Recently spent a week in Manzanillo, nice area, liked the fact it was easy to get around on the bus. Decided to try one of the local trips, booked through a local travel agent.
They promoted Pacifico Watersports as having a whale watching cruise, that left from Audencia beach, and lasted about 3 hours. Of course they do mention that they don't guarantee that you'll see whales, but also tell you it is prime whale watching season.
However, our first clue that this was not what we expected was when other people started arriving with snorkeling equipment. Tour was to start at 2pm, it took them about 15 min to get the boat loaded, and then we headed out. Started out promising as we headed directly out to sea at a pretty good clip. Looked like we were heading towards a fishing boat, so thought they might have been given a heads up where the whales were. Unfortunately that was not the case, this trip takes you out to the far point of Santiago Bay to sit and watch the blow holes for a few minutes, then brings you back into the bay closer to land. You come into a cove near Palma Real and stop for 1/2 hr - 45 min, so people can snorkel if they want. They have very little snorkel equipment on board (6 masks), so your best to have your own. Crew pull a couple of strange fish out of the water for everyone to see (we saw a puffer fish and and spider fish). Then you cruise back in along the shore line. We were back at Tresoro just after 4pm. So only a 2 hr trip, no where near the 3 hrs listed in the brochure.
As a snorkeling party boat, this is actually a good time, they do keep pouring the beer. However it was sold to us as a whale watching trip, and the only way you'll see a whale on this cruise is if they just happen to swim by the boat. If you really want to see the whales here, I think you are betting off using one of the private charters not Pacifico Watersports.
I have been whale watching out in the Maritimes, so I know that no one will ever guarantee you whales, but at least the boats out east alter their course to where the whales have been reported.
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