One of the most incredible experiences you can have in Panama is Whale Watching in the Pearl Islands. Humpback whales come to our shores and Costa Rica during the months of June through October. These whales come from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. More than 1,000 whales come to give birth and raise their young. The humpback whales you can see during this time migrate from Antarctica.
The Pearl Islands are a group of 39 islands and 100 islets about 48 kilometers (30 miles) off the Pacific Coast of Panama. Humpback whale or Megaptera novaeangliae is a family of the baleen whale. They are massive creatures weighing about 36,000 kilos with a length of 12 to 16 meters. This species is known for breaching and other surface behaviors which make them more appealing for whale watchers.
Whale Watching in the Pearl Islands is one of the best places but it is also possible to see these whales in other parts of the Pacific coast of Panama.
Other Whale Watching Tours:
- Guide / Captain
Available: July 10 to October 10.
Time: 3 hours.
What to bring? bathing suit, beach clothes, change of clothes, towel, rain jacket or waterproof bag (green season), sunscreen, hat, ID, cash (there is NO ATM on the islands), water bottle and camera.
Important information: there is a four person minimum for the tour or its equivalent cost. Other passengers may join the tour. There is a 24 hour minimum required to change the date of the Whale Watching in the Pearl Islands tour. Cancellations done a week before receive reimbursement.
Whale Watching in the Pearl Islands is offered from July 10 to October 10. You can book during these dates. Please write if you are interested in going a little before or after to confirm if the whales have arrived or have left. This tour starts from Contadora Island, so you must buy a ticket on the Ferry to Contadora or fly to the island.
Swimming with whales is not allowed. Boats cannot get closer than 250 meters to whales. Speed should be below 4 nots (7 kilometers). Boats must go parallel to whales in order to allow them to follow their course.