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Ecuador Whale Watching Tours - Adventure Tour - Ecuador

Every year, humpback whales travel to waters just off the coast of Ecuador where warm currents make comfortable temperatures for the adult whales to mate and have their young, who are born without the layer of fat essential for colder waters where they spend the rest of the year. This is probably the best time of the year to observe the whales anywhere, as usually they are solitary animals. Only during mating and breeding do they congregate, the males composing complex songs with distinct melodies up to 20 minutes long. Arriving from destinations as far as Antarctica, the whales spend up to four months (from June to October) in the warm equatorial waters before heading back south. A booming tourist industry has developed on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast offering tours to observe the whales during mating and breeding. Tours run daily from June to October in Salinas, Guayas; Puerto Lopez, Manabí; Machalilla National Park, Manabí; La Isla de La Plata, Manabí; Puerto Cayo, Manabí; Manta, Manabí; Bahía de Caráquez, Manabí; Mompiche, Esmeraldas; Súa, Esmeraldas; Tours can be arranged with many tour operators in the tourist districts of Quito and Guayaquil, or with local operators and hotels on the coast. Prices run around USD 20 - USD 30 per passenger. We recommend taking the trips to La Isla de La Plata (a.ka. "Poor Man's Galapagos" due to its biological diversity, proximity, and affordability), if you are near Machalilla National Park: the tour will cost maybe $5 more but you will get a chance to see the whales and this spectacular island in the same trip.


All destinations in ManabĂ­ and Guayas can be easily reached by a one to four-hour bus ride from Manta, Portoviejo, Jipijapa, or Guayaquil (all of which are "hub destinations" for buses from all over the country). For the best route from any given destination, you can consult a map and/or ask around. Buses usually cost $1.00 per hour.


Due to general environmental degradation and over-fishing of the humpback, the species has long been included on the Endangered Species List. Nevertheless, despite this protection and despite receiving increased protection by commerical whaling moratiums issued by the International Whaling Commission in 1966 and 1985, the whales are still in danger of extinction. Anyone interested in learning more about how to protect the breeding grounds of the humpback whale should contact the Yaqu Pacha Organization. For more information, check out our other sections on the Coast, including Puerto Lopez, Parque Machalilla and more!


Adventure Tour, Boating, Eco-Tour

Here are other activities in and around Ecuador that may be of interest: Galápagos Dove, Punta Espinosa, Land Birds - Galápagos, Short-Eared Owl, More Isabela Visitor Sites, Jungle Discovery, Rays in the Galápagos Islands, Punta Gorda Reserve, Rio Muchacho Organic Farm and Land Birds - Galápagos.

16 May 2011

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