Whale Watching in San Pancho

Living at Los Compadres Resort on the hill overlooking La Peñita de Jaltemba, I often look out at the Jaltemba Bay. The other day I saw a couple whales breaching the water out by the island. I decided it was time to get out on a boat and see them up close. I went out with Gil on the Chica Loca from Riviera Nayarit Adventures in Sayulita.  They launch their trimaran from the marina in La Cruz.

Puerto Vallarta Banderas BayDual whale tales seen in Banderas Bay during full moon Feb 2012

A Mexico vacation is considered as the top tourist destination in Latin America and currently the tenth place in the world. Areas such as the Riviera Nayarit are teeming with historical sites, rich culture, and exciting attractions that many people, even the locals, have come to enjoy and love. Although this country is renowned for its iconic monuments and dazzling white beaches, there is one thing that you must try especially when you happen to visit this colorful nation between the months of January and March. It is called whale watching.

tour boatWhale watching has become a celebrated tourist activity especially in the Mexico Pacific where these big cetacean mammals usually show themselves off shore, proudly spouting water from the blowhole above their heads while flapping their huge tails against the sea surface. Not too many people are fortunate enough to see real live whales in person and witnessing this kind of whale action can certainly lead you breathless and in awe.

Whale watching season usually starts on November and ends at the last week of March. However, January and February are the best months for you to get a glimpse of these species (particularly humpbacks and gray whales) in Banderas Bay and Matanchen Bay. If you want to have a more memorable experience by closely interacting with these gentle giants, then you might want to try whale watching in Jaltemba Bay. In here you will find shallow waters where gray mother whales take care of their calves. You can touch and see them eye-to-eye, thus giving you an amazing experience that you will never forget.

There are daily whale watching tours and overnight excursions that are readily available for you to choose from during these months. These tourist companies will not give you a guarantee for whale sightings, but you will have better chances (usually nine out of ten tours) when you visit the Mexico Pacific at the end of January to early March.

There are some reminders that you need to watch out for as soon as you have decided to try whale watching at the sunny beaches of Mexico. There are several types of whale watching tours that is suitable to all kinds of tourists. If you are doing this with your kids, you need to choose a day tour where you would spend less time in the water and more time on the ground. If you are a whale specialist, then interacting with the whales will be more suitable for you so you might want to select the kind of tour that enables you to get near them.


Book a trip to Sayulita and take a Sayulita Whale Watching Tour in Banderas Bay.

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