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Versión Española de la Sección de Actividades

Activities Whalewatching in Ecuador

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 yaqupach@ecnet.net with a copy to sismtur@ec-gov.net 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.


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