“We’ve been lucky enough to visit 8 of the 9 islands of the Azores (all bar Santa Maria), and Faial is the island that keeps drawing us back time after time. We met Pedro, Filipe and their team at Azores Experiences (previously Horta Cetaceos/Casa D’Avilas) on our first visit to Faial in 2015, and were impressed with the quality of both the whale and dolphin watching tours and the Faial jeep tours. We’ve now been to Faial five times in three years, we have introduced our UK friends to the islands, and plan on returning again. With the expertise of Pedro, the land-based spotters and marine biologists, we have been fortunate to see many different species of whales (sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, beaked whales, pilot whales) and dolphins (Risso’s, Common, Spotted, Bottlenose), together with loggerhead turtles, and the local Cory’s Shearwater and Common Terns – and most recently a manta ray! All of these are in their natural habitat, far better than seeing them in captivity. Pedro and his team have an enthusiasm for their work that is truly contagious, so while we initially came to the Azores for the geology, a side effect was that we fell in love with the wildlife and the people.”
In June 2011 we met Pedro and instantly felt this was the right guy to go with on a whale watching trip. We were not disappointed. Every opportunity we had during our stay on Faial, we went out and had the most thrilling sightings and experiences. While talking with Pedro, Sandra and I realised we shared the same opinions about taking care of the environment and preservation. On the last trip of our holidays, after having seen about 18 sperm whales, we were surrounded by over a hundred common dolphins. This encounter turned out to be a very important and emotional moment for me. Since then, Pedro makes shure I get my special moment with the common dolphins. It means a lot to me. At the end of our holidays, Pedro asked me to become a volunteer in his team, next time we would visit Faial. Since then, we came back every year (except 2015) for 3 weeks. Off course to enjoy the beauty of the whales and dolphins, but also to spend time with our friends Pedro and Carla, the fantastic crew and to enjoy beautiful Faial, a place I can proudly call ‘home’. The trips I made with Pedro, and our mutually respectful discussions on different topics, made me even more aware of the necessity to take care of our planet and all its inhabitants. We can all make our own small contribution.