Cabo San Lucas - Los Cabos, Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.
The Gentle Giants of the Sea of Cortez - By Sabrina Lear
If you’re fortunate to be visiting Los Cabos in the months of January through March, it’s likely that at some point during your stay you’ll be treated to the sight of whales spouting off shore. Many whales that feed in northern waters migrate south each year. From mid to late fall, gray whales make the longest migration of any mammal, a 6,000 mile journey from their summer homes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas between Alaska and Siberia, to winter in the warm waters of Baja California and the Sea of Cortez. Averaging a speed of four to five knots, they arrive in late December seeking both shelter from the frigid northern waters and refuge to birth their young. Gray whales (also known as the Pacific gray, California gray or grayback) calve in the protected, shallow lagoons of San Ignacio, Scammon’s, Ojo de Liebre and Magdalena Bay. Bottom-feeding grays are placid shore lovers who spend most of their lives traveling. Once found in Europe and Asia, the gray population is now confined to the North Pacific, from Siberia and Alaska south to Mexico.
Like all mammals, the gray whale is warm blooded, breathes air and nurses its young. Moderately large in size, they range in length from 40 to 50 feet and can weigh up to 73,000 pounds, with males smaller than females. Gray in color, hence the name, they are classified as Cetacea, marine mammals that include whales, porpoises and dolphins and belong to Mysticeti, one of the three families of great baleen whales. Grays have no close relatives; they are the single species of the family Eschrichtidae.
Grays, right whales and the family of fin, blue, sei, Bryde’s, minke and humpback whales (balaenopterids) have baleen fringes, made of whalebone, instead of teeth. The baleen lines the upper jaw and works like a large comb, filtering plankton from salt water and, in the grays’ case, sediment. When the whale’s mouth is full it closes and forces the water out, catching the plankton in the baleen. When all of the residue is filtered, the whale swallows. Unlike other baleen whales, grays are the only whale to bottom feed, staying down for 3 to 5 minutes to eat; leaving a trail of grooves in the ocean floor behind them. They can remain under water for fifteen minutes before running out of air. Grays are characterized by a long snout and double blowhole on top of their head. In place of a dorsal fin, the gray has a hump with dorsal ridges running to it’s flukes (tail).
The lagoons frequented by the grays are mid-way to three-quarters of the way down the Baja peninsula and offer optimal conditions for female grays to give birth. After a gestation period of thirteen months, newborns enter the world about 15 feet long and weigh around 1,500 pounds. Whale milk is more than 50% fat and 10 times richer than cow’s milk, allowing the calf to build up blubber for the long return trip north in the spring. Mother grays are extremely affectionate, playing constantly and bracing the calf on her back when it needs to rest. In the sheltered lagoons, the calves learn survival skills and build their muscles by swimming against the ocean currents flowing into the calmer waters. The calves weigh around 3,000 pounds and are about 19 feet long when they are ready to leave the lagoon. The grays natural predators are sharks and orcas (killer whales) and mother grays are always on guard for the enemy.
Although each of the lagoons is hundreds of miles or more up the peninsula, whale watching around Los Cabos can be very fruitful. While the gray whale is not the only species you will see (blue, humpback, sperm, Bryde’s, sei, fin, and the occasional orca ply these waters) it is the most commonly sighted whale around Los Cabos. Many male grays travel into the Sea of Cortez, as well as females, once their calves are mature enough to leave the sanctuary of the lagoon.
Simply watching these incredible creatures frolicking amongst themselves is an awe-inspiring treat. Spouting, the visible exhaling of air by the whale, is usually your first indication of whale activity, however, you may see breaching, too. Breaching, when the whale leaps almost completely out of the water and falls back with a large splash, is a spectacular sight. Remember that the whales are moving and will stay under for two to five minutes, so try to anticipate what direction they are taking so you are able to focus on the location of their next breach or spout. You’ll also see the whales showing their flukes, which is known as sounding. If you’re in a small boat, Zodiac or kayak, you will be able to move in much closer and may get an eye-to-eye close-up with a new friend. Called spyhopping, this is where the whale pushes itself up out of the water until he can see his surroundings (and you), and for first time whale watchers this is especially thrilling.
