TOUR DESCRIPTION Don´t miss the humpback whale and dolphin season between mid-July and early October and join them during their short visit to Panama in the Archipelago of the Pearl Islands. Your bilingual guide helps you to connect, communicate and interpret the behavior of the whales and dolphins you will encounter on this excursion.
Shared tour price:
4+ persons: US$240 per person plus 7% tax
2-3 persons: US$260 per person plus 7% tax
Charter boat available. Request rates!
INCLUDED Transportation from/to your hotel in Panama City (please note that a $35 per person roundtrip surcharge based on 2+ persons must be added to day tours beginning and/or ending at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Canopy Tower, Playa Bonita or hotels near Tocumen Airport), expedition boat with bathroom (capacity up to 16 passengers), bilingual Naturalist guide, lunch, beverages, use of snorkel equipment, SUP and kayaks.
DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however, they are subject to change due to weather or local conditions, availability or factors beyond our control.
Thousands of Humpbacks migrate northwards from their summer feeding grounds around Antarctica, arriving in the region from mid-July through early October. They breed and give birth to their calves in the warm, shallow, and safe waters that can be found here in Panama just a few miles off-shore from Panama City. Las Perlas archipelago is located about 35 miles from the Panama Canal´s southern entrance in Panama City and comprises more than 100 islands (many tiny and inhabited). Rich in history and natural beauty native Indians inhabited these Islands until 16th-century Spanish Conquistadors came in search of fortune, glory, and the archipelago's coveted pearls. During this period legend says Isla Contadora or "Counting Island" became the central point where pearls from around the region were sent to be counted, registered, and prepared for transit over the isthmus and finally shipped to Spain. The archipelago has also served as a haven for Pirates from which they would stage daring assaults on the treasure-laden Spanish Fleet, returning to the island's sanctuary to divide and stash their plunder.
You will be picked up early morning at your hotel in Panama City and transferred by your Ancon Expeditions driver to Causeway Amador where you meet your Naturalist guide and embark on an expedition speed boat (departure 07:30 hrs by boat). You will leave behind the America’s Bridge and numerous ships that are waiting for their passage through the Panama Canal on the Southern entrance, in the Pacific. You may already spot some dolphins and whales during the ferry ride if you are lucky! Upon reaching the Pearl Islands archipelago you will navigate around islands such as Contadora, Chapera, Mogo Mogo, and Pacheca among others. Your educational tour today is being accompanied by biologists and scientific photographers who will be collecting information for their studies. Our utmost priority is to respect the space towards the humpback whales by following the international guidelines and regulations for sustainable whale watching in order to prevent the animals from becoming stressed or intimidated.
In order to contribute to the scientific community for whale watching, your Naturalist guide will use a hydrophone that will be led into the water. By listening to the songs of the whales, information can be compiled, shared, and studied together with the American Cetacean Society and Ph.d. Frank Garitas.
There will be snorkeling equipment for passengers to use, and for the more adventurous there will be inflatable paddleboards and kayaks as well. Healthy snacks, lunch, water, and sodas are included during the tour.
Our expedition speed boat:
The 46 feet long speed boat accommodates up to 16 passengers. The boat crew onboard includes a captain, a sailor, and a Naturalist Guide. The boat is equipped with a bathroom in the front and a dry lock for our passengers, clothes, and belongings.
The boat comes with three latest generations of Mercury outboard motors, a life raft at the top, sound equipment, a life jacket for all passengers, as well as a wave stabilization system to make the journey calmer and the trip more pleasant.
There are two dry areas in the back where the four inflatable paddleboards are located.
DEPARTURE DATES 2023
July 22, 23, 29, 30
August 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
September 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
October 1, 7, 8
06:45 hrs Pick up at your hotel in Panama City
17:30 hrs Approximate return to your hotel in Panama City
WHAT TO BRING
- Cap or hat
- Sunscreen lotion
- Light clothing
- Light raincoat
- Set of change clothes
- Sandals or flip-flops are the perfect shoes for the boat and the beach
- A positive attitude for a great day on the boat with the whales
Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:
- Naturalist guide: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
- Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
“We had the opportunity to admire more than 8 humpback whales with their small calves and innumerous dolphins - we couldn´t be happier! What a life-time experience! Thank you!"
Eva Harrington, Canada