Kalpitiya is wellknown for sightings of spinner dolphins and due to the deep water channel that runs close to the peninsula, whales are often seen too. Birdwatchers also take note, for it is one of the best places in South Asia to see Persian shearwater, wedge-tailed shearwater, brown noddy and pomarine skua.
Destination: Sri Lanka
The beauty and charm of this rugged land and seascapes are breathtaking. The region has an astonishing variety of animal and plant life, and the surrounding waters are one of the best places in the British Isles to see marine mammals. The islands are also renowned as a paradise for birdwatchers.
Destination: United Kingdom
Pico Island, named after the impressive volcano of Pico Alto (2351 metres) that dominates it, is one of the most beautiful of the Azores archipelago. The village of Lages de Pico is worth a visit to learn about the island’s whaling history, otherwise it is a pleasant place for walking or birdwatching.
Faial Island is part of the “Central Group” of the Azores archipelago. Just 21km in length, its narrow lanes are lined with colourful hydrangeas and the views from the caldeira – the extinct volcano that created the island – are spectacular. It’s a great place to walk and several routes are waymarked.
Situated between Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s mainland, this area is considered the best place in the world to observe orca who, during the summer months, are present on a daily basis. They can often be viewed close up from the boat, offering some wonderful sightings and photo opportunities.
The peaks of the seven largest islands of this archipelago rise like a submerged mountain chain, with the tallest perpetually capped in snow. Fiords plunge into the sea, misty forests cover their flanks and windswept sandy beaches lie at their feet and the continental shelf plummets into the Pacific Ocean.
The Sea of Cortez (also known as the The Gulf of California) is a UNESCO World Heritage site that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet with the widest variety of whales and dolphins, and nearly 900 species of fish.
Isolated for thousands of years, this amazing wilderness off the BC coast is one of the most pristine areas left on earth – at the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. In summer its wildlife is prolific, and whale watching excursions provides an ideal opportunity to learn about these marine mammals.
Each year large numbers of whale, dolphins and porpoises migrate to the waters around the Newfoundland coast – about 15 species are normally present, seasonally or year round. St. Mary’s Bay is well-known for whale watching, and is easy to reach on a self-drive tour from the capital, St John’s.
Ten hours drive east of Quebec City, the Mingan Archipelago is a fantastic location for whale enthusiasts. Its estuary, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, with its huge shoals of plankton and fish, attracts congregations of the elusive blue, minke, fin, and humpback whales, as well as the endangered beluga whale.
This inlet between the Haida Gwaii (a.k.a. Queen Charlotte Islands) and Dall Island, extends from Porcher Island north to Portland Inlet. Between 12 and 24 kilometres wide, it runs from Dundas Island in the west to the Tsimpsean Peninsula. The Skeena River joins it just south of Prince Rupert.
The healthy black bear population and whale-watching opportunities make this a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Separated from the mainland by a long strait, the island’s west coast overlooks the Pacific Ocean, while the mountainous interior is heavily forested with big conifers.
Arguably one of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world, Gwaii Haanas National Park is a remote reserve of 138 islands in the southern Haida Gwaii. The park – the place of wonder – is an untamed wilderness home to a superb array of marine life and land species, including the humpback whale.
This small town of ies on the west coast of Vancouver Island, at the southern edge of Clayoquot Sound. It is a popular destination for anyone wanting to enjoy whale watching, particularly in March when the migration of thousands of grey whales is celebrated at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival.
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a 90km stretch of coastline comprising a world of diversity and includes the Snaefellsnes National Park at its western most end. Friendly towns and villages, spectacular mountains, a multitude of bird species nesting on treacherous cliffs and superb whale watching opportunities.
One of the two largest slands that form the Haida Gwaii, the San Cristobal Mountains form its backbone and rise over 1200 metres. The higher elevations are dominated by mountain hemlock and alpine tundra, whereas the lower elevations are mainly cedar, pine and western hemlock, becoming densely wooded.
Chatham Strait is a deep 240 kilometre-long strait in the Alexander Archipelago, in southwest Alaska. It was once the home of explorers and fur-trappers, many of whom – in the days when Alaska was controlled by Russia rather than the United States – came from as far afield as Siberia, across the Bering Strait.
The Silver Bank lies approximately 110 kilometres north of the coast of the Dominican Republic, and almost the same distance southeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands, in the Antilles. In October 1986 the Dominican Republic recognized its vital importance by establishing the Silver Bank Sanctuary.
Destination: Dominican Republic
This coral cay lies at the southern tip of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Great Barrier Reef, roughly 80 kilometres northeast of Bundaberg and between Fraser Island and Lady Musgrave Island. It is the closest Great Barrier Reef island to Brisbane, Queensland’s capital.
Comprising the atolls of Malé, Ari, Felidhoo, Faafu and the smaller Rasdhoo Atoll, the central region of the Maldives is the most popular area for liveaboard vessels due to the sheer abundance of marine life, including whales, dolphins, turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and numerous seabirds.