went on a whale-watching "whale safari photo" something-or-other. i never write reviews but wanted to for this one. it costs about $85 US through your hotel. get there at 8, wait in line to pay port tax ($2 or 15 pesos), then go to the right to the Vallarta booth. they will give you your tickets. use the bathroom before you board at 8:30, b/c there ain't no bano on the boat, which is a small rubber-type boat for about 30 people. my guide and captain, kimi and ramon, were wonderful. great tour, saw at least 30 whales and 5-6 dolphins (even a seal!). if i coud do it again, i might have tried to live in the moment and bough the photo CD from them at the end instead of trying to catch everythign on my digital camera. take sun protection but maybe also a jacket b/c of the wind. the guide was fantastic, obviously cares a great deal about whales and educating the public, and was very funny. they tried very hard to teach us and get us as close to whales without bothering them.
please don't be an obnoxious gringo and not leave these guys a tip, like most of the americanos and canadians and mexicans on my boat. i felt horrible that most people gave nothing--i was embarassed that gringos would act this way. these guys work really hard and summer (low season) is tough for them.
oh, worth taking a snack and having a big breakfast before hand. they did have water and snacks, but i would have been hungry if i hadn't gotten up early to eat.
if you go with this group you won't regret it. i think people were happy with cielito lindo too, though it looked like maybe more people on their boat?
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