There are different reasons why we like to explore the world. While the mere act of traveling has the ability to make us happier, we also like to meet new people, see stunning sights, and learn interesting things about different cultures. In case your reason for traveling is seeing as many animals as possible, you might be on the lookout for some prime whale-watching destinations. Read on for the best places to spot these mammals.
Be bold by visiting Antarctica
Starting off with a bold choice that not everyone is willing to go with – Antarctica. The waters of this area are home to eight different whale species, including minke, sperm, blue, killer, and humpback whales. When planning your trip to Antarctica, keep in mind that the best period to visit is in February and March. Although Antarctica might seem like an odd destination, you want to book your tour in advance seeing as how tourists flock to the region during peak season.
Check Iceland off your bucket list
The other hemisphere also provides you with a chance to see these majestic animals. For instance, visiting Iceland is amazing for many reasons, one of which is spotting humpback, blue, and sperm whales in Húsavik. While the whale-watching season lasts from May to September, by scheduling your visit for September, you could even see the Northern Lights. Moreover, as Iceland is still not as popular among whale lovers as some other destinations, chances are that you will avoid huge crowds. Keep in mind that commercially hunting whales is still allowed in Iceland and look for a responsible operator.
Choose from a variety of spots in Canada
There are several spots in Canada where you can see all sorts of whales. For example, Vancouver Island is a real hotspot where around 20,000 gray whales pass in March and April. Moreover, there are also orcas in the area from May to September. In addition to minke and humpback whales, you can spot sea otters, sea lions, and seals as well. On the other hand, near Tadoussac in Québec, you can see blue, fin, and beluga whales besides minkes and humpbacks. The best time to visit this area is between June and September. Churchill in Manitoba is yet another Canadian spot to consider. Remember to be mindful of the environment during your exploration.
Don’t miss Perth while exploring Australia
Australia is full of amazing places that you can visit but one you certainly don’t want to skip – especially if you want to see some whales – is Perth. The capital of Western Australia is a great spot if you want to watch these giants as they migrate along the coast. If you plan on visiting the Down Under anywhere from August to the start of December, you want to add whale watching in Perth to your itinerary for an unforgettable experience. You should be able to spot humpback whales and blue whales while orcas, minke, beaked, sperm, and southern right whales are also known to pop up every once in a while.
Visit Colombia’s hotspots
In case you find yourself in South America, you still have a way to see whales. Humpback whales can also be spotted on Colombia’s Pacific coast. Visit Nuqui, Bahía Solano, or Bahía Málaga somewhere between July and November to see these gentle mammals on their migration route. You can even board a boat and see some mothers frolicking and teaching their calves. While in Colombia, you can encounter turtles, dolphins, and sea lions as well.
Opt for an aerial tour in South Africa
In September, South Africa’s fishing town of Hermanus is home to the annual Whale Festival but you can visit any time from June to November to do some whale watching. No matter if you watch from the shore or go out on a boat, you should be able to see some southern right whales and humpback whales. However, if you do want to get closer, you can also go on an aerial tour that will fly you over the whales as they mate and calve in the water.
Swim with whales in Sri Lanka
Lastly, while there are many other locations to consider, Sri Lanka is an amazing destination in Asia where you can spot and even swim with whales. From November to April, you can see sperm, Bryde’s, and humpback whales while the blue whale – the largest animal ever to live – can be seen in February and March. The town of Mirissa is where you want to be but remember to check the operators as there is little regulation.
With more than 80 species of whales in the world, it’s only normal that there are various spots where you can see them. Consider the ones listed above.