Do we offer Galapagos whale watching tours?

The Galapagos Islands are like a big and popular pit stop for a wide variety of marine species. And who could blame them for coming? Its waters are crystal clear and packed with wonderful surprises that manage to satisfy all expectations, both human and animal alike. That’s why the Galapagos archipelago is the perfect place to do some unexpected sightseeing. Dolphin and whale sightings in Galapagos are a common thing to witness if you happen to be at the right place and time. If you want to know more about this subject, here are some frequently asked questions about Galapagos whale watching tours!
Galapagos whale watching

Are Galapagos whale watching tours a thing?

Approximately 23 species of whale have been spotted displaying their greatness around the islands, yet it is nearly impossible to establish a specific time and date for when their visits and appearances will occur again. Nothing is set in stone with these sea giants! That’s why, if a tour operator is offering you a Galapagos whale watching tour, we highly recommend looking for a more honest operator.

So, no whale watching in Galapagos then?

Quite the opposite! You can still experience this magnificent event in the Galapagos! As we stated before, you just have to take certain aspects into consideration. From July to November, guests will have a high chance of catching a glimpse of orcas, blue whales, humpback whales and sperm whales (just to name a few). You also need to make sure your itinerary covers their favorite places to frequent, such as Isabela and Fernandina.

These islands are part of our:

Western Islands itinerary (Santa Cruz II)

Galapagos whale watching

Western Islands itinerary (La Pinta)

Galapagos whale watching

Northern Islands itinerary (Isabela II)

Galapagos whale watching
Also, if you’re planning on exploring the archipelago aboard an expedition vessel, your chances of approximating to what could, in theory, be referred to as a “Whale Watching Tour in Galapagos” will increase exponentially! You just have to keep an eye out for these playful giants while sailing across the Galapagos waters. If the captain or crew aboard any one of our vessels manages to spot them first, they won’t hesitate to notify our guests over the PA system about this extraordinary event!

How can I experience whale watching in Galapagos?

Depending on the proximity of the whales, our expedition vessels (under the permission of the Captain and Expedition Leader), will even offer impromptu dinghy rides so that our guests can get a closer look at these marvelous creatures. As a Galapagos National Park mandatory regulation, all vessels – dinghy or cruise ship – must keep a safe distance from the animals so as to ensure the safety of both our guests and the precious wildlife.
That’s why our dinghy operators will often take the liberty of turning off the motor so as not to disturb the giants too much, often times allowing curious whales to get even closer.
Galapagos whale watching

Why do whales visit the Galapagos Islands?

When the arctic Humboldt Current hits the warm Pacific coast, it brings a lot of nutritious treats with it. This factor, in tandem with the low-salinity of the current, fosters a highly active environment underwater, made evident by the greater number of organisms that come along with it.
Some of the species that make their way through the Galapagos Islands include sardines, plankton, anchovies, jack mackerels, mollusks, sea urchins, and crustaceans – all of which make for the ultimate feast for numerous whale species!

What types of species will I be able to see?

As we previously stated, a total of 23 whale species have been spotted and recorded in the Galapagos Islands. You won’t be able to see all of them, but with some luck, you might be able to see some of the most common species that swim along the islands, such as:

Galapagos whale watching

Orca found in Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island. Credits: Serena_Tang

Orcas:

A.k.a. killer whales! These free-spirited giants are known for their advanced hunting techniques. But don’t worry! They pose no threat to humans whatsoever. Orcas are apex predators, which means that no other species in the world hunts them. They usually travel in pods and are known for the incredible bond they hold between mother and offspring.

Galapagos whale watching

The tail of a blue whale spotted in the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Islands. Credits: Charles Davies

Blue whale:

Blue whales are the largest animals in the world! They can measure up to 30 meters (98 feet). Many people know them for being a solitary species that truly enjoys wide open seas. Their diet mainly consists of small crustaceans.

Galapagos whale watching

Credits: Antarctica Bound

Humpback whales:

Their lively nature has made them one of our guests’ favorites! These titans can measure up to 16 meters (52 feet) and feed off of all the small fish that the Humboldt Current drags in. They have a curious nature and feel instantly drawn to nearby objects, making them really easy to spot.

Finally, the best thing about whale watching in the Galapagos is that it won’t be an isolated event! You’ll get to fulfill this dream while discovering many others you didn’t even know you had. Spotting a whale or a pod of orcas will be the mere cherry on top of the bigger experience that the archipelago offers its visitors. So, hop aboard with us and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

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Isabel Espinoza (1994) was born and raised in the beautiful cradle of mountains we call Quito. She has a degree in Journalism from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. People and their stories have always been her thing (as well as traveling, nature, astronomy, and photography). Her love for Ecuador and its wonders is immense and blogging allows her to share a glimpse of this affection with the rest of the world.

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