An introduction to whale watching in Puerto Vallarta

Whale watching in Puerto Vallarta allows you to enjoy the nomadic song of humpback whales and their calves in the warm waters of the sea; during the months of December to March of each year. It is an exciting natural spectacle in the open sea that you must witness at least once in your life. 

Best times to see whales in Puerto Vallarta

The best time for whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is during January and February; although the migration season includes the months of December to March.

In Puerto Vallarta, you will find a variety of specialized agencies that offer whale-watching tours. The tours are typically in the morning, with an average duration of three hours, and for people of all ages.

As of January 2023, average rates per person are between $1,650 MXN for adults and $1,450 MXN for children. ($75 – $85 US Dollars)

The encounter on the high seas with humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ), occurs every year during the winter when these marine mammals migrate from the icy polar areas in search of the warm refuge offered by the waters of Banderas Bay. 

Many choose the seas of Puerto Vallarta to become mothers or enjoy the elaborate courtship and mating rituals of the males. For four months, the Mexican Pacific becomes a fertile territory of aquatic activities… tails, jumps, games, and flapping abound. 

In whale watching it is also fascinating to listen to their songs; hypnotic sound sequences that the whales emit in chorus and that last half an hour or more. Whale-watching boats in Puerto Vallarta have specialized equipment that will allow you to hear them communicate with each other. 

Puerto Vallarta is one of the most biodiverse destinations in Mexico. Varied and numerous species of flora and fauna inhabit our beaches, rivers, mountains and, of course, the sea. Their proximity gives us the unique opportunity to meet them and live with them, but it also entails great responsibility. 

Hence the importance of choosing a certified company for your next whale-watching tour in Puerto Vallarta, since they are the only ones that can guarantee your safety as a passenger and compliance with good navigation and observation practices during the season. 

There are three basic rules for whale-watching that we all must abide by:

  1. Cause the least possible impact on the whales
  2. Be patient
  3. Watch whales only with boats or companies that have the relevant authorization

The four companies recommend meet these requirements. Its crew is headed, in general, by marine biologists, nature photographers, and specialized guides, who will gladly share their experience and knowledge with each of the tourists.  

Humpback whale watching tour rates include a donation that goes towards important conservation efforts and scientific research on these marine giants.

Now you only have to choose the date and the whale-watching tour of your choice. It is important that before booking, check with your tour operator about possible travel restrictions, identify the place and boarding time and, in general, clear up any doubts you may have. Enjoy this incredible experience!

Whale-watching tours in Puerto Vallarta:

Take into account that all the rates shown are per person and apply for online reservations (update: January 2023). Prices may change without notice. 

Vallarta Adventures

• Rates: Adults (12+) – $1,475 MXN
                Children (6-11) – $1,028 MXN 
  Prices only for online reservations
• Availability: Every day
• Duration: 3 hrs.
• Includes: Light snack
                Purified water
• Details: they have three different options in whale watching tours, to choose according to the one that best suits the experience you are looking for. 

Wildlife Connection 

• Rates: Adults (12+) – $72 USD
               Children (4-11) – $48 USD
  Prices only for online reservations
• Availability: Every day
• Duration: 4 hrs. 30 min. (approximately)
• Includes: Authorized bilingual guide
                Educational explanation
               Donation for research
               Hydrophones on board
                Light breakfast
               Bottle of water
                Soft drinks
• Details: Offers special hours for cruise passengers. They stand out for being an inclusive company: people with physical, visual, or hearing disabilities are all welcome. They also have the first whale adoption program in Puerto Vallarta, called Radar. 

Eco Explorer Vallarta

• Rates: Adults (12+) -$89 USD
               Children (6-11) – $79 USD
  Prices only for online reservations
• Availability: Every day
• Duration: 3 hrs.
• Includes: Trip with guides specialized in the study of whales
                Talk about biology, behavior and mating rituals
               Hydrophone on board
                Granola bars, fruit and water on board
               Life jacket
                Donation for whale conservation program
• Details: offers the possibility of book private whale watching tours for groups of six and ten people. 

Ecotours Vallarta

• Rates: Adults (+12) – $1,760 MXN
                Children (6-11) – $1,620 MXN
  Prices only for online reservations
• Availability: Every day
• Duration: 4 hrs.
• Includes: Donation to the humpback whale research project
                Coffee, tea or soft drinks
               Energy bars
                Water to refill
               Light snack on board
                Expedition leader Travel  
• Details: they offer two departure times daily: morning (8:30 am) and evening (1:00 pm). They collaborate with Ecobac (Whale Ecology and Conservation, AC), a non-profit association dedicated to scientific research and the protection of these mammals.

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