Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas

One of the most spectacular sights in Cabo San Lucas are the enormous grey whales frolicking around with their calves. Every winter, the grey, blue, and humpback whales migrate 6000 miles from Alaska to the warm and shallow waters of Baja California in order to mate and birth their young. Spotting the magnificent creatures, that can grow up to 100 feet in length and reach 120 tons in weight, is an awe-inspiring gift from mother nature. If you visit Los Cabos between December and March, you are likely to have numerous encounters with 50 foot grey and blue whales that will get up close to the boats and show off their tricks. 

Cabo San Lucas Whale Watching

From coming up for a breath and spouting to signify their presence to a full body breach where the whale rockets out of the water, a close encounter with these animals is something everyone needs to experience. Baja California is their vacation destination even more than it is yours but you both can enjoy the ocean together. Baja is home to two world heritage sites that protect the whales and the surrounding environment. This makes it a perfect breeding ground for the beautiful mammals and an even better whale watching destination for vacationers. 

What to expect

There are numerous tour companies who offer whale watching tours and they are not all the same. You can opt for a basic tour on a panga out in the Cabo San Lucas bay or experience the ultimate whale watching by taking a short flight up to Magdelena Bay where the mating happens. There is something for everyone when it comes to whale watching in Cabo San Lucas and it all depends on your available time and budget. You can get a glimpse into the life of the giant sea creatures for as little as $45 or as much as a few hundred bucks. As long as you head out on a tour from late December through March, you are almost guaranteed to see some amazing whales enjoying the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean.

Although grey whales are often the main attraction because of their 6,000 miles migration to birth their calves, you might spot several other amazing species during a whale watching tour. Humpback whales, blue whales, sperm whales, finback whales, minke whales, orcas, and bottlenose dolphins also love to swim in these waters. When the water is clear, you can also spot giant manta rays and sting rays below the surface.

When to go

Whales watching can be great for up to five months a year, from December through April. Every year can be slightly different, and whales can show up as early as late November or as late as early January. To guarantee you witness the magnificent creatures, plan your vacation somewhere between January-March. These months see the most whale activity, especially in the Sea of Cortez and Cabo San Lucas Bay. December is almost always a good month for whale watching, but many of the grey whales are still birthing their calves farther up the coast and haven’t made it to Los Cabos yet. 

Where to go

There are several top destinations for whale watching in Baja California Sur. Some are nearby Cabo San Lucas and others far enough away that you would need to take a short plane ride or a long all day excursion. Here are several locations where you can have a great whale watching experience:

What do I need to bring?

Although you don’t need any special equipment to watch grey whales frolicking around in the warm waters of Baja California, there are a few suggested items to make your trip enjoyable. If you plan on getting up close and personal with whales, a waterproof camera is a good idea just to play it safe. You don’t want to lose all your Cabo pictures just because a whale nudged your boat or breached nearby. You also want to bring plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses. Cabo San Lucas almost always sunny and the light reflecting off the water will burn your skin quickly and be hard to stare at without glasses. If your trip is leaving early in the morning, the temperatures will be a bit cool so you should bring shoes (that you don’t mind getting wet), pants, and a jacket. Last but not least, do not forget to take sea sickness pills 30 minutes to one hour prior to your trip so you don’t ruin it for everyone.

Whale Watching Tours in Los Cabos

  • Buccaneer Los Cabos - Kraken Tour: A popular pirate themed tour searching for the Kraken monster (and whales).
  • Cabo Adventures: The leading tour company in Cabo San Lucas has a whale watching photo tour for $85/adult and $59/child.
  • Cabo Deep Blue: $45/person for a short trip in the Sea of Cortez (minimum 2 people)
  • Cabo Eco Tours: By far one of the lowest cost whale watching tours in the Cabo San Lucas area. Tours start at $21 for an adult and $15 for children.
  • Cabo Expeditions: A 2.5 hour tour for $85/adult and $55/children ages 5-10.
  • Cabo Rey: A luxury yacht that takes you out into the bay for a night of hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and whale watching. $49/person and 50% off for kids under 12 years old. Gratuity and $15 peso dock fee not included.
  • Cabo Sails: Private luxury sail boat tours with snacks and open bar included during the 2.5-3 hour adventure. Price is determined by size of boat and number of people on the tour.
  • Cabo Sailing: Shared or private tours available. Shared tours cost $64/adult and $32/child and includes snacks, open bar, and snorkeling gear.
  • Cabo San Lucas Tours: Low cost whale watching tours with many different options.
  • Esperanzas Tours: Another popular whale watching tour guide that will also show you around the city and take you out on a glass bottom boat.
  • Ocean Riders: $75/adult and $55/child for a 2 hour tour around the Cabo corridor. Private charters are also available.
  • Oceanus Los Cabos: A unique tour company that also offers minisub dive tours.
  • Panchito Tours: (site down) Another company offering long day trips up to Magdalena Bay for $209/person.
  • PezGato: A low cost 2 hour whale watching tour around Land’s End. $30/adult & $15/child
  • Scurvy Dawg: A great pirate themed adventure on the seas searching for whales. $39/adult and $20/child.
  • Sunrider Adventure Tours: Only $55/person plus half off for kids on the lunch or dinner whale watching cruise.
  • Tlaloc Cabo: A 33 foot private sailboat with sunset cruises and whale watching tours.
  • TransCabo: Four tour options, from $39/person in Cabo San Lucas bay to $209 in Magdalena Bay.

