AAA Editor Notes
Ocean Friendly Tours depart from Los Peines pier, about a 10-minute taxi ride from the downtown waterfront. This company's guided whale-watch excursion is one of the best in Vallarta. Led by a professional researcher who has an infectious passion for these gentle giants, the trip begins with information about the whales' migration, mating and birthing activities, with emphasis on conservation and species protection. A hydrophone and speaker system on board allows passengers to listen to underwater humpback vocalizations.

In addition to humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays and varied bird species are likely to be seen. The 30-foot, customized fiberglass boat has a tiny restroom on board. Life vests, dry bags for camera protection, water, soft drinks and an onboard lunch are provided.

$139; $119 (ages 2-13). Ages 0-1 are not permitted on the tour. There also is a 10-peso fee per person that is paid at the pier. Prepaid advance reservations are required and can only be made online via the company's website using a credit card. Phone for tour space availability and general information (English spoken).
Trips depart daily at 9 a.m., early Dec. through late Mar., and last 4 to 5 hours. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure and allow at least 30 minutes for transportation time to the pier from downtown Vallarta.
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