Geographically speaking, Los Cabos is a remarkable place, as it is located where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet. Due to its biodiverse regions and the discoveries of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, it is known as the “Aquarium of the World”.
From December to March, Gray whales voyage down to Baja to birth to their young in the protective waters of the Sea of Cortez. In 1972, Mexico was the first country in the world to establish a whale sanctuary precisely in Baja California Sur. The Mexican government both federal and state, is concerned with the care and protection of the Gray whale and is paying particular attention to maintaining these reserves and sanctuaries.
Of the 11 whale species that exist all over the world, eight can be seen in the country of Mexico. Los Cabos is one of the best places to spot the Gray whale and this is one of the reasons why local and international visitors travel here. The warm, blue waters and marine life, are the perfect setting for these playful creatures who come to Mexico year after year, putting on a majestic spectacle for enthusiastic human spectators.
The Gray whale is a mammal belonging to the cetacean family. Its natural color is black, though at a distance, it looks gray due to the organisms that stick to its skin. In place of teeth it has elastic baleen plates which they filter their food, selecting it by size because its throat and digestive tract are very narrow. An adult whale measures from 11 to 12 meters (36 to 39 feet) and can weigh over 40 metric tons. A newborn calf measures from four to five meters (13 to 16 feet) and weighs up to a metric ton. The gray whales that reach Mexican shores do so after a long journey. Starting in Alaska, where they flee from hunters like orcas, sharks and also human beings, they travel close to 10,000 kilometers (62,137 miles).
Since time immemorial, they have crossed these great distances searching for shallower waters high in salt, like those of Los Cabos. Once there, they mate and give birth to their calves.
This area offers them a safe shelter for reproducing ad is also a wonderful space for them to practice breaching, supporting their weight on their tale so they can gaze above the water and leap joyfully. It is just amazing to see an adult whale leaping and playing with its calf.
The number of sightings of this unique and marvelous creature in Los Cabos has made Los Cabos a household name among animal lovers around the world.
Photos courtesy of Claude Vogel