Rocha has the privilege of being part of the southern right whale route. Here comes the miracle of life, where the whales take advantage of the calm waters to mate, give birth and give the first care to the young. They are friendly and very sociable, you can see them from the shore of the beach or in the different viewpoints that exist along our coast.

Ballena franca austral en La Paloma, Rocha
Photo: Rodrigo García / OCC Uruguay

When is the whale season in Rocha?

The whale season in Rocha covers the period from July to October, during winter and spring. Coming from the south, these cetaceans arrive annually to the coasts of Uruguay in their migration for reproduction and offer us a unique spectacle.

How to identify the southern right whale?

Secuencia del salto de una ballena - Foto: Leandro Borba
Photo: Leandro Borba (Fauna Marina Uruguay)

It is very important to have patience and prepare for a great adventure, which involves the search of these cetaceans on the beaches of Rocha and a lot of attention. The southern right whale has two exclusive characteristics: the first is the mode of exhalation of air in the form of "V" that can reach 4 meters high. And the second is the presence of calluses, areas of thickened skin, located in different parts of the head. These two particularities will make your search for whales easier. It is also advisable to use binoculars.

Where to see whales in Rocha?

Whale watching is possible in the 180 kilometers of oceanic beach that Rocha owns, however, in different resorts several elevated viewpoints are located strategically to enjoy the sight of these giants when they emerge to the surface, to some meters from the shore.

Avistamiento de ballenas - Foto: Leandro Borba
Photo: Leandro Borba (Fauna Marina Uruguay)

Viewpoint in La Paloma

Mirador de ballenas Cerro de La Virgen en La Paloma

The Cerro de La Virgen viewpoint, in La Paloma, is the highest point between La Aguada and Costa Azul. Besides being a natural viewpoint, there is a wooden platform with seats for comfort.

Viewpoint in La Coronilla

Mirador de ballenas, Cerro Verde, La Coronilla, Rocha

On Cerro Verde, protected coastal-marine area, with 15 meters of elevation you can contemplate a wonderful panorama. There you will find two wooden viewpoints with benches. In this area, besides watching whales, it is very common to see green turtles, bottle nose dolphins, and sea lions.

Viewpoint in Barra de Chuy

Mirador de ballenas en Barra de Chuy, Rocha, Uruguay

The viewpoint "La Mano" of Barra de Chuy, next to the sculpture that bears the same name, represents an ideal spot for whale watching in this open sea resort.

Other strategic sites for watching

Sitios estratégicos para avistamiento de ballenas en Rocha, Uruguay

Along the entire Atlantic coast Rocha find other strategic sites for the sighting of these cetaceans, identified with the signpost as that of the photography.

Southern right whale: protected species

There are several species of whales in the world, and the southern right whale, Eubalaena australis, has been on the verge of disappearing. It is known that its population used to be at least 300,000 specimens, and currently the estimation is of 3,000. Thanks to the work for its conservation, today the population of the right whale is growing at a rate of 7% per year, doubling in quantity every 10 years.

Since 2013, Uruguay has joined this fight and was declared a whale and dolphin sanctuary, where hunting, persecution, fishing, appropriation or submission to processes of transformation of any cetacean species is prohibited.

Avistamiento de delfines en Rocha- Foto: Leandro Borba
Photo: Leandro Borba (Fauna Marina Uruguay)

Fun facts

The southern right whale measures 16 meters long and weighs between 45 and 60 tons. In order to differentiate the males from the females, there is a clear sexual dimorphism: the females are larger than the males. In males, calluses are more numerous and larger than in females. The longevity of the right whale is still unknown, but it is presumed that it can be between 50 to 70 years.



Avistamiento de ballenas en Rocha - Foto: Leandro Borba
Avistamiento de ballenas en Rocha - Foto: Leandro Borba