As humpback whales start to make their spring migration, native Hawaiians are lining up to marvel at these peaceful giants. After spending their summer feeding in the coastal waters of Alaska, the humpbacks migrate to Hawaii to mate and give birth during the winter and spring months (November to May), making February and March the peak time for whale-watching. According to the natives, the coastal waters off of Kauai Island are the whales’ favorite spot to set up their nursery.
Less than a 20 minute drive from Koloa Landing Resort, the tranquil waters off the coast of the quiet, historical town of Waimea come alive with water spouts from whales. Visitors can make a trip to enjoy this throwback to Hawaiian culture in Waimea, while relaxing and whale-watching during the prime winter months. Since these large creatures are quite timid and quick to retreat, watching from the beach can be a less intrusive option. While there are many oceanfront options for whale-watching, visitors agree that the best beaches are Mahaulepu Beach and the channel between the west shore of Kauai and the Island of Niihau, near Waimea. Beach watching also allows visitors to relax under the shade of a palm tree and take in the views.
For those who aren’t interested in leaving the resort or their rooms, Koloa guests can see the whales breaching from their lanai’s in the guest villas. Visitors may also hop on one of the island’s tour boats for a more intimate view of the humpbacks or take a helicopter ride for an aerial glimpse.
During the mating season humpbacks are more restless, resulting in more surface activity and more opportunities to get a peek at these gentle creatures. For the economical whale enthusiast, visiting great lookout spots like Kilauea Point Lighthouse, Spouting Horn Park, or Kealia Lookout can give a wonderful vantage point to see a breaching whale or catch a tail slap.
Whale-watching is not new to Hawaiian culture and has become a popular pastime for vacationers due to its calming effects. Guests slow down, sit, wait, and relax while looking for the peaceful humpback as it makes its annual pilgrimage from the cold waters of Alaska. These peak months offer Kauai visitors a once in a lifetime experience.
For more information about whale watching and tours offered around Kauai, talk to the Koloa Landing Concierge.