The Best Whale Watching Spots in Mexico

Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) tail flukes. Baja, Mexico, magdalena bay
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) tail flukes. Baja, Mexico, magdalena bay | © Brandon Cole Marine Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Mónica Ramírez López

Every year gray, blue and humpback whales beautify the Mexican Pacific Coast from Baja California to Oaxaca, attracting thousands of tourists whose only aim is to admire them. Here are the main spots to see whales in Mexico.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Bahia de Banderas

Watch the humpback whales in Bahia de Banderas every year from December to March. This bay is nestled between the states of Jalisco and Nayarit, so Puerto Vallarta is a good point of departure. As these mighty whales reach 14 meters in length, it is possible to see them from the beach while they’re jumping in the sea, but there’s nothing compared to getting a closer view. A tour is advisable, since the agencies are constantly monitoring the whale sighting spots and know exactly where to go. You will see dolphins along the way, so get on board and enjoy a photo safari.

Cabo San Lucas

Looking for the right conditions for mating, the gray whales swim along Los Cabos in Baja California from January to April. There are different options of transportation, from a standard boat to a luxury trimaran. For a better view, a boat with a glass bottom will help you get a fuller view of these animals. Relax during the ride by watching the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and photograph the sea lions and exotic birds along the way.

Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Magdalena Bay

The curious gray whales of Magdalena Bay often approach whale-watching boats

From Canada and the Arctic waters, gray whales arrive at this fisherman’s village located at the north end of Magdalena Bay. Before your trip, you might want to enjoy the attractions of the area, so make your way to the pier, take a tour the mangroves, and enjoy walking in the white sands and watching the birds on Magdalena Island. Every year the International Festival of the Gray Whale is celebrated, with cultural, gastronomic, and artistic activities. It is worth staying a couple of days in one one of the cozy rustic hotels in López Mateos.


The Islas Marietas, Banderas Bay, Nayarit, Mexico.

There are two spots in Nayarit: Sayulita and Rincon de Guayabitos. From November to April, hit Sayulita and watch the humpback whales peeking out and jumping between the waves. When you arrive back on land, take time for sightseeing in this little town – it is charming and has that hippie surfer style and colors everywhere. A little further north, from December until the end of March, the whales swim by the coast of Rincon de Guayabitos, which is only a 30-minute drive from Sayulita, so if you want a second whale watching site and another destination to visit, this is the place.

Reserve of the Biosphere El Vizcaino

Nestled in the zone that divides North and South Baja California, El Vizcaino is one of the biggest protected areas of the world. This area has welcomed 2,500 gray whales. Due to its importance for the reproduction and nurturing of whales, El Vizcaino Whale Sanctuary has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993. In the biosphere, there are lagoons, desert dunes, beaches, mangroves, and islands. Thus, it’s a good idea to venture out from the comfort of your resort and visit El Vizcaino (before your trip, visit the Tourism Office of the area to get a permit).


Every year, thousands of humpback whales leave Alaska, Oregon, and Canada to swim more than 5,000 km to reproduce and give birth in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. From December to March, it is possible to see 11 different species of these enormous whales. The Mazatlan-Teacapan zone carries out activities for humpback whales. During boat tours, it’s possible to observe dolphins, sea lions, and even killer whales. Mazatlan also has a stunning beach, so take a few days to soak up the sun and visit the “Old Mazatlan,” the Malecon and Isla de la Piedra.

Loreto Bay

Blue whale watching in baja california Mexico, loreto

The impressive blue whale is the biggest whale in the world, reaching 30 meters in length and weighing 120 tons. Every winter they swim along Baja California, and it’s possible to see them from January to April near the south, in Loreto Bay. These whales take deep dives, so you might have to wait to see them, but when they come up to breathe it’s an amazing spectacle (that can even happen very close to your boat!). A tour in a glass-bottom boat can give you an even better look.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.