Whale watching is an experience at the top of many people’s to-do lists in Puerto Vallarta, and for good reason. The annual whale migrations to the Bay of Banderas are a sight to behold, with large pods of whales visible even from the shore. To catch a better glimpse of these ocean giants in style, you will want to get on board a luxury yacht that will take you closer for a more personal experience.
With so much interest in seeing the whales in Puerto Vallarta, we decided to put together some vital information before you come out to see them in person on one of our vessels at Luxury Yachts Mexico.
When Is the Whale Watching Season?
Whales begin to arrive in the Bay of Banderas in December and January. However, the best time for you and your group to come and see them is between February and March. By this time of the year, all of the whale pods will be present, meaning you have a greater chance of seeing multiple whales in one day.
What Whales Are There in Puerto Vallarta?
When you come for a whale watching experience in Puerto Vallarta, you will most likely encounter large humpback whales that can grow to 60 feet in length. As well as the humpbacks that make their annual migration, there are other large aquatic animals, such as Bryde’s Whales, several types of dolphins, manta rays, and more.
Why Do the Humpback Whales Migrate to Puerto Vallarta?
Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas are favorite places for as many as 700 whales who come here to give birth and breed. The humpback whales migrate south to Puerto Vallarta from the west coast of Canada and the US to escape the colder temperatures and give their newborn calves a better chance at life.
With such a high number of whales in one place, you may very well see a mother swimming through the ocean with her calf alongside her when you come for your own whale watching experience.
How Close Can I Get While Whale Watching?
The humpback whales are protected under Mexican law (the NOM-131-SEMARNAT-2010 regulations), so people must follow a few rules.
Smaller boats under 10m/32 feet in length must be at least 60 meters/196 feet away from the closest whale. Vessels longer than 10m/32 feet must be at least 80m/262 feet away.
Fortunately, the whales don’t usually pay attention to these regulations. They often swim closer to boats for a better look as they are such curious animals. In these cases, the boat’s captain must keep the boat in neutral and can only move away once the whale has departed, so the engine doesn’t disturb it.
Even with the rules regarding vessel distance, you may get to see a whale come up close and even nudge your boat.
Can I Swim with the Whales in Puerto Vallarta?
As good as swimming with whales sounds, it is not allowed under the Mexican government’s whale protection regulations. The law prohibits any activities that may interfere with the whales, including swimming, scuba diving, waterskiing, or fishing near them.
What Is the Best Luxury Yacht for Whale Watching?
There is some flexibility regarding choosing an excellent luxury yacht for whale watching in Puerto Vallarta. As long as you select a suitable vessel for the size of your group, you should try and choose a vessel that provides a great view.
Better elevation means the waves won’t block your line of sight of the whales, allowing you to witness their beauty from further away. Additionally, you can try one of our luxury catamarans for an additional view that looks directly down into the water. Some of our catamarans have underwater viewing windows, while others allow you to look down into the water between the two hulls. If one or more whales swim directly underneath the vessel, you will have the best seats in the house to see them.