Each winter, the California grey whales make the 8,000 mile trek from the Bering Sea in Alaska to the warm lagoons of southern Baja California. From late January through March, these gentle giants occupy the coves and inlets of the region. Many of them can be found about 400 miles northwest of Cabo, and many others will continue their journey south to the cape, where they will birth their calves and feast on the abundant plankton of the nutrient-rich Sea of Cortez.
Although you won't see as many whales close to shore here as you would farther north (in Pacific gray whale calving bay of Bahia Magdalena), newborn calves and their mothers do swim by on their 'trial run' to the Sea of Cortez. These whales can be seen within a few hundred meters of Cabo San Lucas throughout the year, but the most activity occurs during this gray whale migration season, which is from January through March.
To best observe these beautiful marine mammals, we suggest one of the whale-watching tours that depart daily from the Cabo San Lucas harbor. Prices range from $39-$50 per person.
"Thar She Blows"
Your first indication of a grey whale's presence will be its spout or "blow" - up to 15 ft (4.5 m) high, and occasionally heart-shaped when seen from the front or rear. it will be visible for miles on calm days, and an explosive "whoosh" of exhalation may be heard up to 1/2 mile away. The spout consists mostly of condensation created as the whale's warm humid breath expands and cools in the sea air, along with sea water blown into the air as the whale begins its exhalation just below the surface. Look for 3-5 blows as a rule, 30-50 seconds apart before the whale dives again. As a rule of thumb, a grey whale will blow once for each minute it has spent on its dive. Use your stopwatch to time these blows and predict when the whale is due to blow again.