Share amazing photographs of your vacations.

These are By Far the Best Whale Watching Places Around the World

Best Whale Watching Places Around the World
For marine animal lovers, whale watching is one of the most enthralling experiences. So, where can these mammals be seen at their best? In this article below, we have enlisted some of the best whale watching places around the world.
Dhanashree Patane
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2017
Being Human
Some cultures see whales as divine beings, such as in some places in Ghana and the Vietnam, who occasionally hold funerals for beached whales.
Whales are one of the most mysterious and beautiful mammals of the sea. Their acrobatics as they surface have left adventurers awestruck! The best part of these huge creatures of the marine is that they love to travel! They explore deep waters running across many countries and mesmerize adventure lovers with their playfulness and sheer curiosity!

Whale watching has become a popular marine adventure, with many lovers of the sea world trying their luck to spot different species of whales at a close perspective. There are many places in the world where whales are seen and at a close distance, and as mentioned above, they travel according to the season. This Vacayholics write-up has enlisted some of the best spots to capture even the rare species of whale across the globe.
Best Places for Whale Watching
Whale spotting is an important consideration whenever you go for a whale watching tour or adventure. Many times, even if the time and season are apt, you may not be able to spot a whale easily. But these places enlisted below have a good success rate when it comes to whale spotting. Some of these places are home to the whales all year round. The places mentioned below are, however, not in an ascending or descending order of the best, but they simply are a compilation of the best locations in the world to spot whales.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Humpback whale
Breaching humpback whale in Cape Cod Bay
Cape Cod in Massachusetts, located in the Atlantic, is surrounded by beautiful beaches on three sides. This makes it the best place to have the most enthralling whale watching experience! These Atlantic waters are home for finback, minke, and humpback whales. Moreover, Cape Cod Bay has a 99% success rate when it comes to whale spotting! You can view these huge dwellers of blue spyhopping, sounding, or breaching. Most tours take you through the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, which is the favorite feeding ground of these whales.
Los Cabos, Mexico
Humpback whale in Mexico
Humpback whale in Mexico
The amazing climate of Los Cabos in Mexico is enough to attract tourists all year round. However, there is also another attraction that draws tourists, which is the huge humpback whales that migrate from the cold waters of Alaska and Siberia towards Los Cabos. These whales migrate over 6,000 miles to dwell in the warm waters of the sea of Cortez and Baja California. Gray whales mostly are seen in the shallow lagoons of San Ignacio, Ojo de Liebre, and Magdalena Bay. These splendid creatures of the marine arrive just as the tourist season hits an all-time high, which is during the months of January through April. You will see whales mating, nursing, and playing with their young ones!
Azores, Portugal
Whales meet in Marguerite
Sperm whales meet in Marguerite formation, Azores
The nine Portugal islands that make up Azores, located in the middle of Atlantic ocean, is an isolated location, but have abundance of fish species that whales love to dine on. There are more than 20 species of dolphins and whales that can be spotted here. Specially, the sperm whale and short-finned pilot whale are more often seen splurging in these waters. Out of the nine volcanic islands, Pico, Sao Jorge, and Faial are some of the best whale watching locations with a good whale-spotting rate. Head here for an ultimate experience of whale watching during the months of April through September. If you get lucky, you might even spot the rare Northern bottlenose whale in Azores!
Maui, Hawaii
Breaching humpback whale
Breaching humpback whale in Maui
Winters call for a warm vacation in the Hawaii for most people. So is the case with the spectacular humpback whales! These creatures migrate towards the warmer waters of Hawaii as winter approaches. Maui, with its tropical beaches, also has clear waters to its advantage. With underwater visibility nearing 100 feet, it is a treat for spectators to watch these marine creatures with much ease and clarity. Maui is like the watering hole for whales in the months of November through April. Whale lovers will also be glad to know that Hawaii has named whales as their official state marine animal!
Quebec, Newfoundland - Canada
White whale
Beluga (white) whale lifting its head in Canada
Quebec is one of the rare locations in the world where one can spot the great North Atlantic right whale and Beluga. During the months of May through September, marine lovers flock Canada to catch a treasured glimpse of these mammals. Many whale-watching adventures here use inflatable rafts for their journey. This does not disturb the marine giant's habitat, and you get a spectacular closeup of whales. Newfoundland is also home to some of the varied species of whales, like blue, orca, sperm, pothead, and minke. So, Canada is one of the never-to-be-missed destinations for whale lovers. Hop on a ride to see white beluga whales lift their heads above water, as they swim and breach along the shores!
