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Humpback Whale Watching Extension

Itinerary

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Itinerary Map
Day 1: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Arrive in Puerto Vallarta where our local guide meets you and accompanies you on the transfer to our hotel in nearby Marina Vallarta, 15 minutes north of the city's historic downtown. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the hotel amenities or explore the marina area's many offerings: a stroll on the oceanfront boardwalk, fine shops and restaurants, perhaps a spa treatment. Or travel into the heart of town and explore the narrow streets of old Puerto Vallarta and its classic Malecon promenade by the sea, an idyllic place to watch the sun set. This evening, meet your Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Whale Watching / Lagoon Reserve 
Our first magical day with the whales begins early, affording as much time as possible for encounters with these charismatic marine mammals. We begin with a briefing on humpbacks and other marine life we're likely to see, then board a private motorboat to cruise Banderas Bay, the whales' playground. For several hours we watch for them, hoping to see them rise, spout and 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 weighing as much as 80,000 pounds. Yet they are gentle giants, and we are captivated by their intriguing behavior. We go ashore for lunch near a lagoon reserve where we visit a crocodile conservation program. This protected area is also important habitat for waterbirds, and we may see roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets and storks.

Day 3: Whale Watching in Banderas Bay
Our second day with the whales includes two in-depth excursions to see them, in the morning and again at sunset. Another early-morning start offers several exhilarating hours at sea with the humpbacks. Return to Marina Vallarta for lunch, with time to rest and relax at our hotel. Late this afternoon, meet our guide again for a special sunset outing. Our mission is to locate singing males and to hear and record their complex and ethereal sounds. A typical whale song lasts 10–20 minutes and can be 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: Puerto Vallarta / Depart
This morning is free to relax and enjoy the beach or town once more before transferring to the airport for departing flights.

Physical Rating: Easy

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