Killer whales, or orcas, are one of the world’s coolest animals. These excellent hunters, who are also one of the most intelligent animal species, are fascinating to watch in their natural habitat. Find them in the cold waters of Antarctica, Norway, or Alaska, or catch them moving from one place to the next through the warmer waters of California or Australia. Regardless of what destination you chose, you are certain to find a killer whale watching expedition one of the most exciting experiences of your life.
What makes seeing these animals out in the wild even more amazing is the fact that there are few places in the world where you can do so. We have put together this list of 9 places where you can be lucky enough to see killer whales in the wild, so you can get right to work booking your whale-watching excursion!
Our list starts with the trip of a lifetime, to Antarctica! Watch orcas glide across the water with the pristine backdrop of protruding glaciers. From December to April, but particularly in February and March, you can see killer whales at their happiest. Find a trip that will take you to the Drake Passage Crossing and Wilhelmina Bay, one of the best viewing places in the world!
Situated in incredible Patagonia, the Peninsula Valdes offers one of the highest concentrations of orca whales from June to December. Just a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires, this area is one of the most beautiful on our list. Another benefit? You won’t just see whales, but also tons of other wildlife. Stay in the cute town of Puerto Madryn and enjoy everything this area has to offer.
Iceland has some of the best scenery in the world. The Grundarfjordor is one of the most strikingly beautiful places in this already stunning country. From November to March, this area gets even better, with the presence of tons of killer whales. Take a quick boat ride from Grundarfjordor and see orcas in their natural habitat.
As with Iceland, Norway is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Norweigan fjords are a must-visit, at least once in life. Head there from the end of December to March, particularly in January, when there is enough light and you will also be able to check out orcas. Whale watching to the backdrop of a Norweigan fjord is something you will never forget!
If you want the best chance to see baby killer whales, Bremer Bay is where you should head. Go from July to October and you stand the best chance of seeing mamas nursing their babies. An added benefit to heading to this part of the world? Awesome, pristine, white-sand beaches!
Alaska is one of the best places in North America to spot wildlife and definitely one of the top spots to see killer whales. Cruise along the rugged coastline, in deep fjords, and see killer whales swimming in the waters of the Icy Strait. In an area only reachable by air and water, Glacier Bay offers a remote, peaceful viewing area for checking out killer whales. Go from the end of May to the beginning of September for your best chance to view them.
The San Juan Islands offer a selection of different killer whale viewing options. You can check out the three permanent pods that are found from mid-May to mid-October, or a number of transient orcas that come and go throughout the year. Just 90 miles from Seattle, the San Juan Islands don’t just offer great whale watching, but also excellent viewing of birds and other wildlife.
As with the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island offers the option of checking out permanent resident orcas, with 80 permanent orcas that call the southern shores home or the 250 that call the northeast home year-round. Go to Victoria or check out Telegraph Cove, where viewing is great and you can head inland after getting off the boat and search for bears!
Monterey Bay in April is the perfect place to find transient killer whales enjoying themselves as they move from one place to the other. Monterey has an excellent food supply, which attracts whales looking for a great meal. Eating makes them happy, being happy makes them jump, and seeing whales fly through the air is one of the coolest experiences you can have!
So there you have it, 9 places to check out one of the world’s best species in the wild. Skip Seaworld and head out into the wild! If you think there are other spots we should add, please let us know in the comments section below.