Best Time to Go Whale Watching in Mexico

whale watchingIf you haven’t yet been whale watching, it’s time to pack a suitcase and fly to Mexico. Whale watching is a truly unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience. Plan a trip for you and your special someone and enjoy a romantic getaway on the waves. Or, bring the kids and make memories that will last a lifetime. Mexico is a particularly popular destination for whale enthusiasts because of the annual migratory patterns of these majestic creatures.

When to schedule your whale watching trip

Off the sunny coast of Mexico, you can see California Gray Whales reaching the end of their 6,000-mile migration from the chilly waters of Alaska. They begin their journey toward the end of each summer and arrive off of Mexico’s Baja peninsula late in the fall. Unmated whales migrate here to form courtship groups. Those who conceived a calf already follow the migration to give birth in the warm waters. In this area, whale watching season is officially from November to April. This season applies to whale watching in the Sea of Cortez, as well.

Other species of whales may be seen all year-round. These include blue whales, fin whales, Bryde’s whales, minke whales, and sperm whales. Humpback whales are spotted in the winter, spring, and summer, and the dwarf sperm whale tends to make an appearance in the fall. But the best time to schedule your trip is during the annual migration, when you’re almost guaranteed to get close to these marine mammals.

Best places to go whale watching in Mexico

If you’re along the coast during peak migrating season, you’re likely to spot a whale or two. But the best places for spotting whales are around Baja, the Sea of Cortez, and Magdalena Bay. The Baja California peninsula extends for more than 1,000 miles, bordered on the east coast by the Sea of Cortez and, of course, on the west coast by the Pacific Ocean. Magdalena Bay is about 800 miles down from the border, and its whale population fluctuates from year to year. The Sea of Cortez has more consistently large populations of many different whale species, including the endangered blue and fin whales. This is thanks to the tides that flow around the islands. As the waters mix, ideal conditions are created for plankton to flourish.

Tips for memorable whale watching excursions

A memorable whale watching experience starts with the right planning and preparation. Be sure to find a captain who has years of experience taking groups out to see the whales. It takes experience to know how to gently guide a boat toward the whales without spooking them.

Dress appropriately for the excursion. Never wear flip flops, sandals, dress shoes, or heels on a boat. Choose rubber soled shoes like sneakers that will help you keep your footing on the water. Bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, and dress in layers. When you’re out on the water, you’ll feel chillier than you would on land, especially when the sea spray hits you. Wear a waterproof jacket to keep you dry. And don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars!

More on Mexico whale watching:

  1. USA Today, Whale Watching in Baja, Mexico,
  2. Miramar Adventures, Baja Mexico Whale Watch Locations,
Monday, June 5th, 2017
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