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

A HUGE thank you for our wonderful visit in villa 1208. Our week couldn't have been better! The weather has been picture perfect and with 6 of us- 4 being Senior girls on Spring Break- The villa's floor plan was just right for us. This is our 4th visit to Cabo and plan to be back in July. So YES, we feel right at home here, so perhaps villa 1208 may be our "home away from home" in July!!! Villa 1208 is beautiful and we could not ask for anymore ! (Excellent taste) We appreciate you Bob for all of your help. the staff also at Estancia has been wonderful. Pamela, Amy, Gracie- Tulsa Alexandra, Katey, Belotah-Dallas Texas

We had a GREAT trip! Hadn't been to Cabo in 9 years so we had HUGE sticker shock. Wondering how much of that was spring break or just that Cabo has gotten a lot more expensive. We felt that it was Hawaii prices. Wish we'd thought to do the discount card as you recommended. Just ran out of time. Wow, the town/highway/growth had changed. All good but somewhat sad to see all the American comforts (Walmart, Costco, Home Depot). Thankfully the water and people were still exceptionally authentic. The resort was amazing. Our suite was just perfect for the 7 of us - plenty of room, nice to have washer and dryer, comfortable beds, great shower pressure. At first we were sad to not be located on a higher floor and right behind the pirate ship but it ended up being a great location for the kids going back and forth to the room. What we loved most, having spent all our vacations at Palmar, was how quiet and secluded Arcos felt and wasn't filled with drunk spring breakers (there were plenty on the beach on either side of us, but Arcos felt like its own little Oasis). We loved the trolly to the market and access to the whale slide. The pools at Arco were clean and maintained and the beach in front was clean and cared for and the vendors were not pushy at all but rather fun to talk to. Amazing, friendly service. Highlights: Mariano the bellman, Leticia the massage therapist at the spa, all the receptionists at the workout room/spa, our housekeeper who put up with 5 boys, Horatio who gave us the tour but was not high pressure to buy (although we seriously considered it). The hospitality suite and workout rooms were great, clean, up to date. The spa was luxurious beyond belief. I would have forgone food the entire week just to spend a few days there. The food in both restaurants and Tortuga at Palmar was average so we ate mostly in town and at Office and at Mango Deck. We rented a car and went to Cerritos and Todos Santos. What a great day and I'd highly recommend that. Overall A+. We would love to rent from you again, but at non-peak season. Do you have places in other resorts around the world? Meg

Meg, Boulder, 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

We had a great trip, accommodations were very nice. I think the only complaint I heard from a few of the gals on the trip was that it would be nice to have a full length mirror in their condo to check out their evening attire from head to toe. You know how girls are. Anyway, nothing but rave reviews, I would definitely recommend your company to anyone.

Aron M., Chicago, IL

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to let you know we had a wonderful time in Cabo. Villa Del Arco was beautiful and we could not have asked for a better room or room location. I also wanted to thank you for quickly taking care of the small snag for us at check in so quickly. I was starting to sweat it but it turned out seamless. Our kids want to go again next year, so I am be contacting you sometime in the future. What we loved: - Beautiful resort, excellent location, wonderful suite, good price, great amenities - The food was AMAZING, especially the sushi; seriously, some of the best food I've ever had in my whole life - Bob, you were a pleasure to work with

Molly B, Redmond, WA

I'm finally getting caught up after vacation and wanted to let you both know that we had a great time in Cabo. I'm so glad I talked to Bob as we originally had reservations through a travel agent for the Villa del Pal Mar. Although we enjoyed a few dinners at the beachside restaurant at Pal Mar we would have regretted staying in the hotel. The rooms from the outside looked worn and the poolside spring break atmosphere would have ruined the trip. Villa del Arco on the other hand was wonderful. I don't know that it's worth the price they want directly (although their signature services definitely help) but Destination Vacations made it a perfect deal. The only thing I wished I would have known ahead of time was that everyone in Cabo, beach venders included, wanted US cash. No need for pesos there, just the opposite in Puerto Vallarta. Restaurants we feel that are not to be missed are Mi Casa, Los Deseos and Hacienda Cocina Y Cantina. Thank you for a wonderful trip. When we decide it's time to go back to Cabo we'll definitely be calling Destination Vacations! Pam L.

Pam L., Seattle

We had a wonderful trip and the accomodations were very nice. We enjoyed the room location by the pool. The restaurant was excellent and the staff very good. Thank you for your assistance.

jill Blackmon

Our vacation was outstanding. Villa La Estancia is a beautiful place and room 1605 exceeded our expectations. The airport shuttle was awesome too. As we have been there several times we knew just to head outside and ignore the salesman. The door slid open the sun and heat hit our face, and there was our driver holding our name and the vacation officially started.

Brent Lutz, Snoqualmie Washington

Your low rates surprised us. (We go to Cabo often and like to stay at Villa del Palmar.) On this trip that we booked through you, our suite had the best location of any of our trips! Thank you.

Shelley Richey, Sugarland Texas

Thank you for arranging our stay at Villa Del Arco/Villa La Estancia. We have visited Cabo several times, and have always stayed at La Estancia, but this last stay was the easiest and best vacation, largely due to you. You had the ability to work out a vacation for us on the exact dates we needed, which I could not do on my own through VRBO or other sources. I will definitely call you the next time we plan to visit Cabo, which will hopefully be next year at this time. The car service we arranged through your contacts was very good and reliable. The driver was very pleasant and had a plethora of information for us about the area. My family had never stayed at Del Arco before. I can honestly say that Del Arco was equally as beautiful and comfortable as La Estancia. We will gladly stay at either resort in the future. I can also honestly say that in the future I will save my time and call you directly instead of trying to work a deal through VRBO. Your rates are competitive and your resource of the large number of units you represent makes trip details easily arrangeable. Thank you for the wonderful Christmas trip. Kurtis and Rory Lubbock, TX

Kurtis & Rory , Lubbuck, TX