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Whale watching is a popular activity that attracts many tourists and locals to the coasts of Panama. Panama is one of the few places in the world where you can see humpback whales from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, as they migrate to the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean to mate and give birth. Note the following about the season, the species, and the benefits of this exciting adventure in Chiriquí, Panama.
The prime location for whale watching in Panama is the Gulf of Chiriquí, a large bay that extends from the border with Costa Rica to the Azuero Peninsula. The Gulf of Chiriquí is part of the Chiriquí National Marine Park, a protected area that covers 14,740 hectares of marine and coastal ecosystems. The park is home to diverse wildlife, including dolphins, turtles, sharks, rays, and coral reefs. The Gulf of Chiriquí is a hotspot, as it offers sheltered and shallow waters for the whales to rest and nurse their calves.
The main season for whale watching in Chiriquí is from July to October, when thousands of humpback whales arrive from their feeding grounds in Antarctica and Alaska. The whales travel up to 25,000 kilometers each year, making them one of the most migratory animals on Earth. The peak months are August and September, when the chances of seeing whales are higher than 90%. During this time, you can witness amazing behaviors such as breaching, tail slapping, spy hopping, and singing.
The species in Chiriquí is mainly the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), a large baleen whale that can grow up to 16 meters long and weigh up to 40 tons. Humpback whales are known for their complex songs, which can last up to 20 minutes and vary by population and region. Humpback whales are also very acrobatic and social, often forming groups of two to 15 individuals. Besides humpback whales, you may also encounter other cetaceans such as orcas, pilot whales, sperm whales, and several species of dolphins.
The benefits of whale watching in Chiriquí are manifold. For tourists, this is an unforgettable experience that allows them to appreciate the beauty and intelligence of these majestic creatures. For locals, this is a source of income and employment, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness and conservation of their natural heritage. For researchers, this is a valuable tool for studying the behavior, ecology, and population dynamics of whales. For the environment, this is a sustainable and non-invasive form of tourism that minimizes the impact on the marine ecosystem.
In conclusion, whale watching in Chiriquí, Panama is a rewarding activity that offers a unique insight into the life of humpback whales and other marine animals. By visiting the Gulf of Chiriquí during the whale season, you can enjoy the spectacle of nature and support the local community and conservation efforts. It’s an adventure that you will not regret.