Whale season is officially here in Puerto Vallarta!
The weather has changed, and the whales are arriving. This most magical time of the year is always anticipated as residents and visitors of Puerto Vallarta adore cohabitating with these incredible creatures half of the year.
WHEN IS THE WHALE WATCHING SEASON IN PUERTO VALLARTA?
Whale watching season in Puerto Vallarta runs from mid-December to March. However, you may be lucky enough to see breaching whales a few weeks before and after. The exact dates will change from year to year.
WHAT KIND OF WHALES ARE IN PUERTO VALLARTA?
The majority of the whales you will see in Puerto Vallarta’s Bay of Banderas are humpback whales. However, Bryde’s Whales have also been seen in the waters, albeit rarely. Puerto Vallarta’s seas are also home to plenty of other large marine animals but more on that later…
HOW CLOSE CAN YOU GET?
How close you can get to the whales depends on the type of boat you are traveling in. Smaller vessels (those under 10 meters long) have to be at least 60m from the nearest whale. Boats larger than 10m must be at least 80m away.
Additionally, the law states that a maximum of four boats are allowed around a whale at any one time. If another captain would like their passengers to see the same whale, they must wait a minimum of 240m away until one of the original boats leaves.
Whales, however, are unaware of the rules laid down by the Mexican government and may approach boats of their own accord (they can get a little curious!). In that case, captains must have their engines in neutral and cannot move the boats until the whale moves away.
WHERE DO THE WHALES COME FROM?
The humpbacks in Puerto Vallarta are not permanent residents but a migratory species that visit once a year. The whales that arrive in the Bay of Banderas come from the west coast of Canada and the United States, travelling past Baja California until they reach Puerto Vallarta’s shores. The voyage is a relatively short one (it can take just 40 days for some of the animals).
After their stay in Vallarta, the whales will return once more to the waters off Canada and the US to feed and build up their strength for their next Mexican vacation.
Do you have plans to go whale watching this Whale Season in Puerto Vallarta? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! -John
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