We booked a whale watching tour with MontaniTours for $35 each (rather than going to Puerto Lopez to book the tour which is $25 but a $2.50 bus journey each way). We decided not to go to Isla Plata as well (an extra $15) which I think was a good decision as the weather was awful the day we went.
The whale watching was excellent - but despite being told the guide would be able to speak English, he didn't. There was a Dutch family with us too who had expected information in English too... We got to see the whales really close up and got some fantastic photos. Altogether we were on the water for about 2.5 hours and stopped at an island to snorkel. Our boat (there were about 5 others) was the only one to drop us off on Isla Salango which was really nice.
We got a bottle of drink and a sandwich at the end which was nice and the crew on the boat were really kind - especially when we got sea-sick (it's very choppy).
One other downside to be aware of was that because we didn't book the full day trip including the visit to Isla Plata we had to wait in Puerto Lopez for an hour and a bit - there's not much there, but there are some shops and places to get something to eat, so it was ok.
The transport to and from Puerto Lopez was really good - a minibus with a really good driver who drove very safely and was very friendly. We were glad to get him on the way back too, because on other occasions when we have just booked a half day tour when there is a full day tour available we have been shoved in a shared taxi to get back.
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