São Miguel Island Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended São Miguel Island Dolphin & whale watching

Azores: Whale Watching and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores: Whale Watching and Islet Boat Tour

Begin the excursion with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration, and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. Approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. Next, take a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. If whales are spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline. If no whales or dolphins are spotted, you will receive a full refund, or you can book another trip for free.

From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

3. From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

Set off on a whale-watching day trip from Ponta Delgada and witness the marine mammals of the Azores. Look out for minke whales, dolphins, turtles, and more, and learn about the environment from your marine biologist guide. Begin with a briefing by your guide, who will explain the history of whale watching in the Azores. Learn about water safety, rules of observation, and respect for the animals. Depart from the Ponta Delgada harbor and sail into the Atlantic. Situated between Portugal and North America, the Azores are a permanent home or point of passage for more than a third of the world’s whale and dolphin species. Keep an eye out for sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and Risso’s dolphins, which are present throughout the year, along with turtles, seabirds, and other marine life. In the summer months, spot dolphins, pilot whales, and striped dolphins. In spring, enjoy the opportunity to see migrating baleen whales such as blue whales, fin whales, and sei whales.

Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

4. Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

Join the ultimate swimming experience on an encounter with wild dolphins in the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Head out from the Azores in a Zodiac boat for an unforgettable adventure. This 2-hour activity is carried out in small groups and led by a qualified biologists or nature guides. Each swimming tour is preceded by a briefing in which one of the biologists explains how to swim with wild dolphins while respecting them. You’ll also learn how to enter the water and behave around the dolphins, how to use the mask and snorkel and how to get the most out of your swimming experience. Masks, snorkels and wet-suits are provided.

Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

5. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from mini van pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada and the area around and then explore the coastline of São Miguel island by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales and sei whales that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark at the marina and enjoy a tasty lunch at local restaurant. Afetr lunch make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo crater lake. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about how is used the volcanic heat to produce renewable energy to the island.

São Miguel: Wild Swimming with Dolphins

6. São Miguel: Wild Swimming with Dolphins

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime treat as you swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, in the incredible environment of the São Miguel coastline. Relax in the company of trained professionals who will brief you on best practice in the high seas, and how to interact with the dolphins. Marvel at the rugged beauty of the São Miguel coast as you have unforgettable fun swimming alongside the dolphins, and return home with memories to treasure for a lifetime.

Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

7. Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

Take the opportunity to see some of the sea life found in the Azores including dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds. Before the boat trip, listen to biologists explaining the safety measures aboard, the history of the area, the local wildlife and how to respect them. Then set off! After the 3-hour whale watching tour, stop in Vila Franco do Campo to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Following lunch, board a converted traditional fishing boat and head to Vila Franca do Campo islet, a volcanic crater off the coast that encloses a natural lagoon. Take one of the provided snorkels and diving masks and see the numerous protected fish species in this natural reserve. Following the tour, transfer back to Ponta Delgada by boat or van.

São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

8. São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

Discover the whale population of the Azores Islands on a boat cruise along the northern coast of São Miguel. Observe these majestic giants of the ocean in their natural habitat, at a respectful distance. Set off from the fishing village of Rabo de Peixe on the north coast of São Miguel. Explore the sea north of the island, known for its strong tides and whale population. Explore on a semi-inflatable craft, and observe the whales from a respectful distance so as to not disturb the whales. With the help of your onboard spotter, identify the whales as they breach the ocean surface. Be amazed by their grandeur and grace as the whales frolic in the ocean. See their gigantic tailfins, and hear the sound of the blowholes. As you cruise through the ocean, learn about the behavior and feeding habits of the whales with your expert crew. Afterward, return to the port in Rabo de Peixe.

Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

9. Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

Set out on a speedboat expedition to see sperm whales, the largest of the cetacean family. On this learning adventure, explore the northern coast of São Miguel and its diverse flora and fauna. Discover facts about sperm whales from marine biologists as you look for them in their protected habitat.  Your tour begins with a briefing from marine biologists at the yacht club on the northern side of the island. You'll find out about the different species you might see, learn about the whale watching history in the Azores, and understand how biologists and whale watchers respect the animals. Next, board the boat and set out for the Atlantic waters. Enjoy the beautiful coastal landscape and keep your eyes peeled for marine life. On the coast, you may see dolphins, Portuguese man-o-war, or turtles. As you enter the deeper waters of the sanctuary, stay on the lookout for sperm whales.  Finally, return to Rabo de Peixe Harbor. The team of marine biologists will tell you more about the species you just saw. Hear more about the cetaceans, their habits, and their routes to round out your tour.

Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

10. Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour to swim with bottlenose dolphins on this tour from Vila Franca do Campo. Meet your guide at the Vila Franca do Campo Marina for check-in and equipment setup. After a quick safety and responsible practices induction, board your high-speed boat and head out to sea. Your skipper will be on the lookout for dolphins throughout the journey. When the time comes, get ready to dive into the sea and wait for the friendly dolphins to approach you. On the second part of the tour, travel to one of the island's best snorkel locations. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and see an array of vibrant marine fauna and flora as you explore the seafloor before heading back to the marina.

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What people are saying about São Miguel Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Amazing! Our guide Nuno was great- he took us to the whale tour boat (the staff are amazing and explain everything that’s happening and info about the whales and dolphins) we saw three sperm whales and so many dolphins- it was amazing! Take anti sickness tablets if you suffer with sea sickness, as it can get rough. Our guide then picked us up and took us for lunch and then drove us around the volcanos and mountains. Highly recommend

Una excelente forma de empezar nuestra estadía en Sao Miguel, no vimos ballenas pero vimos muchísimos delfines de varias especies. Los guías muy amables!

It was the best trip ever!!!!! Best day of my life I saw a lot of dolphins and whales and one baby whale!!!

We saw 2 types of Dolphins snd many of them. We saw many whales it was great experience

Excellent guide, could see dolphins closely and spermwhale from a distance