During these five months the whales, with a black body and blue pectoral fin, migrate long distances in search of a warm shelter to spend the austral winter. Warm waters favor their reproduction and the health and well-being of their young. Some of the key spots in Panama to watch these cetaceans are at Coiba, Taboga and the Pearl Islands, though they can also be seen in the Gulf of Chiriquí, San Miguel, Iguana Island and the Bay of Panama. Besides whales, bottlenose and spotted dolphins can also be observed, though the humpback whales are the stars of the show.
Panama has pledged to protect these mammals and has maintained its commitment during the latest meetings of the International Whaling Commission by backing the moratorium on whale hunting. The Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP) has also regulated the activity of whale watching by passing Resolution 29 in January 2007.