Blue whale watching in the Azores, Pico Island
This exclusive small group tour, led by our expert whale researcher, offers a unique opportunity to see Blue Whales in hidden areas and participate in research on the boat.
Description of Blue whale watching in the Azores, Pico Island
This Blue Whale Watching holiday in the Azores is a stunning May event, as this is the best time for seeing migratory Blue Whales off the Azores. Your base will be the Azorean island of Pico, a third of which is a nature reserve, with a volcano at its core. You can choose to stay in our 4**** hotel near the harbour, a charming 4**** upgrade hotel surrounded by lush gardens or our guest house villa with pool, all with stunning sea views.
The main focus of the week is to see Blue Whales of course, and you will be travelling with an expert local researcher guide, Rui, with daily timings of your five half day trips planned carefully by him to benefit from best sea conditions. Your whale watching excursions will be on board a RIB Zodiac research boat, which travels comfortably in choppy waters and also able to stay clear of the busier tourist vessels. You will have a chance to become totally immersed in the whale research process during this exciting Blue Whale month of May, learning about data collection, whale behaviour, feeding habits and also get to hear the sounds of the Blue Whale using hydrophones. Our guests are always bowled over and inspired by Ruiís knowledge, as well as his commitment to responsible whale watching.
We have a great record of whale sightings, not only of Blue Whales but also Fin and Humpback Whales, as they are attracted to the nutrient rich waters around Pico during this time. We have also been lucky enough to see an Orca pod on one trip and other wildlife wonders include seven species of dolphin, turtles and Manta Rays.
5 Reviews of Blue whale watching in the Azores, Pico Island
Reviewed on 08 May 2022 by Sandra BurtonAbsolutely loved it...Seeing the whales, Hump back, Sperm Whales, Sei whales and Fin Whales. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 May 2022 by Julie SmithThe daily encounter with whales and dolphins are memories I shall carry with me always. Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Jun 2022 by Clare BatesGetting to ride in the RIB (so much fun!) and seeing plenty of whales and dolphins. Sadly didnít see the big Blue which was the main aim of the trip, we just werenít in the right place at the right time! Read full review
Reviewed on 11 May 2021 by Lilith HausherrSeeing a blue whale for the first time in my life - and then for the second time and the third time and so on. Because there is more than one boat trip, you really get the chance to encounter them many times. Some were fluking, one changed direction and came towards the boat - it was absolutly fantastic. Read full review
Reviewed on 19 May 2018 by Richard ChristieTruly amazing with many sightings of Blue, Sperm and Fin Whales Read full review
PlanetThe way the boats approach the whales follow local regulations to protect the marine life. We only use licensed boat operators who are very sensitive to the well-being of the dolphins and whales. There is a good spirit of cooperation amongst the boat companies and agreements to respect the animals as a priority.
Research is ongoing on the boats, so these trips are helping to build our knowledge of these fantastic animals. Many of the skippers are professional photographers and maintain a comprehensive photo ID database, in particular sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales. The more we can learn about the whales and dolphins of the Azores the better we can understand things like their migrations and social structures. All this moves us closer to protecting them and the marine environment in a more knowledgeable, effective way.
Guests are encouraged to send in any photos they have taken on the whale watching trips that can be used in the ongoing photo identification projects. Every trip has a huge emphasis on conservation and sustaining the marine environment so future generations may also have the privilege of seeing marine mammals in the wild.
PeopleWe only work with local suppliers who employ at least 80% local people which means financial benefits to families here. The land based lookouts whose immense skill at tracking the animals previously earned money from whaling now earn money from tourists - an enormous change that we are passionate about supporting. Many of their adult children now skipper the whale watching boats and work within the small scale tourism.
Our whale watching company offers presentations in local schools to educate the children about the marine life on their doorstep with an emphasis on conservation. They are also planning to host an Azorean Whale Festival to promote the islands as one of the key locations worldwide to see whales. We donate a percentage of our profits to the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), helping to protect whales and dolphins worldwide.
All the activities we recommend locally are run by Azoreans and are designed to maintain good relationships between visitors and the local people. For example, we sell and promote only local crafts to our guests to support local craft makers and artisans and to spread tourism income to many islanders. Our favourite restaurants are all run by Azorean people, and we do recommend that our visitors try the delicious local cuisine while supporting sustainable local fishermen in particular.
As well as whale watching we offer geological and cultural tours hosted solely by experienced local guides with an in-depth knowledge of their island and its landscape. We support the local vineyards where guests can sample the fantastic Azorean wine and take these locally produced gifts back to people at home.