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Animal Encounters in Baja, Mexico

Playful Pups, Big Fish and Bigger Whales

Big, bigger or biggest? In the Sea of Cortez, marine life comes in all three sizes. You don't have to be a risk taker to get in the water, as there's no danger of becoming lunch for an animal ten times your size—though a young sea lion might take a playful nip at the tip of your swim fins. For the memory of a lifetime, you can slip overboard for a swim with the biggest fish in the sea, or hold position while a curious gray whale calf approaches your boat, closely followed by its attentive 40-ton mother.


  • Best for: Everyone, with amazing animal encounters
  • Best season to visit: Year round
  • Weather: Winter and spring air temperatures in the Socorro islands range from 70 degrees to the low 80s, with frequent sunshine. Similar surface conditions are found at Guadalupe Island in late summer and fall

Things to Do

Baja Information

Animal Interactions in Baja Overview

The most reliable whale shark swims take place near a point of land some ten miles from the port of La Paz. Visits to the Sea lion colonies near Isla Partida begin with a longer boat ride of 20-some miles, making it an all-day trip. Gray whale encounters take place in  Magdalena Bay, in the sheltered water on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula.

Animal Interactions in Baja Tips

It's easy to keep up with a slow-moving whale shark, but you'll never outswim a nimble sea lion pup. A better strategy is to wait and let the animals approach you, as they are naturally curious and often playful. Gray whale encounters follow strict guidelines for engagement, but when the animals approach voluntarily, it's acceptable to make touch contact.​

Best Places for Animal Interactions in Baja

Year-round encounters with large colonies of curious California brown sea lions take place around the shores of Los Islotes.  Near La Paz, snorkelers can slip into the water to swim with huge but harmless whale sharks. Each winter, gray whales return to the shelter of Magdalena Bay, providing a rare chance for up-close encounters.

What to Pack for Animal Interactions in Baja

Bring or rent a wetsuit for winter swims, as waters in the Sea of Cortez can drop to 70 degrees or below. For longer boat rides, fill a compact and water-resistant day pack with sundries such as sunscreen, towels, and possibly a dry change of clothing. Ask about sea conditions for longer trips to coastal islands and include motion-sickness meds if needed.


Animal Interactions


Hotel La Concha Beach Club Resort

BAJA - Located just 10 minutes away from downtown La Paz, La Concha Beach Resort has a peaceful and mellow atmosphere in front of the Sea of Cortez. Facilities include beach, swimming pool, restaurant, watersports facility and spa.

Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Book on-line or Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 or email us
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Animal Interactions


Club Cantamar Beach Hotel & Dive Center

LA PAZ - Located along the coast of the Sea of Cortéz featuring a top notch marina facility and an impressive fleet of dive boats providing easy access to the incredible sites in the Sea of Cortez. The 50-room beach resort was built by divers, for divers - including a recompression chamber on-site, gear lockers, swim-up bar, and great food served in a seaside restaurant, while still having plenty for non-divers including Whale Shark encounters, whale watching and snorkeling with Sea Lions.

Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for additional information.
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See Packages & Learn More

Passport and/or Visa Requirements

Entry Requirements: All U.S. citizens are required to present a valid passport. Visas are not required for stays of less than 180 days.

Exit Requirements: All persons leaving Baja, pay a Government Departure Tax of approximately USD $45, which should be included in your International ticket.


Vaccinations are not required for entry into Mexico. Check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at Health Information for Travelers to Mexico.

Culture and Customs

There are two distinctly contrasting social facets to the Baja Peninsula—one traditional, the other international. Most visitors know the vacation pleasures of the cape, where sun worship and nightly celebrations set the tone, and the party never stops. This is one of North America's favorite getaway destinations, home to every manner of indulgence and recreation. But venture beyond the cantinas and shops of Cabo San Lucas, and the posh resorts and golf courses of San Jose Del Cabo and you will discover a very different side of this sunny land. Here. the traditional culture of Baja is shaped by the region's remoteness, arid landscape and ties to the sea. These factors have forged a people who mix proud self-reliance with a spirit of cooperation and generosity. Here, in coastal cities such as La Paz and quite fishing towns, strangers quickly become amigos, the small details of life are celebrated each day, and even hardships are met with a smile and a shrug. Glimpses of this lifestyle are revealed with a walk along the Malecon in La Paz. Here, families gather in the evening to enjoy cool sea breezes, which may carry the sounds of music from the town bandstand and the scent of fresh-grilled fish or lobster offered from a street vendor’s cart.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity in Mexico is 120 volts, 60 cycles, no adapter will be needed for U.S. visitors. The country code or Mexico is 52. Check with your mobile provider for long distance plans and costs. Internet service is available at many hotels, restaurants and shops.

Water Quality

Most restaurants and bars in tourist locations use purified water. Outside of resorts, be cautious with ice in drinks or vegetables which have been washed in tap water. Bottled water is available for purchase and is recommended for drinking and brushing your teeth.

Language & Currency

Spanish is the official language of Mexico, but English is widely spoken in the populated areas. The local currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN). Merchants and businesses are no longer allowed to change U.S. dollars to pesos. That may be done at a currency exchange office. U.S. Credit Cards are widely accepted for purchases in stores and restaurants.


Baja is on Mountain Time and observes Daylight Savings Time. Baja is 7 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-7 GMT during Mountain Standard Time or MST) and 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-6 GMT during Mountain Daylight Time or MDT).

Location, Size and Population

Baja is the northernmost and westernmost of the 31 states of Mexico. It has an area of over 27,000 square miles or approximately 3.5% of the total land mass of Mexico. The mainland portion of the state has the Pacific Ocean to the west, California to the north and the Gulf of California to the East.

The population of Baja is 3.32 Million (2015).