Giant mammals weightlessly emerging from the ocean depths
start their flirtatious dance, giving way to the mating
ritual. The Humpback Whale starts long trip to the warm
waters of the Ecuadorian ocean in Antarctica. Once in Ecuador,
these 15 meter-long animals, jump out of the water to
call their mate's attention. This ceremony continues for
several weeks and it ends a year later with the birth
of their offspring, which are born in Ecuadorian waters.
Whale Watching in Ecuador, specially in Manabi, is during
the months of June - September. The Humpback Whale prefers
this environment in order to reproduce and foster their
young. The area also attracts dolphins.
Species in danger of extinction
The Humpback Whale is a marine mammals in danger of extinction. the whales were easy preys of fishing boats during the XIX and XX century
due to being slow swimmers. These actions greatly reduced
their population count between 10,000 and 20,000 units
worldwide. Ecuador considers to be privileged to house
their yearly visit. Make sure that your tour operator
Where to go
Although whale watching can be done along the entire Ecuadorian
coast, the best spot is in Puerto López, a small
fishing village in southern Manabí. Here, there
are many tour operators that offer safe whale-watching
tours. A less safe but cheaper alternative is to make
a deal with any fisherman that owns a boat.
Other sites that are becoming popular for whale watching
are: Salinas, Manta, Tonsupa y Atacames.
Humpback Whale watching tours are bundled with trips /
excursions of "Isla de La Plata". After an hour's
boat ride, whales should be seen exhaling large streams
of water or showing their fins graciously, an exciting
spectacle that can last several minutes. Yet the trip
does not end on this note. A short distance ahead appears
"Isla de la Plata", famous for its legends of
piracy and its variety of sea birds. This island is also
known as "The poor-man's Galapagos", because
the birds that live here can also be found in the Galapagos
Islands, however arriving to the Island is quite a bit
cheaper than a tour of the Galapagos Islands. Frigates,
albatross, masked, red-, and blue-footed boobies rest
and feed their baby chicks fearless of human presence,
right next to the paths on which the island keepers will
walk you through, explaining the habits of these beautiful
birds. This island was also a ceremonial site of millenary
pre-Columbian cultures, whose evidence can be found throughout
all the Machalilla National Park. Isla de la Plata is
also a part of this protected area. A little bit of snorkelling
may be the right ending for your trip, and if you're lucky,
some whales may show up on the way back.
Isla de la Plata is situated only 17miles off the coast
and is home to many similar species to those of its world
famous cousin. Its name ‘Silver Island’ is
derived from the legend that Sir Francis Drake buried
Isla de la Plata is part of the Ecuador's Machalilla National
Park. Renowned for its abundant and exotic wildlife, exquisite
unspoiled beaches and rich historical past, Isla de la
Plata offers fantastic opportunities for curious travellers.
Search for the island's great number of resident and migratory
birds, including blue-footed and masked boobies, frigate
birds, pelicans, and giant albatross. Swim and snorkel
in crystal-clear waters, perhaps coming face-to-face with
a friendly sea lion. Visit a local museum or archaeological
site to observe artefacts from ancient indigenous peoples.
Surrounding the island are numerous reefs, which has made
it a favourite amongst scuba divers and snorkellers.