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Experience Humpback Whales Up Close and Personal

Parador Resort & Spa on September 2, 2014 - 6:00 am in Nature & Adventure Tours

Did you know that Costa Rica has the longest Humpback Whale Watching season in the world? And there’s a reason why. Twice a year, the warm protected waters of Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline welcome humpback whales who travel between 3,000 and 5,000 miles each way from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Humpbacks from the Northern Hemisphere travel for the months of December to March while those from the Southern Hemisphere travel for the months of June to November.

Now, here’s a fun trivia: Humpback Whales are considered the most acrobatic of all the great whales! Imagine watching a 100,000-pound whale pirouette in the air like a giant ballerina?

Yes, and there’s more… these mammoth sea creatures, renowned for the phenomenal dexterity in acrobatics, also perform a wide range of amazing behaviors in play and singing. Ready for some whale watching lingo? Here are some of their most famous moves:

  • Breaching — Jumping high out of the water and slapping as they come back down. Sometimes they twirl around while      breaching. Breaching may be purely for fun or to loosen parasites.
  • Fluking —Lifting the tail fluke up out of the water in preparation for diving down.
  • Tail Slap —Slapping just the tail fluke down onto the surface.
  • Peduncle Slap —Lifting the whole back region of the body out of the water and then slapping it down onto the surface.
  • Spy Hopping—Rising up from the water head first, as if to look around.
  • Spouting — Sending up sprays of mist (from the blowholes) while breathing at the water’s surface.

And then, there’s Singing. Humpback whales are also famous for their repertoire of complex and beautiful songs characterized by actual rhythm, acoustic displays and clear sequences of squeaks, roars and ratchets. While these phenomenal sea creatures do not have vocal cords, they generate their song by forcing air through their massive nasal cavities. Even more fascinating is the fact that humpbacks may sing continuously for more than 24 hours!

Humpback whales are generally easily approachable and curious about objects in their environment. Referred to as “friendlies”, some humpback whales approach the whale-watching boat closely and often stay under or near the boat for many minutes.

Ready to get up close and personal with these gentle giants? To learn more about our whale watching tour, click here >>


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