A celebration of whales in Los Cabos
It’s that time of year in Los Cabos – the whales have returned and there’s no better time to have a Mexican vacation. From late December through April of each year, visitors to Los Cabos come the southern Baja Peninsula region to get up close to the most famous of our winter residents.
There are five different species of whale that come to the area each winter to have their young in the warm waters – Blue, gray, humpback, finback and Bryde’s whales can all be seen in the bay and around the peninsula. The whales make the trip starting in the fall and begin to arrive near the New Year and stay until the middle of spring, making this time one of the most enjoyable to visit the cities of the the Baja California Peninsula.
The whale watching season is celebrated by the sister cities of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo as they come together for the Los Cabos Whale Festival, February 9-11. Events during the celebration in include workshops and learning opportunities, painting, music and film all centering around the whales. Visitors are guaranteed to bring home invaluable memories of experiences that can be found nowhere else.
Of particular interest to festival goers will be an exibit of whale photography by Japanese photographer Masa Ushioda. Masa grew up on a river near Tokyo and had a keen interest in aquatic life from a young age. He began photographing the marine life with his first underwater camera in 1989, while working as a diving instructor on the Japanese island of Miyake, and in the Suruga Bay of the Izu Peninsula in the shadow of Mount Fuji. His photography of wales, dolphins and sharks is appreciated around the world.
Because of the annual migration, Los Cabos is a destination of international importance as guest come from around the globe to see the whales and interact with them in close proximity. The Whale Festival itself attracts not only tourists, but many who are ecologically minded and concerned with whale conservation. Awareness of these magnificent creatures is important to the region and is one of the top destinations for whale watchers, researchers and simply those who love the animals and are concerned for their safety.
There are many to encounter the whales themselves, from the many beaches in the region and from the numerous boat tours. Some of the more popular beaches include Playa Solmar, running from Land’s End to the majestic Pedrgal on the Pacific side. Villas del Mar Beach is accessible by boat and is definitely worth the trip as whales can be found breaching in the morning sun. Médano, right in front of the Cabo Villas, is an excellent spot to whale watch as well and you may even spot some dolphins. At Médano, when you’re done watching the whales, you’re surrounded by the best restaurants and bars in Los Cabos!
If you want to get right on the water with the whales, there are many tours available each day. Early morning cruises start as early as 9 am, and some include breakfast aboard ship. There are even option for the brave including an eco-tour using high-speed Zodiac inflatable boats.
No matter how you see the whales, you’ll be glad you came to Cabo San Lucas for your Mexican vacation during whale season.