– Whale watching, which is a natural privilege offered along Puerto Peñasco’s coasts, was recently authorized by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) under Official Mexican Law that establishes regulations for the practice of whale watching.
– Whale watching most commonly takes place at the beginning of the year, and sightings can continue until April, sometimes sooner. Yet, whales in the area have appeared in November and departed before April, though this depends on temperatures.
– The route grey whales generally use to get here during the winter is basically a migratory line from the Bering Sea in Alaska, where they feed during the summer, arriving in the Sea of Cortez to give birth. After giving birth, the grey whales return north to start the process all over again, giving plenty of people the opportunity to spot them off the coasts of Baja California in Mexico, and California in the United States (Reference: El Kiosko)
– The types of whales that most frequent our coasts include Fin Whales, the second largest marine mammal in the world, and Humpback Whales, which tend to be more active and have more mobility. Dolphins can also be spotted during this time, which are usually found in groups swimming very close to our shores.
– Puerto Peñasco has several companies that offer cruises that allow tourists to approach and observe the Sea Giants, always respecting legal protocols of course.
Due to how long they have been active, Eco Fun and Del Mar Charters always stand out, but each year new tourist and private boats join in on the whale watching.
– If you ever get the chance to board one of these whale watching tours, we highly recommend you be equipped with a good camera and constantly alert, as they can show up when you least expect it.
– Keep in mind that even when in whale season, for many different reasons no cruise can guarantee actual whale sightings.
Suggested protocols to ensure the protection of whales during whale watching trips:
The vessel must always move slower than the slowest whale in the group. In any event, the vessel must avoid sudden acceleration or deceleration.
*What CAN’T you do when whale watching?
When whale watching DO NOT:
- Harass or cause any kind of damage to the whales, this includes obstructing its course.
- Provoke the whales to disperse.
- Get between a mother-offspring couple, approach a couple of mating whales, or those giving birth.
- Do any of the following activities: fishing, snorkeling, swimming, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, or use of any kind of flotation or submergible device. Banana boats and ultralights or helicopter rides for observation purposes are also prohibited.
- Toss or dispose of any type of waste, including garbage, oils, and any fuel used in operating vessels.
- Collect, capture, hunt, trap, or acquire any type of wild life or vegetation, bring in or transport any species from one community to another.
- Bring any service animal on board, with the exception of seeing eye dogs
- Feed the whales.
- Tow any kind of object, ropes, lines, nets, hooks, or any other similar object.