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No matter where you choose to spend your next vacation, chances are that there’s a whale watching spot located not too far away. Browse through some of our recommendations as you plan ahead.


When to go: May to October

Take an aquatic tour of Juan de Fuca and Haro Straits in Victoria or see Cowichan Bay right by Vancouver Island. Here, you’ll discover an ecosystem that is home to all kinds of species of whales including orcas, humpback whales, grey whales, minke whales, Harbour porpoises and Dall's porpoises.

To Canada’s East, you’ll find some familiar faces, namely humpback whales, minke whales and Harbour porpoises—all while cruising the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City and Tadoussac. You are also very likely to see blue whales and even some belugas!
Victoria, BC


When to go: April to September

A vacation spent in Húsavík lands you in Iceland’s whale watching capital. Booking a whale watching tour in Skjálfandi Bay will open doors to sightings of minke whales, humpback whales, killer whales, fin whales, and many other sea creatures known to the environment.

If you prefer somewhere warmer, take a chance on Portugal’s Azores Islands, one of the fastest growing whale watching destinations worldwide! This archipelago is a dwelling place for all kinds of sea life including sperm whales, pilot whales, fin whales, blue whales, minke whales, sei whales, and many species of dolphin.


When to go: January to March

Even the largest mammals in the world need a bit of sunshine once in a while. In the Dominican Republic’s Samaná, that’s just what you’ll see; over 300 humpback whales grazing the turquoise waters of Samaná Bay at any given time during peak whale watching season. Afterwards, they’ll head back north towards Iceland and Greenland, where they’ll feast on krill.

Similarly, you can catch these giants as well as the occasional Bryde’s whale swimming about Puerto Vallarta’s Banderas Bay in Mexico. Plus, with the help of expert guides by your side, enjoy brilliant panoramic views of the Riviera Nayarit’s coastline and learn about the region’s allure.


When to go: May to September for San Juan Islands, December to March for Maui

The best way to spot the Pacific Northwest’s residing marine life is with a professional whale watching and wildlife tour. Still, there’s no disputing that Washington State’s San Juan Islands are the best place to see orcas year-round. Not only that, but you’re also likely to see minke whales, humpbacks, gray whales and others in action.

By contrast, Maui’s outrigger tours offer a whale watching experience unlike any other. Onboard a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe, you may be able to spot humpbacks, pilot whales and false killer whales among others. From there, dive into popular water activities like swimming with the island’s sea turtles or snorkeling underwater.

What’s next?

Wondering where to spend your next vacation? Try browsing through our summer vacation recommendations for inspiration.