For thousands of years the grey whales have migrated to Baja in the winter to bear their young in the warm and placid waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula. The grey whale migration takes them south past the west coast of the United States and the Pacific coast of Baja. Once the whales reach the Mexican coast, they mate, bask in soothing lagoons and give birth, making January through early April the peak time to whale watch.
Let's make our way down the Pacific Ocean coast through long beaches and dramatic sea side cliffs to see one of earth's most amazing creatures: The Illusive Gray Whale.
If you haven't been on a trek on the Gus Bus yet, you are missing out! This will make my fourth adventure with Baja Trek and I've always had an amazing time and come back with great memories and new friends.
Destination: Rosarito & Ensenada, Mexico
Departs: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Returns: Sunday, January 26, 2014
• Transportation from the border and back on the Gus Bus (an eco-friendly bus that has been converted to run on veggie fuel)
• 4-Hour Whale Watching Excursion off the coast of Ensenada
• Overnight stay at Young Dudes Surf Hostel in Alisitos
• Visit to Hussong's Cantina, Paradise Cove, Splash Seaside Restaurant, and Papas & Beer
• Strolling Ensenada's Boardwalk and fishing area
• Visit to the lobster capital of Baja, Puerto Nuevo
Friday night option:
For those who are interested in staying in San Diego on Friday night, we can stay at Lucky D's Hostel for about $25/ person. Lucky D's is located in the heart of San Diego's East Village district, just minutes walk from the Gaslamp district where we can enjoy the multitude of bars, clubs, restaurants and shops. They offer a free all you can make waffle breakfast on Saturday morning that we can enjoy before we head to the border for our weekend adventure. The hostel is also right near the Blue Line Trolley, which goes straight to our meetup location at the border (this could save $ on parking).
We'll get the weekend started right and meet up at the border on Saturday morning at 9am, where we'll park on the US side and walk across. Parking is extra and costs about $10 per 24 hours at UETA or you can take the Trolley from San Diego for about $3 each way.
We'll pile onto the Gus Bus for a leisurely drive to Rosarito Beach. We will park next to the famous beach club, Papas and Beer. We'll hang out in Rosarito Beach till about 2:00 PM so that you can snack, shop, and ride horses on the beach or drink and get crazy at Papas and Beer. There's also a cool new beach bar we can visit called Paradise Cove.
From Rosarito Beach we will make our way to Splash, one of the best restaurants in all of Baja California, with fantastic food at very reasonable prices, live entertainment and a full sports bar. Splash overlooks the ocean with an amazing view for a night of fun and camaraderie. After being stuffed with food at Splash we will head to Alisitos Beach, where we'll be staying overnight at the Young Dudes Surf Hostel, next to the La Fonda Hotel, overlooking the beach at the surf break at K58.
The hostel is great and includes free wifi, TV, pool table, and foosball. Accommodations will include a lower or upper bunk, or a single bed, in a room that is shared with others. There is a bathroom in the same room or just outside the room. Bedding and towels are provided. I've been here and this place feels more like a house that can accommodate a group of people. It's great!
Saturday night we can party at the La Fonda Hotel, Jose's, or at The Light House Bar, or just hanging out at the hostel.
Hold on as we meander to the seaside and follow the windy road as it hugs the coast. Our destination is the sea coast town of Ensenada. Famous for old Cantinas, fish tacos and a hospitable waterfront boardwalk.
After a few tasty tacos and a couple of sight seeing laps, it's time to board our boat and see out the migrating Gray Whale on it's yearly journey to southern Baja California to give birth to it's young.
It's a lazy boat ride into the Todo Santos Bay just off of Ensenada with our eyes peeled and ears strained to witness the unmistakable sight and sounds of whales breathing and breaching. It's 4 hours of whale watching and opportunities abound.
The Gray Whale starts it's yearly pilgrimage in the northern latitudes during October as the arctic ice moves south. After approximately 2-4 months and a swim that can last almost 7,000 miles the Gray Whale can be seen in the warm Lagoons of Baja California and the coastal waters near Ensenada.
Along with other marine life such as sea lions, dolphins, seals and a great diversity of birds you can imagine the experience is breathtaking.
We arrive back to the dock and continue our exploring of Ensenada, with a stop at Hussong's Cantina, the oldest cantina in the California's for a couple of beers or margaritas.
Then it's on to the fishing village of Puerto Nuevo for lobster, seafood or just a relaxing walk around. Often called the Lobster Capital of Baja, Puerto Nuevo has been preparing it's traditional faire since 1954 with the opening of it's first secret recipe restaurant. Since then people from over the world have come to enjoy the magic of Puerto Nuevo.
After a few souvenirs its back up the coast to the spectacular rays of the setting sun over the tranquil pacific. Relaxed, we'll swap stories, emails and long for the next great Baja Trek adventure. Good bye our new friends, the Gray Whales.
What to Bring
- A Backpack or duffel bag with such travel basics as shorts, pants, long and short sleeved shirts, hoodie/ jacket, swimsuit, personal toiletries, hiking shoes, flip flops, sunscreen, head lamp or flashlight.
- Your driver's license and a passport or a passport card.
The passport or passport card takes 4-6 weeks, so if you don't have one, you should probably hurry up and get one. Here are the links:
Baja Trek prides themselves on offering a safe, comfortable journey for their trekkers. Though Mexico City and many mainland border towns have a bad rap in terms of crime and safety standards, Baja is a much safer and risk-free place to travel. Furthermore, their level of experience, knowledge and comfort with living, traveling, and guiding tours in Baja, as well as the presence of people on board, assures trekkers a safe and enlightening experience. To learn more, please visit http://bajatrek.com/baja-travel-faq.htm.
By signing up for this trip, you agree to the Legal Disclaimer & Release of Liability