Extent of whale and dolphin watching
With coastlines on the Pacific Ocean as well as the Caribbean, Colombia hosts 33 different whale and dolphin species1. This diversity includes two species of river dolphins that are found in the Amazon and Orinoco river systems, and provide unique opportunities for freshwater dolphin watching2. In 2006 an estimated 35,000 individuals participated in whale or dolphin watching in Colombia3 – a number which is certain to have increased in the intervening years.
Target species, peak times of year and locations:
Whale and dolphin watching is well established in three Pacific coastal towns: Nuquí, Bahía de Málaga and Gorgona. Dolphin watching focusing on the two species of river dolphin found in Colombia, the Boto and the Tucuxi, takes place inland at Puerto Gatián and Puerto Carreño. Dolphin watching takes place more opportunistically on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and there is greater potential for further development of the industry in the Golfo de Urabá, Cispatá, Bocas de Ceniza, Tayrona and Dibulla, as well as the offshore Caribbean islands of San Andrés y Providencia.
Other species, such as Bryde’s whales, common dolphins, spotted dolphins and pilot whales are observed less regularly, but can be seen during tours focusing primarily on humpback whales or bottlenose dolphins.
Additional information about whale watching opportunities and whale and dolphin distribution in Colombia can be found on the following websites: