Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Going whale watching can take a lot of planning and patience. Knowing the best places to see whales and what time of year they arrive is key to having an amazing whale watching trip. To find the whale hot spots, you will need to do research to find your best chance to see whales. Whales do not come out on command and it may take some time before you see even one surface. However, with the glorious locations and unforgettable experience, the waiting and planning just becomes part of the fun.
The Maldives

The warm, tropical waters surrounding The Maldives is home to some of the most unusual whale species. A whale watching getaway to here puts you in a prime location to see whales that you might not be able to see anywhere else in the world. In fact, more than 20 different species, including Blue Whales, Orcas, Dwarf Sperm Whales, Tropical Bottlenose Whales and Spinner Dolphins, call the waters surrounding The Maldives home. The best times to travel to The Maldives for whale watching is between February and April, and again from October through November.

Naturetrek is one of the top companies offering holiday vacations centered on whale watching and other animal-themed getaways and excursions. One of the more popular tours available is the 10-day holiday that features a seven-night whale watching cruise. In addition to whale watching, you will be able to swim with Manta Rays and snorkel through some breathtaking coral reefs.

Related: Travel Guide To Maldives

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Canadian Arctic

There are three Arctic whale species that can be found in the waters near the Canadian Arctic region. The Churchill area is a great destination to see beluga whales, while the Baffin Island also has narwhals and bowheads. Many travelers choose to camp on the ice near their feeding grounds while some visitors enjoy an expedition cruise where they can see these whales further out at sea. The best time to see whales in the Canadian Arctic is between June and August.

Discover the World offers an Arctic Safari camping tour that takes place on an ice flow at Pond Inlet. This tour also includes the opportunity to see polar bears and harp seals. Adventure Life offers guided tours aboard a small ship that will take you on an experience that includes icy fjords, jagged mountains and gigantic glaciers. Everything Churchill is another tour that takes you on a journey to see beluga whales and other wildlife in and around the waters of the Canadian Arctic.

Western Cape, South Africa

The Western Cape of South Africa is one of the few places where you can enjoy some whale watching from the many coastal footpaths, cafes, restaurants and hotel balconies. This area definitely has some of the best land-based whale watching tours and opportunities available in the world. The best time to see whales off the shores of the Western Cape is between July and November. This is when the krill are preparing for mating and birthing, which makes these waters the perfect feeding ground for humpbacks.

Two of the most popular whale watching tours are offered through Walking Holidays and Oceans Africa. Walking Holidays offer whale watching excursions from the shores of Hermanus. Ocean Africa offers a day-long whale watching excursion, complete with tours that will take you both on land and out into the waters, just off the shores of Hermanus.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Baja California, Mexico

If you are looking for variety in the types of whales you will see, you will want to visit Baja California, Mexico for your whale watching adventure. You will see everything from grey whales to humpbacks and blue whales to Bryde’s whales. The best times to visit Baja California for a whale watching vacation is between the months of February through April, but you can start seeing them in this area of the world as early as November when their migration season begins. You can enjoy boat excursions out into the waters of Baja’s Pacific coast and the Sea of Cortez. Many of the whales can also be seen from the beaches of Baja.

Popular tours in the area include Baja Encounters, Baja Airventures, Pachico’s Eco Tours and Baja Discovery. All of these tours offer you an opportunity to spot whales and other wildlife that call the waters off of the west coast of Mexico home.

Related: A Guide To Whale Watching In Southern California


Alaska is one of the must-visit destinations for those wanting some great wildlife experiences, especially when looking to see whales and other arctic animals. When visiting Alaska, you will have the opportunity to see humpback whales feeding in the waters, as well as other animals that call Alaska and the surrounding waters home. There are many trips to Alaska that offer everything from travel to accommodations and guided tours to wildlife experiences. Some of the more popular tour companies in Alaska include Juneau Whale Watch and Alaska Whale Tours.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at