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Return of the Whales

Sep 07, 2022

Whale-watching season is almost upon us again in Los Cabos. In the world of nature, it’s one of two famous migrations in Mexico. (Counting snowbirds, make that three migrations!).

Central Mexico has its Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Every November, the forest between the states of Michoacan and Estado de Mexico is covered in fluttering orange, black, and white monarch butterflies, which fly 2,800 miles from Canada and the U.S. as part of their migration cycle. 

Impressive, but…Los Cabos is the favored destination for one of the longest mammal migrations on earth: the strenuous 6,000-mile swim from the frosty waters of the Arctic Sea to the tip of the Baja peninsula. Comparable to a roundtrip roadie from L.A. to New York. 

Of the eight whale species that venture to Los Cabos, the most popular are the humpback whales, which routinely thrust themselves out of the water in full-body breaches. Their huge, blue-black bodies are flanked by enormous pectoral flippers that grow up to one-third the size of their body length, which can reach 17 meters (over 50 feet). These highly maneuverable flippers are fantastic tools for hunting, swimming and of course for acrobatic leaping. 

Nearly hunted to extinction but now enjoying a revival (there are an estimated 68,500 humpback whales worldwide), these majestic creatures fatten up on plankton in high latitude polar waters before embarking on their journey to the subtropics.

Warm, nutrient-rich waters, ideal salinity and balmy weather make the bays and lagoons at the tip of the Baja peninsula the perfect place for whales to socialize, mate, and birth their calves. Once born, these not-so-little babies need to be taught how to swim and survive in the ocean. Calves stay close to their mothers for up to one year before weaning. Mothers are protective of their calves, swimming beside them and often touching them with their flippers.

Starting in early December, guests at the Pueblo Bonito Resorts at Pacifica and Sunset Beach can observe humpback whales breaching, spouting, and frolicking directly offshore. In addition, players at Quivira Golf Club, home of a dazzling Jack Nicklaus Signature course that tiptoes along sheer granite bluffs high above the sea, often have the pleasure of spotting tail-slapping whales from the layout’s cliff-side tees, greens and fairways. 

For visitors who want an up-close look at these awe-inspiring creatures, hotel concierges at our Pueblo Bonito properties can provide information on the best whale watching tours departing from the Cabo San Lucas marina. 

Among the top outfitters is Cabo Adventures, which is currently offering a 30% discount on its 2.5-hour Luxury Yacht Whale Watching Experience. The company’s French-made double-deck catamaran is equipped with a hydrophone system, which enables participants to hear the whales “singing” in real-time beyond the sea arch at Land’s End. (Known for their underwater lullabies, male humpback whales are especially vocal during the mating season. No one knows for sure, but it’s been theorized that the males, likened to sonar Romeos, are serenading potential female partners). 

In addition, the outfitter’s knowledgeable tour guides share interesting facts about these magnificent ocean dwellers, which can attain a weight of 80,000 pounds and have a life expectancy of 80 years. The experience of witnessing these sea giants at play as they spout, splash and breach in gravity-defying arcs is unforgettable.

Book your stay now to make sure you're with us during this awe-inspiring season!