The waters of Punta Mita are excellent this time of year for whale watching.
Each year, Punta Mita is visited by one of the world’s largest mammals, the humpback whale, which provides a breathtaking spectacle to those who have the opportunity to enjoy it.
The official season for watching by boat begins on 8 December and ends next March 23. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) will grant an estimated 200 permits for whale watching services to the same number of boats, whose crews have proven their ability to provide the best experience without impacting these remarkable cetaceans and their natural life cycle.
When a whale swims in the depths, the movement of the tail causes turbulence that calms the waves on the surface. For experts, this ‘track’ allows them to identify the most likely spot where the whale will appear first. By patiently watching, a good look at the visitors can be achieved from a safe distance.
In Riviera Nayarit, however, it’s also possible to observe the whales from shore along the coast from San Blas to Nuevo Vallarta.
In San Blas and Rincon de Guayabitos it is more common to find groups of young whales making spectacular jumps to impress females by hitting their bodies. In the Bay of Banderas one can usually find more mothers and babies, with some mothers teaching their young how to descend for protection.
The whale show has always been beautiful, particularly in the waters of Banderas Bay. So much so that sometime around the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, during colonial times, Banderas Bay was known as Humpback Bay, due to their large numbers during winter visits.
Occasionally gray whales are also found here, along with orcas, the main predator of the humpback. On an extraordinarily lucky trip you can observe all three species.
Whales have also been sighted from the Residents’ Beach Club, so keep a lookout for them next time you visit. We plan to have a boat available for members and guest to make whale watching excursions during the season. Please inquire at the ocean activities desk.