World’s Best Whale Watching Spots to Visit
The World’s best whale watching spots offer tourist the best experience while eating away their vacations. Places in the North and South Americas, South Africa to New Zealand, provide great experience for any whale watching fan.
Whales are by far the biggest animals in the world, and that alone is enough to make them interesting. These docile giants of the sea not only like to come up for some sun but also do an occasional trick. The fact that whales are among the most intelligent creatures in the sea—second only to dolphins and porpoises—makes them extremely interesting to watch. A lot of people know this, and some so well that they know where to go for the best whale watching. The list below is compiled from some of the most reliable travel and news websites you can find.
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Kaikoura, New Zealand
This is arguably one of the two only whale watching location in the world where you can catch more than two species at a go. The most common species at Kaikoura are sperm whales, killer whales and the humpbacks. The thing with Kaikoura is that the weather is very tolerable, unlike most other whale watching places that can be extremely cold. It is one of those places to which you can wear only a woolen pullover and have a ton of fun. If you have to wear something extra for your upper body, it would only be your camera. And that’s not it. Not only will you catch dozens of the whale species named above, you will also catch a load of dolphins and seals. Just for you to know, New Zealand’s killer whales are the world’s fanciest.
Any whale enthusiast will tell you for free that Iceland is the whale watching headquarters for Europe, and Husavik the headquarters for Iceland. Along with Kaikoura, Husavik is the only place in the world populated by more than two whale species at a go. Here you find mostly the minke whales and the humpbacks, but also the legendary blue whales. And blue whales are a sight, we both know that.
What is most attractive about Husavik’s whale watching is that there’s never too many people in the small time at any given point. Despite being the world’s second-biggest destination for whale watching—many people rank it first—it has only two tour companies, and those are enough. This Icelandian location might be a little bit colder than Kaikoura and most other watching spots in the world. But it more than makes up for the cold with its incredible multitude of whales.
Hermanus, South Africa
The small South Africa town of Hermanus has come up almost entirely because of its Southern Right Whales. It is one of the very few breeding places in the world for Southern Rights. Anybody who has watched whales in Africa agrees that it is the biggest and most incredible whale watching place in Africa.
The spot is so beloved due to its warm, temperate climate. People can sometimes watch whales from the shore here. Fancy that! You’ll catch Southern Rights in their full splendor near the shore or in the slightly deeper waters of Walker Bay on which the town sits. And no tour company in Hermanus charges more than $80 dollars so you don’t have an excuse. What’s more, you have five long months between May and November to enjoy your watching. It is only at Hermanus where you may be lucky enough to see a cow with a calf as late in the year as late December.
The Azores are home to the Killer Whales (Orcas) and the Blue Whales. I will remind you that the Orcas are apex predators. That means nobody in the sea can eat them. Not even the terrific Great White shark. I will remind you, again, that the Blue Whales have been and still are the biggest living organisms in the world for a few millions years.
Now you should understand why The Azores, which are a groups of volcanic Islands off the Portugese coast, are such a popular whale watching destination. Between the Blue Whales and the Orcas, you’ll be entertained by dolphins with their fancy little noises and somersaults. After Husavik, the Azores offer Europe’s most fulfilling whale watching adventure, hands down. And just like Hermanus, you are not going to watch whales in The Azores with winter clothing and a flask of coffee. A jacket will do.
You didn’t think we would forget Hawaii did you? Hawaii might not have the widest variety of whales. However, it has some of the climate and views for the best whale watching in the whole world. It is only in Hawaiian Islands where you can catch a whale watching trip from virtually any island. Here, the humpback whales are virtually everywhere.
The Kohola, as humpbacks whales are called in the local Hawaiian tongue, can even be seen and heard from some of the beaches. Maui Island’s Wailea beach is a great example. Visitors have reported sightings of whales from the windows of The Grand Wailea Resort and The Four Seasons Resort on Wailea beach. I don’t see why one would miss such an opportunity if they had the chance to take it.
Puerto Madryn, Argentina
This is Argentina’s whale wonder spot. The countless elephant seals, sea lions, and dolphins of Puerto Madryn are no match for the Killer Whales and Southern Right Whales of the seaside city. It is possible to cite the whales from the city itself. You also can see them from the smaller town of Puerto Parmides on the Valdez Peninsula. No matter where you are, the experience is totally amazing.
The whole Valdez Peninsula treats you to some of the best whale watching in the whole of South America. What’s memorable about this town’s whale watching is its happy Southern Rights whales. They do breaches and headstands and make whale watching a greater delight than one could possibly imagine. Although Southern Right Whales are known to be the slowest and laziest of all whales, the case is different here. There is something about a Puerto Madryn Southern Right that you can’t afford to miss.
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Babara’s waters might be warm and blue. But they would never be alive without the Blue Whales, Dwarf Sperm Whales and the humpback whales frequenting the coast. One might argue that the coast of California is one long whale watching spot. They would have a good reason to say so, but they would be wrong. There are more whales at and around Santa Barbara than along all the other sports on the rest of the California coast combined.
There isn’t much to say about these whales except they are completely “American”. They don’t mind a visitor. Simply, they bask in their own liberty and glory and leave you to do what you wish to do around. And what can you do better than bring your best camera and capture these awesome creatures?
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
At Cabo San Lucas, the Sperm Whales abide, and they abide in plenty. Without having to look too hard, you’ll catch the signature squawk of the sperm whale here. You could see their great, black heads first. Either way, Cabo San Lucas is the one place where you truly feast your eyes on Sperm Whale delights. The Sperm Whales can be seen close to teams of Gray, Humpback and Blue whales too.
There is more to see at Cabo San Lucas than one can describe in a paragraph. However, be warned that the whales here are entering the warm tropical waters after a long migration southwards from the North Atlantic sea. They just might leap out into the air and crash back into the sea, giving you a great splash. As long as it doesn’t soak your camera, you should like this splash 100%.
San Juan, Washington State, USA
There is no single place on earth with more Orcas (Killer Whales) than San Huan. Between April and September, you are guaranteed a great time watching these black and white small whales feeding on Chinook salmon. They are the most active members of the whale family.
Moreover, they make for a great watching experience. What’s more, these creatures can travel and play in teams of up to a dozen on a warm sunny day. Whether you are seeing them for the first or thousandth time it makes no difference for San Juan’s Orcas. They will call and leap and swim around the boat until they see you happy. And then they will do it all over again. They are amazing like that, that’s why you need to get to San Juan first chance you get.
In all honesty, there are very many other places with more whales and whale species than Nunavut. However, Nunavut is home to the amazing narwhals, probably the strangest looking and interesting member of the whale family. They have a long tusk sticking out of their upper “lip”. And they have teeth. Along with their cousin, the beluga whale, and the more famous sperm whale, narwhals are the only teethed whales you are likely to see often. You would like to see a smallish, fast swimming whale with a tusk 2 meters long.
Did I mention that this tusk is the left canine tooth? There are dozens of other astonishing facts about narwhals. You discover them better on a trip to Nunavut, Canada.
Now Get There…
Everybody enjoys just how fascinating God’s creations are. Whale watching is, as you will experience in these spots, one of the most memorable experiences you can ever have. As such, if you aren’t sure how to spend your vacation, visit one of the mentioned best whale watching spots. You will doubtless want to return.