Blue and Fin Whale Watching
Join us for a fun, thrill-of-a-lifetime day tour in the Sea of Cortez looking for blue and fin whales that cruise the waters of Loreto Bay National Marine Park/UNESCO World Heritage site. While whale sightings are not guaranteed, this is one of the few places on Earth to see these deep-ocean creatures with regularity. The islands off Loreto are often referred to as the “blue whale corridor.” Generally, late January to early March is the best time to see these whales near Loreto. This is a full-day tour and each boat is limited to six passengers.
As youngsters, many of us were fascinated by dinosaurs. Yet the blue whale is much bigger than any dinosaur that ever lived! In fact, they are the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth, with a body mass equal to 24 elephants and a mouth that could swallow a railroad boxcar. To see one of these massive animals in the Sea of Cortez is a true wildlife watching highlight.
Blue whales can be 80-100’ (27-30 meters) in length, and weigh as much as 140-150 tons. Their heart is the size of a small car (think of a Ford Focus or VW Beetle) and pumps some 10 tons of blood through their bodies. To get a sense of their size, think of yourself compared to a mouse. We are the size of a mouse compared to a blue whale.
At one point in time, it’s estimated there may have been 200-300,000 blue whales in the earth’s oceans. Whaling took a tremendous toll. Today the population is estimated at around 12,000 -15,000 but is slowly growing. They eat 3-4% of their weight each day, mostly krill. When they swim, they cruise around 6-10 miles an hour but can go much faster if necessary.
They are a very loud animal that communicates using deep rumbling sounds. Scientists and divers say they feel these more than hear them. They can communicate with each other over distances of 500-800 miles and while they don’t have external ears, their flesh and bone carry the sounds to their skull-buried ears.
In the summer months, blue whales travel to cool polar waters to feed. In the winter they travel south to tropical waters and this is when we see them in the Gulf of California. Watching blue whales takes some patience. Normally after they surface, they will dive for five to twenty minutes, going perhaps 150-300’ (50-100 meters) below the surface. Then they rise to the surface to breathe. They have two blowholes and blow frequently. When they are on the surface we are rewarded by seeing them. Usually, they will blow for ten to twenty seconds and stay on the surface two to six minutes.
Learn more at NOAA Fisheries.
Fin whales, the second largest whale in the world, are more common and equally breathtaking. They have a distinct ridge along their back behind the dorsal fin, which is why they are also known as "razorbacks.” One of their most fascinating features is that their lower right jaw is bright white and the lower left jaw is black. They are fast swimmers and mostly live in the open sea. However, a certain number visit the Gulf of California each winter.
Learn more at NOAA Fisheries.
Note that we also offer our Whale Extravaganza tour that includes watching blue whales near Loreto combined with a stay at our Magdalena Bay whale camp to see the gray whales.
The whales of Baja are waiting to welcome you to their world! We invite you to join this full-day whale watching tour, or one of our other great Baja whale watching tours.
Images & Videos
*Below is a general outline of our Blue and Fin Whale day tour itinerary. Please note that this is our ideal schedule; however it may be adjusted due to weather or other items outside our control. Your adventure consultants and guides will brief you with any updates prior to your departure.
7:30am Meet in the Hotel Lobby
Get to know your group and Sea Kayak Adventures guides prior to your whale watching adventure! *Please have breakfast on your own before meeting the group as it is not included in your itinerary.
8:00 - 8:30 am Depart the Loreto Marina
Let the whale watching begin! Keep your eyes peeled as you head into the whale corridor. Spend the next few hours looking for blue and fin whales; don't be surprised if you get a visit from a friendly pod of dolphins along the way.
12:00 pm Lunch
Get your feet back on dry land for a short lunch break. Enjoy a stroll along the beach or some intertidal exploration with your guides before lunch.
1:00 - 3:00 pm Whale Watching and Return to Loreto
We will continue our whale watching following lunch, hoping to see some more incredible sightings of blue and fin whales. By mid afternoon we will begin making our way back to the Loreto marina for the conclusion of our tour.
What to Bring:
Note: Please dress appropriately for the days weather and for being outside in the elements during your tour. Weather on the Gulf of Mexico can vary and change quickly, so dressing in layers is always a good practice.
- Water bottle (guides will refill as needed)
- Sun protective clothing and hat
- Small day pack or hip pack with any personal items
- Light jacket or sweater
- Waterproof camera or waterproof phone case
Dates & Rates
Please note: $200 per person price is for groups of 4+. For groups of 2-3 a $100 per person surcharge applies.
*Maximum number of 6 guests per tour due to boat capacity. For groups larger than 6, please contact our Adventure Consultants for custom pricing and arrangements.
- Full service of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional, bilingual Sea Kayak Adventures guides
- Panga and driver