Whale Watching FAQ
Here are some questions and answers to common questions about whale watching and what to expect on your visit to Puerto Vallarta. If you have questions that are not answered here please contact our office directly and we'll be happy to address them for you.
What is whale watching?
Whale Watching is a popular sightseeing tour activity in which participants can view whales in their native habitat. Our excursions are sea-based tours for recreational and educational purposes. The earliest Whale Watching Tours occurred off the shores of San Diego, California, in the nineteen-fifties.
From this modest beginning as a tourist attraction, Whale Watching has grown into a $2 billion industry. This growing eco-centric tourism industry injects coastal towns with an alternative revenue source to highly destructive whale hunting.
Whale Watching excursions have succeeded in raising awareness about the plight of these remarkably intelligent marine mammals. Marine biologists have documented cetaceans as being some of the most intelligent and social animals in existence. The revenue and publicity raised on these eco-tours can hopefully help to save these beautiful animals before they become extinct.
How long does it take?
Depending on the excursion, whale watching can last for a few hours, for an entire morning or a whole day. Our Whale Watching expeditions can fit any schedule. If you're visiting Puerto Vallarta on a quick cruise ship stop-over, we can find the ideal Whale Watching tour to match your itinerary.
Is it a safe tour for passengers? What about for the whales?
Whale Watching is a safe for everyone. Our boats and staff are legally licensed and regulated by the proper authorities. Our professional captains adhere to rigid guidelines to make sure the safety of both our clients as well as the marine species. All passengers are outfitted with life-vests. Our crafts and safety gear are meticulously maintained and inspected every day.
Our guides also adhere to procedures established by scientific organizations and naturalists to ensure the whales' safety. Pilots are trained to minimize the impact on the whales' routine by not reaching excessive speeds, keeping a comfortable distance, avoiding sudden approaches, excessive noise, erratic turns and direct pursuit.
Are there any restrictions for your whale watching excursions?
Practically everyone can enjoy the exciting experience of seeing these amazing creatures in Banderas Bay, but restrictions may apply in regards to age and health on certain tours – please ask about requirements when reserving your tour.
When is whale watching season, and why can't we whale watch year 'round?
Whale Watching is regulated by the local government and runs from December 8th through March 23rd. Typically, whales can only be spotted in Banderas Bay during this season because they are migratory creatures.
What should I wear?
Be sure to wear comfortable clothing that is weather appropriate. The weather is usually clear and warm in Banderas Bay during the winter, but clients should bring a jacket in case of rain or wind. And since these tours take place on watercraft, there is a chance of getting wet, so dress with this in mind and safeguard electronic devices. The sub-tropical sunshine can be quite strong, so make sure you bring along protection, including sun screen, a hat and sun glasses.
Are there different types of whale watching tours?
We have a diverse array of Whale Watching adventures that can suit any need. Relax on a sailing tour on either a catamaran or typical sloops. Zoom along in a small maneuverable craft or enjoy all of the on board comforts of a larger touring vessel. You can choose a tour that emphasizes the ecological, or an excursion that concentrates more on the passenger's comfort. We offer a variety of tours that range in travel time, length, and intensity.
What should I expect when I arrive?
Some of our Whale Watching excursions may include round-trip transportation from certain departure points throughout the Puerto Vallarta region, but most of our tours leave from the Vallarta Maritime Terminal and Marina Vallarta. Be sure to arrive at these designated spots or departure areas well ahead of the scheduled time. Our accommodating, bilingual guides will be waiting to transport you on an unforgettable eco-adventure on Banderas Bay.