Whale watching in Maui is a pretty big deal. These gentle giants love to frolic in our aqua waters, and will happily put on a show for anyone within eyesight.
If you want your vacation to include breeching whales and flipping tails, this guide will give you the best seat in the house, whether it be on land, on the ocean or high above these incredible creatures!
Whale Watching from the Sky:
While most people know Maui as the Valley Isle, this stunning island is also known as the “Magic Isle.” And there is nothing quite as magical as seeing a pod of whales from an aerial point of view!
- Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours: If you’re going to fly, you want the best and this company is as good as they get! You’ll be sitting in one of their state-of-the-art helicopters with jaw-dropping views that are reserved for those up high. While this isn’t an actual whale watching tour, the pilot will make sure to keep an eye out for a pod and will even turn around to make sure you get a picture-worthy look! The Complete Maui Island Tour will include the Auau Channel, which is where thousands of whales take shelter. And in the peak whale watching months, there is a very good chance those whales will show off for you! Regardless of what you end up seeing, these tours never disappoint, from breathtaking waterfalls to stunning coastlines.
Whale Watching from the Land:
You don’t have to get up close and personal with these whales if you’d prefer to keep your feet on solid ground. The south and west side of Maui is the prime viewing location, but we’ve found a few key spots that delivers a whale spotting almost every time! While the whales start their migration into Maui around October, the best time to see them is from December to March. February is known as the “prime” month, when the party is in full swing!
Best spots to see whales from the land:
- Maalaea Bay
- Makena Beach Park: While the beach has a fine view, many people want a higher vantage point and will climb up Pu’u Ola’i, which is a cinder cone behind Little Beach. There is also a dried lava flow ridge that separates Big Beach and Little Beach, and you can get a nice vantage point from here.
- The Sheraton Maui Resort: Nestled up against Black Rock in Ka’anapali, you have the pools, beach, and great spots from your rooms to watch them!
- The scenic lookout between mile markers eight and nine on the Honoapililani Highway (Highway 30): The Pacific Whale Foundation has naturalists at this location during whale season to point out the whales and answer any questions you might have!
Whale Watching from the Sea:
Obviously, this location is one of the best places to be if you want to get a panoramic picture of a whale tail! There are so many whale watching tours and its hard to know which one is for you! While this is just a few, these are some of the best that Maui has to offer!
Best ocean tours to see whales:
- Pride of Maui: If you’d like to watch the whales from a stunning 65-foot catamaran that was custom build for Hawaiian waters, than this tour is for you! The Pride of Maui boasts a 360 degree sweeping views from their upper deck. And that’s not the end of the thrills! This glass bottom boat tour includes snorkeling, a water slide, a delicious BBQ spread and a bar stocked with ice-cold beer and Mai Tai fixings. Whale watching has never been so fun!
- Maui Kayak Adventures: If you’d prefer to take in these majestic whales more intimately, a whale watching kayak tour has your name written all over it! The passionate tour guide will know exactly where to take you for the show of your life. This tour is perfect for everyone, whether you’ve never been on a kayak before or if you’re an expert paddler!
- Sail Trilogy: As an official sponsor of the Whale Sanctuary, this company has the whales best interest in mind. They are committed to keeping the whales safe and happy while making sure you having the time of your life! These tours are kept small so that everyone gets a front row seat. With their incredibly knowledgable naturalists on board, you’ll be privy to fascinating and informative whale facts.
Whale watching is one of the most incredible ways you can spend your time on Maui, regardless of where you decide to do it. Make sure to sign up for these tours as soon as possible, as the best tours always fill up first!