Join us on a whale survey!
Hop aboard ! In 2023-2024, we’ll be offering ongoing opportunities to come study and protect whales with our guide community and team. Find out more about learning to be a whale whisperer with us here.
We will not be hosting weeklong whale expeditions in 2023-2024. Please write to us if you would like to be added to a waiting list for future expedition opportunities. (See description of former expeditions below.)
Weeklong Whale Survey and Community Deep Dive
Over this week, you will spend up to 3 days on the water looking for whales and dolphins with the WoG research team of US and Mexican biologists. You will help to identify individual humpback whales through photo ID of their flukes, which will be entered into a global database used by researchers. In addition to learning humpback whale fluke identification and hydro-acoustic recording techniques, you will assist with recording other key ecosystem data. During our marine survey work, we observe up to 16 other species of whales and dolphins (rough toothed dolphins are a common favorite), olive ridley sea turtles, mobulas, golden cow and spotted eagle rays, red-billed tropic birds, blue and brown footed boobies, frigate birds, and countless others.
Outside of the whale research, the group will participate in many other activities. There are several sea turtle nesting beaches a short distance from Barra de Potosí and we will spend a couple of evenings visiting these beaches to look for nesting olive ridley sea turtles and other species. If we’re lucky, we’ll also be able to go on a patrol and release hatchlings! We can also look for bats and crocodiles at night, visit a local animal shelter, tour a lagoon looking for birds, take cooking lessons and guided walking tours from local women, partake in a mini art show, and learn how salt is harvested and made, among other options. There will be 4 nightly talks given by the team members during this expedition, as well.
Includes: Most in-country transportation, accommodations, meals, activities, guides, airport pickup, and donations to whale and turtle conservation.
Excludes: Airfare to Mexico, personal items, and tips.
- Learn alongside marine biologists as they conduct critical conservation research on the whales and dolphins in the region.
- Visit the mangrove-filled lagoon directly behind the village of Barra de Potosí, a nursery for hundreds of species of fish and birds including roseate spoonbills, boobies, white pelicans, herons, and egrets.
- Explore the nearby twin cities of Zihuatanejo / Ixtapa and visit the Sierra highlands and a local sustainably-run coffee plantation.
- Connect with and support local artists, budding naturalists, responsible ecotour guides and a community that prioritizes putting nature first so that everyone can win through cooking classes, art fairs, nature walks, turtle hatchling patrols, visits to animal sanctuaries and more.
Oceanic Society and SEE Turtles invite you to beautiful Barra de Potosí on Mexico’s Pacific coast to immerse yourself in this region’s rich marine and terrestrial biodiversity and to participate in the Whales of Guerrero.
As a participant on this expedition you will have the chance to help scientists better understand the important humpback whale population that inhabits the area during the winter months. For 3-4 days, visitors will work alongside American and Mexican scientists and local fishermen to spot, identify, and make scientific observations of humpback whales and any of 13 species of dolphins found in the area. We also frequently observe olive ridley and three other species of sea turtles, mobulas, golden cow nosed and spotted eagle rays, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, egrets, cranes, herons, Brown and Blue-footed Boobies, and Red-billed Tropicbirds in their nesting sites. In addition to learning humpback whale fluke identification, hydro-acoustic recording techniques, you will also assist with recording other key ecosystem data. Our citizen scientists come away with a wealth of knowledge about humpback whale behavior and biology and the unique experience of being a part of a truly pioneering project.
We will also take time to explore the diverse surrounding ecosystems that include mangrove forests, salt flats, sea turtle nesting beaches, and sierra highlands, and we’ll explore quaint local towns, sustainable farms, and more.