All you need to know about the best whale watching spots in Mexico
Can you find whales in Mexico?
Mexico’s cultural richness never ceases to amaze us and the incredible whales that visit us every year are no exception. These gigantic mammals start arriving on the beaches of Mexico in November and stay with us until the end of March. An excellente destination for whale watching.
Did you know that Mexico is the fifth most megadiverse country in the world?
Around our coasts, if you are lucky and go out to sea with your eyes wide open, you can find some of the following species, depending on the region you travel to.
- The world’s largest animal, the blue whale
- The famous gray whale
- Giant humpback whales with their calves
- Cachalote whale
- Finback whales
- The whale shark
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Whale watching in Mexico is undoubtedly one of those experiences that take your breath away. It is truly a natural spectacle worth preserving, and for this, it is necessary to practice sustainable and responsible tourism.
Before starting with this guide, where I will share with you the best spots in Mexico for whale watching, you must take into account the following:
Recommendations to avoid endangering the whales
- When contracting a tourist service, verify that the boat in which you are going to take the tour has an identifying flag. This guarantees that the operator has permission to work from Semarnat.
- If during your tour you detect any irregularity, take a photo or video, write down the name of the boat and its registration number, as well as the day and place. With the information, file a report with the Federal Attorney’s Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa).
When is the whale watching season in Mexico and its different regions?
The whale watching season begins at the end of November and ends in March. At the end of the summer, the whales leave the cold waters of the Alaskan coasts behind and make a journey to the warm Mexican beaches.
There is no exact date as to when the whales reappear off the coast of the Baja California peninsula; some of them continue to the Pacific Coast. However, in November, there are already records of them. Some of the whales migrate to Mexican waters, where they mate and begin to nurse their babies. They stay with us in Mexico throughout December, January, and February.
And in early March, they begin their return to northern waters.
Where can I go whale watching in Mexico?
El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve
Located between the Mar de Cortés and the Pacific Ocean, the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve has been recognized for promoting responsible tourism by welcoming the incredible gray whale every year. This mammal measures between 11 and 15 meters, weighing around 30 tons.
Here’s another fact: in 1993, UNESCO declared El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve a World Natural Heritage Site.
Sailing to Loreto Bay National Park allows you to witness a blue whale swim. This majestic animal weighs up to 180 tons and can reach a length of 30 meters. Not for nothing is it the largest animal in the world!
Puerto Adolfo López Mateos – Magdalena Bay
In the municipality of Comondú, located in this coastal spot where hundreds of gray whales arrive. From Canada and the Arctic waters, these whales swim to complete their reproductive cycle.
When you go out to sea in search of whales, don’t forget also to watch the migratory and local birds that fly over the islands of Santo Domingo and Magdalena.
Todos Santos Bay
In the northwest corner of Baja California, near the city of Ensenada is Todos Santos Bay. Without a doubt, it is an increbible place for whale watching, especially for the gray whale. In addition, during your expedition, you will probably have the opportunity to observe dolphins, sea lions, and endemic birds.
*Don’t get confused with the town of Todos Santos, which is just south of the peninsula. An incredible place for surfing but not so much for whale watching.
Cabo San Lucas
The gray whale and the humpback whale come to one of the most vibrant cities in Baja California. Cabo San Lucas receives tourists searching for comfortable stays, gastronomy, fun, and adventure throughout the year. Starting in December, expeditions begin searching for these docile and curious whales, who come to the Sea of Cortez in search of warm waters.
Tourists not only come to this destination to enjoy its exquisite gastronomy. It is also a great spot in Mexico for whale watching, the most popular humpback whales. Among them, the most popular are the humpback whales. Can you believe that their heart can weigh more than 200 kg?
In Sayulita, Rincón de los Guayabitos and Banderas Bay, humpback whales put on great shows. They start to show themselves in the waves, and suddenly they make big jumps in the middle of the ocean.
Sayulita is a 40-minute drive from Banderas Bay and is, without a doubt, a town you must visit. Between colors and good vibes, crazy sunsets await you.
The whale shark is not a whale?
The answer is no; it is not a whale. This shark is the largest fish in the world, reaching 18 meters in length. Remember that whales are mammals, not fish.
From May to September, there are great experiences in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Whether in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Holbox, Isla Contoy, and Isla Mujeres, thousands of tourists visit us to have the opportunity to swim with them.
Today, it is a species threatened by tourism, so be sure to follow these recommendations:
- When you are underwater and encounter one, do not try to touch it.
- Keep a minimum distance of 2 meters
- Use biodegradable sunscreen
- Carry out the activity in places that have the appropriate permits
Looking for whale watching in Mexico? Let us know your travel ideas, and we will design a unique and hassle-free trip for you.
Last few tips
What to wear for whale watching?
Generally, the temperature in the open sea can be lower than that of the coast. Bring a light jacket to keep you warm, a raincoat and extra clothes in case you get wet.
Breakfast before going out to sea?
Definitely yes. In addition to decreasing the likelihood of seasickness, the experience is more enjoyable without a stomach growling with hunger. But, of course, you could also bring a lunch in case you get hungry on the way.
Tips for dizziness
The first thing you should know is that if you get seasick, nothing happens. It is very common and boat captains are used to it. But to avoid it, I recommend you to take medicine for seasickness.
Be careful: take it before starting the excursion because it is less likely to work while you are in the water.
Camera and binoculars
If you have them, don’t hesitate to bring them. Make sure you have an extra battery and an empty memory card because I promise you will take hundreds of pictures. On the other hand, I also invite you to enjoy the experience, feel the imposing presence of these wonderful mammals and just sit and watch them.
Cap, sunglasses, and sunscreen
When we go on the boat feeling the fresh wind from the sea, we forget the intense sun rays on our skin. So don’t hesitate to take with you a cap or hat to cover your face, sunglasses and sunscreen all over your body.
Let’s take the leap to a conscious lifestyle and use biodegradable sunscreen. Here I recommend these three Mexican sunscreen brands that take care of the planet.
Travel to Mexico and catch up with the whales on their migratory journey of more than 20 thousand kilometers. Make your next travel experience in Mexico something special and unique at the best whale-watching spots.