When is “Whale Season”?

A humpback whale showing some tail

“When is the best time to go whale watching?” This is the most common inquiry that we get here in the office from guests. Visitors to Tofino want to know what time of day whales are most active, what the “peak” of whale season is and what conditions are ideal for watching whales. First of all, let’s start of with the migrating behaviour of Grey Whales and Humpback Whales. Both of these whales mate and give birth in warmer southern waters and migrate north to feed in the nutrient rich cooler waters. The whales begin their migration North in March remaining in their feeding waters for months. They begin their migration south in October meaning the Whales are plentiful in Clayoquot Sound from March through to October.

As for deciding on the time of your tour, Whales are not particularly active at a certain time of day. If you are trying to decide on what time of day to head out on the water, plan your day as you’d like as the whales do not have a schedule.

You’ll notice in Tofino, the ever changing conditions. Tofino can be sunny and peaceful in the morning and be raining cats and dogs in the afternoon. Or you can wake up to a thick blanket of fog at dawn and by noon the sky is clear blue. You’ll go crazy if you focus too much on the weather and try to plan around it. Obviously being out on the water with out any wind when it’s sunny and plus 30 is going to be very pleasant. But a bit of rain or fog is what the West Coast is about and should be a part of your experience. The whales don’t seem to mind the west coast weather! Plus here at West Coast Aquatic Safaris, we’re equipped with with the best vessels for the rain and wind.

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