Ocean Friendly Whale Watching Tours

Ocean Friendly Whale Watching Tours

Ocean Friendly Whale Watching Tours
5
Dolphin & Whale Watching • Nature & Wildlife Tours
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9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Ocean Friendly Tours was rated by Trip Advisor as one of The Top 10 Wildlife Tours in the World - the only whale watching tour operator in the world to be included on that list and recently rated as the #1 Outdoor Activity in Puerto Vallarta and the #1 Boat & Water Sports Activity in Puerto Vallarta. Ocean Friendly Tours is a new concept in responsible tour operation in Puerto Vallarta with a unique visual and acoustic approach to the marine world of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. At Ocean Friendly Tours we provide a specialized and personalized service that blends professional knowledge of the marine environment and safety with love and care for nature. Ocean Friendly Tours have become a respectful and sophisticated way to approach the marine life and landscapes in Vallarta. Visit our website to learn more about responsible whale watching tours and the research programs conducted through our non-profit foundation called Deep Blue Conservancy. Thanks to all of our customers that make the effort to leave such beautiful reviews of their experiences. Special departure times for cruise ship guests!
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
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Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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Travelers talk about
(89 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
1,032 reviews
Excellent
988
Very good
21
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
8

Tim68
West Bend, Wisconsin72 contributions
Dec 2021
Our experience with Ocean Friendly was perfect. It started with a very easy and clear process to register for the tour via the website. We immediately received a confirmation with all the instructions and information we needed for the tour.

My wife and I took a morning tour. We arrived to the pier as instructed a little early and right on time, Oscar Frey, the tour leader arrived. It soon became clear that we were the newbies. Nearly all the other tour participants had been out with Ocean Friendly before. Most of them multiple times. That speaks volumes about the quality and friendliness of Oscar and his team. After a short presentation on the bay habitat and the whales themselves, we headed to the boat and loaded up. Our group consisted of 14 people and 3 crew. The boat was comfortable, and all the seats were either shaded by the canopy or mostly shaded. We took our tour on the first day of official whale watching season and Oscar was very clear with us that it probably would start off a little slow. Whales were just arriving and had not necessarily "podded up" yet. The bay is very large, but Oscar has spotters that relay information on sightings to him. We saw some whales off in the distance but had trouble getting close enough. Oscar then took out an underwater microphone and we all were able to listen to the whales calling back and forth to each other. Based on what he heard, Oscar sent us off in a direction and within 15 minutes we had a pod of whales surfacing near the boat. We got some awesome pictures! Oscar was able to follow the pod for quite a while, providing us with many encounters. I don't know how many whales we saw altogether, let's just say it was exciting and amazing.

Breakfast was provided and was some excellent granola bars. Water was available to anyone who needed/wanted it. Lunch was also provided, and each was individually packaged. Great turkey and cheese paninis, an orange, and soda.

One other note, due to the change in COVID testing requirements, we needed to move our tour to an earlier day. A simple call to the Ocean Friendly office was all it took. They were very understanding and got us in.

While they are one of the more expensive tours, the small group size, success at finding the whales, and the fact that the fees not only support the boat, crew, and naturalist, but also supports the research throughout the year, makes it more than worth it.
Written December 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

45shas
Sheffield, UK43 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
This is one of the best trips we have ever been on .From start to finish Oscar was so informative and show great passion for what he does and clearly for the existence of the humpback. We even listened to the whales communicating below. If you visit Puero Vallarta between December and March this trip needs to be on your itinerary
Written February 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sandrine O
1 contribution
Jan 2023 • Family
Ocean Friendly is by far the best whale watching in Puerto Vallarta and area. Oscar is an oceanographer who has been studying whale behaviour for nearly 30 years. He is knowledgeable, professional, and passionate about it. Going whale watching with him is an educational experience. He teaches/explains all sorts of things about whales while watching them. He is also respectful of the safety of the whales (noise and distance), and the passengers (all are provided w life vests). The lunch provided is from local sustainable food, served in glass Tupperware, all very clean and tasty. I first did a tour w Ocean Friendly in 2018 when i was last here, rand automatically looked for him again;) I highly recommend if you want a positive, educational, and fun experience!!

Today we saw approximately 30 whales and some dolphins and a turtle.
Written January 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carlos Sierra
Snoqualmie, WA26 contributions
Mar 2022
Responsible Humpback Whale watching was an item on my wife's bucket list. We found Oscar Frey's tour "Ocean Friendly", and after a phone conversation with Oscar, we signed for two of his tours the same week. After all, on every tour you get to see different things!
We were delighted with Oscar. He is very knowledgeable and explains very clearly many things about these beautiful animals. We had tons of questions, and we were very pleased with what we learned.
We got to see many whales, dolphins and some turtles.
I would recommend this tour for people passionate with nature, wanting a family-oriented small-group tour, where safety for both passengers and marine life is a priority.
Written March 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wendyz83
Appleton, WI14 contributions
Jan 2023 • Friends
This was our second trip with Ocean Friendly! Oscar has a great knowledge of the whales and their habits as well as other wildlife in the area. The tour was for about 12 people, so it is easy to ask any questions. We were very lucky to come up on a group of whales showing lots of tail and fin, even had a female breach multiple times! Great photos! We will definitely book with them again in future trips.
Written January 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

