Saturday, February 20, 2010

Whale Watching at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

As our ship, Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas, approached the marina at Cabo San Lucas, we passed by the most recognizable symbol of the resort city, Los Arcos, the arch at the point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortes. From our balcony we watched Playa Amour (Lovers’ Beach) come into view between several large boulders. This scenic plot of sand is reached only by water, so the area was filled with kayaks, zodiacs, wave runners, and sightseeing boats. Sea lions and pelicans sunning on nearby rocks provide company for beach goers.

Since humpback whales swim these waters from mid-December to mid-February (our visit was the first week of February), this seemed a great opportunity for a whale watching excursion. We boarded a large catamaran (about 150 feet) to cruise along the coast and into the bay in style.

Zodiacs also take people into the ocean, if you don’t mind rocking and rolling and getting wet—with the advantage of getting closer, if you spot whales. While watching these inflatable crafts and small boats bounce on the waves, we had the perfect vantage point from comfortable chairs set around a table on the back deck of the yacht—and no worries about choppy water.

At first we cruised slowly and spied several whales in the distance. We took photos, but mostly the whales were in and out of the water too quickly. When strong winds began to blow, we balanced ourselves against the railing and watched for a spray of water—indication that a whale was about to surface.

Beer, tequila sunrises, rum punches, sodas, and water were offered non-stop as well as chips and salsa, which made our first Mexican adventure of the cruise enjoyable despite somewhat cool, windy weather. We saw enough whales to feel that part of the trip was successful, too.

Cabo San Lucas is a vacationer’s paradise. Located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, this once quiet fishing village is now among Mexico’s most stylish destinations. Sport fishing, kayaking, parasailing, surfing, snorkeling, and shopping are among visitors’ favored pastimes. Cabo is also known as Mexico’s golfing capital—no wonder with 350 days of sunshine annually and year-round daytime temperatures between 80 and 94 degrees. Sundrenched beaches and stunning sunsets add to the glamour of this resort town.

Whale watching tours range in price from about $49 to $69 per person and last 2-3 hours.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

2 comments:

jsturgeon said...

Years ago we went on a whale-watching trip in New England. This was back in the days before digital, so I couldn't wait to develop the roll of film.

Turns out, I have 52 photos of ... whale tails. I saw them breach, surface -- even saw a baby -- but the only thing I capture on film were those tails.

Irene S. Levine said...

Haven't been on a catamaran but took two Zodiac trips in Los Cabos and loved them, too!