If whale watching is on your bucket-list of things to do, the humpback  whale migration in Panama is a great place to start!

Humpback whales are well-known for their impressive sizes, with adults reaching lengths of up to 50 feet (15 meters) and weighing as much as 40 tons. Their size however, does not hold them back in their agility and acrobatic behaviours.

When do they arrive?


The best time for whale watching Panama is during the humpback whales annual migration season, which typically occurs between July and October, with the best months being August and September. During this period, humpback whales travel from their feeding grounds in the cold waters of Antarctica to the warmer waters of Panama’s Pacific coast for mating, calving, and nursing their young. Mid-July marks the beginning of the Panama whale watching season. This is the mating season, during which male humpbacks compete for the attention of female whales. September to October is the period when many female humpbacks give birth to their calves. The warm and sheltered waters off Panama’s coast provide a safer environment for the calves to nurse and grow stronger before embarking on their journey back to colder waters.

They have one of the largest migration patterns of any species, traveling from one hemisphere to the next almost continuously. Humpback whales live throughout the world’s major oceans. They travel great distances during their seasonal migration, with some animals migrating 5,000 miles between high-latitude summer feeding grounds and winter mating and calving areas in tropical waters. In the North Pacific, some humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii—they can complete the 3,000-mile trip in as few as 36 days. They are notoriously slow swimmers, so that’s an impressive feat. They prefer the warmer tropical waters off the coast of Panama and Hawaii for giving birth.



One of the best places for whale watching Panama is the Gulf of Chiriquí on the Pacific Coast. The Gulf of Chiriquí is a marine-protected area, which gives the whales more security to birth and in effect, they feel safer to approach boats. During the migration, thousands of humpback whales visit the warm waters of Panama to give birth. Visiting the gulf during the migration gives viewers a 95 percent success rate of an encounter. 

Selva Terra Island Resort offers numerous adventures, including the unforgettable and breathtaking Panama whale watching experience.