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USA: Hawaii | View Map

Each winter, more than 6,000 humpback whales migrate to the warm waters off the main Hawaiian Islands, to mate, give birth and care for their young. The first whales of the season are typically sighted in October, but whalewatch season in Hawaii doesn't begin in earnest until early November. The season peaks in February and March, and by mid-May, almost all of the whales have departed, to migrate back to their feeding grounds in the waters off Alaska. Maui is recognized as the island with the largest concentration of whales, but humpback whales can also be seen off the other islands of Oahu, Kauai, the Big Island, Molokai and Lanai. Whales can be seen from shore in many locations, although whalewatch vessels offer the best views of the whales. Humpback whales are protected by state and federal laws. It is illegal to approach a humpback whale in Hawaii within 100 yards, whether you are on a boat, swimming, windsurfing or kayaking. Wild dolphins, including spinner, bottlenose and spotted dolphins, can be seen year-round in Hawaii. Other species of toothed whales, including false killer whales and pilot whales, can also be seen year-round.

Native Whales: