People go on vacations for many reasons: to relax, to see the sights, eat good food, shop, and learn about different cultures and environments. While there are loads ways to see amazing sights to see around the world, one of the most amazing and perhaps underappreciated is whale watching. Lucky for you, whale watching trips can be added to your vacation itinerary all over the world and at any time of the year, or you can even build your trip around an excursion to see these amazing sea mammals. Here are some cool facts about whales and some of the best spots to view them.
From the Deep
Whales are beautiful, intelligent, and highly social animals, but they also are a bit mysterious and sometimes downright unusual. Even if you love whales of all shapes and sizes, you may not know these five interesting tidbits:
1. They Live Long Lives
Whales are old, really old. The larger the whale, the longer its life expectancy; some species, such as the bowhead, may have lived over 200 years!
2. They Are The Biggest Animals in The World
While humpbacks grow to 52 feet in length, blue whales grow up to 98 feet long making them the largest animal on earth, even bigger than the dinosaurs. Wrap your head around that for a moment.
3. They Sing
Whales love to sing. It's not just humpbacks, although they do tend to have the most complex songs. Sperm whales sing the loudest, and belugas chirp, almost as if a bird is singing a tune.
4. They Don't Have Horns
That Narwhal horn isn't what you think it is. The two-to-three-meter horn that makes the narwhal the unicorn of the sea is actually a tusk or long tooth that grows through its upper lip. The jury is still out on its purpose, but it may be a sensory organ as well as useful in hunting for fish.
5. They Make Best Friends
They have besties. Humpback females maintain friendships with other whales, even if they are separated during breeding season when they may meet up again later. Belugas have also been shown to develop attachments to objects such as planks of wood or other debris as if they were surrogate babies.
Anytime of Year
The great part about whale watching is that whales are always somewhere, so you have a chance of seeing them in different places around the world. So be sure to add a stop at one of these locations when planning your next vacation:
• The Azores - from March to May, you can be treated to blue whale sightings as they congregate around this area
• Vancouver - for orca viewing, your best bet is a trip between June and October
• Baja California - get more out of a winter getaway in sunny Mexico when you see greys, humpbacks, and blue whales from February to April
• Iceland - if you skip the wintertime northern lights, you can be rewarded with minkes, blues, humpbacks, and orcas during June and July
• Alaska - one of many US sites for whale watching, but especially popular in August for humpback feeding
• Canadian Arctic - June to August is when you can see bowheads, belugas, and narwhals near Cunningham Inlet or Baffin Island
Are you getting excited about some serious whale watching or any other destination on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for popular beach destinations? Check out our post covering unforgettable beach getaways.