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Centro Turístico Comunitario Salango...

5000 años de Historia y Cultura...

Turismo Ecológico Comunitario

Whale Watching

From the end of June to late September, just 15 minutes from the beach, visitors can admire the wonderful spectacle of humpback whales around the island Salango.

Humpback Whale in Ecuador. Whale watching Ecuador
Image: Humpback Whale

The whales arrive in Salango from the south, having made a journey that takes 3 months and covers 4,320 miles. The humpback whales arrive to our shores to start the breeding season (mating and births).

It is estimated that the population of humpback whales that come to our waters is between 300 and 400 individuals.

The shallow waters are preferred areas for mothers and babies, as they provide greater protection.

The surroundings of the marine environment of the La Plata Island and the Lower Cantagallo are places where activities of reproduction occur.  Around the Salango island, one can see how they feed themselves.

Scientific classification: The humpback whale belongs to the family of Balenoptera (Balaenopteridae) within the subgroup of baleen whales (Mysticeti), which in turn is part of the order of cetaceans (Cetacea).

The whale is ranked with the scientific name Megaptera novaeangliae.


The humpback whale is also known as the xibarte or yubarta whale. It has a robust body tapering rapidly back to the dorsal fin, which can reach a length of 16 m in adult state. The female is larger than the male. They weigh between 30 and 40 tons and the babies are measured at birth from 4.5 to 5 m. Both females and males reach sexual maturity when they are about 11 to 12 m. Their back is arch shaped, in the form of a hump, from which they get their common name.  The flippers are long and wide, and the tail fin is solid. The skin color is black on the back and white or gray on the belly: the whale has white spots and bumps all over the body, especially in the area of the head. The pectoral fins of most whales are white on the bottom, but the color of the upper surface varies from completely black to completely white. The beards (sheets corneas), are relatively short and black with black or olive bristles. When the whale dives, it usually lifts up the caudal fin quite high above the water, showing a slight curve in the form of  a "S" of the posterior margin of each lobe as well as the white or stained white parts of the body. The caudal or tail is the natural identification of this mammal.


The humpback whales feed themselves with invertebrates (crustaceans) and small fish; they pounce on prey concentrations, opening their mouth and inserting tons of water along with them. Also, with great force, the whale pushes and directs water with its tongue towards the beards, horny plates hanging from the upper jaw of the whale, to help filter plankton from the tons of seawater entering their mouth. The plankton is made up of both animal organisms (zooplankton) and plants (phytoplankton), which are very small and constitute the only source of food for baleen whales.

These whales often feed in groups of up to 22 individuals; the technique is to form a cloud of bubbles around the group of dams, cornered with the help of the pectoral fins and caudal fin.


Canto de Ballena Jorobada
Mp3 file: Whale Song

This large mammal emits sound vocalizations that can be detected for hundreds of kilometers. Scientists believe that these songs of the whales are related with marking the territory or mating.


Humpback whales are the most impressive and acrobatic of all the great whales. They like to jump out of the water and hit the surface with their pectoral fins and with the tail (caudal fin). Sometimes whales can be seen in the upright position (as if they would stand in the water looking towards the sky) and remain in this position up to 17 minutes.

This behavior is the bahavior most observed by researchers, and an ecological attraction for tourists and fishermen. This behavior is done especially in areas where they breed and calve their babies.


For more information or contacts, you can write to our email:

contact us at our mobile phone, 085 - 578 - 096


Salango Salango Comuna
Tourist Information Center Community

Phone: (593) 05-2589-304
Mobile: 09 - 8557 - 8096


Location: 6 km. southwest of the Canton Puerto Lopez, Manabi Province, Ecuador, South America.

In the spondylus route.



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