Planning a winter trip to Maui, Hawaii? Be sure to put whale watching on your itinerary for the island!

In the winter months, thousands of humpback whales migrate south from Alaska, and many of them make for the warm leeward waters of Maui.

The whales use the winter months to find a mate, give birth, and care for the young calves, before heading back north in the spring.

The dense population of whales in leeward (west) Maui waters makes winter an epic season for whale watching in Maui.

While you can spot whales from shore in Maui if you are lucky, take a boat tour for a better shot at seeing whale behaviors up close.

You may see whales fluke, spyhop, flap a flipper, or, if you are lucky, even breach, propelling its massive frame out of the water for an epic sight!

Boat tours depart from many places in west Maui, and you can pick a catamaran or, if you are adventurous, a raft!

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