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Whale Watching: Where to Go For the Best Views

a whale jumping out of a body of water

Every winter, the visitors and residents of Hawaii receive a special treat. Around 2/3 of the North Pacific humpback whale population returns to Hawaii to raise, rest, and breed. This migration has been happening for hundreds of years and is an important part of Hawaiian culture.

As a result, whale watching is a beloved activity for locals and tourists alike.

The island of Kauai is a prime location for whale watching. Although it would be convenient, you can’t walk out to the ocean and immediately spot a whale.

Check out some of the prime whale-watching destinations on Kauai below!

Visit Kauai for Whale Watching

Kauai is home to some of the most picture-perfect whale-watching destinations, such as the Kilauea Lighthouse and Poipu Beach. The Kalalau Trail on the north shore is another famous spot. Many avid whale watchers also stop by the Kapaa Overlook, which is close to Kealia Beach. Here, they can catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

The best way to go whale watching around Kauai is by boat tour. The majority of the whale watching tours and cruises in Kauai depart from Na Pali and Poipu.

The humpback whales migrate to Kauai starting from December up until May. The warm Hawaiian waters serve as their breeding ground and birthing location. In Kauai, it’s common to see new calves swimming with their mothers. Spot these beautiful creatures playfully surfacing, slapping their tails, or blowing air from their spouts.

For a thrilling whale-watching adventure, you can choose from a variety of whale-watching cruises. If you prefer an elegant whale watching experience, you and your family can reserve a voyage with Kauai Sea Tours for a whale-watching cocktail cruise along Kauai’s coast.

Kilauea Lighthouse

As we mentioned before, you can also visit the Kilauea Lighthouse to go whale watching. In 1985, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. This beautiful refuge is marked by its sensational lighthouse.

While whale watching at the Kilauea Lighthouse, you may see different species of birds: Mōlī (Laysan albatross), ‘Ā (Red-footed booby), ‘Ua ‘u kani (Wedge-tailed shearwater) as well as several other Kaua‘i wildlife species in their natural habitat. The coast also offers a haven for the endangered ‘Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua (Hawaiian monk seal) and Honu (Green sea turtle).. From the base of the lighthouse, you can look out over the ocean and watch the whales in the distance.

Poipu Beach

Kauai’s sunny south shore offers picture-perfect weather year-round. This beautiful location is home to some of the island’s most famous beaches, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures.

Poipu Beach is, without a doubt, the most famous beach on the south shore. This beach is a series of golden sand crescents, strung together where beach-goers will further find the most delightful whale watching spots, to with the surfing, swimming, and snorkeling.

When you go to the highest peaks of every island in search of whales, you’ll have an easier time sighting them, but you will be a long way off. On a whale-watching cruise, spotting these magnificent creatures up close is a completely different experience. However, these cruises fill up fast.. To book your whale-watching cruise, click here!

How to See the Whales

The best way to go whale watching is by catamaran cruise on Kauai. These quiet vessels are very similar to the watercrafts the original Hawaiians sailed around Hawaii. Catamaran cruises can safely bring you close enough to the whales so you can watch them while respecting their space.

Aboard a catamaran cruise, your family will learn about the whales, enjoy a delicious meal on the water, and see these magnificent mammals up close. Visit our tours page for more information.

Kauai Sea Tours Whale Watching Adventures

Are you and your family ready to explore Hawaii on a boat tour? Are you excited to see humpback whales in their natural habitat? Kauai Sea Tours has been providing award-winning tours since 1991, with a history of ten consecutive TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards. Our team is passionate about creating incredible adventures in paradise and we’re excited to go whale-watching with your family.

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