Tours - Everyday California Whale Watching Kayak Tours seeing a blow hole from a whale on the water.
Overhead view of kayakers on an Everyday California tour on the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, San Diego, California
Drone shot of the Pacific Ocean whales on Whale Watching Tour with Everyday California. Whale breaching through the surface.
A baby whale comes up to kayakers on an Everyday California Whale Watching Tour in La Jolla, California.
A whale tail coming out of the water on a whale watching kayaking tour with Everyday California.
A whale blowing air out of the blowhole which can be seen from a kayak on an Everyday California Whale Watching Tour
A whale tail coming out of the Pacific Ocean on a kayak tour for Whale Watching San Diego California
A baby whale comes up to kayakers on an Everyday California Whale Watching Tour in La Jolla, California.

Avistamiento de ballenas en kayak en La Jolla, San Diego


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Avistamiento de ballenas en kayak en La Jolla, San Diego

Las ballenas grises comienzan su migración anual desde la costa de Alaska en octubre, llevándolas por las hermosas costas de La Jolla, San Diego, desde finales de noviembre hasta principios de marzo. ¡Únase a nosotros para tener la oportunidad de tener una experiencia increíblemente íntima con algunos de los mamíferos más majestuosos del planeta!

Tour en kayak para avistar ballenas en San Diego

¡Vive la migración de la ballena gris desde el asiento de un kayak! Dejando las aguas del Ártico y dirigiéndose al sur hacia las lagunas de México, las ballenas grises migran naturalmente pasando por San Diego durante el invierno. Esta es una forma íntima, no contaminante y no amenazante de experimentar uno de los mamíferos más majestuosos del planeta.

Sus guías guiarán al grupo a unas dos millas de la costa, donde se detendrán en los mejores lugares para ver ballenas grises. En el camino aprenderá datos interesantes e historia sobre las ballenas, otras especies marinas y la Reserva Ecológica La Jolla. Tenga en cuenta que las ballenas grises son animales salvajes. Vemos una gran cantidad de ellos durante la temporada, pero no podemos garantizar un avistamiento, aunque a menudo también vemos delfines, leones marinos, focas y otras especies marinas.

Cuándo: del 4 de diciembre al 6 de marzo dependiendo de los avistamientos

Duración: 2 Horas

Horas de inicio: durante todo el día

Lugar de encuentro: Everyday California Shop

Precio: Desde $64

Tamaño del grupo: 20 personas máximo

Edades: 6+

Disponible del 15 de diciembre al 6 de marzo.

Regala la aventura
¿Quieres regalar un tour en kayak para avistar ballenas en La Jolla? Te tenemos cubierto.

Elija nuestra opción de regalo electrónico a continuación y luego reserve en una fecha posterior. Cada plaza de invitado reservada para el tour en kayak es válida para dos personas en un kayak doble (un kayak con asientos para dos personas). Los kayaks individuales no están disponibles para vales de regalo en este momento. Los certificados de regalo de aventura son válidos únicamente para deportes acuáticos y no son transferibles para prendas de vestir.


About Gray Whales

Gray whales spend much of the year in the cold waters near Alaska, but every fall they begin what is thought to be the longest migration of any animal. After a month and a half of swimming, they arrive in the coastal lagoons of Mexico to mate and give birth to their young. Gray whales begin to reach Southern California in the winter, and they can be seen from any part of the West Coast, particularly on areas of land that extend out into the water. But if you’re looking here, you’ve probably realized that the best (and most eco-friendly) way to view the migration is up close and personal in a kayak.

Gray whales are the 9th largest animal on the planet. The females, which are a bit larger than the males, can grow up to 45 tons, which is about as much mass as 650 humans put together (or 1.9 million hamsters, which isn’t a useful comparison, but it's a fun mental image). They typically reach 40 feet in length when fully grown, but individuals as long as 49 feet have been recorded.

Gray whales are baleen whales, which means that instead of teeth, they have plates with thousands of bristle-like structures made of keratin, the same substance found in human hair and nails. These bristles, called baleen, act as a filter to trap small organisms like plankton and krill when the whale is feeding.

These whales get their name from their dark gray skin. Newborn calves are a solid, dark, almost black color, but over the course of the whales lives, their skin will become mottled with light gray and white patches from scars and barnacles. Genetic variations do occur, such as in an albino gray whale spotted in Mexico earlier this year. This whale is part of the population of gray whales that migrate from Alaska to Mexico annually, so be on the lookout for a pure white whale when they swim past San Diego this winter!

