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Hawaii's Best Spots for Whale Watching

Whale watching is an activity that you will never forget. Every year, Pacific Humpback whales make the long journey from Alaska and the coasts of Central California to Hawaii. Their swimming journey can take between one to two months, depending on their speed.

After traveling 3,500 long miles, Humpback whales arrive in the warm waters of Hawaii during the winter months, more precisely during the last days of November. Approximately 4,500 Humpback whales visit the Hawaiian Islands and stay until the end of April. Each year they bask in the warm waters, breed and give birth before migrating back to their Alaskan feeding grounds. Some can be seen swimming in groups until mid-March.

Hawaii offers different tourist excursions to watch whales during the winter months. Many tour operators offer transport for visitors in small and medium-sized boats. Whales can be seen swimming during the day or at sunset.

If you don't know which is the best area in Hawaii for whale-watching, don't worry. Island by Koa Nani made a list with the 5 best places on the islands to enjoy this spectacular show of nature!

1. Auau Channel (Maui and Molokai)

If you are interested in whale-watching, Maui is the ideal island. One of the places where you can see the most whales is the Auau Channel. Located between the islands of Molokai and Maui, this place is one of the best places in the world for whale-watching. You will be surprised by the number of whales that are viewable from this spot!

2. Makapu’u Lighthouse, Oahu 

Encountered on the southeastern side of Oahu within the Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline is the Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail. A magical scene and a two-mile completely paved pathway can be hiked to visit the historic lighthouse. This enchanted place is home to one of Oahu’s most famous treks for tourists and travelers.

3. Kohala Coast (Big Island)

The Kohala Coast witnesses as many as two to three times more whales than other viewing platforms. Make sure not to miss the whales: the key is to be there early since whales are much more active during the morning. Around noon their activity is slower, making it more difficult to see them.

4. Diamond Head Scenic Lookout, Oahu 

This is one of the best shoreline scenic points for whale-watching. There is plenty of parking available, and you can also visit a curious Education Center! This place is easy to find! Look for the second lookout after the lighthouse when heading east on Diamond Head Road.

5. Kilauea Lighthouse, Kauai

Just imagine a magnificent monument located on top of a rocky precipice overseeing the Pacific ocean. Without a doubt, this is the best place to watch majestic mammals show off their best performance. The ocean waves pounding the cliff walls underneath, diverse types of birds surrounding you with their sweet singing sounds, and the privilege of enjoying the playful whales.



Paula S.

Whale watching in Hawaii is a really awesome experience! I’ve done it a few times and really enjoyed it. Definitely a must do for anyone visiting Hawaii!

Jack Hoover

I stumbled upon your blog online and found it to be quite remarkable! Your article on Hawaii’s Best Place to Spot Whale Watching is particularly well written. Much appreciation for the great work you do. I highly recommend checking out Boattime Yacht Charters if you ever come across an opportunity to experience Whale Watching. The boat tour is definitely worth every penny!

Paula S.

Whale watching is a must-do activity when in Hawaii!

Paula S.

You can’t go to Hawaii and not go whale watching!


It has been a life long dream to come to Hawaii and watch the Whales! Thanks for the info.

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