After You've Made Your Reservation
This page contains very important information pertaining to all tours. Please read the entire page so that you are fully aware of the information that you will need as it relates to pier location and entry, arrival times, gift shop information and more. Please print a copy of this page and the larger, clickable map below and bring it with you so that you have all the information handy - especially the map of the location of the pier for your taxi driver. Please arrive no later than 8:30am. Contact us is you are running a little late (See Contact Us & Support page) as there are no refunds for no-shows and no exceptions to the Terms & Conditions governing the day's activities.
After you have made your reservation PayPal will provide you with a receipt that will serve as your boarding ticket. If you are unable to print the receipt you can bring a copy of it on any mobile device. Nevertheless, once you will receive a confirmation email your name will be noted on our guest list as confirmed and paid.
Humpback Whale Information
You will receive a complete pre-departure briefing of the day's proposed itinerary and information regarding the migration of the magnificent Humpback whales. The following information about the whales might be helpful as you prepare for your incredible journey to visit the Humpback whales of Banderas Bay!
Our Meeting & Departure Point
All tours depart from the pier called Muelle Los Peines. The covered visitor's area is located pier side between the Naval Hospital and the Puerto Iguana Condominiums. Look for the orange dots on the maps. All taxi cab drivers are familiar with the pier. Rates from downtown Vallarta vary. But, expect the fare to be between $80.00 - $120.00 Mexican Pesos. These fares are to be used only as a guideline and taxi fairs are subject to change with or without notice. Ocean Friendly Tours have no control of the fares charged by taxis. Click on the map for a larger and printable version.
Our departure point is:
Muelle Los Peines
Calle Los Peines, 332
(x Francisco Medina Ascencio)
Colonia Puerto Iguanas
Please arrive at the pier no later than 8:30 am. We depart the pier promptly at 9:00 am and there are no refunds for no-shows. If you are running a little late you can always call us that morning at 044-322-294-0385 from within Vallarta. It is the quests responsibility to familiarize themselves with our Terms & Conditions page prior to reservation payment.
Most taxi drivers have a cell phone and will probably let you use it for small extra tip. For the respect of other guests, if we do not hear from you in advance, we do depart the pier promptly at 9:00am and there are no refunds for no-show guests.
Allow at minimum 30 minutes for transportation time to the pier from downtown Vallarta. Allow more time if you are coming from other locations either north or south of the departure point depending on your location.
Meal service is offered on board on morning departures and consist of homemade pannini sandwiches, condiments, fruit, snacks, purified water and soft drinks. Afternoon departures include: fruit, snacks, purified water and soft drinks.
Please advise us if you require a vegetarian or gluten-free lunch when making your booking. For the safety and convenience of all guests on board, flammable liquids of any type and alcoholic beverages are NOT allowed on board at any time. All Ocean Friendly tours are NON-SMOKING.
Important Information for Port Entry
You will be asked at the entrance gate for the name of your tour company and the boat you'll be traveling on. The tour company name is Ocean Friendly Tours and the name of our boats are Twin Dolphins I or Twin Dolphins II depending on vessel assignment. Just mention both names.
Federal Parking Tax for Private Vehicles
Parking conditions at Los Peines pier have been improved. Guests arriving into the Federal Zone of Los Peines Pier are now required to pay a per vehicle federal tax in exchange for parking in a securely, guarded lot.
When arriving at the main entrance, make the immediate first left and pay this usage tax to the attendant in the white kiosk. This tax is applicable only if you are parking a private vehicle within the Federal Zone.
After payment of your fee, walk out of the fenced area, turn to the left when you exit and follow the sidewalk to the main pier entrance. You will see another white kiosk and two large gates. Enter at the kiosk and announce yourself as an Ocean Friendly Tour guest and that you will be traveling onboard Twin Dolphins/Delfines Gemelos. Proceed forward to the covered waiting area in front of you. You will be met there soon by an Ocean Friendly representative or guide. The window to the right is where you'll pay your per person federal pier tax to the agent. Again, Ocean Friendly Tours does not profit from any of the federal fees.
There are no exemptions to the fees and taxes and everyone, except children under the age of 12 are required to pay.
Federal Port Entry Tax
After you've passed the initial entry gate to the pier you'll arrive at the taxi drop off and parking area in front of the chain link gate. After passing through this gate you will be required to pay a $25 peso Federal Port Usage Tax (subject to change without notice) either at the entry gate or at the window located under the roof top canopy directly in front of the entrance to the pier. This is a Federal Port Usage Tax collected by the government and is not included in your tour cost or in any way associated with Ocean Friendly Tours. This is a Mexican mandated federal tax program. No one is exempt from the Federal port entry and usage tax. Please inquire directly to the tax agent about free entry that might be available for children under a certain age.
After paying the tax, proceed to the open air, covered departure lounge and wait to be approached by a representative of Ocean Friendly Tours. This is also the area where our pre-departure briefing will take place so please don't stray too far.
If you arrive the pier early, there are restrooms and facilities for purchasing coffee, drinks, snacks, etc. within the immediate vicinity of the departure lounge. The Shark Cafe is located to the left of the open-air briefing hall and the restrooms are to the right on the “water side” of the building where you paid your port entry tax.
