Whale watching season is upon us once again.
Banderas Bay, which shelters tourism mecca Puerto Vallarta and several smaller municipalities, is the focal point for whale watching in Jalisco, with humpback whales trooping down from frigid Alaska to give birth to and nurture their young in the bay’s spa-like waters.
According to Vallarta Adventures, an eco-preservation firm that also offers whale watching tours, the humpback whale population that passes through Puerto Vallarta numbers around 18,000.
While outfits offering whale tours abound, Vallarta Adventures promises to practice “responsible whale watching” to avoid “stressing out or aggravating whales.” On its website, the company says its customers can “listen to the magnified whale song through our onboard hydrophones,” with the “mysterious, individual melodies lasting anywhere from a few minutes up to a half-hour.”
The tours given by Vallarta Adventures start at 8 a.m., last three hours and cost $US89 for adults, $US60 for children from 6 to 11. The season runs from December 8 to mid-March. For booking and details, go to vallarta-adventures.com.
Vallarta Adventures says the best months for whale watching are January and February.
Remember, whales are wild animals, so sightings can never really be guaranteed. Some companies “guarantee” sightings, but this usually means that they’ll provide a complimentary ticket to return on another day if no whales are sighted.