Every year, from June to October, Ecuador becomes the breeding destination for humpback whales. Cetaceans that migrate more than 7,000 kilometres from Antarctica, its feeding grounds, to the Machalilla National Park, a breeding and hatchling area, off the Ecuadorian coast. Humpback whales reach 15 meters and weigh 30 tons and are considered the fifth largest animals in the world.
In 1990, Ecuador declared its territorial waters a whale refuge, and the Galapagos marine reserve a whale sanctuary. The warm waters of the Ecuadorian coasts become between June and October of each year a kind of elixir that attracts hundreds of humpback whales, especially to give birth or mate. These so-called “giants of the sea” are of great importance to Ecuadorians.
The mating show cannot only be observed in Puerto López, but also in Puerto Cayo, Bahía de Caráquez, Manta, Pedernales and Canoa in Manabí; Salinas and La Libertad in Santa Elena; and Súa, Atacames and Tonsupa in Esmeraldas. A complete ritual that includes songs, dances and jumps, is what the humpbacks offer. This arouses the interest of national and foreign visitors.
In all the above-mentioned areas, there are boats that carry out tours that last between one and three hours on average. The costs range from USD 20 dollars onwards, depending on the type of boat and the duration of the tour.
Be sure to experience this humpback whale watching experience and complement your visit with a trip to Isla de la Plata. This popular Ecuadorian destination offers the observation of blue-footed boobies, frigates, and many other species, much like the Galapagos Islands.
– To enjoy this natural spectacle, tourists must hire the services of operators accredited by the Ministry of Tourism.
– Tourist activities must only be carried out with authorized boats, guides qualified by the competent authority and belonging to Tourism Operators and / or Community Tourism Centres.
– The National Government issued, in June 2014, the regulations that regulate the observation of humpbacks. The objective is to safeguard human life at sea and guarantee the conservation and protection of whales and dolphins in Ecuadorian waters.
– Tourists have four months to enjoy the Whale Watching season.
“ECUADOR is one of the most impressive and incredible destinations for whale watching” Gregory Kaufman – President and Founder of the Pacific Whale Foundation in Hawaii.