Orca whale
Orca whale in Iceland
The cooler waters of the North Atlantic are favorite feeding grounds for most species of whales. The northern waters are perfect for these whales to fatten up, before they migrate to warm waters for mating. There are many whale watching tours to choose from, with fishing vessels redesigned for an amazing whale-watching experience. You will see varied species of whales, like bottlenose, sperm, minke, fin, and also killer whales, which are most commonly seen. Blue and humpback whales are also occasionally seen here. Another interesting fact is that the famous killer whale - 'Keiko', commonly known as Willy from the movie series - 'Free Willy', was born and caught in Iceland waters!
Hermanus, South Africa
Southern right whale
Southern right whale in Hermanus
The coastlines of South Africa have whale routes that extend up to 1200 miles from Cape Town to Durban. However, the best place to spot these gentle giants of the marine is Hermanus. Located at the southernmost tip of Africa, it offers one of the best whale-watching adventures, with southern right whales migrating here to feed, mate, and also give birth. Most whales are also seen very close to the shore, which means you need not travel deep in the center to spot them. With beaches designed with benches and other watching equipment, you can easily spot many species of whales enjoying in the shallow and warm waters. An added attraction of Hermanus is the Annual Hermanus Whale Festival that is celebrated in August every year. The best time to spot whales is from May through December, but you might just want to plan a visit in August and be a part of the Whale Festival!
Hervey Bay, Australia
Humpback whales
Humpback whales in Hervey Bay
The protected and serene waters of Hervey Bay in Australia make a perfect invite for humpback whales. It is one of the best places to go whale watching from July through October. The clear waters offer a splendid display of huge humpbacks, which migrate from Antarctica, which is their feeding ground, and take a stop at Hervey Bay before heading South. The calm and warm waters of this bay are like home to the humpbacks, which at times, come close to boats and vessels with nothing but curiosity!
Orcas Island, Washington
Orca whale
Orca whale seen jumping in Orcas Island
The San Juan Islands chain, off the coast of Washington, hosts a home for pods of orcas and gray whales. This island is the breeding ground for orcas, also known as killer whales. The extensive coastlines of this island offer plenty of whale watching adventures and breathtaking visuals. If you are a whale lover, this place is a must-visit between April through October. A whale-watching experience here will leave you fascinated and coming back for more.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Sperm whale in Kaikoura
Sperm whale spotted in Kaikoura
For those who want to spot the giant of the marine - Sperm whale, Kaikoura in New Zealand is the apt place to spot them. This small-town island is located in the south and has the perfect balance of warm and cold currents, which makes it highly populated with rich marine food for these mammals to pit stop, and can be seen all year round. Other species of whales, like pilot whales, humpbacks, and orcas are also seen in Kaikoura at different times of the year. This incredible island also hosts some of the smallest and rarest species of dolphins called Hector dolphins and fur seals.
Gray whale in California
Gray whale in California
California is one of the best places to see the largest species of whales, which is the gray whale. The area between the Channel islands and Mainland is a rich ground to watch some of the best species of whales all year round. Monterey Bay and the central coast that lies between Point Reyes and Santa Barbara channel is also one of the hot spots to watch the rare minke or fin whale. A spectacular view of huge 40 to 50 feet mammals gliding under water can be seen at San Diego, and at the rate of 8 whales gliding through water per hour! It is one of the favorite stops for whales, before they migrate to the warmer waters in Baja!
Dominica, Caribbean
Tourists watching whale
Tourists watching a sperm whale in Dominica
The Caribbean island of Dominica has deep waters that home the blunt-headed sperm whales and humpback whales. The island, which is also known as the whale watching capital of the Caribbean, has a 90 percent success rate for whale spotting. The best spot for locating sperm whales, orcas, and pygmy whales is between Martinique and Guadeloupe. Most whales can be seen breeding and playing in the waters all yearlong; however, the best time to see these amazing mammals is between November and June.

So, the next time you want an adventure fueled with the best whale watching memories, you know which waters home them for you! Pick one of these destinations for a fun and thrill-packed whale watching experience. You might want to keep your camera ready and hold your breath as these monstrous forms reveal a spectacular display of their true nature and life in the marine!