Cabo. A place where sun-kissed beaches, vibrant marine life, luxury accommodations, and fine dining meet thousands of humpback whales each winter. The whales migrate from the frigid arctic waters to the warmer waters off of Cabo’s beaches to breed. Watching the constant movements of humpback whales in the water as they breathe, flap their tails hard against the water, breach, and dive back down is a phenomenon, it is thrilling to feel and admire their force.

Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas (Los Cabos) | Winetraveler.com
A humpback whale breaches near the Arches in Cabo.

Whether your dream vacation is basking in the sun poolside while sipping on cocktails, playing golf, fishing, diving, chasing wildlife in their natural habitat, looking for your next adrenaline rush, dining at fine restaurants, or all of the above, Cabo has you covered. This itinerary is designed to help you plan a trip to Cabo once the world heals and non-essential travel resumes.

How to Get There

Plan to fly into the Cabo San Lucas International Airport, which is easily accessible from many cities with direct flights offered from major airports such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, and Atlanta. From the Cabo airport, you will be only about 30 minutes from Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos All Inclusive Golf & Spa.


Winetraveler Tip: Based on the current uncertainty of when travel and life will return to some normalcy, make sure to book fully refundable fares.


When to Go

Cabo is a year-round paradise destination for all vacation styles. For those coming to see the whales in action, the whales generally arrive in Cabo by late December and stay until late March. January is the peak whale watching season. During whale season, the prices tend to be the highest and the crowds, the largest.

May and June tend to experience fewer crowds with hot day time temperatures. July through September tend to be the hottest months, but also the best opportunity to score discounts as prices tend to be at their lowest. Share a Fishing Charter has a useful chart of when many targeted game fish are in season for anyone planning a fishing trip to Cabo.

Where to stay in Cabo | The Grand Fiesta Americana.
The Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos All Inclusive Golf & Spa. Image courtesy Lenore Parr.

Where to Stay in Cabo

The Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos All Inclusive Golf & Spa is a slice of paradise featuring sweeping sea-desert-mountain views, inviting swimming pools, swaying palm trees, a fitness center overlooking the sea, and many restaurants. There are many room choices available from standard 2 double beds/1 king bedrooms to 4-bedroom villas. Rooms with private spacious balconies with a roomy Jacuzzi are available.

The pool and beach area from this resort can be a hotspot for whale sightings. It is common to witness whales breaching nonstop while relaxing poolside, soaking in a private Jacuzzi off of your room’s balcony, and/or while jogging on a treadmill in the fitness center. Many lucky travelers observe multiple whales, including mommies and babies, doing this.

Of particular interest to Winetravelers, guests can rejuvenate at the Somma WineSpa and experience vinotherapy treatment. Products infused with wine combined with post-massage wine pairings are sure to enhance relaxation. 

Numerous luxury beachside resorts line Cabo’s coast. The Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas, Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa, Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, and JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa are other options to consider. Search Cabo hotel deals on TripAdvisor for additional hotel choices.

Whales breaching as seen from the Cabo resort's pool. Image courtesy Lenore Parr.
Whales breaching as seen from the Cabo resort’s pool. Image courtesy Lenore Parr.

Cabo Whale Watching Tours

To truly feel the power of these incredible creatures, being on a boat is the best place to be. Humpback whales can weigh over 80,000 pounds averaging 40-50 feet long. They are massive and hearing and feeling the explosive thud as they land back in the water close to you is humbling and an experience you won’t soon forget.

Cabo Adventures (5+ years old) and Whale Watch Cabo (13+ years old) are two options that provide group tours for ~$89 per person.


Winetraveler Tip: Captains of privately owned boats are often less expensive and may range closer to $40 per person. For groups of 4 or more, a private tour with a captain of a privately owned boat may be cheaper or cost-comparable to group tours with a larger company.


An excellent captain of a privately owned boat is Captain Jose Gonzalez. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact him here: mjose192231@gmail.com. Captain Jose is a professional and family-oriented captain exhibiting clear respect and admiration for wildlife with a strong command on how to safely and effectively handle his boat getting tourists close to the whales while maintaining a safe distance. As of March 2020, a private tour with him cost $300.


Winetraveler Tip: For pregnant travelers and/or those traveling with small children, a private boat may be the only option. Many whale watching companies prohibit young children and expectant mothers.


RELATED: 21 Tips To Make Traveling With Children Easier

Cabo Whale Watching Travel Guide | Winetraveler.com
Image courtesy Lenore Parr.

Popular Things To Do in Cabo

Bask in the sun at your resort’s pool or beach area and beach hop Cabo’s many beaches. Below are a few beach suggestions to get you started:

Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in Cabo with soft sand surrounded by incredible rock formations. It’s a small beach located along the tip of the Baja California Peninsula near the arch. Many reach it by boat, kayak, or water taxi. Lover’s Beach is generally peaceful and calm as it is protected from incoming swells. Divorce Beach is just opposite of Lover’s Beach on the peninsula and is characterized by intense waves and strong rip currents.

