Family Vacations to Baja, Mexico

Baja, Mexico
Go whale watching in Baja's Magdalena Bay (Courtesy, Bruce Herman)

Baja Highlights

  • Go whale watching.
  • Swim in the calm waters of Loreto's Sea of Cortez.
  • Try fishing for tuna, yellowtail, and other sport fish.
  • Take a tour of Magdalena Bay.

For decades, Pacific gray whales have made the 5,000-mile journey from the cold seas of Alaska to the warm waters and protected lagoons of the southern Baja Peninsula. From February to mid-March, Magdalena Bay, about 165 miles northwest of La Paz, becomes the Daytona 500 of whale watching. Laguna San Ignacio, about 40 miles southwest of San Ignacio, is also a prime spot.

From the Los Cabos area you can arrange a flight and a day tour of Magdalena Bay. Several tour operators offer multi-day camping trips, some combining sea kayaking on the Sea of Cortez with whale watching at Magdalena Bay. Companies include OARS (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists), Sea & Adventures, and Baja Expeditions.

On the Sea of Cortez, about 300 miles north of Los Cabos, Loreto is another popular Baja destination. Loreto draws families because of its calm waters, sandy beaches, sport fishing, snorkeling, and diving. Even though Loreto, like Los Cabos, Cancun, and other areas, has been designated for improvement by Mexico's tourism development division, the area retains its laid-back fishing village heritage. Watch the local fisherman unload their catches by late morning or try your luck fishing for dorado, yellowfin tuna, and yellowtail.

The Bahia de Loreto Marine Park, another prime attraction, stretches 800 square miles and consists of five islands—Coronado, Del Carmen, Danzante, Montserrate, and Santa Catalina. All are accessible by boat only and enroute you might pass sea lions and dolphins. Coronado, one of the most accessible of the park's islands, offers white-sand beaches and snorkeling just offshore. The waters are also prime kayak spots.'s resident family expert Candyce Stapen has written the book on family travel, having authored some 1,400 travel articles and 27 books, 26 of them on family travel. She is the winner of the 2004 "Caribbean Travel Writer of the Year for North America" award and a three-time winner of the Society of American Travel Writers' Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism award. Her articles have appeared in publications including Nick Jr , FamilyFun , Parents , Better Homes & Gardens , Conde Nast Traveler , National Geographic Traveler , and the Family Travel Network , among others. Her book, the National Geographic Guide to Caribbean Family Vacations is available from

Published: 26 Nov 2007 | Last Updated: 9 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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