Everyone is happy because it is whale season and nobody wants to miss the show. Giant mammals come from the deep ocean, as they were light, and in a wonderful and amazing dance they flirt one to each other to form a union and the beautiful birth event. These whales start a long way trip from the Antarctic to our coasts, where the water temperature is warmer. Once here, these 50 feet long giants start to jump over the water’s surface or take their winglets to call their partners attention. The mating ceremony continues for weeks and one year later, the birth of a new whale, also in Ecuadorian waters!
The arrival of the whales is an event to be appreciated from June to September on Manabi´s, Esmeraldas and Guayas`s coasts, but one of the best places to have this experience is Puerto Lopez, a small fishermen town to the south of Manabi. You have to take a boat and enter into the ocean for an hour, then with a good view and patience you look for winglets and blows in between the whales, little by little, they start to jump, the rest is a shown that can last for several minutes.
But the trip does not end there. If you follow the path a little bit farther, you reach the “Isla de la Plata”, a legendary place, full of stories from pirates which is a place for marine birds nesting. “Isla de la Plata” is recognized as the “Galapagos de los Pobres” (The Poor Galápagos) because here you can find many species that live in the Galapagos Islands, here is cheaper than a tour to the islands. Fragate birds, albatross, masked booby, blue and red pawed rest and feed their little ones without any fear to human presence. You can go around most of the island through paths that reach the nests and with the help of a forest ranger you can understand the customs and characteristics of these types of animals. This island is part of the Machalilla National Park, famous for ancient pre-colombian cultures evidence. Precisely the “Isla de la Plata” was a ceremonial place for some of these cultures. The trip ends with a little surface diving, and then if you are lucky you can repeat whales sightseeing.
When you return to Puerto Lopez you can complete the experience by visiting the interpretation center where there is more information about the Hunchbacked Whales. The whale sightseeing is a show that let us know these types of animals better and the tourism in the region has been of great help for its conservation.
Puerto Lopez and the southern communities in Manabi are ready to welcome the whales and their fans.
Fuente: Ministerio de Turismo > www.vivecuador.com
Photo: Mantaraya Lodge & Ministerio de Turismo