Puerto Vallarta is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. But did you know that it’s also one of the best places in the world to go whale watching? Every winter, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Banderas Bay to mate and give birth, creating amazing opportunities to see these magnificent creatures up close. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the best whale watching tours in Puerto Vallarta and give you tips on how to make the most of your experience. Get ready to be awe-struck by these gentle giants of the sea.
The 5 Best Whale Watching in Puerto Vallarta
- Marietas Islands Cavern Swim and Snorkel Cruise from Puerto Vallarta
- Mega Yacht All Inclusive Yelapa Waterfall and Snorkeling Adventure
- Marietas Islands Snorkel and Hidden Beach Optional
- Dolphins in the Wild
- Jet Ski Safari
The 5 Best Whale Watching in Puerto Vallarta
1. Marietas Islands Cavern Swim and Snorkel Cruise from Puerto Vallarta
Explore the stunning marine life of the Mexican Pacific and the Bay of Banderas on a thrilling full-day tour from Puerto Vallarta. This snorkel cruise takes you to the beautiful Marietas Islands, where you can snorkel in crystal-clear waters to discover a world of exotic, colorful fish and other underwater wildlife. If you prefer, you can also kayak or SUP (stand-up paddleboard) to explore the area and admire the stunning natural scenery. Keep your eyes peeled for bottlenose dolphins, whales, giant manta rays, and sea turtles as your experienced guide points out the best spots for wildlife watching. Back on board, enjoy a delicious lunch and open bar as you take in the beauty of this eco-adventure. Hotel pickup and dropoff, as well as snorkel and kayak equipment, are included in the tour price. Please contact the tour provider to confirm meeting details.
2. Mega Yacht All Inclusive Yelapa Waterfall and Snorkeling Adventure
Join the Mega Yacht All Inclusive Yelapa Waterfall and Snorkeling Adventure for an unforgettable day of activities and fun. This tour includes all necessary equipment for snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding, as well as access to all water toys. Unlimited drinks, including a premium open bar, soft drinks, juice, and water are also included.
The tour starts with a pickup from your hotel and ends at the meeting point. From there, you will head to Playa la Piramide (Colimilla) for an hour of exploration before moving on to Yelapa Waterfalls where you’ll have one and a half hours to take in the beauty of the falls.
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available upon request. The tour is wheelchair accessible and open to participants over the age of 18. Refunds will not be provided if the tour is missed due to late or non-arrival of a cruise ship. A multi-lingual guide may lead the tour.
You can cancel your booking up to 24 hours before the scheduled start time. Optional souvenir photos are available to purchase. Come see what makes this tour one of the best experiences in Puerto Vallarta!
3. Marietas Islands Snorkel and Hidden Beach Optional
Experience an exhilarating snorkeling adventure to the Marietas Islands on this tour. Aside from being an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, you’ll also get a higher chance of visiting the hidden beach with Eco Explorer’s more boats with permits compared to other providers. Dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and whales will welcome you as you dive deeper into the crystal blue waters. Behold a colorful array of tropical fish and enjoy the use of snorkeling gear provided for you. Snacks and bottled water are also available on the boat, and national park entrance fees are included in the package. Private tours can also be arranged upon request. The tour meets in Proa 22 Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta at 09:00 AM. Remember boarding fee and hidden beach ticket are paid in cash when you check in and arrive, respectively. Get ready for an exciting day at Marietas Islands!
4. Dolphins in the Wild
Discover the amazing wildlife in Puerto Vallarta with this half-day tour. With the help of a professional biologist guide, you’ll board a boat and use a hydrophone to locate bottlenose dolphins in their natural environment. Not only will you have the opportunity to swim with dolphins, but you’ll also see a variety of marine life such as turtles and rays. This tour is dedicated to the protection of wildlife in Puerto Vallarta, so you can feel good knowing that a portion of your booking cost goes towards marine ecology research. The tour includes the use of snorkeling equipment, bottled water, soda/pop, and snacks. The meeting and pickup point is Opequimar Centro Marino, located at Av. Paseo de la Marina Sur 214 Marina Vallarta 48450 Puerto Vallarta Jal. Mexico, and the tour starts at 9:00 AM. Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability. This activity ends back at the meeting point.
5. Jet Ski Safari
Adventure-seeking travelers looking for an exciting way to explore the sights of Puerto Vallarta will enjoy this jet skiing safari. With the help of an experienced guide, you’ll ride your own jet ski, keeping an eye out for dolphins, manta rays, and turtles along the way. If you like, you can also go snorkeling and admire the beautiful views of the area. This personalized small-group tour includes snorkeling gear and life jackets, lasting around two hours. Book as a single traveler or with a partner, and enjoy an active, exhilarating adventure. The tour also includes use of a jet ski or wave runner, a life vest, gratuities, and a dock fee. Meet at Whale Watching Eco Explorer Vallarta, just two blocks away from the whale statue near the Marina Vallarta ramp, and end back at the same location.
Frequently Asked Questions about Whale Watching in Puerto Vallarta
If you’re planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta, one of the must-do activities is whale watching. Every year, from December through March, the bay is full of magnificent creatures, which makes this destination a hotspot for humpback whale sightings.If you’re considering going whale watching in Puerto Vallarta, you’re probably curious about what to expect, what to bring, and how to book your tour. In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about whale watching in Puerto Vallarta.