If you want to see mothers and their calves first hand, whale-watching trips to Magdalena Bay (the closest calving area to Los Cabos) are best made with daytrip fly-in tours. Aereo Calafia offers tours during the whale watching season. This is a completely different experience than whale watching off the coast of Los Cabos as you are in a protected area of extremely calm, shallow water. Here you will be able to interact with the whales and get much closer to them than in the open ocean. The opportunity to pet whales is not uncommon. If you have more time to spend a few days in Magdalena Bay, there are several tour companies that operate from Loreto as a base camp.
You will find that there are several local, top notch-whale watching tours that will bring you as close as possible to the grays and other whales off the coast of Los Cabos and they generally conduct daily excursions from January to March.
WHALE WATCHING TOURS CABO SAN LUCAS
Adventure Cabo Deep Blue - Scuba diving services for certified divers, PADI certification courses, Snorkeling tours, Whale watching and Underwater professional Photography. Hotel Tesoro Los Cabos Local D-1. Cabo San Lucas Baja California Sur 23450.
Baja Xplorer Expeditions Has all the excitement you need to spend your next vacations in Los Cabos, Todos Santos; Scubadiving, City Tours, Nature Walks, Waverunning expedition, Kayaking and more.
Blue Adventures! is an American Owned and Operated Ecotourism provider located in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The Cabo San Lucas Marine Preserve is home to over 150 species of Marine Life, outstanding Pinnacle Rock Formations, Cliffs, Deep Walls, Canyons and Magnificent Coral growths! Described by Jacques Cousteau as, "One the Richest Seas of The World." The Sea of Cortez will provide memories of amazing schools of Fish, Mantas, Reef Sharks, Sea Lions, Eagle Rays and Hundreds of other Marine Animals. Cabo is truly, "World Class Diving at it's Best!"
Buccaneer Queen A legendary 96 ft. long tall ship that has been used as a movie set and for TV commercials (one of the movies was starred by the beautiful actress Geena Davis) is now sailing on the water around Cabo San Lucas. The Buccaneer Queen offers snorkeling tours, sunset cruises, private charters and whale watching on season (Jan-Apr).
Cabo Expeditions Live the adventure snorkeling in Santa Maria Bay, sailing on the sea or Parasailing in Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Mexico.
Caborey Dinner Cruise
Enjoy an elegant dinner and a cruise around Cabo San Lucas Bay aboard the largest catamaran in the Los Cabos area.
Cabo Sails Premier Private Sailing Charters in Cabo San Lucas. Cabo sailing, snorkeling, whale watching, sunset cruises and special occasions. We specialize in private tours, romantic cruises and fun activities for your family. Enjoy Cabo sailing tours with delicious appetizers, premium open bar and our professional and fun crew. Kids under 10 sail for FREE! www.cabosails.com
Cabo Sailing - Premium Sailing Charters In Cabo San Lucas. Snorkeling, Sunset cruise, Whale watching, great music, delicious food and premium open bar are at your service. Professional sailing crew will set the right environment for your special occasion. Daily private and public cruises.
Cabo Vacationers Contact - Cabovc -
Will provide you with all you need making your vacations the most pleasant possible, we count with a big list of services specially thinking for today’s vacationer who visits Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos Area.
Glass bottom boat tours. 45-minute round trip, Pelican Rock, sea lion colony, the famous arch, drop-off & pick-up at Lovers Beach. Inside Hotel Costa Real Cabo. Loc. #A-10, Blvd. Marina, Cabo San Lucas.
Eco Cat Spend an afternoon aboard this huge sailing catamaran, enjoying comfort and stability only before available to the super rich, now without the multimillion dollar pricetag. Enjoy our spacious sundecks, trampolines and air conditioned salons with first class service as we cruise along some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
Esperanza's Tours Esperanzas Fleet is happy to offer you the opportunity to enjoy Los Cabos in one of the best ways possible. We are at your service to make sure your visit to Mexico is unforgettable.
