Baja California – Gray Whales, Humpbacks, and Humpbacks Eating Out of Your Hand
In the Mexican State of Baja California, there are a very large population of Gray whales, primarily the Humpback and Southern Right Whales. These species make up almost half the whale population in Baja California. Gray whales travel throughout most of the Pacific Ocean between December and March, traveling down the central Pacific as well as making Mexico and British Columbia their preferred destination. In the San Ignacio Lagoon, located in the Mexican State of Baja, California, many gray whales often arrive during the winter, landing on dry land and then taking a detour to sea in search of food.
This is the time of year when many migrate toward warmer waters. They are not, however, migrating as far south as they do when they come into Baja California, because this is not their habitat. During the months of June to September, Humpback and Southern Right Whales make their way toward the warmer waters of Catalina Island. Grey whales are also occasionally seen in March and April as they make their way from their breeding grounds in Alaska, where they can be found nearly all year round, to Baja California. For whales who travel this far south, watching whales in this area is a must, and watching whales at this time is very educational.
The best known locations to spot Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales off the coast of Baja California are El Capitan Bay, Marbella Beach, Playa del Amor or Puerto Vallarta. Many of these have been sighted by whales watching enthusiasts, but el jundi sightings are also common. Whale watching off the Mexico-Baja border is not only about grey whales and humpbacks, however. There are also other types of marine life to be seen; dolphins and sometimes even pilot whales have been sighted.
One of the most popular activities during the Grey whale watching season in Baja California is to go whale watching off the beaches. It’s typical for the whales to come closer together as they prepare to spawn, making the shallow water much more accessible for them. March and April are typically the best months for spotting grey and blue whales off the coast of Baja California. Grey whales are usually the biggest creatures on the planet, and it is often very difficult for photographers to keep them out of the view of people. It is common for many Grey whales to come close to offshore waters in order to breed.
Southern right whales, on the other hand, are much smaller than the grey whales, with a average length of just over ten feet. They are rarely seen, but can be seen frequently when humpback whales come to feed. Their dorsal fin is unique among the whale species, and it has a conspicuous black patch on its tip. These creatures have often been compared to starlings because their calluses are similar.
Baja whale watching offers an adventurous way to spend an afternoon, and one that is surprisingly affordable. Many whale watching tours take groups from San Diego to Baja California, where experts lead tours of the coastal waters. These expert trainers will lead visitors past schools of fish, and allow them to feed the sea creatures while learning about their behaviors and feeding patterns. Each group will then head out on a short journey into the kelp forests, where they can see a variety of whales and other sea creatures up close.