Nature has enough to satisfy man’s need, but not enough to satisfy man’s greed.
Despite a worldwide ban on whaling since the late 1980s, a few countries in the world, till date, hunt whales, either for sport or for ‘scientific research’ purposes. To curb this atrocity and to create awareness about the gentle giants of the oceans, the Pacific Whale Foundation started celebrating the 3rd Saturday of February every year, as World Whale Day.
As a part of their initiative, the Pacific Whale Foundation hosts the annual Maui Whale Festival in Hawaii, USA. This festival takes place during Maui’s peak humpback whale season. And if you cannot make it in time for this festival, worry not. Holidayme has got you covered! Here’s a list of the best places in the world to go whale watching.
In case you don’t make it to the Maui Whale Festival which takes place in the month of February, you still have plenty of time to catch the magnificent whales in all their glory. Every year, during their winter migration through the Pacific Ocean, the whales grace the coasts of Maui and you can spot them in abundance then.
Best place to spot: Humpback whales
Best time to visit: Between late December and early April
The Azores, Portugal
Boasting of lush rolling hills and dramatic blue coasts, the Azores archipelago proves to be a nutrition rich spot for all forms of sea life. Many species of whales call the waters around Azores their home; some species stay there all year round while some pass by the archipelago during migration season.
Best place to spot: Blue whales, sperm whales, humpback whales, killer whales, sei whales
Best time to visit: February for blue whales. All year round for most of the others
Why wait? Book your dream trip to Portugal today!
Vancouver Island, Canada
A land blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, did you know that Johnstone Strait, a channel along the coast of Vancouver Island, is the permanent home of over 200 killer whales? Also known as Orcas, these killer whales can be spotted while on an adventurous kayaking expedition.
Best place to spot: Killer whales, humpback whales, grey whales
Best time to visit: Early March to mid-September
La Gomera, Spain
A gorgeous part of Spain’s Canary Islands, La Gomera is a popular destination in Europe for whale watching. Best known for its Pilot whales, the area is also known to surprise its visitors with sightings of Blainville’s beaked whales and Bryde’s whales; a dream come true for every whale watching enthusiast!
Best place to spot: Pilot whales, sperm whales, Blainville’s beaked whales, Bryde’s whales, grey whales
Best time to visit: Between March and May
While in Spain, indulge in these lip-smacking dishes!
Orkney islands, Scotland
As if there weren’t enough reasons already to visit the spectacular country of Scotland! Although more famous for its seal population, the archipelago of Orkney is also known to graciously host whales during their migration season. And if you are lucky enough, you can spot different species of whales in one single visit!
Best place to spot: Minke whales, humpback whales, killer whales, sperm whales, pilot whales
Best time to visit: Between May and September
Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic
An offbeat whale watching destination, the Samana Peninsula in Dominican Republic is popular with humpback whales during their mating season! So, if you want to listen to the melodious songs that male whales sing to attract female whales, this is where you should head. You will also witness the captivating antics of the male whales (tail slaps, water surface breach et all!) during this mating season.
Best place to spot: Humpback whales
Best time to visit: Between mid-January and mid-March
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Here’s one more destination on this list where you can go whale watching all year long! Geographically speaking, since the Kaikoura canyon, an active submarine canyon, runs deep into the ocean, it creates a bustling ecosystem for marine creatures. This in turn, leads to a nutritionally healthy food chain under the ocean surface. And thus, sperm whales call Kaikoura their home all year round!
Best place to spot: Sperm whales
Best time to visit: All year round
When in New Zealand, romance your way through the island nation!
Puerto Madryn, Argentina
A relatively unexplored whale watching destination, Puerto Madryn in Argentina acts as a breeding ground for the magnificent Southern Right Whales, during the winter and spring seasons. If you want to see giant whales that weigh up to 50 tonnes or cute baby whales that have just been born, you should definitely head over to Puerto Madryn.
Best place to spot: Southern right whales
Best time to visit: Between June and December
Honorable mentions: Other places where you can go whale watching include the mesmerizing Glacier Bay National Park in USA, the picturesque Walker Bay in South Africa and the scenic San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico. All set to go on an epic whale-watching trip? We wish you a happy journey and hope you have a whale of a time! ?