To look into the dinner plate sized eye of one of these gentle giants of the planet is something that everyone should have the chance to do at least once in their lifetime. Are you watching it or is this highly intelligent mammal watching you? The fact is, that once you get out there, you are in their element and they are as equally currious about you as you are about them.
The coastal region between Baja and Mazatlan is the end of the gray whales annual journey where they have come to bear their young and prepare them for the long journey back north. It happens every January through April, so its the perfect time to bear witness to this natural wonder of the planet that we all share and it is also a time when the boats leave daily from Mazatlan to venture out to greet them.
The End of a Long Journey For Whales
Its a chance to see one of natures giant wonders within arms reach. The gray whales begin their long journey to Mexico some 6,000 miles away in the frigid waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas of Alaska and Siberia. How and when this anual migration ritual began will always remain one of natures uncountable mysteries but one thing is certain and that is for the whales it works perfectly for them.
They feed and bulk up during the summer months on the krill and abundant sealife of the frigid waters in the northern reaches of the planet. The first signs of the approaching harsh northern winter is their signal to head south to the warmer waters of Baja where they can bring their young into the world safe from hungry Orkas.
Its a time to relax, nurse their newborns, play the mating game and get a good look at the boatloads of people that are bobbing around on the surface. Mothers with young and wiser more experienced older whales will tend to keep their distance but curious teens and young adults often just can’t resist the urge to come in for a back scratch and a closer look.
Back From the Brink of Extinction
Visiting with gray whales off the coat of Mazatlan is now so easy. This is because, after receiving protected status from the International Whaling Commission in 1946, their numbers have exploded. It is now estimated that there are over 25,000 gray whales that make the waters off the coast of Mazatlan their home each season.
Coincidentally, the whale migration coincides with the annual southern migration to Mazatlan of another mammal that shares this planet, known as humans. With so many whales now occupying these warm coastal waters, finding them and visiting with them is far more easy then it has ever been before in the history of tourism on the Mexican Riviera.
Once you get to Mazatlan and get settled in, finding and booking a reservation on a whale watching expedition is a simple task or you can book ahead of time from one of the many services that are featured on the Internet. Don’t forget to bring your camera! This is because one thing is for certain and that is that it won’t take long to locate one of the many gray whale pods that call the waters off the coast of Mazatlan their winter home.
- Whale Watching Mazatlan – An eco-friendly agency specialized in nature & wildlife observation expeditions.
- EasyDolphins.com – Ecological ocean expeditions in Mazatlan.
- MazatlanTours.org – Check out their whale watching tours.
- Onca Explorations: Nature & Wildlife Adventures – Owned and operated by oceanographers and marine biologists Onca Explorations provides the best whale and dolphin watching expeditions and scenic wildlife cruises through Mazatlan’s beautiful coastline and islands, as well as a wide variety of half-day ecotours and other nature travel services throughout southern Sinaloa.