Manta SCUBA Diving SCUBA Diving and Snorkeling - Dive Shop Location:Paseo del Pescador No. 1 (close to the "Office Restaurant") Playa Medano, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. We open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30p.m. At Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Nomadas de Baja
Our promise to all our adventures is to offer a unique experience each and every time. There is a serenity that comes with the freedom of this incredible, natural playground. SCUBA and snorkel tours, sportfishing, kayaking, hiking, Jeep caravans, Cabo Pulmo trips, daytrips, personalized service. BCS State licensed guide with over ten years of experience. Calle Finisterra, Campo de Golf, San Jose del Cabo.
Ocean Riders Ocean Riders water sports is now making its debut in Cabo San Lucas. The boats will take you for 2 and a half hours of adventure around the coastline of Cabo San Lucas, old light house and or the tourist corridor. Get up close and personal with the local marine wildlife? encountering whales, dolphins, tuna, marlin, giant manta rays and sea turtles is not uncommon. This is a unique experience not to be missed. Plaza Bonita Mall, Cabo San Lucas.
Oceanus Boat Cruise Tours
Oceanus offers a four hour trip, that will take you to Chileno Reef for snorkeling and sunbathing. And for a sunset cruise, Oceanus departs daily at 5 p.m. (depending on the season) from the main dock and heads toward Land's End and The Arch. Both adventures feature open bar, snacks, music and the vessel is equipped with toilets and shower facilities.
Panchito tours Panchito tours is a well know tour service provider in Los Cabos area and offers you city tours, whale watching tours, kayak and snorkeling tours or if you prefer they can arrange you the kind of special service for your group events. Cabo San Lucas Col. Cerro de los Venados #19 Mz.1
Scurvy Dawg Ahoy Matey! Come aboard ye land lubbers. Tow those scallywags, wee lads and lassies along and let’s set sail in Cabo on the Scurvy Dawg. Arrr... the Scurvy Dawg is a dressed up Pirate Ship that is really a 78 ft. long, solid steel hulled, US Coast Guard approved vessel.
Cabo's alternative to boat cruises and charters, awaits you with gracious hospitality and unbeatable service. The only cruise in the area offering a restaurant onboard, we boast snorkeling, whale watching and sunset tours amongst our amenities, providing covered and open-air seating on our deck, our spacious, comfortable and modern vessel is also made available for private charters and parties in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico.Camino a la Plaza s/n L-3 Col. Pedregal.
Talofa Tallship - Sailing, Snorkeling, Sunset Cruises, Whalewatching (in season), Corporate Leadership Sailing Programs, Private Charters. Family owned and operated, sail on the famous, authentic, historic sailing vessel Talofa. 100 ft. long and over 80 years old, step back into time and learn about the rich pirate history of Cabo San Lucas onboard our treasure ship!!! Pirate Ship Dock (Camino Hotel Hacienda)
Tlaloc Sailing Cruises Sailing, Snorkeling, Sunset Cruise and Whale Watching ( in season). A great vacation adventure aboard the Tlaloc. Sail along the picturesque Baja coastline and enjoy the relaxing tropical breeze. The Tlaloc is 30 feet long and has a capacity for 10 passenger. Boarding on C-25 dock on Cabo San Lucas Marina.
Tropicat - Cabo Sunset Jazz Tour
Come and experience Cabo’s newest and most luxurious super catamaran. With seating for 100, and two full size nets in front for lounging. Tropicat offers first class accommodations.Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Blvd. Marina s/n abajo del restaurant El Galeon.
Whale Watching Photo Safari - An amazing, up-close whale watching experience. There are few things in the world that compare to the sight of massive Humpback whales shooting out of the ocean´s depths and launching high into the air - returning to the sea amidst a colossal splash.
CABO SAN LUCAS ACTIVITIES - LOS CABOS ACTIVITIES GUIDE