PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico -- This destination is widely known for its
fun-in-the-sun reputation, but one of its top attractions is an
abundance of sea creatures.
From December to April, Puerto Vallarta's Bay of Banderas is a
breeding ground for hundreds of North Pacific humpback and orca
whales that come here from Alaska to calve and nurse their
In addition to whale-watching, visitors can interact with sea
turtles and dolphins.
Following is a sampling of local ecotourism operators and the
tours they offer:Vallarta Adventures offers a Whale Photo Safari. On this
excursion, guests and a marine mammal expert are taken out on
Banderas Bay in 27-foot boats to capture whales on film.
The 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. tour meets at the Vallarta Adventure
Pickups also are available from Nuevo Vallarta at 9 a.m. on
Mondays and Wednesdays.
The tour includes lunch and beverages and is priced at $65 per
person. (Children pay full price).
This tour is not recommended for children under age 8.
For reservations, call (011) 52-3 221-0657; fax (011) 52-3
221-2845, or e-mail [email protected].
The tour is commissionable at 15%.Open Air Expeditions created a whale-watching and dolphin
The tour includes bilingual guides specializing in marine
science; a boat ride in a 27-foot Zodiac; a fish sounder; a VHF
radio communication system; a hydrophone system for detecting
underwater sounds, plus fruits, soft drinks, bottles of purified
water and lunch on board.
Open Air also provides a brochure describing the behavior of
whales and information on its research program on humpback whales
in Banderas Bay.
Daily departures are scheduled at 8 a.m. and noon. The tour is
priced at approximately $70 per person and is commissionable at
To make reservations, call (011) 52-3 222-3310 or visit the Web
at www.vallartawhales.com.The Year of the Dragon, a 42-foot Morgan Yacht, offers a day
cruise or a sunset whale-watchers' sail.
The day trip sails along the north coast from 10 a.m. to 4:30
p.m. for $60 per person, inclusive.
The Sunset Trip sails along Vallarta's beachfront from 5:30 p.m.
to sunset and includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres for $40 per
Breakfast includes pastries, fruit and juice.
Lunch is prepared on board and features smoked marlin burritos,
assorted sandwiches and an open bar.
This tour is commissionable at 25%.
To reserve a trip, contact Kevin Johnson at (011) 52-3 221-2207
or e-mail [email protected].