6 Locations for Great Whale Watching

March 18, 2014

Spring is here, and in some locations, that means you’ll be able to see whales as they migrate to and from warmer waters.

In the United States, your best bet to see these majestic creatures is a trip along the west coast, but that’s not the only place you can see the whales. Whales are visible in different locations at different times. For example, the whale watching season in Canada is May through October, while in Cape Cod, you can see them July through September. In Mexico, you may see whales any time of year.

1. California

In Big Sur, Cali., you might see whales year-round, since they have to move to Baja, Mexico in the south or to Alaska’s Bering Sea in the north. Monterey Bay is a great waterway to see gray, orca or even humpback whales. California’s whale spotting season runs from July to October.

2. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The Atlantic Ocean around Cape Cod is a popular area for spouting and breaching whales of several species – including minke, humpback and finback whales – which regularly make their way through the area. All around the area, companies offer whale watching tours for visitors.

3. Canada

Canada’s Grand Manan Island and the Bay of Fundy provide two locations to see the North Atlantic Right Whale – of which only 350 exist in the world. According to Travel and Leisure, sometimes you can see nearly half (141) of the creatures in the Bay of Fundy. You’ll see these beautiful creatures from May to October.

Another Canadian location where you just might see pods of orcas is the Gulf and San Juan Islands. Get on a whale watching tour boat and you might be able to see any number of species – from orcas to blue and humpback whales. This is because the orcas of Clayoquot Sound are said to be predators that chase the larger animals into shallow waters while they eat the young. In this location, you’ll see the majestic mammals from March to November.

4. Mexico

In Mexico, you can often see whales year-round. Gray and blue whales migrate through the waters near Los Cabos, Mexico, and all around the Sea of Cortes. These are the perfect locations to spot gray whales as they move approximately three miles per hour from the Bering Sea to the lagoons and ocean waters around Baja, Mexico. You may see blue whales mating in the Baja area. Many businesses will rent kayaks to whale watchers who want to get up and close with the creatures. It’s most common to see gray whales in this location from December to April.

5. New Zealand

The Kaikoura coast of New Zealand is the place to be if you want to see sperm whales, southern right whiles, beaked and pilot whales. The sheer variety of whales is enough to create the perfect whale watching vacation for enthusiasts. You’ll also see a range of sea birds as you keep your eyes open for the whale population.

6. South Africa

From June to November, you’ll see whales off the coasts of South Africa. Whether they’re mating and calving or just moving toward a new location, vacationers and whale watchers may get to see these giants anywhere from Doringbaai, south of Cape Town, all the way up to St. Lucia. From the cliffs, from the beaches and even on boat tours, whale watchers are in for a treat


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Maria Tugayeva
Mariya is a Marketing guru and writer, with a world experience from living and growing up in different countries. Her work quote is: "In a word: pleasure. It's like, my pleasure in other people's leisure." -Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Trainspotting
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