Playa El Medano is a tourist hotspot at any time of the year with many restaurants, shops, and water activities. It is a great spot for swimming and partying. It is especially lively (maybe even a little insane but makes for great people-watching) during spring break in March.

The crescent-shaped Playa Los Cerritos is known for its excellent year-round surfing conditions.

Sail through the Sea of Cortez and visit Cabo’s iconic arch. Most (if not all) whale tours from the Marina Cabo San Lucas will take travelers to see Land’s End, Lover’s Beach, Divorce Beach, the Window to the Pacific, and the iconic arch. On these tours, travelers are nearly guaranteed to see many sea lions as well.

Stroll around the restaurants, shops, and bars at San Jose del Cabo, and again at the beautiful Marina Cabo San Lucas. Many boats, whale watching tours, fishing charters, and water activities are offered right at the marina with captains and tour companies eagerly greeting tourists.

Cabo del Sol Golf Course
Cabo del Sol Golf Course. Image courtesy Lenore Parr.

Avid golfers desirous of a challenging golf game and amateur golfers chasing breathtaking scenery should reserve a tee-time at Cabo Del Sol’s ocean golf course, known as the Cove Club Golf Course. It is an exemplary championship-quality golf course that has the best of all worlds. The vibrant greens of the Jack Nicklaus Signature design are set on top of the crashing waves along the Sea of Cortez and surrounded by barren desert mountains. Low humidity, temperate weather, ocean breezes, and even feeling the occasional ocean spray provide a dream golfing climate.

For those itching for more golf, Cabo Del Sol is also home to a second top-quality 18-hole desert golf course. Travelers staying at the Grand Fiesta Americana are conveniently located right next door to the Cabo Del Sol courses.

Dance, kiss, shake fins with and swim with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery. Cabo Dolphins by Cabo Adventures also offers dolphin experiences.

Water Sports

Just about any water sport you fancy is realistically possible in Cabo. Jet skiing, parasailing, flyboarding, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, diving, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and deep-sea fishing are all available. Even snorkeling with whale sharks (8+ years old) is possible if you’re visiting from around September through April. Check with your tour operator before your trip as the whale shark season varies slightly from year-to-year.

More Adventurous Activities

Wild Canyon offers an abundance of thrilling activities to get the adrenaline rushing for all adventurers. The minimum age requirements of participants as of May 2020 are listed here to assist families in finding activities perfect for the entire family. Of course, these restrictions are subject to change by the operator.

Ride a horse or camel (4+ years old), snorkel with sea lions (6+ years old), explore Baja’s rugged terrain on UTVs (5+ years old) or ATVs (10+ years old), zip line more than 300 feet above the Baja desert and through a canyon (8+ years old), bungee jump off a glass-bottomed gondola (10+ years old), or hang down below a gondola on a giant sling swing by yourself or with a partner (10+ years old).


Winetraveler Tip: Every Friday, travelers can zip line at night under the light of the moon and stars.


Where to Eat

Fine dining, casual dining, and everything in between are plentiful in Cabo. For those staying at Grand Fiesta Americana, you’ll never have to leave as 7 restaurants and 5 bars are offered on-site. Below are a few off-site favorites.

Lorenzillo’s is a gourmet seafood restaurant in the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Both outdoor seating on the first floor overhanging above the water and on a second-floor patio with expansive marina views are available along with an elegant inside dining area. The size of the lobster and king crab are impressive.

The Office on the Beach is a fun and lively dining experience with tables extending right out onto the busy Medano Beach offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Dine with your feet in the soft sand while feeling the ocean breeze with a view of the protruding rocks extending into the ocean.

Tropicana Inn Bar & Grill in San Jose del Cabo features historical charm with colonial architecture and design located in downtown San Jose del Cabo.

Cheese lovers will be in heaven at Casa don Rodrigo in San Jose del Cabo as they make their own artisan cheeses. The enclosed courtyard area has a cozy garden feel.

Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at Mi Casa in San Jose del Cabo. The expansive inner courtyard with bright colored tables and chairs surrounded by trees is a perfect setting for families.

Sunset Monalisa overlooks the bay and is carved along a cliff. As its name suggests, you want to be here during sunset. Indulge in oysters and champagne on their ocean terrace. It is often acclaimed as Cabo’s best and most iconic restaurant, and even makes lists as being one of the world’s top restaurants.


Winetraveler Tip: Once Sunset Monalisa reopens, reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance. It gets booked fast. Premium ocean view tables offering prime sunset views are an additional charge of $20 per person (as of May 2020).


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One Comment

  1. I love the Baja Peninsula and being near the Sea of Cortez! Your piece is a great reminder of that. It is incredible to see the migration of the whales. Like you, I also love strolling around San Jose del Cabo. There is some great Mexican wine exploring to be found in the area too. Salud!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lenore Parr is a commercial bankruptcy attorney and stay-at-home-mom with a passion for adventurous and family-based travel with her husband and children (4yo and 1 yo). She has traveled with the kid(s) to 34 states and 23 countries.

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