Whale watching near La Paz.Autumn signals the start of the annual migration south of the California gray whales from the Bering Sea to the lagoons of Baja California for the winter.

The 12,000-mile roundtrip journey is estimated to be the longest migration of any mammal on earth.

La Paz, at the southern tip of Baja California, offers a variety of trip operators and options for whale-watching tours.

Up to as many as 300 whales can be sighted on any day during the mating and calving season, providing a close-up view of one of the best natural shows on the planet.

La Paz’s annual Grey Whale Festival from Feb. 1 to 15 celebrates the migrations taking place on the water as well as a number of activities on shore.

A listing of operators offering excursions from half-day tours to two-day and longer trips can be found at www.lapaz-tourism.com.

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