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Kona Whale Watching Season: All You Need To Know

kona whale watching season

Kona whale watching season is the best time of the year for watching whales in Hawaii. Your chances of seeing whales is rather high if you visit the island during Kona whale watching season.

The short period of time that humpback whales spend in Hawaii each year – just a few months – means that Kona whale watching charters tend to sell out quickly. You should join our whale watching tours right away to make travel arrangements so you can see these wonderful creatures. You can have a whale of a time during the Kona whale watching season! You can also enjoy manta ray snorkel adventure in Kona.

When is Kona whale watching season?

Kona whale watching season starts by December and ends in March. Over 8,000 humpback whales travel over 3,500 miles to Hawaii each year between December and March to breed, calf, and raise their young. You have a unique opportunity to see and experience this event if you join our Kona whale watching season tour. If you have access to an underwater hydrophone, you’ll most likely hear singing humpback whales! Even more, you’ll get to see spinner dolphins, sperm and pilot whales, manta rays, sea turtles, and other marine life.


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Even for humpback whales, Hawaii is a lovely location. These incredible animals travel from Alaska thousands of miles south each winter to breed and give birth in the warm island waters. To entice their females, male humpback whales perform amazing, unearthly sounds underwater. Perhaps it has something to do with their enormous hearts, which weigh over 400 pounds. You can enjoy whale watching and reef snorkel in Kona.

When is the best time of the day for Kona whale watching?

Anytime of the day is the greatest time to go whale watching! Whales are awake and asleep all day long. Their behavior is tied to mating and giving birth, which occur at different times during the day and night. Because they do not eat while they are in Hawaii, they have periods of activity and repose. Our captains make every effort to locate whales that are active, not resting.

If you want to get good pictures of the whales, several times of the day are ideal. Not because of whale activity, but rather because of the illumination that is ideal for above- or underwater photography. The early morning and late-afternoon cruises provide the softest light for your backdrop if you intend to take photos of humpback whales above water. If you want to catch images of humpback whales underwater, midday, when the sun is at its strongest, will provide the greatest illumination for photos taken with a go-pro, waterproof phone, or cameras in waterproof housings.

You can enjoy whale watching at any time of day, from dawn to sunset (and yes, they are still active at night, but it’s a bit more difficult to find them!).

Is Kona a good location for whale watching?

Kona is one of the best places to enjoy the whale watching season in Hawaii. One of the favorite locations for humpback whales is the Kona-Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. Since there are so many whales in these waters, they were included in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

What’s the best way to enjoy Kona whale watching season?

Joining a boat tour is one of the easiest and most exciting ways to enjoy Kona whale watching season. Tours are an amazing opportunity to watch the humpbacks up close.  Along with the whales, you might also spot dolphins, turtles, or even whale sharks!

Nearly the entire Kona coast is lined with businesses that provide whale watching cruises on private boats. Whale season, which normally runs from the beginning to the middle of December until the end of March, is the only time that whale tours are available.

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Experience Hawaii magic,  join us for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on this manta ray snorkel! The Kona coast, located on Big Island, is one of the best places in the world to see these incredible creatures up close in their natural habitat. There is nothing like swimming with these gentle giants at night, book now and check it off your bucket list!