The Best Whale Watching Spots In Hawaii

Hawaii is an ideal whale watching destination, with its warm waters offering a sanctuary for humpback whales from December to May. With so many locations to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to go for your best whale watching experience in Hawaii. To help you plan your whale watching adventure, we’ve compiled a list of the best whale watching spots in Hawaii.


Maui is the prime hub of whale watching in Hawaii, offering a front-row seat to humpback whales. It is considered one of the best whale watching spots globally, and there are various ways to see whales on the island, including boat tours, shore-based tours, and helicopter tours.


Lahaina is a famous whale watching destination in Maui, with several whale watching charters, including Pacific Whale Foundation, Ultimate Whale Watch, and Gemini Charters, offering short trips. The Lahaina harbor is particularly popular in January when whales come to give birth to their calves and mate in the surrounding waters.

Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is situated on the west side of Maui and is a fantastic whale watching destination, particularly early in the morning. There are several outlets offering whale watching tours close to Kaanapali Beach, including the Alii Nui catamaran, which offers sunrise whale watching tours.

Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach is on the south shore of Maui and is known for its crystal clear waters. You can anticipate seeing mother whales and their newborn calves in this area. Whale watching tours in this region include the Four Winds II and Trilogy Excursions.


Oahu is another ideal destination for whale watching, with various vantage points, lookout points, and boat charters offering an opportunity to spot these breathtaking mammoths.

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii’s most famous beach destination, is an excellent location for whale watching from November to May. You can see the whales from land, or alternatively, enjoy the view from the water by taking a whale watching tour.

Diamond Head Lookout

The Diamond Head Lookout is one of the best spots on Oahu to observe humpback whales. From the lookout, you can see the whales navigating the waters and exhibiting their unique behaviors.

Makapuu Lighthouse

The Makapuu Lighthouse on the southeast coast of Oahu is a stunning location for whale watching. The lighthouse’s elevated location guarantees clear and panoramic views of these majestic mammals.

Big Island

The Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island, is the largest of Hawaii’s islands and offers several whale watching destinations worth exploring.


Kailua-Kona on the west coast is a trendy Big Island whale watching spot with several tour operators providing whale watching tours, including Body Glove and Ocean Sports. You can expect to see whales breaching, tail slapping, and spouting.

Hilo Bay

Hilo Bay is the best location on the Big Island to observe whales from the shore. Multiple lookout points around the bay allow you to spot these magnificent creatures as they swim in the warm waters.


Kauai is another excellent location to watch humpback whales, with several tour operators offering unforgettable whale watching tours.

Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach is on the south coast of Kauai and is a stunning location to watch whales. You can see whales from a safe distance from various locations on the beach, including the cliffs.

Na Pali Coast

The Na Pali Coast on Kauai’s northwest coast is a remote and picturesque location where whales are often seen. The area’s steep cliffs offer an ideal sight line for observing the whales breaching and playing in the waters below.


Hawaii offers many whale watching spots, each with its unique views, experiences, and whale behaviors. Whether you visit Maui, Oahu, Big Island, or Kauai, you can expect a memorable and exciting whale watching adventure. Make sure to plan your trip ahead and choose a reputable and knowledgeable whale watching tour operator to make the most of your time on the islands.

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