If you’re into wildlife encounters, you shouldn’t miss whale watching in Puerto Rico.
The island’s warm waters are home to various species.
I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for many years, so I can tell you that you’ll have an unforgettable experience watching these animals in their natural habitat.
In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about whale watching in Puerto Rico:
– What type of whales can you see in Puerto Rico?
– Are there whale-watching tours in Puerto Rico?
– What time of year is best for whale watching in Puerto Rico?
– Can you swim with whales in Puerto Rico?
– Can you see whales in San Juan Puerto Rico?
– Frequently Asked Questions
Humpback whales are the most commonly sighted whales in Puerto Rico.
They are known for their distinctive songs sung by males during the mating season and their acrobatic displays, such as breaching, tail slapping, and fin waving.
You can also find the Bryde’s whale, the sperm whale, and the pilot whale in Puerto Rican waters.
The Bryde is a baleen whale that can grow up to 50 feet long and weigh 30 tons. They are known for their long, slender bodies and ability to swim quickly.
Sperm whales, on the other hand, are the most giant-toothed whales in the world and can grow up to 60 feet long. They are known for their massive heads, which help them dive to great depths.
You can see whales in the western coastal towns of the island, read more about the area in our article Rincon – All You Need To Know.
There are a few tour operators in Puerto Rico that offer whale-watching excursions.
Check out this video of a whale swimming in Rincon:
Those tours are limited only to the humpback whale season, typically from mid-January to late March.
The most known one is Taino Divers in the Black Eagle Marina in Rincón. They offer sunset cruises to spot whales along the western coast.
Though not specifically mentioned on their respective sites, they all offer whale-watching excursions. It’s important to book your tour in advance as spots can fill up quickly.
If you love the sea, check out our article featuring the 25 Best Snorkeling Spots In Puerto Rico.
Whales start migrating to the island’s warm waters during winter, but the best time to go whale watching is between January and March.
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The peak whale watching season coincides with the island’s dry season, meaning visitors can expect mild temperatures, clear skies, and calm waters. These ideal conditions make for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
During this time, hundreds of humpback whales migrate to the Caribbean waters surrounding the island to mate, give birth, and care for their young.
The best time to go whale watching is in the evening, around sunset, when the waters are calmer, and you’re more likely to spot a whale.
Whales come up for air every 15 to 20 minutes, which is when you’ll get a magnificent glimpse of them as they spray water into the air.
For more information about marine life on the island, read our article Has There Been A Shark Attack In Puerto Rico?
Swimming with whales is not allowed in Puerto Rico.
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Federal regulations prohibit any activity that could harm or disturb marine mammals, including humpback whales, a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Some tour companies offer snorkeling excursions near coral reefs that serve as feeding grounds for whales, but it is not allowed to swim with them.
However, if you take one of those tours, you’ll have a chance to see them from a short distance.
It is very important to respect the regulations to protect marine life and their habitats.
Observing whales from a safe distance can still provide an unforgettable experience.
If you’re lucky, you can spot whales from the shores of Old San Juan, but it is not guaranteed.
Whale sightings are most frequent in the west and east coast waters, being the west the most popular.
If you’re not booking a tour, you’ll get the best chance of seeing a whale in the municipalities below:
Located on the western coast, Rincón is the most popular whale-watching spot.
You should visit El Faro Lighthouse, situated on a clifftop.
Check out the video below:
It is located just two hours from San Juan.
Find El Faro on the Google Map below:
Another whale-watching spot is Jobos Beach in Isabela on the western coast.
It only takes a two hours drive from San Juan to get there.
Find Playa Jobos on the Google Map below:
3. Cabo Rojo
The Cabo Rojo Lighthouse, located at the top of a 200-foot-tall limestone cliff, is another popular spot for whale watching.
It’s situated just a 3 hours drive away from San Juan.
The best place to see whales in Fajardo is by boat.
Many of the whale-watching tours depart from Fajardo, particularly from Las Croabas, situated 1 hour away from San Juan.
Find Los Croabas in the Google Map below:
Whales start migrating to the island during winter, but the best time to go whale watching is between mid-January and late March. The peak season coincides with the island's dry season, meaning visitors can expect mild temperatures, clear skies, and calm waters. These ideal conditions make for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
While it is possible to see whales from San Juan, it is less likely compared to other parts of Puerto Rico. San Juan is located on the northern coast of the island, and the whales typically migrate closer to the eastern and western coasts of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico offers a unique opportunity to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Whether you’re a seasoned whale watcher or a first-time observer, you’re going to have an unforgettable experience.
Rincon has the most popular spots for whale watching on the island, but it also has the most beautiful sunsets on the whole island. You will not regret the ride.
If you’re interested in visiting this west coast municipality, then check out our article where we discuss the 13 Best Tours in Rincon.
Writer at PuertoRico.com. I am a full-time writer and public relations specialist with experience in tourism, gastronomy, and economics. I started my career as a lifestyle journalist for a publication with the highest readership in Puerto Rico. When I’m not writing, I am a part-time foodie, avid traveler, and coffee lover. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, meaning that I know how to live the Boricua experience!About the author