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 whales and dolphins are possible
  • Birds 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 $6000 USD (for 2024)

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

We have thoroughly enjoyed our trip thanks to Team Searcher! This has been one of our most memorable experiences ever. Thank you for having us!
Donja, March 2020
Not only did we encounter some truly magnificent wildlife in stunning scenery, but the knowledge and determination of both crew and naturalists to ensure we got as much as possible out of our time with them and their attention to our well-being and safety 24/7 was brilliant.
Susanne and Fraser Winterbottom, January 2018
The wildlife encountered was more than we dreamed of seeing. Staff was so helpful, safety-conscious and polite. We would recommend to anybody that wants to see whales to come on this trip. Thanks for the great experience!
Rob and Marie, March 2019
Your professionalism and humor were much appreciated, your team fantastic, and the whole trip exceeded all expectations. All the whales, dolphins, rays, seals, and sea lions were more than we hoped for. Thank you!
Stephen and Euphie, April 2019

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 San Francisco

We’ll stop at this small island with a beautiful sandy beach to explore sand dune community and snorkel in an area where Cortez garden eels are found. This island has beautiful desert plants and an early morning walk is an enjoyable option. Bird life is abundant too.

Again we’ll spend time aboard Searcher for the afternoon whalewatching in this productive area.

La Paz/Los Islotes

Arrive to La Paz area to observe the area’s whale sharks and participate in the optional Whale Shark Encounter. 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 whalewatch offshore for blue, fin, or other whales. NOTE: If the Whale Shark Encounter is offered on this day, the previous itinerary may be re-ordered.

Isla Cerralvo

Make a stop at one of Baja California’s premiere islands for giant cardón and barrel cactus, and incredible scenery. We’ll go ashore for a botanical walk in an immense arroyo and then dive in for some great snorkeling. 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

Gray Whales of Baja

Humpback Whales

Blue Whales

Dolphins of Baja

Mobulas and Whale Sharks

Extend Your Holiday

After leaving Searcher in Cabo San Lucas at tour’s end, why not enjoy some relaxation in the Mexican town of San Jose del Cabo?

  • Enjoy San Jose’s charming hotels with outdoor patios, wine bars, coffee bars (try Cafe Calafia) and restaurants (try Casa Natalia)
  • Peruse art galleries and shops for souvenirs, jewelry, and local art work. Visit Cabo 8 gallery on Obregon.
  • Taste delicious Mexican fare and Baja’s famous beer, wine and margaritas.
  • Bird and enjoy the quiet of nature at a nearby estuary, or join a birding tour to search for Cape region endemics with local experts.

A review of Birding Los Cabos from our guests:

Maria Elena Muriel is an excellent, experienced, birder/guide and we would highly recommend using her services. The company is committed to promoting birding activities in the region in order to protect their habitats, especially that of endemic species. -Phil & Gill Moss U.K.