Whale and Turtle Watching Season in the Pacific                                                                   

The migratory journey of these species can be seen in Guatemalan waters between November and April.

by Pamela Contreras

Guatemala City, by Daniel Coromac -AGN-. The season for watching cetaceans such as porpoise whales, dolphins, and sea turtles is currently on. The observation of the migratory journey of these species is a unique experience; for this reason, the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism -Inguat- invites visitors to be part of it in the waters of the Pacific.

This season is an excellent time to encourage tourism in a combination of nature and a call for species conservation.

The most common cetaceans to see during this season include humpback whales and dolphins. The conditions offered by Central American waters are suitable for cetaceans and turtles to reproduce, feed, and give birth to their offspring during this season.

As a result of several research projects, 33 species of cetaceans, four species of sea turtles, and about 25 species of seabirds have been identified in Guatemala. Although whales, dolphins, and porpoises are broadly dispersed, they are endangered. They are also essential for the balance of marine ecosystems and, therefore, for the existence of humans.

Sustainable Tourism

In Guatemala, regulations ensure that these practices are not aggressive against the animals. One is the Regulation for the Observation of Cetaceans in Guatemalan Waters and Tourist and Recreational Activities. Inguat and the National Council of Protected Areas -Conap- implement this regulation.

Close interactions with marine biodiversity must be responsible. These rules were developed for the peaceful coexistence and non-interruption of the migratory routes of these species. In addition, they ensure the integrity of the crews by establishing physical limits for the approaches.

Boats should approach from the sides or behind the group’s path, not in front of it. In addition, they must stop 100 meters away from the group, with the engine in neutral, and 150 meters away for smaller cetaceans. In addition to this, there may only be three boats at the same time, among other measures.

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