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The Humpback Whales of Northern Peru

Posted by Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel on Sep 1, 2018 8:05:00 AM



From otters to pink dolphins, the Amazon region is home to fascinating wildlife. The Peruvian Sea boasts 33 species of marine mammals who live all across the coast, making Peru a popular destination for marine tourism.

Peru’s oceans are abundant in sperm whales, dolphins, and porpoises; in fact, 38% of all known marine mammal species call the waters of Peru home. Sperm whales, also known as Yubarta, along with orcas can be seen sporadically. Tourists will also see the short-beaked dolphin swimming alongside the tour boats. But when it comes to marine mammal watching, most agree that a humpback whale sighting is the most sought after.

The humpback whale is a thrill to watch because it is one of the most acrobatic whales, jumping out of the water, turning belly up, arching back, and diving back into the water. It’s also known for its song; the species is very vocal, creating a wide variety of sounds that can be heard above the surface of the water.



Some views of the dance that can be seen 

The Magnificent Humpback Whale

The magnificent humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) or the Ballena jorobada is one of the largest species of baleen whale. The humpback whale has a robust body and large fins. The adults grow to up to 12-16 meters and can weigh a whopping 40 tons. Surprisingly, the females are typically larger than males.

They have irregular rows of fleshy knots that each have one or two rows of bristling hairs that line the trunk and along the lower jaw, making the humpback whale easy to recognize. The shape of the body differs from the other Balaenoptera. Its head is wider, and its plump body thins towards the tail. Their fins are also unique because they are narrow with irregular waves along the front; they are about 1/3 of the total length of the whale’s body.

From above, the humpback whale is black or dark grey; however, the lower parts of the fins and tail are white. The white patches on the underside are so unique that they’re practically like fingerprints, making each whale individually identifiable.


In Organos, Piura

The Best Time and Places to Whale-Watch in Peru

Humpback whale sightings are awe-inspiring. Peru’s humpback whales can typically be seen on the north coast between August and October when the whales mate. Each year, they make their journey up from Antarctic waters where they feasted on the plentiful krill and tiny fish to northern Peru where they give birth to their calves and rear them in the warm waters. The area is one of the best places on Earth to witness the magnificent humpback whale in the wild. Tour groups who visit the area have an 80%-90% chance of seeing humpbacks during that time of year.

Each year, locals and tourists whale watch in beaches on the coast of Piura such as Cabo Blanco, Ñuro, Punta Veleros, Los Órganos, Vichayito, Pocitas, and Máncora. The beaches of Tumbes such as Punta Sal, Zorritos, and Puerto Pizarro are also ideal for whale watching. The beaches are the best place to see the humpback whale’s playful nature as it jumps out of the water, flipping, and hitting the surface with its tail, making a loud and exciting splash.

If  you are interested in the experience of watching the humpback whales while in Peru, do not hesitate to Contact us


Photos Pacifico Adventures photo gallery.& Daniel Blanco (Aug 2018)


Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel

Topics: northern peru, holidays

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