9 of the Best Places to Spot Whales

These enormous animals are beautiful creatures. Not only are they gentle and peaceful animals but they also look spectacular when migrating. Some of them are truly worth seeing for yourself.
9 of the Best Places to Spot Whales

Last update: 30 May, 2020

They’re the largest animals in the world and are a spectacular sight to behold when migrating. To see them up close for yourself is a wonderful and unforgettable experience. In this article, we’ll tell you more about some of the possible places to spot whales.

Where are the places to spot whales?

The best time to see these giants of the sea is from May to June and there are many options all over the planet. Here are just a few places that you can see whales up close:

1. Alaska

In Alaska’s glacial bay, there is a nature reserve more than 60 miles long. Here, the Pacific Ocean washes on the shore and it’s possible to see gray whales.

They begin their migration in spring and can also be found here during the summer. The season runs from June to September. It’s a truly unique spectacle and also includes humpback and killer whales.

2. Argentina

The Golfo Nuevo, between the towns of Puerto Madryn and Puerto Pirámides, is one of the best places to go to spot the Southern Right Whale.

These beautiful creatures visit the province of Chubut, in Argentine Patagonia, between June and October – winter and spring in the southern hemisphere – and it’s possible to see calves that are just a few months old.

In order to get much closer to the whales, there are various boat excursions and the impact on the whales is minimal. The guides explain in detail about the life of these animals, their habits, their diet and their reproduction. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see one of their spectacular leaps or their tails arising out of the water.

3. South Africa

Just an hour and a half from Cape Town, the town of Hermanus is considered one of the best whale-watching spots in the world. You don’t need to get in a boat because the whales here swim very close to the shore of the bay, where they mate between July and November.

4. Canada

In the Saguenay Fjord, between the cities of Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Catherine, is the epicenter of whaling activity in British Columbia. The fauna here is very diverse and it’s possible to see dolphins, belugas, and other sea mammals feeding in the cold waters.

In Canada, it’s possible to see humpbacks, black whales, blue whales (the world’s largest mammal), sperm whales, killer whales and fin whales. You’ll simply feel tiny surrounded by such huge majestic creatures!

5. Azores Islands

The Azores Islands are considered ‘whale sanctuaries’ because no fewer than 24 species of cetaceans, some native and others migratory, can be seen on these Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

A whale's tail sticking out of the water.

Whether on the watchtowers on the coasts or onboard a boat, you’ll be able to see dozens of marine mammals between May and October. In fact, baleen whales and fin whales live in the area all summer.

6. Costa Rica

To the south of this Central American country, between the island of Cano and the Osa Peninsula, is one of the spectacular places to spot whales where you can see humpback whales that visit all year round.

They choose to come here because the waters are calm and there is plenty of food. Some come from the Antarctic coasts and others come from the Gulf of California to give birth to their young.

7. Australia

In Hervey Bay, on the coast of Queensland, you can see this natural spectacle between July and October. These whales, weighing up to 50 tons, can regularly be seen leaping out of the water. It’s also possible to go out in a small boat to see them closer.

8. Mexico and the United States

Specifically in the Gulf of California, gray whales arrive in groups during the winter – from December to April – and then continue their migrational journey to Alaska where they feed and begin a new reproduction cycle.

Whales seen off the golden gate bridge, one of the best places to spot whales.

Whale watching has certainly become a symbol of the region, and one of the reasons why it’s so popular with tourists is because this species is very ‘friendly’ and comes close to boats.

9. Brazil

On the Praia Rosa (Pink Beach) in southern Brazil, southern right whales swim in the Atlantic Ocean producing a fantastic sight that takes place between June and November. Their leaps are truly impressive, bringing up to 75% of their body to the surface.

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