From December through March, one of the most spectacular natural wonders happens right off the coast of Riviera Nayarit, on the western coast of Mexico: the great whale migration.
Dolphins, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, California gray whales and even orcas migrate to the region’s warm waters, especially off of Bahía de Banderas, in order to feed, mate and give birth to their young.
Thousands of these incredible creatures gather together this time of year, which makes the surrounding region one of the best in the world for whale watching.
Whale watching in this region can be done anywhere near the coast, from Nuevo Vallarta, Punta de Mita and Sayulita to San Blas. Beachgoers might be able to enjoy a sighting every now and then, but the best experience is to book a whale-watching tour, which ensures you’ll be able to see these majestic creatures up close, without harming their natural habitat or disturbing their peace.
That’s why the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau recommends booking whale-watching tours on small boats, which minimizes human disturbance. Smaller boats also have a lower environmental impact and allow for more personalized experiences for travelers.
The best tour operators also donate part of their profits to the research and conservation of the animals that help drive their business, or even participate in some of the research themselves.
Generally, these tours can last up to four hours and include sights like watching a large whale breach or seeing its tail come up out of the water to splash the sea. Some whale species, like humpback whales, are curious and are known to swim a comfortable distance from a boat to see what it’s all about.
Other boat tours include experiences to Las Islas Marietas, Los Arcos Marine Park or snorkeling experiences that add to the fun.
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