 

Reviews

Sue & Bob, Sorry to take so long to respond. Our Destination Vacations Cabo trip was incredible! We absolutely loved every minute...from relaxing by the pool to swimming with the dolphins. We did several tourist things, but also did a large amount of sitting in a lounge chair and watching the ocean - my idea of a perfect vacation. Thanks again for all your assistance. We will be calling again - hopefully, soon! Sincerely, Iris

We had a great time. We've stayed at Villa Del Arco probably 5 times over the last 7 years and enjoyed the facility and services. Overall, we had a great time there with our daughters and would go back to this resort again. Thanks for the follow up and have a great day! Lori

Lori W., Springfield MI

Great place..the ride was there, the place is beautiful and super clean and every thing else is top notch. The girls were impressed and the bed is big and very comfortable..you spoke the truth. And the view from the room is just about the best in the house.Only the penthouse might have been better.

We thoroughly enjoyed our first trip to Cabo. The accommodations were exceptional--loved 1707--view was breathtaking from the balcony. Did not really realize the topography of the area--were very surprised by the mountain, desert, and sea views. Loved our panga ride around Lands End. My husband and I had the king bedroom and bath and were very comfortable. The main living area was awesome except for the fact that the dishwasher was broken--discovered it by a wet kitchen floor when we arrived. We called maintenance and they came immediately, but the dishwasher was not useable. It ended up not being a problem because of the every other day maid service--she washed the dishes for us. The couple we were with had the second bedroom and I think they were just a little disappointed after seeing our accommodations with the king bedroom and bath. Tried some of your recommendations for restaurants and absolutely loved Salvatore's--great food at great prices. Asked the concierge for a recommendation for an authentic Mexican restaurant with reasonable prices and found Maria Coronas to be an excellent choice. Spent Valentine's dinner at Ruth's Chris (our favorite American dining spot) and were not disappointed as usual--food and service there is always replicated. Spent a lot of time at the beach bars (The Office, Billygans, and Mango Beach Deck)--great Cabo atmosphere. Also liked shopping in the marina area. We feel that the $7 cab ride to the mall area was well worth the expense--walking the streets with occasional sidewalks was scary at times. Thanks for allowing us to use your condo--overall our first experience in Cabo was very memorable. Sincerely, Beth M

Beth Mason, Covington Indiana

Hi Bob, Just wanted to let you know the tripadvisor review is finally posted. Our internet name is happy traveler. And the review is titled Stunning location, perfect for our needs, Incredible Staff! We were very thorough and complimentary about everything. Thanks again for all your help. Lela & Joseph

Just a brief note to tell you we LOVED our Cabo vacation. The place was better than we expected. The only thing it was missing was a hanging clock in the kitchen area! All your info about things to do, places to eat, etc was quite useful.

Debra B, Raliegh, NC

We had a fabulous time once again in paradise. The penthouse was absolutely beautiful. The staff at Villa del Arco is great-from the maids to the person that served us poolside all week, Francisco (we loved him!). I have recommended you to several people. Thank you again!

Nancy K., Redwood Shores

We had a wonderful time in Cabo for our honeymoon and we were very happy booking the all inclusive option. Your suggestion to visit the restaurant at Capella was excellent! We actually went there on the full moon and it was awesome. We got caught up in the airport with our rental car. It was hard to find the company that I booked with due to the crazy rental car competitors and timeshare salesmen. At the Del Arco we were promised half off the spa for the week if we went through a timeshare appointment. We went through the appointment and then only got 15% off which was still less than their daily specials so the timeshare appointment was a waste of 3 hours. Just some good lessons learned in case we ever decide to make it back down there! Thank you for all of your help with our booking. Trevor J

Trevor J., Fort Collins, CO

Bob, Great time. I think Arco has upped their attention to detail....wonderful new SVS(I think thats the service). We felt llike we were at the Taj Mahal and royalty. Very nice touch!! And yes the towel colors are the same tan stripe. Thanks Again...til next visit.

Wende B., Navato, CA

I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how much we enjoyed our recent Cabo vacation. The Villa del Arco was just a fantastic place to get away and enjoy the awesome weather that is Cabo San Lucas. More importantly, I would like to thank you for the professional way in which you handled all of the details of this trip to make it as hassle-free as possible. Having been in the vacation reservation industry for several years, I can appreciate how many details need to be addressed to make a trip and stay a great experience. All of the information and coordination you provided was excellent. I especially appreciated the recommendations of several outstanding restaurants that turned out to be the best finds of the trip. This also applies to the trip my son made to Cabo a few weeks before. He had never been to Cabo and absolutely loved everything about it. For a relatively inexperienced traveler, you made his trip one that he will remember for a lifetime. Again, thank you for doing an outstanding job and providing a service that is second to none. I will certainly be a repeat customer. Sincerely, Wayne Hoover Lexington, KY

Wayne Hoover, Lexington, KY