With the whales in Chiloé arriving in December through to the end of March, there are two main species of whale that frequent the area. The humpback whale and the massive blue whale, these delicate behemoths of the ocean deserve a lot of respect.
We must at all costs avoid harassing them. If you wish to see these giants of the ocean be sure to hire a professional whale charter. There are numerous charters on the beach of the penguin colony of Ancud, try to pick one that is at least certified by the government. There are trips through out the day 08:00 - 16:00, but the earlier in the day the better to see the whales.
This birthing ground was even in the famous BBC series planet earth.
Cross the sea by ferry to the island and get to see the whales up close, one of the best day trips from our Bed and Breakfast in Puerto Varas.
The sea can be a little rough in this part of the world, but having a whale pass under your boat is quite an experience and something I will not forget in a very long time. So make sure you pack a warm water proof jacket and take a thermos of coffee or local favorite mate.
Chiloé is claimed to be one of the most important birthing ground for Blue Whales. With the Humboldt Current that flow through the area bring with it the krill that these giants consume. Discovered in 2003 by scientists, the sheltered network of fjords surrounded by dormant volcanoes, is one of the most important blue whale feeding and nursing grounds in the southern hemisphere. During that year they found 11 mother and calf pairings, in the Chiloé area.
Reaching weights of up to 200 tones and 30 meters in length, larger than any dinosaur.
Take the whale tour and show that the tourism industry is more valueable than the salmon industry. Being one of largest nursery grounds of the blue whale they are under constant threat by the expansion of the chilean salmon farming industry. The earliest article I can find warning about this in early 2008, there has been very little done.
First with scientists having discovered in 2015 that in Chile’s Patagonia: 337 dead whales. That is the biggest single whale stranding event known to science, linked back to the dirty habits of the salmon farms.
To the crisis of 2017 killing many species of the marine life. There were die-offs of many species of fish, jellyfish, birds, mollusks and even mammals. So much devastation to the marine life has caused panic among the public. Worried that their livelyhoods were at risk, fishermen have took to the streets, blocking roads and sowing unrest. Again another major event linked back to the salmon farms.
Lets try and make a difference and show that tourism is more important and sustainable than the salmon industry, maybe even one day it can be declared a sanctuary.