You don’t need to rent a boat or buy an expensive trip to see whales in Uruguay. Between July and November you can see up close from the beach itself. The right whales travel from the south and visit the coast of Uruguay providing the calm waters to mate, give birth and give the first care to the young. They are friendly and very sociable.
Whales can be seen from the beaches of the Maldonado and Rocha coasts, in deep waters. It is an unparalleled privilege to be able to sit on the beach and watch whales playing just a few meters away.
The southern right whale has two unique characteristics: the first is the “V” shaped air exhalation mode that can reach 4 meters in height. And the second is the presence of calluses, areas of thickened skin, located in different parts of the head
In Punta del Este, most of the sightings take place around Playa Mansa, between stops 23 and 40 as well as in Punta Salinas.
There are groups on social networks such as the “Whale Watching Network” in which the sightings are updated in real time so that whoever wants can come to enjoy the show. You just have to have a couple of binoculars ready for adventure.
In Uruguay, a law for responsible sighting is governed by a distance of at least 300 meters (about a thousand feet) between a person and a whale. That means companies that exploit tourism and generate potential damage are not allowed with small whale-tracking vessels.
Since 2013, Uruguay has declared a whale and dolphin sanctuary, where hunting, persecution, fishing, appropriation or submission of any cetacean species is prohibited.