Day in the Life of a Gray Whale

Gray whales live most of their lives in the cold waters near Alaska, where they spend much of their days suction feeding in shallow waters. When gray whales eat, they will first dive to the sea floor and roll on their sides to stir up the sediment. Interestingly, gray whales have an individual preference for which side they roll onto. Most of them are “right-handed”, but like humans, some of them are “left-handed”.  When the water around them is turned into a muddy slurry, they pull back their huge tongues and expand their throats, which creates a powerful suction that fills their mouths with a mixture of water, mud, and small crustaceans. Once their mouths are full, they will close their jaws and force the water and mud out through the baleen, trapping the crustaceans which are then swallowed. They then return to the surface to breathe, and repeat the whole process over and over. Gray whales have also been known to feed on schools of krill closer to the surface of the ocean, and in total eat up to 2,400 lbs of food each day.

We don’t know much about how they sleep in the wild, but we do have some information from a gray whale that was briefly kept in captivity while it recovered after a rescue. The whale was observed to sleep both on the surface and at the bottom of the pool. Sometimes, it would sleep with only one eye closed, which tells us that half of its brain was still active. Occasionally, the whale’s body would jerk while it was asleep. This tells us that they, like humans, probably dream. 

But we don’t really know how similar their minds are to humans other than that we both dream. We guage animal intelligence in part through their interactions with other animals, such as cooperation and communication. But adult gray whales don’t rely on each other for survival nearly as much as some other species, so an intelligence level is difficult to determine.

Human Interaction While Whale Watching

For most of recorded human history, meetings between humans and gray whales have almost always been in the context of hunting. Indiginous groups have been hunting them for millenia, and by the second half of the 19th century, worldwide industrialized whaling was targeting gray whales for their blubber (used to make oil) and their baleen (used in consumer products like corsets). 

Because gray whales stay close to the coast in shallow waters, they were easy targets for whalers, and the entire species was on the verge of extinction. Thankfully, gray whales have been protected in the United States since 1936, and the International Whaling Commission has banned hunting them since 1949, so the species was able to survive. Unfortunately, it was too late for the North Atlantic population of gray whales, which were hunted to extinction. The Western Pacific population near Japan fared a little better, but with an estimated population of under 150, they still need our help. But there’s good news! The Eastern Pacific population has gone through an incredible recovery and now has more than 20,000 whales. 

For a long time, gray whales had a reputation as being a dangerously violent animal. They were known to ferociously attack whaling boats by overturning them, smashing them to pieces, and drowning the sailors, which gave rise to their nickname “Devil Fish”. But since the decline of whaling, their relationship with humans has undergone a stark transformation. Today, gray whales are considered to be among the friendliest of all sea animals. They frequently approach whale watching boats (especially here in San Diego) for a closer look, and sometimes even allow people to touch them (but here at Everyday California, we follow NOAA guidelines, which say you should never touch a gray whale, even if it approaches you). It turns out that, like most humans, gray whales are wonderful animals to be around, unless you’re hurting them. Such a crazy concept, right?

Gray Whale Social Structure

Although gray whales are less social than other species, they do have important communal bonds. They are usually solitary animals, and sometimes can be found in small groups of 2-3 whales, but during their migration season they form temporary associations with other whales and can be seen traveling in groups of more than a dozen. 

They communicate with each other using a series of clicks, moans, knocks, and bongs, which are important for mating, migration, and avoiding predators. These vocalizations are essential to the whale’s survival, which is why hearing is considered a whale’s most important sense, and why noise pollution in the ocean is a serious threat.

Gray Whale Migration Through San Diego

Each year beginning in October, the Eastern Pacific population begins a migration from Alaska to the warm coastal lagoons of Mexico. This trip of more than 6,000 miles in each direction is the longest distance migration known to humans. To put it in perspective, if you drove from the southwest corner of California to the northeast corner of Maine, you would have covered about a fourth of their total migration distance. For our European friends, it’s a little longer than a round-trip drive from Lisbon, Portugal to Karachi, Pakistan. The migration serves two purposes: giving gray whales a suitable place to birth their calves, and providing an area to congregate for mating.

