The gray whales place Guerrero Negro on the world wide map for eco-tourism from January through March. The whales travel to the lagoons and natural bays in Baja to breed and give birth to their calves, normally around 1000 pounds, from January through March. About 10 percent of gray whales are called friendly, meaning they approach the boats, to show off their calves, sometimes moms lift the calves up to the boats to be petted. This behavior has given the gray whales the name of world's friendliest whales.
It is largely due to the extensive efforts of the Mexican government that the California gray whale has been saved from extinction. Their numbers have increased from a mere 2,000 at the turn of the 20th century to over 20,000 with their population still growing. The lagoon know world wide Scammon's lagoon named after the infamous predator, a Yankee whaler, of the species who discovered the lagoon's entrance. Captain Charles Scammon's ship Guerrero Negor, (black warrior), sunk near the coast in the 1850s. Scammon's Lagoon is center to the efforts of the Mexican government efforts in restoring California Gray whale populations.
Today the lagoon, locally known as "Laguna Ojo de Liebre," eye of the jackrabbit, is a restricted sanctuary for marine mammals and migratory birds, protected by SEMARNAP, the Mexican Secretary of Environment; And is part of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, recognized by the Man and Biosphere program of UNESCO.
The public access gate to the lagoon and Gray Whale Natural Park, is open only from January through March when dry camping is also permitted for a small fee. Kayaks and private boats are prohibited from entering the lagoons waters; only government-authorized boats are allowed.
There is no shortage of SEMARNAP-licensed boats / tour guides, information is provided by hotels for guided whale watching tours. Many fishermen transform their operations to guides during the whale watching season. However, not only is Guerrero Negro the first stop for whales who traveled 6000 miles from the Bering sea, it is also the first stop for whale watchers traveling down the Baja coastline. Hotel room accommodations can become scares during the whale watching season, make reservations.
The next Lagoon for the Gray Whales is Laguna San Ignacio.