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Category Archives: Underwater

8 Amazing Things To Do in Puerto Vallarta And The Riviera Nayarit

Our product manager has just returned from the city of Puerto Vallarta located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Below he reports on the best things to do in the region.

Visit the Ocean grill

Ocean Grill

Head just south of Puerto Vallarta and you’ll find the Ocean Grill Restaurant. Not only is the seafood excellent, but this wooden structure is built on a cliff side overlooking a wonderful little bay. To reach the Ocean Grill drive thirty minutes south to the village of Boca de Tomatlan where they will take you by boat around the bay to the restaurant. Alternatively if you have the energy you can hike from Boca de Tomatlan through thick jungle for around an hour.

Go surfing in Sayulita

SurfFlickr: Villa Amor

The small town of Sayulita on the Riveria Nayarit offers great all year round surf. There are plenty of places to hire boards and if you are new to the sport there are some excellent schools. The surf breaks in two different places making it an excellent place to learn.

Eat oysters on Los Muertos Beach

OystersFlickr: Sharon Hahn Darlin

In Puerto Vallarta oysters are eaten in abundance. However, the best place to get them is down on Los Muertos Beach where three to four vendors compete for trade under the shade of the concrete pier. A dozen fresh oysters will set you back around 150 pesos (£6).

Swim with wild dolphins

Puerto VallartaFlickr: Ben Miller

Take a boat out to swim and snorkel with pods of wild dolphins. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Deep sea fishing in Banderas Bay

FishingFlickr: Harvey Barrison

The fishing around Banderas Bay is world-class. There’s a wide selection of fully-crewed fishing boats to choose, Likely catches including Pacific sailfish, marlin, dorado, tuna and red snapper. Afterwards you can take your catch back for a beach barbeque or to a local restaurant.

Whale watching

Whale watchingFlickr: Bruce Irschick

It’s well worth timing your holiday during the winter and spring months when you’ll have the opportunity to go whale watching. The warm ocean make it the perfect breeding ground for magnificent humpback whales and orcas.

Snorkel off the Marieta Islands

ScubaFlickr: ChrisDag

Famed for its hidden beach, this group of uninhabited Islands were used for military tests during the early 20th century. After an international outcry in the 1960s the islands were designated as a national park. Your likely to encounter thousands of tropical fish, octopus, manta rays, turtles and even whales when snorkelling or scuba diving.

Eating churros in Puerto Vallarta

There’s only one place you should be eating churros in Puerto Vallarta. Drop by the corner of Lazaro Cardenas and Aguacate after five in the afternoon and you won’t regret it. Churros is just 1 peso (4 pence) each.

Eleven Amazing Experiences You Can Have In Latin America [VID]

1. Snorkel with whale sharks on Mexico’s Holbox Island

2. Track wild jaguars in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands

3. Hike in the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

4. Watch huge blocks of ice carve off the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina

5. Hand glide over Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

6. View orcas in the Valdes Peninsula in Argentina

7. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru

8. Drive across the Uyuni Salts Flats in Bolivia

9. Get up close to the Iguazu Falls

10. Get up early to see the Tatio Geysers in Chile

11. Watch the mating dance of the blue-footed booby on the Galapagos Islands

To book any of these adventures get in touch with us here.

Whale watching in the Yellow Submarine

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Ever fancied whale watching from below the surface of the water but anxious about being in the water? We might have the perfect thing for you. The Yellow Submarine is a semi-submersible vessel with leading technology for underwater whale observation located in Chubut on the Valdes Peninsula. Although they offer a more conventional whale watching tour by viewing these gentle giants from the upper deck, the exciting part of this is the 40 submerged viewing windows which give you up close front row seats to some of the most exciting wildlife watching on the planet.  English speaking guides will give you real insight into the Southern right whales as well the other wildlife you may typically see – sea lions and Patagonian sea birds.

The whales come so close to shore it only takes a few minutes to locate them at which point the hour and a half magic begins. You are free to roam the upper and lower decks to enjoy different perspectives of these creatures. During the cruise, the whale watching guide will comment on the behaviour and interpret the activity that the whales may be performing. The whale watching season runs between early September and mid-December.

To find out more information on the cruise on to book the submarine tour as part of your trip to Argentina please get in touch with us here.

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10 irresistible photos of Brazil

1. Sunset over the Bahian coast

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2. Hiking in Chapada Diamantes

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3. Scuba diving off Fernando de Noronha

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4. Dolphin watching off the south coast

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5. Bird-watching in the Pantanal

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6. Cruising down the Amazon River

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7. Staying at a beautiful pousada

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8. Helicopter over the Iguaçu Falls

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9. Walking down through the Pelourinho in Salvador

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10. Taking a schooner cruise along the Costa Verde

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What animals will I see in the Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands are probably the best place to get up close to wildlife in the world. It’s isolation from human contact from the mainland have created a range of habitats where fearless endemic wildlife has flourished. Here’s a rundown of some of the best animals you will see in the Galapagos.

