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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkTravel & Outdoors 

Winter is Watchable Wildlife Season in Riviera Nayarit

November 2, 2017

From crocodiles and over 500 species of birds, to sea turtles and whales, getting a look at the beautiful creatures that have made a home throughout the region is a must when visiting the Riviera Nayarit.

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico - The Riviera Nayarit is not only home to nearly 200 miles of beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean framed by the rainforest covered Sierra Madre Mountains, its natural wonders are brimming with carefully protected wildlife.

From sea turtles and whales to crocodiles and over 500 species of birds, getting a look at the beautiful creatures that have made a home throughout the region is a must when visiting the destination.

Whale watching in Banderas Bay and coastline of Riviera Nayarit


Hundreds of Humpbacked whales visit Banderas Bay each year from mid-December through April on their annual migration from Alaska to Hawaii. Vallarta Adventures' Whale Watching Tours helps visitors get up close and personal with the humpback whales. Have your cameras reason to capture the thrilling moments in December when the massive males leap out of the water and butt heads to attract the female during mating season. By March, the majestic giants raise their calves in the protected waters of the Banderas Bay and Pacific coastline of Riviera Nayarit, where they swim amongst friendly wild dolphins that inhabit the waters year-round.

Vallarta Adventures' Whale Watching Tours helps visitors get up close and personal with the humpback whales. Vallarta Adventures is the only company that use aircraft to seek the whales and relay their location to the boat captains to increase sightings of whales and dolphins. For more information, visit vallarta-adventures.com.

Bird Watching & Crocodile Reserve at La Tovara National Park in San Blas

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the La Tovara National Park and mangrove eco-region in San Blas is "one of the most important winter habitats for birds in the Pacific, home to 80% of the Pacific migratory shore bird populations." A paradise for bird enthusiasts, this eco-region has the highest concentration of migratory birds and features over 500 species, including the black-bellied tree duck, great blue heron, roseate spoonbill, and endemic birds, like the bumblebee hummingbird and the Mexican wood nymph.


Visitors to La Tovara National Park can explore the park by boat to see a variety of mangroves, brown pelicans, glass snakes, Kemp's ridley turtles and whale sharks. Along the boat ride, travelers come across floating wood homes that were occupied by the area's first settlers, and then recreated for the filming of the movie, Cabeza de Vaca. Toward the end of the river is a community crocodile sanctuary where wildlife research and protection efforts are practiced.

Banderas Bay Tours & Travel offers a special tour package of San Blas with experienced guides who can point out the amazing birds during a boat trip through the tangled mangroves and flat wetlands. The tour also visits the Crocodile Reserve in El Manantial of La Camelota. Learn more at ttf.com.mx.

Festival of Migratory Birds, San Blas

Each January/February, the Festival of Migratory Birds celebrates the abundance of wildlife and species of birds in Riviera Nayarit. During this Festival, special seminars on birds, bird watching and environmental conservation are offered as well as boat tours of La Tovara National Park. For more information, visit avessanblas.uan.mx.

Riviera Nayarit's Island Sanctuaries Protect Indigenous Wildlife


Isla Isabel, created by underwater volcanic activity, was declared a National Park and Biosphere Reserve due to the rare and beautiful birds that live on the island. Isla Isabel is a hilly island that features dramatic rugged cliffs, breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and coral reef, which is uncommon for this area of the world. Eco-tourists can have a fully immersive experience and enjoy hours of bird watching by sleeping in tents overnight on the island.

Islas Marietas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is an area made famous by Jacques Cousteau. A cluster of islands rich with wildlife is home to 103 registered species of reef fish and thousands of birds including the rare Blue-footed Booby who inhabit an entire section of the islands. Wild dolphins, sunbathing sea turtles and giant manta rays also await the travelers who visit these islands. It is also renowned for the spectacular Hidden Beach and when the tides are low, visitors can swim through a cave to a beach in the island's interior with an oval opening to the skies above.

Plan your next vacation to experience nature and sights that can only be seen in Riviera Nayarit. For more information, visit RivieraNayarit.com.