As you leave Nuqui by boat, on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, the gentle beaches give way to a coastline of jungle covered cliffs. It’s as if the jungle literally rises out of the sea, trees with a hundred shades of green, every square centimetre of land dense with foliage, there’s nowhere to set foot even if you wanted to. You half expect a Tyrannosaurus Rex to be peeking out at you through the trees – Jurassic Park could easily have been filmed here; it’s a land where history has stood still for millennia. The black sand beaches are spectacular and deserted, providing the backdrop for only a handful of eco-lodges, each laying claim to its little slice of paradise.
These are the surroundings from where you set out by boat to get up close with the whales which arrive around July to play, mate and raise their young in the warm, sheltered waters. They put on their daily spectacle up until November, when they embark on their 8,000km journey back to the feeding grounds off Antarctica. Majestic, huge yet gentle, these magnificent creatures hardly notice as you drift by metres away, almost close enough to touch. It’s an encounter that will leave you humbled.