The coastal waters of northern Peru hold 70% of the country’s marine biodiversity. If you’re an ocean-enthusiast and whale watching in Peru is on your must-do list, then this is the place to get started on your personalized trip to Northern Peru.
These waters are home to threatened species like the Humboldt penguin and hawksbill sea turtle, many endemic species, and even species yet to be discovered and documented. While there are 32 known species of whales and dolphins that frequent the region, Peru’s whale watching season is a chance to spot the ocean giant known as the humpback.
Weighing in at as much as 36 tons, these magnificent and massive creatures are only just beginning to draw tourists from the jungle and mountains to the coast. An idyllic place to relax after adventuring through Peru, get to the beach for whale watching season on your journey.
– Where to go Whale Watching in Peru
The best whale watching is in Mancora, Peru. It’s along this stretch of northern coastline that the Humboldt current meets the El Niño current, creating a unique ecosystem in which marine life of all kinds can thrive – and you can get your fill of whale watching.
But whale watching in Peru is a seasonal affair that only occurs a few months out of the year. Between July and October is when humpback whales make the thousands of miles journey from Antarctica to give birth to their young.
During their reproductive season, you might spot a female swimming alongside newborn calves. Males are also incredibly active during this time, displaying mating techniques such as jumps and fin, tail, and head exposure.
While you can catch a glimpse of these majestic giants from shore, your best bet is to include a whale watching activity at Los Organos beach in your itinerary to Peru, about a 20-minute ride from Mancora. The ships may include a marine biologists on board, who share their knowledge with the curious-minded while conducting their own research.
– Watch the Whales in Luxury
For the most luxurious whale watching experience, we suggest the Yate Daring (Daring Yacht). This 40-foot boat has a bathroom, kitchen, cabins, and incredible technology that makes whale watching even more immersive (such as the hydrophone, which amplifies the impressive courtship sounds of the males swimming below the surface).
Sailing begins promptly at 7:00 am, takes approximately four hours, and includes more than just a chance to spot some whales. Indeed, the tour begins at an oil platform, where hundreds of sea lions gather to bask in the sun and play in the waves, and ends at El Nuro, a pier inhabited by a population of sea turtles.
– Where to Stay
Mancora is three hour’s drive from the larger city of Piura, which is the most common departure point to reach the northern beaches. This fishing village-turned tourist hub is one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, but it also has a pretty accurate reputation as the biggest nightlife hub in Peru.
If your vacation vibe is drinks on the beach accompanied by late-night music and dancing, it’s a great place to stay. But if you’re looking for something quiet or family-appropriate, head to one of the smaller villages around this party town. Los Organos, for example, is close, quiet, and has just as stunning a beachfront.
– Best Time to Visit Peru for Whale Watching
Marine biodiversity in northern Peru is year-round, but whale watching isn’t. You’ll have to visit between the months of July and October to glimpse these special creatures.
That’s the height of the reproductive season and the only time the whales are present. A special note is that, if you visit during October as the whales begin to make their journey home, you have the best chance of spotting a mother whale with her calves.
Keep in mind that these beaches are sunny and hot. While you’re out on the ocean, you’ll want a hat to protect you from the strong rays, as well as some sunscreen. It might also be helpful to bring a light jacket along, as the waters can get pretty windy as the day goes on.
– Other Activities to Enjoy
The northern beaches of Peru are an ideal place to head after adventuring in the mountains and jungles of the country. Once you’ve had your fill of whale watching, there are plenty of other activities to continue that adventure.
• Diving Lessons
In Los Organos, there’s diving for beginners and the most experienced. Beneath the surface, you’ll have the chance to see sea turtles, sea horses, thousands of species of fish, and even get up close and personal with sea lions. Lessons are headed by local experts; you can even get your PADI license here.
• Swimming with Whale Sharks
The largest fish on earth is the whale shark. While Thailand the Philippines are well-known for this activity, not many people know that you can get in the water and swim with them here in Peru, too. Head to Punta Sal for this unforgettable experience and see the work that NGOs such as Planeta Océano do to promote the conservation of the animals.
• Learn to Surf
Mancora’s main beach has a break that’s suitable for beginners and more advanced surfers. If you’re determined to make the most of the opportunity, take a lesson with hands-on instructors. With you on a giant longboard and your instructor equipped with flippers, you’re almost guaranteed to catch your first wave.
• Eat Ceviche
Peruvian cuisine is arguably the best cuisine on the entire South American continent. And the best dish of that cuisine? Ceviche, hands down. It’s raw, fresh fish cured in citrus and smothered in chili, onion, salt, and cilantro and you’ll find some of the best here in Mancora.
– Peru Whale Watching with Kuoda
Whale watching in Peru is an excellent way to end an adventurous trip. Head to Mancora between July and October to see the humpback whales as the females birth their young and the males show off with jumps and tail slaps on the surface. And then follow it up with a bowl of ceviche and an ice cold drink on one of the best beaches in the country.
Let us help you plan your perfect Peruvian getaway. Contact Kuoda to start building the itinerary of a lifetime today.