1. What types of whales can you see in Puerto Vallarta?
The most common whale species that you can see during a whale watching tour in Puerto Vallarta is the humpback whale. These magnificent creatures migrate from Alaska to Mexico’s Pacific coast to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. In addition to humpback whales, you may also see other species such as blue whales, grey whales, and orcas.
2. What is the best time of year to go whale watching in Puerto Vallarta?
The best time of year to go whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is from mid-December to late March. During this time, humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Mexico’s Pacific coast to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. It’s during this period that you’ll have the best chance of seeing these majestic creatures up close.
3. How long does a whale watching tour last?
The duration of a whale watching tour in Puerto Vallarta varies depending on the tour operator you choose. Generally, tours last between two and four hours. However, some tour operators offer extended tours that can last up to six hours.
4. What should you wear for a whale watching tour?
When it comes to dressing for a whale watching tour, think layers. Dress in comfortable, lightweight clothing and bring a windbreaker or light jacket as it can get chilly out on the water. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes with good traction as the floor of the boat can be slippery.
5. What should you bring on a whale watching tour?
In addition to dressing appropriately, there are a few things you’ll want to bring on your whale watching tour. Sunscreen is a must, and it’s a good idea to bring a water bottle and some snacks like granola bars or trail mix. A camera or smartphone with a good zoom lens is also important to capture those close-up pictures of the whales.
6. How do you choose a reputable tour operator?
Choosing a reputable whale watching tour operator is important to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Make sure the tour operator is certified by the local authorities and has a good reputation for respecting the animals and their natural habitat. Look for reviews on TripAdvisor or other travel websites, and choose a tour operator that has a proven track record of providing excellent customer service.
7. Is it ethical to go whale watching?
Whale watching can be done in an ethical and responsible way. Look for tour operators that are committed to responsible and sustainable whale watching practices and follow local regulations. It’s important to remember that these are wild animals, and we should always respect their natural habitat by keeping a safe distance and minimizing our impact on their environment.
8. What can you expect to see during a whale watching tour?
During a whale watching tour in Puerto Vallarta, you can expect to see humpback whales breaching, tail slapping, and swimming close to the boat. You may also see other wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles, and various species of birds.
9. What happens if you don’t see any whales during the tour?
While the chances of seeing whales during a whale watching tour in Puerto Vallarta are high, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see them. If you don’t see any whales during your tour, most operators offer a second tour for free or a partial refund.
10. Can children go on whale watching tours?
Yes, many tour operators welcome children on their whale watching tours. However, it’s important to ensure that children follow all safety guidelines and remain seated during the tour. Some tour operators may have age restrictions, so it’s a good idea to check before booking your tour.In conclusion, whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s worth adding to your travel itinerary. By following these frequently asked questions, you’ll be well-prepared for an unforgettable adventure with these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
How to Do Whale Watching in Puerto Vallarta
Whale watching is one of the most popular activities to do in Puerto Vallarta during winter. Every year, between November and March, humpback whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Banderas Bay to mate and give birth. This creates an incredible opportunity for visitors to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. If you’re planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta during these months, don’t miss this experience! Here’s how to do whale watching in Puerto Vallarta.
Step 1: Choose a Responsible Whale Watching Company
When it comes to whale watching, it’s important to choose a responsible company that cares about the well-being of the animals. Look for a company that:
- Follows the regulations set by the Mexican government’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT)
- Uses boats with low emissions and noise levels
- Doesn’t approach whales closer than 60 feet or disturb their natural behavior
- Has experienced and knowledgeable guides who can provide accurate information about the whales and their behavior
Some recommended companies for responsible whale watching in Puerto Vallarta are Vallarta Adventures, Ecotours de Mexico, and Wildlife Connection.
Step 2: Dress Appropriately
Whale watching tours usually take place early in the morning when the water is calm and the whales are more active. Dress in warm layers, as it can be chilly on the boat. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Wear comfortable and non-slip shoes, as the deck of the boat can get wet and slippery.
Step 3: Follow the Captain’s Instructions
When on the boat, listen carefully to the captain’s instructions. Safety should always be the priority. Follow the captain’s directions regarding where to sit, where to move, and how to behave during the tour.
Step 4: Observe the Whales Respectfully
When observing the whales, keep a respectful distance. Don’t approach them too closely or try to touch them. Don’t throw anything into the water that could harm them. Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises, as this could scare them away.
Step 5: Enjoy the Moment
Whale watching is a unique experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Enjoy the moment and take in all the sights and sounds. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture memories that will last forever!
- Book your tour in advance, as spots can fill up quickly during peak season
- Choose a tour that includes a marine biologist or naturalist guide, as they can provide more in-depth information about the whales
- Some tours offer a money-back guarantee if no whales are spotted during the tour
- Consider taking motion sickness medication if you’re prone to sea sickness, as the boat can be rocky at times
Book Your Tour Now
Whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that you have a safe, responsible, and enjoyable tour. Remember to choose a responsible company, dress appropriately, follow the captain’s instructions, observe the whales respectfully, and enjoy the moment!
Table of Contents