Do you know what one of the most fun things about July in our area is? It’s the start of Humpback whale season. We are lucky enough to have 2 seasons a year here in this part of Costa Rica, with a small season earlier in the year and now starting this month, a second season running until the end of October.
Each group arrives in Costa Rica at the beginning of their respective winter and stays until spring comes to their home.
When winter comes to the south, June time, the Antarctic whales, who have built their blubber reserves in preparation for the longest migration in the animal kingdom, head north along the coasts of Chile and Ecuador to the tropical waters of Central America. And that’s why western spotting them in July.
The main theories about why humpbacks migrate to the tropics, are that the warmth allows the calves to grow more quickly, or that the waters are safer because of lower numbers of predators like orcas.
Whatever the motivation for wintering in the tropics it means, you can watch Humpback whales in Costa Rica nearly year-round because of the two seasons.
So, get ready and head out onto the water to enjoy one of the most spectacular sites, if you are lucky enough to see them. Important note though, please ensure that you head out with a group or company that understands and respects the whales. You must keep at least a 100m distance between your boat and the whales at all times, and under no circumstances are you supposed to chase the whales. Not only does it stress them out, but it can cause disorientation between any mums and calves and can cause the whales to burn any valuable blubber reserves that they have been saving.
Whales tails aren’t the only tails that we have been looking out for recently. Seen in Manuel Antonio was a tail of a different kind. A mermaid tail. Yes, mermaids have arrived in Costa Rica and were spotted out recently around the Biesanz bay area.
This was part of a Mermaid training program that was initiated by Oceans Unlimited and Marine Conservation Costa Rica. Whilst not everyone wants to scuba dive, they may want to explore the ocean and enjoy all its wonders, and one of the exciting new programs being offered by PADI is the mermaid program. You can enjoy mermaid experiences as young as 6 years old and let’s all-admit now, there aren’t many of us that haven’t imagined at some point, cruising through the water with a beautiful tail. Now is your chance.
The idea behind the program it is to inspire and captivate your imagination as it is a unique blend of art, athleticism, and environmental awareness.
And it’s not just about being a mermaid. As with everything we do, we are trying to inspire our ocean ambassadors, so the program includes marine conservation themes and talks about the ocean. It really is a blend of fantasy and marine conservation. Through this new program, we are looking to Inspire a love for the ocean by using the power of mermaids as visual symbols of marine beauty and fragility.
We will start running programs in the near future, including for some kids’ camp programs over the October break so follow us on our social media channels to keep posted on upcoming events. Or come and stop by our dive center in the Marina Pez Vela for a chat about all things ocean and conservation!
Have a fun summer everyone, we hope to see you all out enjoying the ocean!
Oceans Unlimited & the Marine Conservation Costa Rica Team
Instagram: @scubadivingcostarica, @marineconservationcostarica