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

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

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

Thanks Bob we had a wonderful vacation in your villa. We caught a 150 lb. tuna on the ninja and had some exquisite meals here at the villa. Deanna #1 thank you from our hears! Much Luck, Art and Deanna Phoenix AZ 2009

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.

Villa La Estancia - #1303 Just a note to thank you so much for all of your recommendations regarding our trip to Cabo. I can't tell you how happy and impressed we were with our accommodations. What a beautiful place!!! We couldn't have asked for a more perfect vacation - everything about our trip was first class. Your suggestion about taking a private taxi to and from the hotel was very much appreciated. Our day trip on La Gringa was probably the highlight of our trip. We decided to take a private tour with our group of 7 - probably more expensive but worth every dime. Jose Luis did a fantastic job on lunch, and Arturo and Miguel (Captain and First Mate) were the best in seeing that we were well taken care of. Again, thank you for a wonderful vacation. Will definitely keep you in mind for a future trip to Cabo.

Maria Pastor, Baton Rouge LA

Thank you so much for such an easy and worry free vacation on such short notice. The villa was beautiful and very comfortable. The additional amenities (USA phoneline & internet access with computer) kept us very accessible to all of our work responsibilities. Transportation was also effortless and ran exactly as planned. We had such a wonderful time and would have liked to stayed longer. The only thing we wish we could have organized in advance is grocery shopping and to have the groceries in the villa when we arrived. Thanks again, Shelley

Shelly , Denver

Booking through Destination Vacations made everything so easy. Our transportation from the airport was waiting for us when we arrived and the resort was beautiful! Everyone there was so nice and accommodating. We would definitely book through Destination Vacations again! Thanks again for your help.

Joan Cearley, Olympia, WA

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

Hi Bob, We booked enough condos for 65 people for a wedding through Destination Cabo and saved so much money. We had to add one more condo when we checked in and were able to save nearly 50% from what the front desk was offering us. The property is beautiful and has everything you need. We absolutely had the best time ever. We are so glad we stayed at Villa del Palmar and that we used Destination Cabo to get our accommodations. Jenn

Hi Bob, Just got back from Cabo last night. The villa was more than we expected and the pools, grounds and restaurants were outstanding. We had a great time with our children and grandchildren. The biggest problem we had was no soap in two of the bathrooms. Of course housekeeping took care of it immediately. Life's problems should be fixed so easily. Fishing was tough but managed to bring home a 50 qt cooler of mahi mahi fillets. Thanks for arranging the transportation. Transpacifico were both punctual and courteous. Best, John

John Giuffre, Montgomery Texas