Also, take the beautiful opportunity to find the colony of endangered green iguanas that live in the trees behind the covered canopy and the many bird species that are usually very active in the morning hours. This will be your first of many great photographic opportunities of the day!
Terms & Conditions
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the complete Terms & Conditions governing your tour. It is especially important that you are aware of conditions regarding our cancellation and refund policies. We urge you to please review our Terms & Conditions page before booking your tour.
Pre-departure briefings will include Humpback whale information and the day's proposed itinerary. The briefing will begin about 20 minutes before departure. Remember that we will be observing nature in real time. While we can't promise you what we will encounter, we will provide the best possible sightings of what nature has to offer us on any particular day.
When available, we offer afternoon tours. Please inquire for details and double check with our reservations manager for departure times if you are booked for an afternoon tour. Contact us for more information. Snacks, soda and water are provided on our afternoon tours. Check the tour description and Tours & Workshops page for all inclusions
What to Bring
As the mornings are cooler and it generally warms up throughout the tour, we recommend that you dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes or sandals.
We suggest that you bring along a towel, sunglasses, sun block, hat, jacket, wind breaker or sweater and your camera or video recorder to capture the incredibly special moments of your expedition on the water.
You may want to consider bringing a field notebook and pencil for recording your observations and encounters for future reference.
Gratuities for Guides & Crew Members
At this point, you are are all set to depart on the expedition of a lifetime with one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Wildlife Tours Worldwide and with working scientists and a very capable and well trained, on board staff. Our staff is there not only to guide your tour but to see to your needs and ensure that your trip is just as great as all the hundreds of 5-star reviews that our tours and our staff receive annually.
As in any service related industry, a standard gratuity of 10% - 15% for your entire purchase will be very much appreciated by your guides, Captain and crew. Thank you in advance and we look forward to exceeding your expectations throughout the tour! Gratuities are at your own discretion.
Photography Workshop Tour Participants
The photography tour workshop has been developed for all levels, from beginner to professional photographers. Our goal is not to teach you how to use your individual equipment. However, we will work with you to help you to sharpen your internal lens to better anticipate the movement of open water species (especially Humpback whales, during the whale watching season). These skills will assist you in capturing the best possible photographs from each incredible encounter.
General camera setting support will be provided within the range of the knowledge of your professional guides. It is recommended that you study your camera's user guide, other available Internet based resources and iPhone or iPad applications prior to tour participation.
Once again, you may want to consider bringing a field notebook and pencil for recording your observations and encounters for future reference.
Avid bird watchers will want to bring their own binoculars. We do provide a limited number of Bushnell “H2O” 8x25 binoculars to share on certain tours at no additional cost to our guests.
Gift Shop On Board
You will have the opportunity to purchase Ocean Friendly Tours’ branded merchandise such as hats and limited edition tee-shirts on board the boat. The proceeds of these sales benefit the Kite Aerial Photography Project and our other current research projects. Please bring cash as we do not accept credit cards on the water. Mexican, USA & Canadian currencies accepted on board.
Don't let seasickness ruin your tour. If you're concerned about seasickness, please consult your physician or pharmacist about preventatives that might be good for you. We have a limited number of Sea-Band Wristbands available on board for guest usage at no additional charge.
To help ensure a better experience we urge you to get a good night's sleep and to moderate your alcohol consumption the night before your tour.
If you have any questions about your booking please e-mail us. Our e-mail address is: email@example.com. Thank you for you for choosing Ocean Friendly Tours. We look forward to welcoming you on board!
Confirmation & Ticketing: All payments are due within 24 hours of receiving your reservation confirmation or your reservations are subject to cancellation. Your PayPal receipt will act as your reservation confirmation and boarding ticket. Please print a copy of the receipt or bring an electronic copy of it on your mobile device the day of departure. All confirmed guest names will appear on our guest list for each individual.
For Cash Payments: You should e-mail us to confirm availability and make your reservation. Please contact us for information regarding cash payments. Bank transfers are available within México, please ask for bank information or reservation center information when requesting your reservation.
General Daily Operating Schedule: Our tours are scheduled to depart at 9:00am and we meet at the pier at 8:30am for a complete tour briefing before departure. Depending on the tour you choose, the trips last from 4.5 to 5.5 hours and we normally arrive back to our departure point in the early afternoon, depending on the tour that you have booked.
Tour times are dependent on the tour that you choose, sightings and weather conditions and guest safety. All tour times are subject to change with or without advance warning. We are operating in real time and have no control over nature.
You will be advised of any changes at the time of booking and before tour departure of schedule changes should they be known in advance. Please ensure that you provide your local Puerto Vallarta contact information when making your payment.
Cruise Ship Passenger Information: We offer special departure times for cruise ship passengers and private charters. E-mail us directly for special arrangements for your group. Keep in mind that “ship's time” may be different than local Puerto Vallarta time. Check with your cruise ship company and ship's Purser for exact local time here in Puerto Vallarta
Day of Departure Information: After you've confirmed your journey, please be sure to print out the information that you will need regarding your whale watching expedition. Our After Booking Information page will give you all that you need to know about how to prepare for your journey. We highly recommend that you pay particular attention to the map that shows our departure location and to review and understand our Terms & Conditions policies as they relate to your purchase.
The profits of your ticket and gift shop sales benefit our non-profit research foundation - Deep Blue Conservancy, the Kite Aerial Photography Project and other current research projects.