Marine Wildlife in Baja
by Katia Silva, Marine Biologist and Guide at Cabo Trek
If you love nature and ecotourism and want to see one of natural history’s great spectacles, then visit Baja California Sur the middle of December to the middle of April . This season is the perfect time to see and swim with all the gentle giants of Baja. This area is one of the best places in the world to view whales and dolphins. Not only are resident and visiting marine mammals plentiful, but the diversity of species is phenomenal.
In the Sea of Cortez you will often see blue whales, the largest animals to have ever lived on earth. Their primary food is krill and they can weight more than 100 tons. They come for feeding and breeding and they make their way to either Costa Rica or islands off California. There are fin whales who reside in the gulf that also feed and see them all year. Humpback whales are numerous off the tip of Baja California. Every year 10,000 humpback whales come to Mexico, and some of them as well as a few gray whales pass into the southern part of the Sea of Cortez. Most gray whales mate and give birth in lagoons along the Pacific side of Baja. They are the friendliest whales and you have the opportunity to pet them, an experience of a lifetime.
Other marine mammals are charismatic dolphin species that thrill countless numbers of travelers. You may encounter hundreds to thousands of long-beaked common dolphins. These beautifully marked acrobats forage in groups, love to bow and wake ride. Bottlenose dolphins are also common. Orcas are always exciting to encounter in the Gulf of California, but they are less frequently spotted. You can swim with some animals like the sea lions. They are very playful and graceful underwater. They quickly transport you into your youth no matter what your age.
The gentle giant whale shark is another incredible experience. It is the biggest fish on earth. Every autumn, they return to Baja to feed on the plankton bloom, and it is during this time that we can snorkel with them, a truly magnificent experience.
Bird Watching is also another great option. Baja is comprised of a diverse range of ecosystems in a small geographic area, which means that we attract a vast array of birdlife. Over 430 species have been spotted in Baja California Sur.