Newborn gray whales must spend the first few months of their lives in warm water. Gray whale calves are born without a blubber layer to keep them warm, so they would quickly freeze to death in the northern feeding grounds. Calves nurse for about 6 months, drinking about 50 gallons of milk and gaining 60 lbs each day to develop the lifesaving blubber layer. Blubber is also essential for whales to maintain buoyancy, so the mother must assist the calf until it is able to swim to the surface on its own. The coastal lagoons help again by having a much higher salinity (amount of salt) than the open ocean, which makes the water more dense and easier to float on.

The destination is also the perfect location for breeding, so when single male and female gray whales arrive in Mexico, they begin their mating rituals. Gray whales have a complex courtship process that usually involves three or more whales. While the two whales are mating, the less dominant male holds the female in place so that she doesn’t float away. Bottlenose dolphins commonly gather around mating gray whales. Scientists aren’t quite sure why they are drawn to the spectacle, but they theorize that dolphins just like to watch. Seriously. 

After mating, the whales begin to leave Mexico and begin the return trip to the seas near Alaska. The mothers with newborn babies will stay for a few months and return when the calves are strong enough for the long journey.

Gray Whale Conservation

Even though the species has been recovering since the mid-20th century, gray whales do still face significant threats. The species as a whole has been removed from the endangered species list, but the small Western Pacific population is still endangered.

They may be much safer from hunting, but we’ve introduced a multitude of new challenges to their survival. Like all of the animals in the ocean, they are threatened by climate change, which is disrupting food chains worldwide. Pollution is also a significant threat. Because gray whales stay close to the coast, they are particularly susceptible to effects from chemical runoff that enters the ocean from land. Noise pollution is also a major concern, and studies have shown that gray whales are unable to communicate at all when there is too much noise from ships, drills, and other industrial activity on the water. They can also inadvertently be killed by ship strikes or drown after they’re caught in fishing nets. 

What Can We Do?

The good news is that we can help by following sustainable practices that will not only help protect the whales, but will also improve the lives of any animal that depends on a healthy ocean (hint: that includes humans. More than half of our oxygen comes from the ocean). We’ve put together a few resources below as a starting point to learn about helping the planet with sustainable practices, and we hope you can start incorporating them into your life.

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch

The famous nonprofit aquarium has developed a seafood guide to help consumers pick ocean-friendly seafood, caught or farmed in a sustainable manner. Guides are available as a printable document or app.

Why it matters: Irresponsible fishing practices threaten vulnerable species. Animals, including gray whales, are often killed as bycatch from these fishing operations.

WWF’s Ten Tips to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

The World Wildlife Fund for Nature explains some easy methods to reduce plastic use and waste.

Why it matters: Plastic tends to find its way into the ocean, where it is broken down into microscopic pieces that accumulate on every step of the food chain. When it doesn’t break down, it sinks to the sea floor, where it is swallowed whole by suction feeding gray whales.

Earth Institute’s 35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Columbia University’s Earth Institute explains simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses we produce.

Why it matters: As greenhouse gas levels increase, the ocean is becoming warmer and more acidic, so marine animals will be less able to survive and thrive. Much of our carbon footprint comes from burning fossil fuels, which pollute the ocean with noise and toxic waste.

EPA’s 10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency released this short guide on how to prevent excess water from flowing into drains.

Why it matters: Pesticides, oils, and other hazardous waste is carried by the water into storm drains, which eventually lead to the ocean. Gray whales stay next to the coast where the pollutants are entering the water, so runoff can be a significant danger to them.

