Photo credit : Ally Marsh | Joanne Lasnier | Lee Morgan | Hilary Thompson

Baja Whalewatching Tours

Immerse yourself in endless wildlife experiences on Searcher Natural History Tours’ signature 12-day itinerary to Baja California, Mexico. A world-class whalewatching destination, Baja California is home to over a dozen different whales, including curious gray whales of Laguna San Ignacio and Earth’s largest inhabitants, blue whales. Based on decades of respectful wildlife ecotourism, Searcher is granted unique access to Mexico’s protected areas so our guests may enjoy this phenomenal wildlife spectacle. The ultimate whale watching tour begins here. Join us!

  • Expect gray, blue, fin, humpback, sperm, Bryde’s, and pilot whales; while many more are possible
  • Bird in a variety of habitats including mangroves, deserts, open ocean, and shore
  • Join playful sea lions and tropical reef fishes underwater in snorkel spots in Sea of Cortez
  • Photograph elephant seals, sea lions, and fur seals during island cruises and nature walks
  • Swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea (optional activity)
  • Enjoy exuberant herds of dolphin as they swim alongside Searcher

bw-map-itinerary-whale-2015Departing from San Diego, California
Arriving to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

All-inclusive! Starting at $4850 USD

12-day/11-night trip cost includes:
  • all meals, snacks and beverages including beer and wine
  • shared accommodations in an air-conditioned cabin
  • all “panga” excursions in Laguna San Ignacio with local operators
  • all other shore excursions/water activities
  • expert on-board naturalists
  • Mexican tourist visa and area access fees
  • Mexican Conservation Passport to access Natural Protected Areas
  • souvenir coffee mug and water bottle

View Schedule

The crew conveys respect and reverence for the natural world. We will never forgot our extraordinary wildlife adventure. Just brilliant!
April 2015

12-day Itinerary

San Diego to Cabo San Lucas

 San Diego

Travel to San Diego, California. Board Searcher at Fisherman’s Landing by 8 p.m. for passenger orientation. Depart at 10 p.m.

 Islas Todos Santos

Stop at Ensenada harbor for Mexican Customs and Immigration clearance. Cruise along Todos Santos islands to view nesting seabirds, rocky reef and cliff life, and harbor seal adults and pups. Whalewatch during the afternoon for migrating gray whales, dolphins, and seabirds aboard Searcher.

 Islas San Benito

Hike to an old lighthouse and observe elephant seals crowded in each cove. It’s breeding season and jousting males, nursing pups, and resting females make for wonderful wildlife photography. We’ll observe nesting birds, such as osprey and ravens, and enjoy unique desert plants.

 Laguna San Ignacio

Here we anchor among the gray whales and make this famous lagoon our home for two days. Whalewatch from smaller boats, called pangas, and see eye-to-eye with the whales. Observe mother gray whales care for their calves, and marvel at the power and grace of breaching and spyhopping whales. Explore pristine beaches for shells, blooming plants, and tidal animals and observe feeding birds in the mangrove channels.

 Offshore Bahía Magdalena

Spend the day observing blue whales and humpback whales, herds of common dolphins, sea turtles, and pelagic seabirds with the Baja California peninsula as a truly scenic backdrop for wildlife photography.

 Offshore Cabo San Lucas

Cruise to Gorda Banks where humpback whales gather. Humpback whales are very acrobatic–spectacular to observe, photograph, and listen to with our underwater microphone.

Isla San José

Searcher will arrive at the first stop in the Sea of Cortez for sunrise at the spectacular red sandstone cliffs of Punta Colorado. We’ll take a skiff ride into a cave and along the cliffs for up-close views of nesting brown and blue-footed boobies, pelicans, yellow-footed gulls, osprey and white-throated swifts. Then we’ll take a desert plant and bird walk through an arroyo formed by the scenic red cliffs. After our hike, we can enjoy snorkeling to view tropical fish in the reefs and sandy coves underwater. For the afternoon, we’ll have plenty of time to whale watch for blue whales, fin whales and sperm whales, as well as the large pods of bottlenose dolphins that frequent this area. NOTE: If the Whale Shark Encounter is offered on this day, the remaining itinerary may be re-ordered.

 Isla Santa Catalina

This island is famous for the 12-foot “wavy” barrel cactus and other desert plants that grow along the canyon, where an early morning walk is an enjoyable option. Bird life is abundant and we should see and hear cardinals, Gila woodpeckers, ravens, and verdin. Also famous residents are the rare endemic Santa Catalina rattleless rattlesnake and the more abundant emerald-tailed lizards.

There will be snorkeling opportunities at this island, where the shallow reefs are home to many species of fish, sea stars, sea fans, and more marine life. Again we’ll spend time aboard Searcher for the afternoon whalewatching in this productive area.

xantus.crossen

 Bahia Agua Verde

We’ll stop at this beautiful bay on the peninsula for birding ashore, then snorkel among sea fans and rocky reef inhabitants. Then there’s time to whalewatch offshore for blue, fin, or other whales.

 Isla San Jose/Islas Los Islotes

Make a stop at one of Baja California’s best locations for mangroves, birds and scenery. Then we travel to Los Islotes, two islets and underwater rocky reefs used by sea lions as haul-out sites. Skiff rides around the islets give great views of the sea lions, fishes and invertebrates along the reefs, and nesting boobies and other birds. Or dive in for some great snorkeling. Then there’s time to whale watch offshore for Baja’s blue whales, fin whales, and other whales.

 Cabo San Lucas

Disembark Searcher in Cabo San Lucas early morning. Transfer to Los Cabos (also called San Jose del Cabo) airport for return flight connections or downtown for hotel stay in Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo (recommended) on your own. Arrange for a flight out after 12 noon.

Tour Videos


Brian Leadbitter and the friendly whales in February, 2014


Special thanks to Lee Morgan for allowing us underwater with a gray whale.


Grey whale at Searcher, Laguna San Ignacio, 2015