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

We had an amazing time, AGAIN! The villa was very clean when we arrived and besides the phone issue...trust me, I did not want to make any calls, everything worked great and was in tip top condition. The kitchen is very well stocked with everything you would need to make a gourmet meal. Everyone is extremely friendly there at Estancia and even remembered my name down by the pool. Looking forward to Thanksgiving next year!

Todd P., Seattle

We had great time and fell in love with the resort and the area. All resort personnel we dealt with was very courteous and attentive. The accommodations were worth every penny, thanks to you. We are definitely looking to go back there, perhaps, March or April of 2015.

Irina S., Staten Island, NY

It's Kim. Just wanted to tell you everything went smoothly, and this place "is to die for". OMG!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Kim, Los Angeles

Hello Bob, Thanks for the great condo in Cabo. Last year we stayed at Villa del Palmar at a friends condo and we had to wait one day to get an ocean view room. The best part about booking with you was that I was guaranteed an ocean view and I didn't have to wonder what I would get when I arrived. Villa del Arco is in an ideal location, close to town and quiet enough to walk on open beaches. We will certainly return and book through Destination Vacations. Thanks again. Charmaine

Charmaine Pape, S. Lake Tahoe California

We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed Villa del Arco. We were thrilled upon check-in at 1:00pm that our room was already cleaned and ready and had a beautiful view of the full ocean. The restaurant was open until 11pm and that was a pleasant surprise in that it allowed for greater flexibility. The rooms were spacious and the 3 bathrooms were wonderful for a family of 5, especially when the 3 children are teenagers. The washer/dryer amenity was a plus as we used it several times over the five days. The service was excellent and although the dinner menu was a little fancy for the kids, they made it work. After we went deep sea fishing and caught a mahi-mahi, the restaurant prepared and cooked or fish for us which was a nice treat. It made for a special dinner. The boys loved the taco bar and the quesadillas from the restaurant and actually ate lunch twice a day a few times. We went to the market and filled the fridge with Gatorade and snacks; that was a great suggestion! The boys used the kayaks provided by the resort and "surfed" for hours in the ocean. We met a nice couple at the pool who had only a master suite and shared with us that they paid the same amount for the all-inclusive option as we did for 5 "adults" in a master suite with an adjoining 1 bdroom suite, because they booked through a traditional method. I'm not sure we will ever want to stay in a regular hotel room ever again, or book with anyone besides you guys. Thank you for your help and we look forward to booking our yearly Cabo trip(s) with you again. Thanks again, Rebecca

Rebecca H., Cypruss, tX

We had a great vacation. We had stayed in Pal Mar 10 years ago, La Estancia 3 times since then and Del Arco for the first time this trip. We have done the tour probably 3 times, both in La Estancia and Del Arco this last time. We think the location of the Villa properties is the best in Cabo by far. We loved the staff in Del Arco and look forward to going back again. In our family having both teenagers and younger boys, its the perfect vacation for everyone. I became quite friendly with Angelica the concierge and Jorge the concierge at the pool. Also Ernesto with whom we had breakfast every morning. I'm the type of person who likes to get to know the staff, I feel we get better service that way. We look forward to going back again for Spring Break next year and I hope we can get a similar arrangement as this year with breakfast included etc. That worked great for us. I will be in touch regarding booking later in the year. Del Arco has become our favorite now I think, as we were very much La Estancia people until this vacation. Also your car service was great and our driver was very helpful and informative. Thanks for everything, best regards, Margaret.

Margaret D.

The place was really so beautiful we loved it so much. Thanks for letting us stay in your villa we have created some memorable moments here thanks once again. We will sure come back again and ask for 1208 villa. The Carveys

The trip was great and the all inclusive package you supplied was a great value. We couldn't believe how much was included. The transportation to and from the airport that you arranged was seamless and very comfortable-thanks. One suggestion, add La Fonda to your list of restaurants - it was outstanding. And yes La Gringa Adventure tour was great a good value and lots of fun and we saw 3 whales-a Pop, Mom and Baby... All the best for the new year.

Gary S., LA

Wonderful trip. Transportation, hotel, room, service, restaurants, ocean all fine. La Perla and El Faro were exceptional! Thanks for your assistance in setting up the trip!

Ken L., Fort Collins, CO

Our stay at Villa Los Arcos was excellent. The food was exceptional (and even though our package was a special offer that did not include any costs for the inclusive package, I would recommend the inclusive package to anyone planning a vacation there, as it eliminated a lot of headaches such as meal planning, taxi fares and having to watch every nickel). With 3 hungry teenagers along for the trip, this was totally the way to go. The accommodations were outstanding, in excellent repair, and the staff at Los Arcos was friendly and accommodating. Of the three resorts that are all in the same area, I found the staff at Los Arcos to be the friendliest. The staff at the sister neighboring resort (I can't recall the name) were not nearly as outgoing and friendly, possibly because of the genre those resort were more geared to (younger kids and parents). Thanks for lining us up with this package. It was an outstanding price and a great deal.

John T., Benicia, CA