Sea Turtles and Whales bring a Mexican Wave of excitement for nature enthusiasts on the Pacific Coast
Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two regions located on Banderas Bay in the Mexican Pacific, are unique eco-tourist destinations, chosen by nature’s most majestic giants to breed, nest and rear their offspring in the safest environment.
Naturally, the end of the year marks an exciting change in the air, wherever we are in the world. We begin thinking about fresh starts and new beginnings but here in Mexico, every year, a special change takes place as one of nature’s breath-taking performances comes to a close, and another begins.
New Beginnings: Tourists witness the first steps made by baby Sea Turtles and impressive Humpback Whales
Since July, many endangered species of sea turtle have been returning to the pristine, protected beaches of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, their chosen nesting grounds and the place of their own birth, to lay their precious eggs. Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta are continuously working hard to protect these new-borns during the start of the hatchlings’ journey from nest to sea, which is the most dangerous leg of all as they risk being eaten by predatory birds, iguanas and racoons.
In recent years, daily sea turtle release ceremonies in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit have become a major tourist attraction, a fascinating eco-adventure that offers tourists an educational and emotional experience. One can enjoy this unmatched experience at participating hotels of the community-wide preservation program, which not only aim to ensure the survival of as many new-born sea turtles as possible, but, supports local efforts to change the way we view nature as a whole.
In December, tourists and locals alike assist the last of the baby turtles in leaving our shores and embarking on the next leg of their life-long adventure. The protected coast of Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta is not only one of the most important breeding grounds in the world for sea turtles, but it attracts many other species of marine life, who travel from far and wide to enjoy its unique characteristics. As the Pacific destinations wave goodbye to sea turtles (who will faithfully return next spring), they warmly welcome the whales, who arrive in time for the New Year!
From November - April, Banderas Bay hosts many different species of whales, including the endearing humpback whales, known by locals as the friendlies because of their very sociable personalities. Every year, their visit is highly anticipated by hundreds of tourists who come to meet nature’s “celebrities”.
After traveling thousands of miles from the icy, treacherous waters of the north of the continent, the whales choose the calm, shallow, safe and warm waters of Banderas Bay to give birth, feed and strengthen their young, before they make the long journey back to the harsh, bitter conditions of the north.
Banderas Bay is a safe Haven for Marine Life
In the first months of the year, the waters of Banderas Bay come alive with happy activity, as sea turtles, whales, dolphins (and last year, the impressive Guadalupe fur seals) celebrate a new lease of life in idyllic, harmonious conditions. Its geographic location and oceanographic conditions make it one of the most ideal breeding grounds in the world.
One of the most popular things to do when vacationing in Mexico’s Pacific Coast is to take a guided boat tour to discover the majestuosity of these gentle giants and marvel at their graceful performances, as parents and calves alike propel themselves into acrobatic leaps, twists and jumps, resembling a marine ballet. Whale-watching tours leave daily from many coastal locations across Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit and last for around 4 hours, offering nature enthusiasts an unmissable opportunity to have an unforgettable experience!
With so many rare and beautiful species of animal to protect, all of Rivera Nayarit’s and Puerto Vallarta’s boat tours, licensed by the National Environmental Agency, are guided by expert staff, who are well-studied in Marine Biology and fully understanding of the importance to protect the environment and nature.
These grounds are crucial to the survival of these great, endangered species, so it is imperative that the eco-tourist destinations of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit continue with their dedicated efforts to ensure that Banderas Bay remains as safe and balanced as any sea life centre in the manmade world!