The sense of wonder is something that is lost with age, or at least that was what we thought some journalists who had been invited to the first sighting of whales in Puerto Lopez (three hours from Guayaquil), but everything changed when few meters from our small boat emerged the huge cetaceans, unleashing a collective ‘woooow’.
The day began on Saturday, around 10:30, when the deputy mayor of Puerto Lopez, Cinerman Miranda, in the presence of Tourism Minister Fernando Alvarado, and Ambassador of the United States, Todd Chapman, officially opened the XVIII Humpback Whale Festival 2016. the event took place in the ballroom of Machalilla National Park.
“This year we expect to receive more than 300,000 tourists,” Miranda said with optimism, stressing that it is time that people “leave aside fears and Manabi and Esmeraldas visit” this in reference to the 7.8-magnitude earthquake raised two months ago. In both provinces, plus Santa Elena (Salinas), it is possible to see whales.
Raw scars of that time can still be seen in some parts of the city, however most of the structures is in good condition since the earthquake took place in the north of the province.
Once on the beach, the atmosphere is unbeatable. Typical June climatic characteristics becoming evident and low sun intensity as giving your permission for visitors to enjoy outdoor activities.
The crowd that sometimes becomes incalculable, extends to the pier from where you can catch sightings specialized in yachts.
Each of these ships has specialized in animals during the two to three hours of the tour, recite interesting facts regarding the topic guide.
In the case of our departure, just 20 minutes passed since we left port and see the first whale. In the hour and a half walk, at least 15 mammals were spotted.
Humberto Martinez, the guide explained that this high activity will continue until September, but there are no guarantees, as the migration of mammals is an instinctive behavior which no one has control.
In addition to whales, dolphins can also be seen and even orcas. “We have 17 years dedicated to the sighting and each field trip is still something different,” said Martinez.
Costs per person are set at $ 25 and $ 40 for sighting the trip to Isla de la Plata.
As part of the inauguration of the festival, scheduled paragliding and motocross exhibitions and presentations of musical artists.
Tourists gathered to Puerto Lopez last weekend enjoyed an unforgettable party which was scheduled to conclude not before 02:00 on Sunday.