If you were a whale, wouldn’t you want to visit the mild waters off the coast of Los Cabos? Of course you would!
Almost every whale species can be found in Mexico’s bays and the Pacific Ocean off Mexico’s coast. Whales migrate from the colder waters up north in the Arctic to visit their annual breeding grounds. Experts calculate some whales to have traveled over 14,000 miles round trip, migrating from Russia to Mexico and back. In Mexico’s warmer waters, whales procreate and raise their calves, staying in the warmer climate for months.
This means whale watching for you!
“Each year in early autumn, one of nature’s most delightful signs of seasonal change occurs—the migration of hundreds of whales from the frigid waters of the Arctic to the warm, calm waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula. And, from December to March, there is no better place to view such a spectacle than Los Cabos.” VisitMexico.com
Travelers make their own migration to Los Cabos to join in the pleasures of whale watching. But which whale species actually come near Los Cabos? And how can they be identified? Bryde, humpback, gray, blue, sei, minke, and fin whales have all been spotted off the coast of Baja California. When you’re out on a whale watching tour, it’s good to know a little bit about the various species, especially something about their appearance to help you identify them.
Characteristics of Each Whale Species
Bryde whales have a slender body with blue-grey skin. Look for the three ridges on their heads. Humpback whales have lots of bumps on their heads called tubercles. Look for their dark flippers and listen for their long, complex songs sometimes lasting over 30 minutes (actually, you probably need special underwater audio equipment for that). Gray whales have gray skin covered with barnacles. They don’t have a dorsal fin, but their narrow head has baleen (whale teeth) that are a sight to see. If you spot a blue whale, you’re in luck! Blue whales are the largest animals on earth. Look for their long bodies with blue or gray skin. Their heads are so huge that they take up about a quarter of the total body length. Minke whales are smaller. Their heads narrow to a sharp point. Their skin is black or grey. Look for their most distinguishing feature: white bands on their flippers. Fin whales have been nicknamed the “greyhound of the sea.” They have white bellies and dark grey bodies. Look for their small dorsal fin.
What to Bring
When you go whale watching, be sure to bring a few things along to help you maximize your adventure. First, dress appropriately for the weather. Second, get a good pair of binoculars. You’ll be out in the ocean and someone will spot a whale, and if you don’t have binoculars, you might miss the spectacle. If you’re a photographer, think about what gear you need in order to take the best shots: tripod, zoom lens, protective coverings from the weather, etc. Also, think about getting a guide on whale watching. It doesn’t hurt to read a little on vacation. You’ll impress the other onlookers with your knowledge of the deep!
“Los Cabos is a prime location for whale watching,” said Ruben Reachi, Los Cabos Tourism Board Managing Director. “Our region’s ideal climate, shallow waters, salinity and abundant marine life make it the perfect place for whales to birth and rear their young each year.” TheMexicoReport.com
The best time to go to Baja California Sur for whale watching is January and February. The season lasts from December to March, but the most whales are in the area in January and February. Find a tour company which suits your taste. How long do you want to be out on the water? What kind of amenities are you expecting (breakfast, lunch, drinks, etc.)? And, is there an expert on board? Someone who will talk your ear off or someone who can answer your questions? Maybe both? Both Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo have plenty of tours to choose from.
Lastly, if you’re still wondering if you should go, consider this: whales are intelligent animals. They communicate through sonar which can be heard for miles. They raise their young much like any good parent. When you see a whale surface, you appreciate the enormity of their size, and you’re reminded of the preciousness of life. Soak in the experience. Capture the moment on film. Los Cabos is just the place to find your whale inspiration.
Where to Stay
Club Regina Los Cabos is located just an easy fifteen-minute drive away from the heart of Cabo San Lucas, right in the middle of the action! The resort rises above the shoreline where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. Every unit faces the ocean and you can enjoy colorful sunsets and sunrises from your terrace.