Have a Baja Moment! Go Whale Watching in Los Cabos
Whale watching is one of the most popular seasonal activities in Los Cabos. Each year roughly 10,000 whales migrate to the warm waters of Baja Sur to breed, from humpbacks and gray whales to blues, fins, sperms, and orcas. Humpbacks and gray whales are the most commonly sighted cetaceans in the waters off Los Cabos, and humpbacks are the unquestioned stars of most local whale watching tours. The season officially runs from December 15 to April 15, although whales often begin arriving as early as November, and frequently begin the long journey to their summer homes by March. During the winter whale watching season, virtually every seaworthy craft in Los Cabos offers some sort of whale watching excursion, from small pangas to enormous luxury yachts.
Humpbacks make the world’s longest mammalian migration, traveling over 10,000 miles from the Bering Sea to their breeding grounds in Baja Sur. Certainly, they are the most photogenic of whales, indulging in a variety of flamboyant behaviors, including spectacular breaches (lifting their enormous bodies almost completely out of the water), spyhopping (lifting their heads out of the water for a quick look around) and lobtailing (smacking the water with their tail flukes). The best photo opportunities for tourists are typically of humpback whales, but grays are also seen regularly. Grays migrate to their traditional breeding grounds in Magdalena Bay, about 170 miles up the Pacific coast from Cabo San Lucas, and often do a bit of Land’s End sightseeing before leaving for the summer.
Since the whales were born in Mexico, it’s is commonly joked that they’re Mexican citizens, and certainly the leviathans do enjoy some legal protections, particularly in regards to the approach distance of tour boats. Small, fast boats like Zodiacs are probably the best way to see whales at relatively close range, although visitors prone to mal de mer may prefer a more stable or luxurious ride. There are several fine sailboats and catamarans offering whale watching cruises out of Cabo San Lucas, and these craft are equipped to provide fine food, fine wines and cocktails, and a host of other amenities during their daily cruises.
The top tour options for fast boats, sailboats, and luxury cruisers are listed below:
It should come as no surprise that the area’s premier outdoor adventure company offers some of the most memorable whale watching tours. Cabo Adventures uses inflatable Apex boats, and their experienced captains have the speed and maneuverability to anticipate the movements of whales and get their guests some great photo opportunities. For those who want to get as close as possible, this is the way to go. Bilingual guides are on hand to assist in identifications of whales and other local marine life, and the photo safaris also include hydrophone listening technology.
Cabo San Lucas offers great sailing outside its protected bay, and there is no more elegant way to whale watch than with sails up and Champagne flutes in hand. Cabo Sails is the top sailboat charter operation in the area, with 28′ to 44′ food cruisers, and expert captains and bilingual crew knowledgeable in both whales and sails. See all the local landmarks en route, enjoy delicious appetizers and fruit and vegetable platters, sip fine wines or premium cocktails, and settle in for an unforgettable whale watching experience.
If you’re used to traveling in high style, it’s hard to beat the Caborey experience. This enormous triple-decked catamaran offers the best dinner cruises in Baja – lavish five course meals and Las Vegas style floorshows – and their whale watching tours provide such a smooth, easy ride that even the most landlubbery of guests will be able to enjoy the magnificent sights, which not only include leviathans of the deep, but Land’s End and Lover’s Beach. Whale watching tours are offered three days a week during the season, and feature a delicious breakfast buffet and an open bar with over 50 types of tropical drinks.
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