Guerrero Negro and Ojo de Liebre Lagoon

Janine Dávila Madrid

Guerero Negro in Baja

Guerrero Negro is a small town in Southern Baja California in Mulege County, near El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve on the Mexican Pacific Coast. It is a gateway to Southern Baja California and is located on parallel 28, which is the border between Baja California and Southern Baja California. Guerrero Negro has a climate similar to the Mediterranean, with a pleasant averagetemperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Guerrero Negro and Ojo de Liebre LagoonThe official name is Port Venustiano Carranza, but it is better known as Guerrero Negro (Black Warrior), which is the name of the shipwreck found off the coast of Baja California. The Black Warrior, commanded by Captain Robert Brown, was attempting to repeat the success Captain Charles Scammon had hunting gray whales in their breeding grounds of Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, in the winter of 1857 and 1858. The ship entered an inlet on the Bay of Vizcaino where it got caught in a strong current that beat it against a sandbar, breaking its keel and driving it ashore. The wreck remained there for several decades, warning other ships about the perilous entrance to the bay.

Guerrero Negro and Ojo de Liebre LagoonGuerrero Negro was first settled because of the many salt marshes found in the area. The production of salt was first done by British companies and then later sold to Daniel A. Ludwig, an American visionary who saw a business opportunity to fulfill the west coast of America's demand for salt. So in 1957, he founded the saltworks Compania Exportadora de Sal and began exporting salt from the Guerrero Negro Lagoon. Nowadays, the Mexican government is the major stockholder and the area continues to produce more sea salt than anywhere else in the world, with a yearly production of 7 million tons, which in the main is exported to countries like Japan, Korea, United States, Canada, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Guerrero Negro and Ojo de Liebre LagoonThe Guerrero Negro region is especially appealing to eco-travelers due to its close proximity to El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve. Tourists come to see the gray whales in the calm waters of the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, also known as Scammon's Lagoon, where from January to March some whales mate and others give birth to their calves. It is possible to see the whales on the shore from the look out posts at the edge of the lagoon or you can rent a boat to get closer to them. While on vacation in Los Cabos, you can also see the whales as they feed in the shallows. Wherever you decide to see them, it will be a unique experience that you will remember forever.

Guerrero Negro and Ojo de Liebre LagoonWhen visiting the area, it is also great fun to rent a kayak and take a journey around the estuaries and the salt marshes, which are the natural habitats for diverse species of birds, such as the white pelican, the red-tailed hawk, white and black cranes, the golden eagle, and the sea eagle. Or alternatively you can explore the Vizcaino Desert with its impressive flora and fauna, amazing cacti and wide variety of animal species, such as pumas, coyotes, deer, bighorn sheep, and foxes. The golden eagle is Guerrero Negro's emblem and you can spot several nests on the lamp posts or on the purpose-built towers throughout the town. A large monument has also been constructed in honor of this incredible bird, depicting an eagle perched on top of parallel 28.