Guerrero Negro

Guerrero Negro is not at the top of the list for any traveler, except those who know to seek out the grey whales during their annual migration along the Pacific coast. Otherwise, the town has little to be desired and acts more like a rest stop than a destination in itself. 

You can meet all sorts of logistical needs in Guerrero Negro – from groceries and purified water to fuel, propane and dump stations located in a handful of campgrounds in town. Virtually everything you need is located along the main road leading to and from town off Highway 1.

Located at the northernmost border with Baja California Norte, Guerrero Negro is not an average Baja California Sur town as the weather is quite different. It seems almost northern California-esque as it stays cloudy most of the time with the average temperature around 67F. 

Interestingly, the city is located on the edge of the Vizcaino Desert. Although it does not appear desirable, Guerrero Negro has something special to offer travelers. From January to April, the magnificent grey whales come to give birth in nearby lagoons as it is the first stop they make on their long journey from Alaska. 

This in itself is worth the stop, particularly as you will drive through magnificently colored salt flats that produce over seven million tons of salt per year. 

Guerrero Negro was founded in 1957 as a salt camp. Initially called Salina Vizcaino, the name was later changed to Guerrero Negro, which means “black warrior,” after a ship that sank there in the mid-19th century.

In addition to whales and salt works, there are giant dunes that seem to magnificently melt into the ocean. The scenic place is an excellent spot for photographers. 

Things to do in Guerrero Negro

Although there is not much to do in Guerrero Negro, the things worth coming for really are worth the visit. 

Here are the best things to do in Guerrero Negro.

Go Whale Watching in Scammon’s Lagoon

Scammon’s Lagoon, or Lagoon Ojo de Liebre, is the largest biosphere reserve in Latin America. It was discovered in 1857 by American whaling captain Charles Melville Scammon who used to slaughter whales for whale oil, bones, and meat.

This nearly brought the gentle giants to extinction. But in 1971 the Mexican government took steps and created Grey Whale Sanctuary to ensure the survival of the species.  

Scammon’s lagoon welcomes the whales in January and they stay until the middle of April. This is the first location of their 6,000-mile journey from the cool summer waters of the Bering and Chukchi sea to warmer winter waters. 

The grey whales stay in Scammon’s Lagoon in winter, and the protected, warm water of the lagoon creates an ideal environment to give birth to their 1,000-pound calves.

All the tour operators are located on the one main street from where you can easily book your trip. Moreover, you can also book whale-watching trips from some hotels. Whale-watching season is incredibly busy, so booking your tours in advance is recommended.

Do note that all boat captains should not chase after the whales. Instead, they take you near to where whales are congregating and the whales will actually approach the boat. If you manage to make eye contact with one of these gentle giants you will have an experience that will change your life!

Drive Through The Salt Flats

Guerrero Negro salt works is the largest evaporative salt production facility in the world. It produces almost six million tons of salt annually, which is exported mainly to the Pacific basin. It is a 65 miles facility and economically sustains the town’s entire population.

Driving through the salt flats is otherworldly. As you follow hard-packed dirt roads, you’ll be led from one large pond to the next, each one strangely colored in hues of pink. Aside from the roads and occasional signs, you might feel as though you were driving on Mars as you will likely not see another vehicle for miles of driving.

Visit the Dunas de Soledad

The Dunas de Soledad is an enormous area of barren dunes just north of the town of Guerrero Negro. There is no vegetation and the landscape constantly changes because of changing winds offering a new portrait nearly every day. The best time to visit the area is around dusk and dawn to experience the stunning sunrise and sunset over the dunes.

Enjoy Osprey Watching

Ospreys are magnificent birds that elegantly glide through the air and are often found with fish between their talons. The majestic species have a big population in Guerrero Negro. 

Due to their nesting habits, large nests have been prepared for them on or near power poles. The mounts of the poles are specially built for ospreys to give them ample space and to entice them away from nesting where they would otherwise be unwelcomed. 

You’ll find ospreys hunting the waters all around Guerrero Negro.

Visit Malarrimo Restaurant

Malarrimo restaurant has a small museum with a nice collection of washed-out things recovered from Malarrimo Beach. It includes everything from sandblasted bottles and fishing floats from Japan to pieces of ships, oars, army containers, construction helmets, shipping wheels, and much more.

Camping In Guerrero Negro

Mario’s RV Park

Mario’s RV Park is located just north of town and is one of the best options both for camping and for sourcing a whale watching tour as they arrange and lead tours during season. With 40 full-hookup spots large enough to accommodate big rigs, this campground will be about the best you will find in Guerrero Negro. 

With an onsite restaurant and reasonably reliable WiFi, you’ll also have access to clean restrooms with hot showers.

AMENITY
PRICE RANGE$15 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYNO
WATER HOOKUPYESSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPYESPOOL/SPANO
BIG RIG FRIENDLYYESGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES

Malarrimo RV Park

Malirrimo RV Park is really nothing more than a gravel lot. But it can be an excellent option if you want to stay closer to the city. It is within walking distance from the city center and all you could want or need to do in Guerrero Negro. 

There is 20-amp electricity, satisfactory wi-fi and decent bathrooms. But if you plan to stay here, don’t expect peaceful, quiet nights.

AMENITYAMENITY
PRICE RANGE$15 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:YESLAUNDRYNO
WATER HOOKUPNOSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPNOPOOL/SPANO
BIG RIG FRIENDLYYESGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES

Spondylus Campground

Spondylus campground is a nice, newer campground that pretty much caters to dry campers. There is no water and electricity hookup and the water pressure in showers is very slow. But the Wi-Fi speed is excellent. 

Moreover, it is pretty safe and the owners are very friendly. Also note that the entrance is difficult to maneuver and this is not the best option for larger RVs.

  • Address: Cap. Manuel Pineda 61, Fundo Legal, 23940 Guerrero Negro, B.C.S., Mexico
  • Phone Number: +52 615 159 7342
  • GPS Coordinates: 27.9722, -114.0204
AMENITYAMENITY
PRICE RANGE$15 USDWIFI AVAILABILITYYES
20/30 AMP ELECTRIC:NOLAUNDRYNO
WATER HOOKUPNOSHOWERYES
SEWER HOOKUPNOPOOL/SPANO
BIG RIG FRIENDLYNOGATED/SECURITYYES
PET FRIENDLYYES

BEST BOONDOCKING /ALTERNATIVE CAMPING OPTION

Ojo de Liebre (Scammon’s Lagoon). Guerrero Negro does not have much to offer. But nearby Ojo de Liebre, on Scammon’s Lagoon just to the south of Guerrero Negro, is a great way to get away from the crowd. Follow a paved/dirt road through the salt flats and end up at the lagoon. 

There is a small fee to camp here and coyotes have been known to be quite brave. But you can drive down the road as far as you and/or your vehicle permit to find solace along the water. During whale-watching season this is the perfect way to combine camping with whale-watching tours offered at the restaurant. 

Dunas de la Soledad. On the north side of Guerrero Negro you can find lots of boondocking opportunities around the sand dunes. You’ll turn west at the airport and follow the paved road until it turns to dirt. Then follow various tracks back toward the sea until you find the spot that’s perfect for you.

There is no fee here, so pack out what you bring in. And know that the weather here is generally cooler and cloudier than in other parts of Baja.