The whales have arrived! A good season is predicted on the coasts of Mazatlán


Oscar Guzón, a science teacher and director of Onca Exploraciones, explained that every winter these mammals visit the tropical waters of the Mexican Pacific to mate and give birth to their young, and as they pass they provide a unique spectacle for tourists, locals and researchers. who are lucky to meet them.

MAZATLAN. – Year after year, Mazatlán is visited by thousands of vacationers, but it also has a special tourist. Its largest visitors swim for months from the north of the American continent to spend the winter in the warm waters of the Mexican Pacific, just in front of Mazatlán, because the coastal waters of the continental shelf present the ideal conditions for these Marine giants complete their migratory cycle by mating and giving birth to their young, these giants are the humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae. 

In Mexican waters, the official season for observing activities officially begins on December 8 and ends on March 31. In the coastal waters of southern Sinaloa, the activity takes place mainly in the tourist port of Mazatlán. 

Avistamiento de Ballenas en Mazatlán

The oceanologist and director of Onca Exploraciones, Oscar Guzón, explained that the sightings this season began a little earlier than usual, with the first whales registered in Bahía de Banderas (Puerto Vallarta) around the end of September, while the first records in Mazatlán occurred around mid-October,   

“As every year we are super excited, this is evident, our mission is to register and document humpback whales in their migratory passage through the Mexican Pacific, in the waters of Mazatlán, our interest has always been, to expand the knowledge we have of this priority species for conservation in Mexico, “he said.

He explained that fifteen years after starting these studies, today there are exciting discoveries about the timing of their migration and population units. 

These whales arrive in Mexican waters after months of migrating from their feeding grounds on the west coast of the United States and Canada, such as the coasts of central California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia in Canada. The sighting dates are designated in such a way that the whales can have a break from their migration before being approached by thousands of tourists looking to get to know them up close. 

Photo: Courtesy Onca Exploraciones

Do you want to know them?  

Here in Mazatlán, Onca Exploraciones was the pioneer company in this type of tourism and with more than 15 years of experience, they are your best option to get to know them closely from the hand of a team of specialists who will guide your adventure while sharing information about their biology and ecology, as well as interpreting the behaviors exhibited by whales. In such a way that you will not only see the whales, but you will also be contributing to their study and conservation in Mazatlan waters. 

In Mazatlan, there is a great offer of nautical tourism, boats, and yachts that you can rent for walks, but be careful, it is important that you make sure to hire your whale tour with companies and boats that have the authorization to carry out this type of activities such as It is dictated by the Official Mexican Standard 131, by the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources, SEMARNAT. In this way, you guarantee that the operators, captains, and guides know well the behavior of the whales and the best practices to approach them with respect and responsibility.

Humpback whales are huge animals that can measure up to 16 meters and weigh more than 40 tons, and sometimes, if you are lucky, they jump completely out of the water, so these types of activities if carried out irresponsibly can carry risks. By hiring responsible companies, such as Onca, you guarantee your safety on board and that of the whales themselves.

 “It is very important that all the destinations where this tourist-recreational activity is carried out, the operators, first of all, have the experience and adequate training to approach the whales, that they know their behavior but above all that they have authorization for the carrying out these activities, that is, that they have an official authorization from SEMARNAT ”, he said.  

To book a ride and learn about the largest mammal in the world, you can visit the official page, the social networks of Onca Exploraciones (Facebook and Instagram @oncaexpl or send WhatsApp to the number (669) 154-0475, where they will provide you with the information you need about availability, itineraries, prices and forms of payment.

What you need to know about whales  

The Oceanologist explained to Punto MX that several species of whales inhabit the Mexican Pacific, but the humpbacks are the most abundant during the winter in waters. These can measure between 14 and 16 meters long and weigh up to 45 tons. 

But don’t be fooled by their weight, whales are known for being acrobatic, as they have the ability to jump out of the water and other aerial behaviors, and they are also excellent singers.

The males of the species sing to attract females as part of their mating ritual, one of the most fascinating sounds in nature that you can hear on board Onca’s boats, through a hydrophone.

So now you know, don’t miss out on not only seeing whales but learning about the marine ecosystem and what you can do to help protect it! Travel with the experts and experience the magic of being close to these true giants of the sea.


The Mazatlan Post