Baja Gray Whale Expedition (Marine Mammal Institute)

Join the Marine Mammal Institute for an extraordinary whale-watching adventure.

Our next expedition will be February 24–March 4, 2025.

Registration will open summer 2024.

Late each calendar year, gray whales begin one of the longest migrations on the planet, swimming from their feeding grounds in the north Pacific to their breeding grounds in protected lagoons along the west coast of Baja California, Mexico. Here, they mate and give birth to their calves. From January to March, the whales are concentrated in the protected, shallow waters of San Ignacio lagoon, offering one of the best whale watching opportunities in the world. OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute has been hosting small-group educational expeditions here for more than 30 years.

We are pleased to offer a redesigned experience with land-based accommodations for a small group of 20 guests. The trip cost of $6,500 per person includes a tax-deductible donation to the MMI Graduate Student Fellowship Fund. Comfortable accommodations, group meals, learning through informal talks and field trips, and one-of-a-kind encounters with spectacular animals in their wild and beautiful environments form the core of this expedition.

We invite you to explore view the video above and testimonials from past guests for a look inside this extraordinary adventure. 

We look forward to traveling with you!
Days 1–3

Your expedition will begin in Loreto, Mexico, a small and historic mission town along the east coast of Baja California Sur. Accommodations in a comfortable hotel provide close access to daily marine mammal excursions in the Gulf of California and an exploration of Baja’s rich ecology. You will also have some free time to explore on your own.

Days 4–7

Our group will travel overland by shuttle to San Ignacio Lagoon, on the western side of Baja California. Here we will stay at Campo Ramón in spacious geodome tents. This location allows intimate access to the protected lagoon, where gray whales breed and give birth to their young. An optional excursion through mangrove marsh channels will provide remarkable bird watching, guided by local naturalists.

San Ignacio Lagoon

Each day we will venture into the lagoon in small boats, operated by local guides, to search for gray whales. The lagoon is legendary for watching whale behavior — blowing, spy-hopping, and breaching — and especially for mother-and-calf pairs who sometimes approach small boats, at times so close we can reach over the side to touch them.

Days 8–9

We'll depart early from the lagoon to travel overland back to Loreto, stopping along the way to explore. We'll enjoy a final group dinner before parting ways.