14 Jan 2022
In the United States, the only place to see humpback whales gather to mate, calve, and nurse their young is in Hawaii. Kauai has become a destination for nature and animal lovers alike because of the likelihood of getting to see humpback whales in their natural habitat as they raise their young. With an annual migration of around 6,000 miles, humpback whales have one of the longest migrations of any mammal as they travel to warmer waters in the winter. The whales gather around the Hawaiian Islands during the colder months so now is the time to start planning your trip to see them.
When you visit, you can see the whales almost daily even from the beach but if you're truly passionate, you'll want to plan your visit and activities all around nature's gentle giants. With the winter in full swing, here is everything you need to know as you start finalizing plans for your whale watching vacation in Kauai.
Peak Whale Watching in Kauai
The annual migration from Alaska to Hawaii for the humpback whales takes place from November to May. It takes the mammals around 36 days to make the 3,000-mile journey as they travel around 5 miles per hour without stopping much. During this time, the majority of sightings take place from January to March with the peak happening in February. When you make your trip to Hawaii, it's almost certain that you'll see the whales with around 10,000 of them somewhere in the vicinity of Hawaii.
The humpback whale has a 12-month gestation period so that means that the whales that come to Kauai to mate will return the following year and birth their calves. The whales stick around to raise their young in the warm waters before making the return trip to Alaska in late spring and early summer. These whales can also live close to 50 years so you might even have the chance to see the same beautiful creatures year after year. Make sure to bring your camera so you have photographic evidence!
What to Expect While Whale Watching in Kauai
Humpback whales are known as "Kohola" in Hawaiian and they have a special relationship with the islands and the community so there are plenty of resources to make the most of your time. These peaceful, large creatures glide through the water with ease and it's truly a spectacle to behold. When breaching, humpback whales can expose as much as 40% of their bodies above the surface for some Instagram-worthy photos. There are many options in Kauai for whale watching tours by boat or you can even try to see them from the beaches. If you really want to get up close and personal, try a kayaking tour or paddleboard to be right on the surface with them!
Some whale watching tours will even offer an enhanced experience with "hydrophones." Whales communicate through clicks, whistles, and pulses with each other in order to travel and stay together. Hydrophones allow you to listen to them communicate and elevate your experience by enjoying the "humpback song."
Start Planning Your Whale Watching Tour and Book Your Kauai Vacation Rental Today!
Browse through our collection of vacation rentals to find one in the perfect spot for your whale watching experience. From oceanfront homes to put you in the best view of the waters to private homes, you can find the vacation rental that's perfect for you and your family. Book yours today to be here for peak whale-watching season!