Officia Approved Vessel
& Tour Company Listings
Below is the most current listing of the approved vessels for the 2009/2010 Whale Watching Season. This list has been provided by the Mexican Federal Department of Natural Resources. The Forum does not issue permits and only lists what is provided by the authorities and updates are made as they are received.
Before booking your whale watching tour, please ensure that your tour company and/or their vessel holds a permit. If the company name and/or the name of the boat is not listed here, that company may not hold an official permit for whale watching on the Bay of Banderas. However, some companies such as Ocean Friendly, Whalecome To Vallarta and Ecotours de México are authorized to conduct tours from any vessel. Please check our reviews on the above companies when making your selection.
Also, ensure that your boat is flying the white flag with a humpback whale insignia. This flag is given only to those operators that have been approved by the Mexican government to conduct whale watching tours on Banderas Bay. If you happen to see a yellow flag, this indicates that authorized scientific investigations are occurring onboard the vessel or in the water. It is possible that you might see these vessels operating outside of the official regulations and this is OK. But, you will never see yellow flags flying with tourists on board. If you see a yellow flag flying please remain at least 600 yards from that vessel as it is possible that you could inadvertently interrupt important scientific research.
The owners of the tour companies and vessels will normally have trained naturalists and/or oceanographers on board at all times and will always operate within the Official Mexican Whale Watching Regulations. As well, all boat Captains have undergone intensive training in responsible whale watching techniques.
The 2009/2010 official whale watching season runs from December 8, 2009 - March 23, 2010. It is illegal to operate whale watching tours outside of these dates.
If you are an authorized company or boat and you are not listed below, please contact us with documentation of your authorization and you will be added to the list.