Panama and Costa Rica is the only region in the world that receives Humpback whale migrations from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The following article is from Anne Gordon de Barrigon Whale Watching Panama Newsletter at http://www.whalewatchingpanama.com/
The whales are here and this year we are seeing many calves, which is a sign of a healthy and growing population of Humpback whales. The calves are so much fun to watch as they snuggle with their mothers, explore what their bodies can do and learn to breach. A recent calf we saw was so young its dorsal fin was still folded over as it is when they are in the womb. That means when we saw the little one it was only a few days old!
Why do the Humpback whales come to Panama? Humpback whales are a coastal whale, meaning they prefer to stay close to land. They also search for warmer tropical water temperatures to give birth to their calves. The Humpbacks from Antarctica spend 4 months each year in the frigid polar waters gorging on krill and small fish. But, it would be quite a shock for a newborn whale calf to emerge from its mother’s warm body into near freezing water, so the pregnant females migrate over 6,000 miles (10,000 km) to Panama where the water temps are in the low to mid 80’s F. (28 C) and where the bay of Panama is rarely more than 150′ (50 m) deep. Ideal conditions to welcome the newborn Humpback whales.
The Southern hemisphere Humpbacks primary destination is Panama. They could stop along the coast of Ecuador and Colombia, but because of the much cooler water temperatures caused by the Humboldt current and because there are much less protected bays and island archipelagos where they are protected from predators such as orcas and great white sharks, they prefer Panama. Which makes Panama the perfect place to see the whales. From July-October there are over 2,000 Humpback whales along the Pacific coastline and 900 in the Pearl Islands, giving a 99% success rate in seeing the whales with www.WhaleWatchingPanama.com tours
We can help you arrange a Whale Watching Tour for you before or after a Panama Relocation Tour.
This video was shot off the Pacific coast of Panama on August 4th, 2015: