3 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is a protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the winter season (October through to March), it hosts approximately 60 million monarch butterflies arriving at the end of an epic 4000 kilometre migration, from east of the Rocky Mountains.

  • Where: Michoacan state
  • Ideal for viewing: Monarch butterfly, Grey fox, Great horned owl, White-tailed deer, Long-tailed weasel
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Birdwatching

San Ignacio Lagoon

San Ignacio Lagoon is located in the Mexican province of Baja California and is one of the winter sanctuaries of the eastern Pacific grey whale. Here, males and females congregate looking for mates and newborn calves prepare themselves for the long journey north to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic.

  • Where: West coast
  • Ideal for viewing: Grey whale, Cape pygmy owl, Harris hawk, Leatherback turtle, Olive ridley turtle
  • Excellent for: Whale watching, Birdwatching

Sea of Cortez

The Sea of Cortez (also known as the The Gulf of California) is a UNESCO World Heritage site that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet with the widest variety of whales and dolphins, and nearly 900 species of fish.

  • Where: West coast
  • Ideal for viewing: Blue whale, Fin whale, Humpback whale, Whaleshark, Bryde’s whale
  • Excellent for: Whale watching, Birdwatching, Dolphin watching

5 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you, but our strength is in tailoring your itinerary.

Voyage in the Sea of Cortez

Step aboard the Mechudo catamaran and sail the Sea of Cortez following the migratory paths of various whales, to observe a great diversity of marine mammals including the blue whale, fin whale and bottlenose dolphin.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

The Festival of Whales

Join Mark Carwardine on a trip to Baja California’s Pacific Coast to celebrate the annual gathering of grey whales in their breeding grounds, in an extraordinary celebration of cetacean life.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Whales and Birds in the Sea of Cortez

A leviathan adventure of a lifetime! Join expert Ian Rowlands on a 400-mile voyage around Baja California to witness the thrilling spectacle of grey whales in their calving lagoons. We visit at the best time of year to see them, amongst the other ocean giants - blue, fin and humpback whales.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 13 days

A Taste of the Sea of Cortez

Join a whale bonanza aboard the privately chartered Mechudo catamaran and sail the Sea of Cortez to witness the annual visit of marine mammals including fin whale and bottlenose dolphin and the elusive blue whale.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 6 days

Monarch Butterflies & Grey Whale Migration

Witness two extraordinary wildlife events: hundreds of grey whales arriving in the warm waters of Baja, having made their way from the Arctic, and millions of monarch butterflies, arriving in Mexico for their winter hibernation.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

When to go

There’s always something of interest, whatever the time of year, however winter is the best time to see grey whales and the gathering of the monarch butterflies.


  • Winter-spring

    Oct to Mar: Millions of butterflies winter in the pine-oak forests of Morelia state, after migrating from east of the Rockies.
  • Winter

    Jan to Feb: After migrating south from the Arctic Sea, grey whales mate and calve in the warm, shallow lagoons off Baja California.

Wildlife events

  • Oct to Mar: Monarch butterflies in Morelia state's forests.
  • Jan to Feb: Grey whales winter in lagoons off Baja California.

1 recommended wildlife cruise vessel.


This award-winning catamaran, the jewel of Baja, has a legendary name associated to a location near La Paz Bay where a pearl diver named Mechudo mysteriously disappeared after refusing to donate his beautiful pearl to the church.


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