Whales with Ecuadorian passports
The whales have arrived and everyone
is excited. Nobody wants to miss the show. Giant mammals weightlessly
emerging from the ocean depths, start their flirtatious dance, giving
way to the mating ritual. The Humpback Whale starts long trip to
the warm waters of the Ecuadorian ocean in Antartica. Once in Ecuador,
these 15 meter-long animals, jump out of the water to call their
mate's attention. This ceremony continues for several weeks and
it ends a year later with the birth of their offspring, which are
born in Ecuadorian waters.
This is why we say these giant creatures
have Ecuadorian passports. Although whale-watching can be done along
all the Ecuadorian coast, the best spot is in Puerto López,
a small fishing village in southern Manabí. Here, there are
many tour operators that offer safe whale-watching tours. A less
safe but cheaper alternative is to make a deal with any fisherman
that owns a boat.
After an hour's boat ride, whales should be seen exhaling large
streams of water or showing their fins graciously, an exciting spectacle
that can last several minutes. Yet the trip does not end on this
note. A short distance ahead appears "Isla de la Plata",
famous for its legends of piracy and its variety of sea birds. This
island is also known as "The poor-man's Galapagos", because
the birds that live here can also be found in the Galapagos Islands,
however arriving to the Island is quite a bit cheaper than a tour
of the Galapagos Islands. Frigates, albatross, masked, red-, and
blue-footed boobies rest and feed their baby chicks fearless of
human presence, right next to the paths on which the island keepers
will walk you through, explaining the habits of these beautiful
birds. This island was also a ceremonial site of millenary precolombian
cultures, whose evidence can be found throughout all the Machalilla
National Park. Isla de la Plata is also a part of this protected
area. A little bit of snorkeling may be the right ending for your
trip, and if you're lucky, some whales may show up on the way back.
You can complete the whale experience by visiting the information
center located in Puerto López, where interesting data about
these humpback whales is available. With every visit we learn more
and more about these beautiful animals and tourism is contributing
to their conservation. This year the people of southern Manabi are
ready to receive the whales, and the people who love them, too.
If you are a whale fan, you can't miss this.
Name Your Whale
Spot them, take a photo and name your whale.
Take a picture of a whale's tail during the whale watching season
(June through September) off the Coast of Ecuador and send it to
a copy to email@example.com
and if it hasn't been registered by the Ministry of Tourism, you
can give it the name you want.
The pigmentation of the tail is the fingerprint of the whale.