Puerto Vallarta, the perfect destination to observe humpback whales

Like every winter, the whales are back in Puerto Vallarta, in a unique spectacle in the world for all visitors. The authorities have undertaken operations to allow them a quiet stay, among hundreds of observers.

Puerto Vallarta, the perfect destination to observe humpback whales
Humpback whale. Photo by Todd Cravens / Unsplash

From December to March is the official whale watching season in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, characterized by having natural resources to shelter more than two thousand cetaceans that cross the Pacific Ocean each year, from northern California to Bahía de Banderas.

In the destination several service providers offer this activity, so, when hiring, visitors must check that the boat has federal permission from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat). In addition, to make the trip much more pleasant, you must be accompanied by a biologist, who will explain the precautionary measures that should be considered when making the trip.

The whales give a show with jumps and flutters, which can be observed just a few meters away from the boat or between 200 and 500 meters from the beach. It is estimated that more than 1,000 humpback whales will migrate during the winter to inhabit its waters to perform the ritual of courtship and mating, as well as to give birth to their calves.

They arrive after a long journey, several thousand kilometers from the northern Pacific Ocean to inhabit Banderas Bay for three months, from December to early March.

These are warm waters, with unbeatable maritime geography, which is why year after year they come to your appointment and when the calves appear, they become more vulnerable, which is why the municipal government of Puerto Vallarta has sought to protect and care for this vulnerable species, in an operation in coordination with the state government, the federal government and the Secretary of the Navy.

But they also appear along with them, who wish to observe these cetaceans closely, which is an unforgettable experience that has become one of the most emblematic activities of the most Mexican beach destination, as Puerto Vallarta is also known.

The adult humpback whale can measure up to 16 meters and weigh an average of 36 tons, while its gestation period is 11 months and its calves can measure approximately four meters in length. Something that calls powerfully the attention is the impressive jumps that take, rising several meters above the surface of the sea, these jumps are a form of distance communication with the other whales of the group and a part of the ritual of courtship.

The size and quality of the boats are important for this, for the first distance should not be less than 10 meters in length and for the second with more than 10 meters in length. The tours have an approximate duration of four and a half hours. Puerto Vallarta is considered one of the most complete sun and beach destinations in the Mexican Republic, having a wide variety of ecotourism activities, without neglecting its responsibility to the environment.