Baja California Sur, the southern half of the Baja Peninsula, extending about 800 miles south from San Diego and ending at the famed Cabo San Lucas, is the annual winter playground for whales of many species.
Whether in the lagoons and bays off the Pacific Coast or around to the eastern side of the peninsula up into the Gulf of California, whale watching in Baja California Sur is a bucket list adventure for the whole family.
Each year more than 20,000 gray, humpback, and blue whales (among others) travel 6,000 miles (9,656km) from the cold waters off Alaska to mate, socialize and give birth in the shallow, nutrient-rich bays and lagoons of Baja California Sur. As they engage in this pilgrimage, they also provide an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to witness the graceful creatures in their winter habitat.
While the routes and habits of the various species differ, as do their personalities and interest in us as the human onlookers, all offer fascinating insights and experiences with some of the planet’s most enigmatic creatures.
With its crystal-clear waters, the Bay of Loreto National Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Gulf of California, is the perfect place for travelers to get up close with blue whales. Local companies such as Tours Loreto and Wild Loreto Tours offer tours where visitors observe these creatures, who grow more than 100 feet (30m) long and weigh as much as 30 elephants combined.
Since all 11,000 blue whales alive today navigate their way down from deep in the Pacific during this migration each year, the Gulf of California is the only place in the world where these colossal creatures can be spotted in warm weather.