking into Puerto Lopez Mateos... thanks for your helpful suggestions!

Oxfordshire, United...
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7. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

We are also considering going from UK to San Ignacio Lagoon in February to see the Whales (hopefully with calves) however it's proving a logistical nightmare!

I was intending to fly to San Diego then fly down to Loreto (maybe stay overnight somewhere?) then get a car to drive to San Ignacio for 2 nights. The do the opposite in reverse.

However it seems a shame to spend such a lot of time in limbo because of the travelling times.

I'm also struggling to get a flight from San Diego to Loreto.

How does Magdalena Bay compare to San Ignacio?We really want to see the whales up close if at all possible.

If we went there instead, where would be fly into from either LAX or San Diego?

Georgia
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8. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

I'm sure that Carico can tell you more about how the two places compare.... but I can tell you that based on our research so far, you will have a lot more luck flying from LAX to Loreto rather than from San Diego. They have daily flights from LAX that fly direct to Loreto. I hope you get to go! p.s I've been in touch with Pachico of Pachico's Ecotours (the guys that originally found the friendly whales in 1972 and started it all)... and they have assured me that there will be plenty of moms and calves around in mid to late February at San Ignacio Lagoon :-)

rincon de...
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9. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

Here was my review of San Ignacio Lagoon

:San Ignacio is about 30 miles (1hour driving time) on a dirt road to the lagoon, there is rustic camping there as well as tours with their own campgrounds. There are a couple of tour operators here , there is no pier to enter panga ( read muddy and far at low tide) it can take 45 min. to the whale grounds here also. It can be very windy where pangas will not go out till it dies down in a day or two...There are friendly whales here.

Rocklin, California
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10. Re: Questions about car rental- Loreto to San Ignacio Lagoon

Re: Puerto Lopez. I have been there, also, on a tour from Cabo (all day) and really enjoyed it. Having driven (well. he did the driving, I just rode) the Baja several times in a pickup truck/cabover camper towing a 22' boat, I love Cariico's description of the "breathtaking" mountain road from Santa Rosalita - that's a mild description, especially on way back. Absolutely beautiful drive, but if you do do it, know how to gear down and not use brakes - last trip was in an RV caravan and we had a few in front of us wanted to use brakes all the way down - surprised none burned out - but using lower gears it's a pretty easy drive (and you can see forever) that you can enjoy. Actually a very nice drive overall, and I look forward to doing it again someday (as the driver) and if not by my 5th wheel/truck, then by air to Loreto, so appreciate all the info on this thread..

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