joanz359
Philadelphia, Pa 383 contributions
Jan 2020
This is the second time I have gone with this tour. It is a small but comfortable boat with shade, a bathroom and they serve you lunch if you are on the longer tour. . There were three crew the captain, an experienced guide The boat was frequently followed by larger whale watching tours. The crew really love the whales. On this trip, we saw a great deal of tail flapping, and one whale was really close to the boat. The last time I went we saw a mother and her new calf and my friend went last year and saw a whale just jump out of the water like an ad. But it is unpredictable. So you have to be prepared for that since you cannot make the whales perform. We also saw sea birds and ancestral dolphins. Oscar, our guide, is a marine biologist and is involved in tracking the whales, they identify then by their tail markings. The crew would follow the whale's blow and try to reach a site at the same time the whales do, There are people who come on this tour every year but as I said you cannot be guaranteed a whale sighting, No one can do this for you but they make every effort for you to get close to the whales and work at following the whales to give you a great experience, When you are not finding a whale they provide a great deal of insight into whale behavior, their migration patterns and other educational information. They have a foundation that sells products on the boat but you do not feel any pressure to buy. I would highly recommend booking a tour and if they cancel due to weather conditions they do try to get you on the next available booking
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gabriel Vaca
Mexico City, Mexico1 contribution
Jan 2021
I travelled to Puerto Vallarta with my family on vacation. I had no plan for a whale watching tour. But, when some tour companies offered me their tours, I started to reserach by Internet available alternatives. I decided that, if hiring a tour, this had to be the best option because my older daughter wants to be a Marine Biologist spcialized on whales (and I also love whales too). Hiring a mediocre, unexperienced company would be catastrophic because it could impact on my daughter plans if the experience wasn't perfect. When I found Ocean Friendly led by Oscar Frey (Oceanologist), I instantly realized it was the right option.

Oscar and his crew had lots of experience and knowledge and are very kind people. Oscar was very generous by sharing all his knowledge that let us better understand the importance of whale conservancy and its positive impact in the environment. The respect Ocen Friendly crew has to the whales,ocean and theenvironment is truly admirable.

The views we had to the whales were just amazing and supplemented by the vast and rich information provided by Oscar, made it an unforgettable exprience. To me and my family, this wasn't a tour. It was a learning experience because you are immersed in the research that Oscar is developing during the journey. And with the cost you pay, you are supporting this research to continue in favor of the whales. And the latter point is very important: you are not paying just for an ordinary tour, you are supporting whale research and conservation and the plus, is the whale watching.

If you think holistically, you will realize that this is the best option you can find in Puerto Vallarta.

And guest what? My daughter came out totally enthusiastic and convinced that this is the professional path she wants to follow. Thank you Oscar for that!
Written January 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Heidi A Patterson
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico6 contributions
Dec 2020
Our family of 5 booked a private Whale watching trip with Oscar on December 9, 2020. It was incredible! We saw at least 4 groupings of whales, and possibly 27 different Humpbacks. Oscar’s knowledge and love of whales and Oceanography made the trip even more enjoyable - he tells some great personal stories about his many years of study of this part of the ocean.

We strongly recommend Ocean Friendly for small boat Whale Watching.
Written December 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amelia H
4 contributions
Jan 2023 • Friends
We did this trip as part of a friends wedding. I have been on several whale watches before in Massachusetts, they were enjoyable but this was clearly in a different class of experience. Cielito Lindo (the boat) is a sit on top catamaran with a sunshade above most of the boat and a sunny section on the bow with sitting nets in the "splash zone". We saw dolphins, ton of humpbacks, many blue footed boobies and frigatebirds diving for fish (they followed the humpbacks). I have never been so close to a whale before. Oscar (the marine biologist) was great at narrating what was happening in front of us and directing our eyes to the whales. He provided a lot of context as to Banderas Bay and humpback behavior, as well as centering the whales in global ecology. The crew were kind as well, feeding us ceviche tostadas and sandwiches. Wear light, long sleeved clothing (it's cool on the water), ideally things that dry quickly if you want to get into the splash zone. Bring water and sunscreen. Very much worth doing if you're in or near Puerto Vallarta in the winter months.
Written January 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Seattle
5 contributions
Dec 2022 • Family
Wow, what a trip! This was, by far, the best nature experience we’ve had while traveling. Not only was it an unforgettable experience, but it’s a really well run business with good communication and care for customers throughout the experience. Oscar is a passionate oceanographer and has assembled a world class crew of people to help out on these tours. We learned a lot about whales, enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on a comfortable catamaran and met interesting people who were also on the tour. Clearly, the other whale watching outfits in town know Oscar is the best in the business because once we found some whales, other boats from across the bay would follow. As we watched these other boats approach, we noticed how their passengers didn’t have the shade and comfortable seating that we enjoyed on the catamaran and we were very happy with the choice we had made. It was an incredible experience and we will definitely do it again on our next trip to PV.
Written January 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Ocean Friendly Whale Watching Tours (Puerto Vallarta) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go