Whale Watching Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit

Join the best whale watching tour in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit! Expert biologists will lead you through the marvelous humpback world in our specially designed boat for whale watching. Before launching in this adventure we’ll provide you with a lecture about these magnificent creatures. Once in the ocean, we’ll explain you about humpbacks behavior, while we observe them breach, slap their tails, travel, play or fight. We’ll also listen to their intriguing songs and you can participate in our research project. The head researcher of the Banderas Bay and Nayarit Coast Photo identification Project might be leading your trip! If you like personal and professional attention and want to learn and enjoy the world of the humpbacks this is the tour for you!! Visit our eco-store, where you may purchase t-shirts, caps, books, post cards, etc. or you may also choose to participate in our whale adoption program, proceeds of sales benefit the Humpback Whale Research and Conservation Project. To learn more visit  www.whalephoto.org

THE HUMPBACK WHALE, A MAGNIFICENT VISITOR OF BANDERAS BAY Biol. Astrid Frisch Jordán “Whales are a barometer of the state of the ocean.  They integrate what is going on over a long period of time and over great distances.  They tell us something very important.  Sometimes, we have to be a little sensitive to see it or somewhat clever, but the message is there.  If the whales are having troubles, the oceans are having troubles, and if the oceans are having troubles, we are having troubles.” (Steve Katona, 1988) The humpback whales are mammals just like us, but adapted to marine life.  They have lungs, breathe air, give birth to alive calves and nurse their babies.  Whales and dolphins are considered as Cetaceans -monsters of the sea- and scientist used the toothed and baleen distinction to classify them. Did you know that the humpback whale doesn´t have a hump?  Its name derive from its diving technique.  When it dives, the humpback arches its back sharply and displays the prominent dorsal fin.  It´s impossible to look at a humpback´s body and not find its power deeply impressive.  Their average lenght is about 45 to 50 feet and the longest on record is 62.5 feet.  Their weight varies from 50 to 30 tons depending on the seasonal variation in blubbler. The mighty humpback whale visit Banderas Bay every year in search of template and calm waters to have their calves and to mate.  As far as we know now the humpbacks are the only cetaceans that get into a fight or big competition in order to mate.  Calling the attention of a female is not easy so the males display different behaviors such as the worldwide famous breaches accompanied by tail lashes and pectoral fin slaps, their enchanting songs and the agressive mating groups. Humpback whale songs are probably the most famous, intriguing and least typical sounds made by whales.  After two decades of intensive study, the basic characteristics of these songs has been clearly defined.  The songs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes in duration, are formed by phrases with the same rythm, that are repeated and thus form themes which when repeated form the complete song’s pattern.  All the singers in a particular population sing the same song, which means that the males that visit Hawaii and Mexico sing the same song!  And to make it still a more amazing feature this song changes gradually every year until after 10 years the song is completely different.

 

The humpback whale is an endangered species and it´s protected by the Mexican Government.  So we suggest the following recommendations: *If you go out whale watching be sure that you do it only in the authorized boats and with professional people concerned for the humpbacks well-being. *If you have a boat be sure not to drive fast, remember you can find a whale in you way! * If you find a whale in your way, please be very respectful, keep an 800 feet distance from it, avoid drastic changes in speed and direction within 990 feet, and don´t follow them for more than 10 minutes.  If the whales avoid you, change direction, breathing rythm or modify their activity don´t approach them and move away slowly. *Mothers with calfs are extremely sensitive, so it´s important to be very careful not to bother them. *Neither commercial or sport fishing should be conducted in an area where a group of whales have been identified. The humpbacks count on you for their survival and we all want them to return to Banderas Bay every winter.  

Itinerary (2 Outings Daily)

Morning Departure
(12 persons max per boat)

  • 8:00 am – Marina Vallarta Proa Loc. 20 Marina del Rey
  • 12:00 pm – Return to Marina Vallarta

Afternoon Departure (Great for cruise ship passengers)
(10 persons max per boat)

  • 1:00 pm – Marina Vallarta Proa Loc. 20 Marina del Rey
  • 5:00 pm – Return to Marina Vallarta

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Whale Watching Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit

Adults +12 years           Kids 4-11 years
$99 USD                          $85 USD
$89.10 USD                           $76.50 USD

Season

December 08 to March 23

Available days:

Everyday (Subject to availability) Late departures available for Cruise ship passengers. Check our Trips for Cruise Ships section.

Highlights

• Motorboat specially designed for whale watching with official whale watching permit
• Biologists guides on all trips
• Lecture about humpback whales
• Hydrophone (underwater microphone) to listen to the whale songs
• Small groups (12 persons per boat, and 10 persons max in the afternoon schedule.)
• Possible dolphin, orca, manta ray, sea turtle and sea bird sightings.
• Excellent photographic opportunities.
• Whale watching certificate

Includes

• Donation to humpback whale research project
• 3.5 hrs Whale Watching
• Coffee, cookies and water in the morning departure
• Sodas, granola bars and water in the evening departure

What to Bring:

Camera, sunscreen, hat, sandals, shorts and a light jacket. If you’re concerned about seasickness please consult your physician or pharmacist about preventatives that might be good for you.