Baja wildlife and nature lovers will enjoy a fun side trip to La Lobera, a naturally-formed crater on the Pacific that is a “haulout site” for harbor seals.
Located 47 kilometers south of San Quintín and 14 kilometers north of El Rosario, La Lobera makes a fun day trip from either destination or an interesting pit stop for those road tripping along the peninsula.
The haulout was created when the ceiling of a cave collapsed and resulted in a circular space overlooking the sea and beach where harbor seals enjoy sunbathing and playing. There’s a viewing deck that was constructed for visitors to peek down upon the harbor seals. The coastline around La Lobera is rugged and beautiful, making the trip out to the coast here worthwhile even if just for the sights.
Contrary to popular belief, the animals at La Lobera are harbor seals, not sea lions. Also known as common seals, they can reach up to 5 or 6 feet in length and can weight over 300 pounds.
As a true, or “crawling,” seal, harbor seals have ear holes (instead of ear flaps like sea lions) and small flippers that help them move on land by flopping along on their bellies, which is known as “galumphing.”
Harbor seals stick to familiar resting spots, also known as “haulout sites” (exactly like La Lobera) where they are protected from adverse weather conditions and predators. When not actively feeding, the seals “haul” to rest. They are coastal creatures, generally not venturing more than 20 kilometers from the shore.
Breeding happens from March to May, with birthing occurring between April and May. Courtship and mating occur under water, but the annual birthing of pups occurs on shore.
To get to La Lobera, there’s a turn off from Highway Mexico 1 at Km. 47.5. Watch for the blue “La Lobera” sign. From the highway, drive three miles west for about 10 minutes on a dirt road. Follow the powerlines and you’ll eventually come to the Pacific coast. You’ll see a three-story building along the coastline and will find La Lobera just south of the building. The GPS coordinates are 30.110592, -115.788123
Four-wheel drive is recommended but if there haven’t been any recent rains, it may be accessible in a high-clearance two-wheel drive. Inquire locally about recent conditions and make sure you take it slow.
For more information, visit the La Lobera Facebook page.