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Blue-footed boobies
The blue-footed booby is not just the most famous bird on the archipelago, it’s also one of the most amusing. Watching them dive bomb in synchrony over a school of fish is an extraordinary experience and if you are lucky you will also witness the famous dance where they point they bill, tail and wings towards the sky to impress a mate. On some islands you may also see their cousins – the red-footed booby and the Nazca booby.

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Frigatebirds
There are five different species of frigatebird worldwide. These birds have a fearsome reputation as pirates of the skies.  Their ability to manoeuvre through the sky with ease and steal food from others has earned them the name man o’ war birds. Two species exist on the islands, the magnificent and great frigatebirds. The males are recognisable by the inflated, bright red pouch under the bill. Again, they are hard to miss in the Galapagos.

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Waved Albatross
The waved albatross is endemic to the Galapagos and can only be seen on Española Island between the months of April and December. If you are visiting at that time it is well worth checking to make sure your cruise visits Española. When courting, potential pairs put on a wonderful show of bill clapping , bill circling and sky pointing which can be watched from a close distance. A highlight of any trip to the islands.

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Sea lions
There are over thirty three species of sea lion around the world, and the Galapagos has two endemic species with around sixteen thousand individuals inhabited the islands. Male sea lions create territories pushing unsuccessful bulls out of the area into bachelor colonies. Both the Galapagos sea lion and Galapagos fur seal can be seen on many islands and it’s highly likely you will see both on any cruise. They can be playful in the water when snorkelling and swimming.

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Sally lightfoot crabs
Sally lightfoot crabs can be found on almost every island in abundance. They are easily recognisable by their brightly coloured orange and red body and legs. They have an amazing ability to jump from rock to rock and eat almost anything including their own kind.

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Hammerhead sharks
There are many types of sharks in the Galapagos but the hammerheads are probably the most interesting. They are mainly found in schools around the northern islands of Pinta and Marchena and are recognisable by their hammer like nose. If you want to see these extraordinary creatures then a specialist scuba diving cruise is probably best.  Other sharks include the black-tip shark, Galapagos shark, whale shark and white-tip reef shark.

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Giant tortoises
The symbol of the islands and the creature which gives the Galapagos it’s name (meaning saddle-like shape in old Spanish). These creatures are undoubtedly the kings of the island. They can be found primarily in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island but can also be seen at the Charles Darwin Research Centre and in fewer numbers on a handful of other islands. The most notable of their kind was of course Lonesome George who was found alone on Pinta Island in the early ‘70s. He was thought to be over one hundred years old at the time of his death in 2012.

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Land iguanas
There are two endemic species of land iguana the islands, one of which only lives on Santa Fe Island, the other on over six. When Darwin arrived on Santiago Island there were so many iguanas we complained about having nowhere to pitch his tent. They can reach over a metre in length and can live for more than 60 years. Depending on which species they are either yellow or orange in colour.

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Marine iguanas
The marine iguana can be found on many of the islands. Like the land iguana their species is also endemic to the islands. It can grow to over one and a half metres in length and weigh up to thirteen kilos. They can also dive down ten metres where they cling to the rocks and feed. At night they tend to cluster in areas packing themselves together tightly sometimes a few deep.

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Galapagos penguin
The Galapagos penguin is unique in that it’s the only penguin species to nest in the tropics. Compared to other species of penguin they are small measuring in at about thirty centimetres in height. They can mainly be found around Isabela and Fernandina island where the waters are cooler. Although they cannot fly they are extremely good swimmers reaching speeds of up to thirty five kilometres an hour underwater.

To start planning your cruise around the Galapagos get in touch.

New Species of Dolphin

A new kind of river dolphin has been discovered in the Araguaia River in north eastern Brazil. This is the first new dolphin since 1918,that means extremely rare. The aquatic mammal species is to be named after the river where it was found, which means ‘River of red Macaws’ in Tupi-Guarani. There are probably only a thousand individuals in the river basin, putting them on the list of vulnerable species. South America is also home to the Amazon pink river dolphin, or boto, noted for being highly intelligent. The Araguaia river species is smaller, with fewer teeth but most of the evidence to their separate nature was found by studying their DNA. River dolphins are related to their marine cousins and are known for their long snouts for fishing in the river mud. Sadly many local fishermen see them as an unnecessary competition and they are at risk from nets and building of dams.

Visit the Amazon with us on your own adventure.

Snorkelling with sharks in the Galapagos

On my recent visit to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Letty, I was excited to have the opportunity to snorkel with sharks. The white-tipped reef shark is the most common and can often be seen cruising around rocky reefs, coral head and inside caves. This one came out into the open which allowed me to follow it for a good five minutes. They are docile sharks that feed at night and are not generally thought to be dangerous to humans. They can grow to over two metres although the one in the video is around 1.5 metres. Several other sharks are common in the Galapagos such as the black-tipped reef shark, the scarier-looking Galapagos shark and the schools of hammerheads which can be seen on diving trips to the northern islands of Darwin and Wolf. Whale sharks are also common at certain times of year and despite their size (up to 18m) they feed only on plankton.

 

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