Baja, Mexico - eco-friendly lodging to see whales

We are planning a weeklong trip to Mexico around Christmastime and especially want to see whales and other marine life in Baja. We would like to stay away from touristy areas and big resorts and are more interested in eco-friendly resorts/lodging/tours - but I'm having a hard time discerning which "ecotourism" sites are truly eco-friendly, with a small footprint and legitimately sustainable practices. We will be with two teenage children and are ok roughing it a bit as long as we have a comfortable place to sleep and eat and can spend lots of time in/near the sea watching whales. We would probably fly down and wouldn't have a car there so somewhere accessible or with transportation from the airport would be ideal.

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I want to suggest reviewing the department of state travel site:  travel.state.gov    I've travelled alone from Mexico City D.F. to Acapulco by bus many years ago, and my cousin surfed in Baja until he got held up several years ago.   Some Mexican American friends no longer travel to visit relatives in Mexico.  I know that is not your question, but in case it is relevant information to you, I wanted to offer this information, in terms of going off the beaten path.

I’m the original poster. Thank you for this reply. I should add, we want to be somewhere safe, and off the beaten track in terms of away from big touristy resorts. But we have never been to Mexico and don’t speak Spanish so not too far off the beaten track and somewhere with basic conveniences and facilities readily available. Thanks.

We truck camped at Laguna San Ignacio at Antonio's Ecotours (https://cabanassanignacio.com/about/) in Feb 2019.  I believe they had composting toilets and such.  We didn't use the cabanas since we had our own lodging but the meals were nice and communal-- I'm not sure what they are doing for covid.  It's definitely rustic, not touristy and you'd need to rent a car to get there, but it was absolutely beautiful.  The whale watching was incredible and the entire area is an eco preserve.  We will definitely go back someday! 

My husband and I went to Kuyima at San Ignacio lagoon in April 4 years ago.

https://www.kuyima.com/en/home/

We went in April since that's when the grey whales have their calves, not sure how many whales are there around Christmas time. We slept in tents but they have cabins. They served tasty meals. We rented a car to drive up from Loreto. It was a wonderful experience and I found the establishment to have a very small ecological footprint and the guides were especially considerate of the whales. There is no wifi or telephone service, and we actually lost track of time and accidentally stayed a day longer than we meant to in our original plans. We had a great time and can't wait to go back when our kids are a little older. We've also taken kayaking trips out of la paz and Loreto (https://seakayakbajamexico.com/ is a great company, the owner was a NOLS guide) where we've seen a lot of wildlife. Feel free to message me happy to share our experience further. 

As regards state department warnings, I can say that 1.5 years ago southern Baja was not an area of concern. I can't help you with lodging, but you really should check out Baja Sierra Adventures. We did a typical all-inclusive in San Jose del Cabo that was probably environmentally heinous. We connected with Edgardo for a day trip and it was the highlight of our vacation. We hiked in the desert and jumped into beautiful granite swimming holes. Even the bus ride out of town was great; we were the only tourists and got to see people just going about their lives. This company is definitely not green-washed, it's just Edgardo leading awesome trips.

Hi,

Have you looked into Cabo Pulmo? It's a small town on the Sea of Cortez about an hour north of San Jose del Cabo. Not only is the entire town eco-friendly, the waters around are part of a national park. It's a great success story -- founded as a park only 26 years ago, it has a living, thriving coral reef. We were staying in a town north of it called La Ribera so we only spent one day there. We went on a fabulous snorkeling tour and it's also a great spot for scuba diving if you like that. We were there in July, so there were no whales. The town is very small, though you do have a few choices of places to stay -- we rented a home in La Ribera so I can't speak to the accommodations, but it is very focused on conservation.

You can get more info here: https://www.cabopulmo.com/ and here: https://cabopulmoecoadventures.com/en/. You'll have to look into transportation. Not sure if you're not renting a car because of the cost or if you're unsure about driving in Mexico. In our experience, we had no issues driving around the area at all. Roads are marked (though the last few miles to Cabo Pulmo are a dirt road), signs are clear. You may want to have one in case you have a really windy day or bad weather while you're there. There are some cute towns nearby (Los Barriles and Santiago) and a great waterfall hike. FWIW, we felt very safe for the week we were there. Los Cabos is a really nice international airport. We didn't go into San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas at all -- as you mention, too touristy.

Happy to char more about it if you want -- just DM me.