La Jolla Whale Watching Tours FAQ

We kayak in a Marine Protected Area, so nothing can be taken but photos. We will paddle and snorkel with sea life, and take direction from The Marine Protection Act of 1972.
Please plan to be in our shop at least 30 minutes prior to your tour. Your tour time is when we go out on the water, and we leave as a group from the shop 10-15 minutes prior to your tour time. If we do not hit the water on time, the lifeguards can cancel the entire tour. If you’re late, you have missed your tour and there will be no refunds so please be on time!
We use tandem sit-on-top kayaks because they are safer and more fun!
Of course! Kayaks are perfect for whale watching since they're small and don't disturb our gentle giants, unlike some of the big commercial tour boats.
One of our experienced and highly trained guides will lead you and your group on the tour. Each guide has extensive knowledge of the La Jolla Ecological Reserve and La Jolla Caves and is trained in water safety, First Aid and CPR.
We rent kayaks all year long. If you haven't been out kayaking on the La Jolla Ecological Reserve before, we always recommend doing a tour first. Once you do a tour, we encourage renting a kayak and going out on your own.
Most likely! We have the ability to see tons of happy animals in their natural habitat. Among the sea life regularly seen on our tours are Sea Lions, Leopard Sharks, Seals, Cormorants, Pelicans, Sea Gulls, Garibaldi, Dolphins and many other types of fish. Of course, we’re dealing with nature, so the amount of marine life we see varies from day to day.
The weight limit for each kayak is 425lbs / 193kg.
The city of San Diego and the San Diego lifeguards have set the age requirement at 5 years and older.
There is plenty of parking in the residential streets surrounding our shop where you can park all day. Do not park in the lot adjacent to our shop: we don't own it, so if you park there you run the risk of being towed. We also do not recommend parking in a 90 minute commercial zone, as you will be here longer than that and will run the risk of getting ticketed.
Yes, you are going to be getting wet! It's part of the fun. All of our operations take place in the majestic La Jolla Ecological Reserve in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The degree to which you will get wet varies daily, but the nature of ocean kayaking does mean you'll get a little wet out on the water.
Everyone will be in a double kayak unless you specifically purchased a single kayak. If you have vouchers, you'll be in a double kayak.
We have lockers available for rent (they're $6) if you want to leave your stuff behind. If you don’t want to rent a locker we recommend keeping your valuables in your car.
We recommend wearing beach attire: a swimsuit, t-shirt, maybe a light windbreaker. Also, depending on the temperature of the water and how much wind is present, we might recommend a wetsuit—bring your own if you have one or you can rent one from us.
We recommend bringing as little as possible. Feel free to bring a reusable water bottle (no plastic please) or a waterproof camera. Do not bring anything that should not get wet. We have an expression at the shop, “If you love it, leave it.”
No experience is required to come on a tour! We’ve had everyone from children to senior citizens who are first time kayakers come out and have a blast on one of our kayak adventures.
We've had tons of people who have never kayaked before and don't know how to swim that had amazing experiences. However, if your activity includes snorkeling, then by state regulations you do need to be comfortable in the water.
The best time to go is whenever you want! Our tours start as early as 9:00am (depending on the day), and the last tours come back at 4:00pm.


  • Vimos una ballena literalmente a los 5 minutos de estar en el agua. También vimos toneladas de leones marinos juguetones y fue genial estar en el agua. Danielle fue nuestra guía (navegué en kayak con ella porque estaba un poco nerviosa) y fue genial. ¡Está muy bien informada y su entusiasmo y entusiasmo fueron contagiosos! Recomiendo encarecidamente esta empresa.

  • Día épico hoy en el tour de avistamiento de ballenas
    Ballenas, delfines, leones marinos, clima perfecto y dos guías que obviamente se enorgullecen de su trabajo y realmente quieren que todos en el tour se lleven un recuerdo a casa. Gracias a todos en Everyday California por una experiencia tan maravillosa.


  • ¡Esperamos volver pronto!
    Un grupo de cuatro estábamos visitando San Diego desde la costa este y elegimos Everyday California para un kayak de mar para avistar ballenas sin saber qué esperar. Desde prepararnos hasta asegurarnos de que estuviéramos bien mientras estábamos en el mar, nuestro guía turístico Sam y todos en la tienda fueron fantásticos. Me encanta su concepto y estilo

    fue una experiencia muy relajante pero aventurera para nuestro grupo. Disfrutamos estar en los kayaks para dos personas y estar en un grupo de personas para tener la experiencia.

  • ¡Fenomenal!
    Mi papá y yo fuimos a observar ballenas mientras él estaba de visita en la ciudad. Todo el personal (el tipo que nos registró, la mujer que nos ayudó a conseguir nuestro equipo y los guías de kayak) fue fenomenal. Nos trataron a nosotros y a todos los miembros de nuestro grupo con el mayor respeto y servicio. Nos lo pasamos de maravilla y volveré con más visitantes de fuera de la ciudad en el futuro. ¡Gracias por un gran día!

    Leah G.

  • Vi leones marinos, UNA BALLENA y recorrió la costa.
    Los guías turísticos estaban muy bien informados, eran pacientes y enfatizaron la seguridad durante nuestro recorrido. Vi lobos marinos, UNA BALLENA, y recorrí la costa. Increíble surf para avanzar desde nuestro lanzamiento en la playa, pero el pago y la organización fueron muy sencillos.