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Best Places For Whale Watching In Puerto Rico

Welcome to my guide on whale watching in Puerto Rico where I’ll help you discover the best spots to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures out in the wild.

I recently toured the entire island of Puerto Rico and one of things that I did was go whale watching. In a nutshell, it was one of my favorite experiences ever!

The best place to go whale watching in Puerto Rico is in the region of Isabela on the island’s northwestern coast.

You can join a horseback tour along the beaches in Isabela and look out for whales as you ride. This is the tour that I personally did and I loved it.

You’ll be joined by an expert guide who knows exactly where to find the whales.

In this article, I’ll cover where else you can see whales in Puerto Rico, the best time of year to see them and I’ll also share some tips on how to make the most of your whale watching adventure.

Best Places To Go Whale Watching In Puerto Rico

For the best chance of seeing a whale in Puerto Rico, head to the places below:

1. Isabela

As I mentioned, Isabela is the best place to go whale watching in Puerto Rico (by far). This region lies on Puerto Rico’s northwestern coast.

Map of Puerto Rico showing the location of Isabela region.

Isabela is famous for its beautiful secluded sandy beaches and during whale watching season, whales can often be spotted on its shores.

Peak whale watching season is in February so this is the best time to visit Isabela for whale watching but whales can be seen between January and March.

To make the experience more memorable, you can join a horseback tour along the beaches of Isabela, this is a great way to relax and look for whales. 

This is the tour that I did and I really loved it. We rode along the beaches and I was lucky enough to spot 2 whales jumping out of the ocean in the distance!

The tour guides know the best spots in the region for whale watching so this gives you the biggest possible chance of seeing a whale.

Horseback riding in Puerto Rico is also one of the most fun activities I’ve ever done as you get to see some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes.

I found that the best beach for whale watching in Isabela was Playa Jobos as this is where I had both of my whale sightings.

After my tour finished, I headed up to the Isabela Observation Tower which is a boardwalk that runs close by to the beach and offers incredible views of the ocean.

It’s a great place to spot the whales from above and I managed to get 2 more whale sightings from up here with an even better view.

You’ll probably want to stay in a hotel nearby as the best time of day to see whales is either early in the morning (before 10am) or around sunset time.

Top Hotel Pick in Isabela: Royal Isabela

Did you know you can also see turtles in Puerto Rico?

2. Rincón

Another one of the best whale watching spots in Puerto Rico is in Rincón which is located on the western coast of the island. 

Map of Puerto Rico that shows location of Rincon.

This area is well known for surfing, sunsets and sandy beaches but also for its regular whale sightings!

The best spot in Rincón for whale watching is El Faro Lighthouse which is located on a clifftop. 

As you can imagine, you’ll get an excellent view of the ocean from the observation deck here which gives you the best possible chance of spotting a whale. 

When I went to the lighthouse, I spotted my first whale after around half an hour. 10 minutes later, a second whale showed up splashing water into the air in front of my eyes.

I also heard that you can sometimes spot whales from the shores of Rincón’s many beaches. The best beaches for whale watching in Rincón are Tres Palmas, Sandy Beach and Domes.

Whilst you can often see whales from the beaches, many people opt for a boat tour which will take you out into the ocean for a closer look at the whales. 

The best time to visit Rincón for whale watching is February, but whales can often be seen here from January to March. 

There’s plenty of great places to stay in Rincón. If you’re here for whale watching then it’s a good idea to get a hotel close to El Faro Lighthouse.

Top Hotel Pick in Rincón: Casa Verde Hotel

Check out the video below of a whale spotted whilst kitesurfing in Rincón:

3. Aguadilla

Aguadilla is a small town just north of Rincón that boasts stunning beaches and fantastic surfing opportunities. 

During whale watching season (January – March), there are frequent sightings of whales in the ocean near Aguadilla.

The best beach for whale watching in Aguadilla is Crash Boat Beach. I spent an entire day on Crash Boat Beach just relaxing and swimming in the ocean.

I actually had no idea that it was good for whale watching until I overheard someone talking about it. They told me to head out along the pier for the best chance of seeing a whale.

Of course, I took their advice and walked up the pier and within 15 minutes, I managed to spot a huge whale out in the distance!!

Peak whale watching season is in February but whales can also often be seen here in January and March too. 

4. Mona Passage

The Mona Passage is the body of water that separates Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic. 

Map of Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico showing Mona Passage between them.

The Mona Passage is a popular spot for whale watching with large numbers of whales being reported in these waters each year during whale watching season (January – March). 

There’s plenty of tours available that will take you out into the Mona Passage for whale watching, from boat tours to scuba diving trips. 

Check out the video below of a family of whales swimming in the Mona Passage spotted whilst on a boat:

If you enjoy seeing whales, you may also be interested in knowing where to swim with dolphins in Puerto Rico.

5. Joyuda Beach, Cabo Rojo

Joyuda Beach is located in Cabo Rojo which sits on the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico. 

It’s a popular beachfront location with a range of fun activities and during whale watching season, you have a good chance of spotting a whale or two here.

There’s plenty of boat tours available in the area which is a good way to see the whales. 

You may also find my 2 week Puerto Rico itinerary useful. I go into a ton of detail on exactly what you should do and where you should go!

Best Time To See Whales

Whale watching season in Puerto Rico runs from January to March each year. The best time to see them is during February as this is when their numbers are highest.

Every single winter without fail, humpback whales arrive along the western shores of Puerto Rico. 

During this time, they can often be spotted from various places along the northwest and western coast of Puerto Rico.

During this time of year, the humpback whales migrate south to mate, rest and care for their babies. 

I found that the best time to go whale watching in Puerto Rico is early morning (before 10am) and evening time around sunset.

At these times of day, the waters are more calm and you’re more likely to spot a whale. 

The whales come up for air every 15 to 20 minutes and this is when you’ll get a magnificent glimpse of them as they spray water up into the air. 

And that’s it!

I hope this guide has inspired you to embark on your own whale watching adventure in Puerto Rico.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a wildlife enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, seeing these magnificent creatures up close is an unforgettable experience.

There’s also a ton of other interesting sea creatures that live in the waters around Puerto Rico. Did you know you can also spot manatees in Puerto Rico?


Megan Jones is a travel expert and founder of Traveller's Elixir, who has been travelling the world full time since 2021. Megan's travel tips been featured in numerous media outlets including Metro, Timeout, Thrillist and more.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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