The future of this area revolves around nature and eco-tourism. No one here wants careless development to damage a nearly pristine environment. Right now a number of local men are trying to make a transition from subsistence fishermen to nature guides; they have formed a cooperative and are working hard to provide high quality tours. But it will take the support of visitors for them to be successful.
Nature tours here are not slick— some of the guides have limited English, their boats are safe but very basic– but they grew up in nature and they have a deep indigenous knowledge. You will see amazing things.
You have to spend time in the lagoon. It is the largest in the region and is home to thousands of birds. The best time to go is at sunrise or sunset. It is magical. You can take a tour in a motorized panga or you can kayak on your own. Guides and kayak rental outfits are listed below. The lagoon is ringed by mangroves and you can approach to within a few yards of pelicans, frigates, egrets and others. The famous roseat spoonbill visits in the remote parts.
The second must-do tour is a panga ride to Los Moros, the iconic white rock formation about three miles off shore. It is a rookery for thousands of pelagic sea birds; boobies, frigates and the hard to see red billed tropic bird. Along the way, you are likely to see sea turtles, maybe whales, dolphins, bat rays and schooling fish. The scenery is fantastic. Again the local guides operating near the enramadas can take you. You can just walk down to the mouth of the lagoon and book a tour on the spot, or you can use the contact information below to make a reservation.
If you like to get up close and personal with nature, you can take a tour to La Manzanillo, a small coral reef at the north end of the bay and snorkel with tropical fish in a protected area.
Arturo who is listed among the guides below has started a horseback tour along the edge of the mangroves, through coco plantations to Turtle beach, an endless primordial beach to the south. It is rich in birds and nature.
Whales and Dolphins
With some luck, you may get to see whales and dolphins on a boat tour. Humpback whales breed and give birth off-shore during the winter months and it is very common to see them blowing and breaching even from the beach. In 2014 the first scientific project to study the population was started. If you are here during the winter, you may be able to arrange to spend a day on a boat with the scientists observing the whales. There are more details at Whales in Mexico. and on this site under Activities/Whales. While you are out looking for flukes, you also are likely to see sea turtles, rays, dolphins and schooling fish.
One word of caution. Organized whale watching is new here and whales are skittish animals. There are specific protocols for approaching them; too fast or too close will frighten them not just for your trip but for others. Whales of Guerrero group has provided training and now a number of guides are certified in the proper protocols. Still some guides are occasionally too enthusiastic and want to give visitors the most dramatic views but end up spooking the whales. You should tell your guide in advance that you do not want to get too close or to frighten the whales.
We know of four different types of dolphins in the region and there is a strong likelihood of seeing them year round if you get out on the water. The local species include spotted pan tropical dolphins, bottle nose dolphins, rough toothed dolphins and long-beaked common dolphins.
A 15 minute boat ride can take you to the north part of the Bay of Potosi that nestles against Playa Blanca. There you can find a shallow protected coral reef that is perfect for snorkeling. The water is warm and clear, the fish are amazing. Almost all the boat guides have masks and fins and will be happy to take you there.
Boat Tour Guides
This is a partial list of local guides who provide boat tours in the area. Almost all the tours start and end near the mouth of the lagoon near the enramadas. Typically they go in the laguna to see birds or go out towards Los Morros (the White Rocks) for birds and various sea life. From around December until March, they also can go looking for ballenas/whales. There is more wildlife and generally less wind chop in the mornings. The easiest way to connect with your guide is to ask the name of the panga/boat and look for it on the beach. The cost of tours generally depends on the number of people, the length of time and the amount of gas burned. A 10% tip would be very appreciated.
Sergio Rosas 7551026074 Ballenas, Snorkel, Laguna, Morros 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas)
Adelaido Martínez 7551203976 Ballenas, Aves, Laguna, Snorkel, Morros, pesca deportiva, 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas)
Antonio Oregón 7555572201 Aves, Laguna, Morros, Snorkel, 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas)
Francisco Angel Perez 7551093327 Ballenas, Aves, Laguna, Snorkel, Morros 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas)
Juan Onofre 7551116703 Ballenas, Laguna, Morros, pesca deportiva, 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas)
Josue Solis 7551000842 Ballenas, Snorkel, Laguna Morros, pesca deportiva 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas)
Orlando Bañuelos 7551001642 Kayaks, Ballenas, Aves, Snorkel, pesca deportiva ,Laguna Morros 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas) 30% Ingles
Omar Zarate 7551115934 Ballenas, Aves, Snorkel, Laguna Morros, pesca deportiva, 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas) 45% Ingles
Arturo Mellin 7551047178 Kayaks, Ballenas, Aves, Snorkel, Laguna , pesca deportiva ,Morros 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas)
Ernesto Mata 7551272638 Ballenas, Aves, Snorkel, Laguna, pesca deportiva, Morros 1500-2500 pesos (2-6 personas) 25% Ingles
Araceli Oregon specializes in bird tours in the lagoon from small paddle boats. Her English is very good. The cost is 200 pesos per person, two people minimum. The tour runs about two hours and provides an intimate look at the lovely Laguna Potosi. Contact her at Enramada Rosita along the back edge of the lagoon road or call 755-130-6829 or email her at ecotourchelioregon@gmail,com.
71 Things To See At Playa Blanca
This link takes you to a simple online nature guide centered on Playa Blanca. It will give you an introduction to the birds, fish, butterflies and plants you likely will see on a visit.