Punta Piñuela in Ballena Marine National Park. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Costa Rica’s Ballena Marine National Park

Parque Nacional Marino Ballena protects the shoreline of Bahía de Coronado and the waters surrounding Isla Ballena. Wildlife and bird watching are rich here, but perhaps the most pleasant draw are the places to stay near the park, with beautiful bungalows and rustic cabins surrounded by acres of forest trails. After a day spent snorkeling, watching dolphins frolic, and exploring the park, you’ll be treated to incredible meals.

Over 3,000 majestic humpback whales make their way to Colombia's Pacific coast from August until October each year. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Planning Your Time on Colombia’s Pacific Coast

While the Caribbean coast is developed and populated, Colombia’s Pacific coast is wild, remote, and mysterious. For the few who venture to this little-visited area, the beaches, jungles, and people are simply unforgettable.

The port of Bahía Solano. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Things to Do in Bahía Solano, Colombia

With a fully walkable town, hiking, nearby beaches, excellent diving and whale-watching excursions, and as the sport-fishing capital of Colombia, Bahía Solano is excellent place to base your explorations.

Pacific Whale Foundation has the largest presence for whale-watching in Lahaina.

Whale Watching in West Maui

Whale watching in west Maui is easy: any single vessel that floats is going to be offering whale watching between December 15 and April 15. Since most prices are about the same, the choice ultimately comes down to what sort of vessel best suits your comfort level.

Makapu‘u marks the rugged and dry eastern tip of O‘ahu.

Whale-Watching on O‘ahu

Humpback whales routinely frequent O‘ahu waters during their Hawaii stay from October to March. Once in the shallow waters, they engage in mating behaviors and give birth to massive calves. Fortunately for whale-watchers, humpback whales like to congregate in the waters from Makapu‘u to Koko Head, and swim very close to shore as they pass by.

Beautiful aqua water meets a white sand beach studded with large rocks.

Whale-Watching in Bermuda

Whale-watching has become a spring ritual off Bermuda’s South Shore, the migration route for humpbacks as they travel from the Caribbean to north Atlantic feeding grounds. Between March and April, pods of humpback whales can be spotted even from the shoreline.

A pod of spinner dolphins photographed underwater.

Dolphin Swims and Whale-Watching Trips in Kona

Many of the kayaking and snorkeling trips in Kona offer dolphin options, but for an unforgettable experience, stick with outfitters and excursions that are fully dedicated to dolphin swims or whale watches. Here are three favorites, their focus, and why they’re so great.