The Six Best Places in the World for Whale Watching

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The Six Best Places in the World for Whale Watching

This region in the Argentinean Patagonia receives the largest breeding population of southern right whales.

In their long pilgrimage in search of food and weather conditions conducive to their reproduction, whales offer one of the most incredible spectacles on the planet every year.

Discover the best places in the world to see these majestic creatures in the wild.

Vizcaino Desert Reserve, the Gray Whale Sanctuary

After a 20,000-kilometer journey every year, the spectacular gray whales arrive in Mexico. These aquatic mammals (friendly to humans) come from the icy waters of the Bering Strait to mate on the coasts of Baja California Sur.

Whale watching season runs from January to March in Magdalena Bay and Laguna Ojo Liebre, within the boundaries of the Vizcaino Desert Biosphere Reserve, also known as the Gray Whale Sanctuary.

Enjoy the paradisiacal Bahía Concepción in Mulegé, one of the most beautiful things to do in Baja California Sur. Bahia Concepcion has stunning beaches as well as crystal clear and calm waters. This is one of the first things to do in Baja California Sur if you visit the destination as a couple.

Tip: It is worth a road trip along the transpeninsular highway surrounding it and is a treat for the eyes.

The Valdes Peninsula in Argentina

This region in Argentinean Patagonia receives the largest breeding population of southern right whales. There are more than 2,000 whales that can be seen, especially from June to November, along with other species such as dolphins, penguins, elephant seals, and a great variety of birds. For this reason, this peninsula is considered one of the best places in the world to see whales.

Patagonia is divided in two, the Atlantic, which offers the possibility of enjoying numerous species of protected native fauna, and the Andean Patagonia, which exhibits the majesty of its forests, lakes, and millenary glaciers, with a wide range of snow, ideal for adventure tourism.

San Diego, Among Humpbacks and Killer Whales

Whale watching as an organized activity began in 1950 when the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego was declared a public place for gray whale watching.

Since then, thousands of tourists have come to this American city to enjoy the spectacle offered by various types of whales, such as blue whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and orcas. In fact, due to the diversity of species observed, it is one of the best places in the world to see whales. The best season to see whales is from December to March.

In San Diego, visit Balboa Park, the city’s urban jewel. It has almost 500 hectares with many attractions and cultural spaces to visit. There are as many as 17 museums dedicated to different subjects inside the park, such as art, science, and technology.

Some of the most recommended are the Air and Space Museum, the Centro Cultural de la Raza, the San Diego Art Institute, the Museum of Man, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Railroad Museum, among others.

The Six Best Places in the World for Whale Watching

A bench along the Bayside Trail in Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego. (photo via LifeImagesbyGloria/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Vancouver Island, Home to Dozens of Killer Whales

This Canadian site enjoys one of the largest whale populations and represents one of the most accessible spots for whale watching. The waters surrounding its southern coast alone are home to around 80 orcas, which can be seen in all their splendor at any time of the year, along with other species, such as dolphins and sea lions.

Canada’s largest urban park has two lakes and miles and miles of roads and trails for biking, rollerblading, or strolling while enjoying the views of the bay. Stanley Park is located in the northern part of the peninsula and right next to downtown, making it a perfect place to visit any time.

Within the perimeter of the park are Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon. At the southeastern tip of the peninsula are the famous totem poles, replicas of monuments carved by the natives of the region centuries ago.

And if you want to complement the plan, include a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Or book a table at Prospect Point, a restaurant with a terrace and a cozy atmosphere, to taste typical Canadian food.

Sydney Is the Best Place in Australia for Whale-Watching

In addition to the beauty of its beaches, Sydney has another great attraction off its coast in whale-watching. Thousands of visitors come every year to see the imposing humpback whale that makes a stop here between May and December on its long pilgrimage from Antarctica.

Walk along the Bondi to Coogee promenade. This scenic route is a must-do in Sydney. The famous Coastal Walk starts at Bondi Beach and ends at Coogee Beach, passing several hidden beaches with fantastic views. The walk is 3.5 miles but it’s straightforward. If you like to run, it’s also a great option to burn a few calories.

Cooling off at Bondi Beach is a must in Sydney during summer. Sydney’s beaches are famous all over the world for surfing. You can’t miss Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Bronte Beach, or Shelly Beach. Australian shores have many dangers, but you can swim peacefully because they all have nets to avoid incidents with sharks or jellyfish. But be prepared because the water is usually chilly.

The Six Best Places in the World for Whale Watching

An Orca or “killer whale” in the wild. (Photo via iStock Getty Images / sethakan)

Cadiz, a Marine Kingdom

The Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, is a strategic place for sperm whale watching almost all year round. To see killer whales, the best time of year is July and August, when you can also see different species of dolphins and other marine animals.

Cadiz is considered the oldest city in the West. Its foundation we owe to the Phoenicians in 1100 B.C. And from there, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, and Christians left their mark. The ancient Gadir, the silver cup, and the great pearl of the Andalusian coast. Call it what you want, but you must visit it at least once. It is one of those cities that leave its mark. In addition to the whales, an impressive historic center is full of monuments, long beaches, and viewpoints that are sure to leave you speechless.

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