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Humpback Whale Watching Extension

Enjoy Close Encounters with These Gentle Giants off Mexico's Pacific Coast
Day 1: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Arrive in Puerto Vallarta where you are met by our local representative and transferred to the Flamingo Vallarta Hotel. The hotel is located in Marina Vallarta, 15 minutes north of historic downtown Puerto Vallarta, and offers free transportation to the beach in the morning. The day is free to enjoy the marina area's many offerings: a stroll on the oceanfront boardwalk, fine shops and restaurants, perhaps a spa indulgence. Or travel into the heart of town and explore the narrow streets of old Puerto Vallarta and its beautiful Malecon promenade by the sea, the perfect place to watch the sun set.  This evening, meet your Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Whale Watching
Our first magical day with the whales begins early, affording us as much time as possible to enjoy our encounters with these amazing creatures. After breakfast, we depart for a briefing on humpbacks and other marine mammals we are likely to see. Then, we board our motorized boat and cruise the shallow waters of Banderas Bay, the whales' playground. For several hours we watch for them, hoping to experience their mesmerizing presence, see them rise, spout and even breach - leaping into the air and falling back into the water with a mighty crash. Humpbacks are active whales, frequently entertaining observers with vigorous motion. They are also enormous, up to 50 feet long and averaging nearly 80,000 pounds. Yet they are gentle giants, and we are captivated by their intriguing behavior. After our adventure at sea, we go ashore for lunch near a lagoon reserve where we visit a crocodile conservation program. This protected area is also an important habitat for water birds, and we may see roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets and storks.

Day 3: Whale Watching
Our second day among the humpbacks offers two exciting opportunities to see them, in the morning and again at sunset. We start early once more for an exhilarating few hours at sea with the whales. Afterward, we return to Marina Vallarta for lunch and time to rest and relax at our hotel. Late this afternoon, we meet our guide again for a special sunset trip with the humpbacks. Our mission is to locate singing males and to hear and record the complex tunes of their ethereal songs. A typical whale song lasts from 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated continuously for hours. Scientists believe the songs are part of the males' mating behavior, since they are only heard during the breeding season, from mid-December to late March here in Banderas Bay.

Day 4: Home
This morning is free to relax and enjoy the beach or town once more before transferring to the airport for your return flight home, or for your flight to Mexico City to join your Monarch Butterfly adventure.

Physical Rating: Easy / Flexible

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