Seeing whales in real life is an experience of a lifetime. No matter which species. And now consider that in Panama there is a high chance to witness the majestic Humpback whales that are teaching their new born baby how to get around in the ocean.
There are ample opportunities to see whales in Panama in whale season. However, if you are looking for a comfortable cruise on a luxury sailing catamaran on the Pacific side of Panama out of Buenaventura in Rio Hato and also have a high chance to sea some whales (in the right season), you may come crusing with us on our luxury sailing catamaran Outventure.
Get in touch with us: +507 64948089 (Click here to send a Whatsapp Message or call) for your Sailing Outventure!
When is the best time to go whale watching in Panama?
The main season for whale watching is from July to October, with the Peak from mid-August to end of September. Up to 2,000 humpback whales come from the far south of Antarctica to give birth and teach their young ones the first “fin-strokes” in the ocean.
So, even though it’s nature and you can never guarantee anything, there is a very high probability to spot a whale. Sometimes from far (so don’t forget your zoom-lens) and sometimes as close as a few hundred meters.
July & October is also a good time to spot the whales in terms of visibility as it’s usually calm and the sea is flat.
In the dry season from December to April, there are also whales in Panama waters, but it’s usually windier and the sea may get a bit choppy. It is the time of the fin whales which don’t make such a big spectacle as the humpback whales in Panama, but they are also very impressive.
What are the best places to go whale watching in Panama?
For those not familiar with Panama and its coastlines, a quick reminder: The Isthmus of Panama has two long stretches of oceanfront. To the north-east lies the Atlantic, or to be more precise, the Caribbean with the beautiful San Blas Archipelago and the Jungle Islands of Bocas del Toro. Here, you may find a lot of sea life. However, this is not the whale watching area. The water is too shallow and this area of Panama is not in the migration route of the whales.
If you want to go and see whales in Panama, you need to stay on the Pacific side. The Pacific Ocean stretches from the south-east of Panama to the north-west. From the Provinces Darien, Panama, Panama Oeste, Cocle, Veraguas and Chiriqui.
Whale watching in Darien, Bahia
There is very good whale watching in Darien. Bahia Pinas is a very famous place for fishing and sea wildlife. However, it is not so easy to access.
Whale watching in the Pearl Islands in Panama
If you are in Panama City and you would like to go on a whale watching tour, you may take a trip the Islas Perlas, the Pearl Islands. You can either take a ferry and stay for some days on one of the islands, for example Contadora. This is a perfect starting point for a tour around the islands and in the right season, the chances to see whales are extremely high.
Whale watching in Taboga Island, close to Panama City
The next closest place from Panama City to see whales is Taboga Island. This cute Island is only 45 minutes away and generally worth a visit.
Whale watching in Otoque Island, starting in Punta Chame
A little further, you may explore Otoque and Bona Island. There are trips, usually with smaller fishing boats, leaving from the quaint beach town and Panama’s kitesurfing mecca Punta Chame. Boating around Otoque, even though rather close to Panama City, feels like in a different world. It is rough, has a lot of wildlife, thousands of birds and generally a very wild feeling. Here, chances to see whales are very high.
Then there are the two marinas Vista Mar and Buenaventura from which you can book trips to go whale watching.
Whale watching tours from Marina Buenaventura, around Rio Hato, Playa Blanca and Isla Farallon with a sailing catamaran
In Buenaventura, we know a great sailing catamaran that also offers whale watching tours. Oh wait. That’s us🙂 ! Get in touch with the crew of Sailing Catamaran Outventure for a special whale watching experience on a comfortable and stable sailing catamaran. We usually go out to Isla Farallon for Snorkeling and enjoy the sea. However, during the whale watching season, we venture out further to find these amazing and huge creatures of the sea. And you will enjoy an amazing day on a very comfortable and silent vessel instead of speeding in a small fishing Panga with the noise of the outboard engines.
Whale Watching in Pedasi & Isla Iguana in Panama
Whale Watching in and around Santa Catalina and Isla Cebaco
Whale watching in Coiba National Park, Panama
One of the best places to go whale watching in Panama is the Gulf of Chiriqui.
Especially around Coiba National Park, whales (and other marine wildlife) are protected from fishing vessels. Here, they give birth and raise their young.
Whale Watching in Chiriqui in Isla Parida out of Boca Chica, Panama
The Crew of Sailing Catamaran Outventure in Panama
Jurgen and Iris, both hold the
200 ton Master Captain license
issued by the Autoridad Maritima de Panama.
Both of us have been working in the travel, hospitality, and watersports industry for decades: Running tour operators, hotels, restaurants & water-sports schools.
We have been running sailing charters in the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Pacific and Baltic Sea.
All crew members speak English and Spanish.