Whale Watching in Colombia

Between the months of June and October, people head to Colombia’s Pacific coast to get a glimpse of the humpback whale. After a long migration, the whales raise their calves in the area, making whale watching tours a popular activity. The best place to do this is in the protected waters of Parque Nacional Natural Uramba Bahía Málaga.

Tours can be organized in Juanchaco and Ladrilleros. They usually run between 9am and noon. The rate posted in hotels as of October 2016 is COP$48,000, but it can be done cheaper if you shop around.

 

The Tour

Our tour started at Reserva Aguamarina in Ladrilleros. We walked there from our hotel to sign up for the tour and pay. There were about 50 people going on the tour, and all were taken to Juanchaco with a tractor.

Tractor in Ladrilleros, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Tractor

In Juanchaco, we walked through the town to a building just in front of the pier. The guides gave a short lecture about the whales and the national park. We were told that the government only allows boats to be near the whales for 30 minutes at a time and at a distance of 200m.

A guide lecturing about the whales in Juanchaco, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

A guide lecturing about the whales

After the lecture, we walked down the pier to board the boats. The guides called us out by room number to keep everything organized. There were two full boats that were used.

Getting on the boat in Juanchaco, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Getting on the boat

 

The Whales

The boats headed out onto the Pacific Ocean past a few uninhabited islands. We stopped after about a half hour and turned the engine off. A few other boats joined us and we were able to see about five different adults and calves.

Humpback whale in Parque Nacional Natural Uramba Bahía Málaga, Colombia

Humpback whale

Humpback whale in Parque Nacional Natural Uramba Bahía Málaga, Colombia

Humpback whale

The whales weren’t jumping out of the water, but it was still an incredible experience to get so close to these magnificent creatures.

Humpback whale in Parque Nacional Natural Uramba Bahía Málaga, Colombia

Humpback whale

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