Whales in the Caribbean? You betcha. They’re clearly smart. Humpback whales migrate to the warm waters around St. John in the winter. Increase your chances of seeing whales while visiting St. John by renting a villa perched high on a mountain (Windspree has several), time your visit to include a week or more during January-March, and keep your eyes (and ears!) open while you’re here.humpback whale adult + calf

Humpback whales migrate to the Caribbean during the winter and have been spotted in Coral Bay and other areas off the shores of St. John. Checkout these fun facts about humpback whales:

Did you know…

  • The humpback whale is a large marine mammal that belongs to one of over 80 known species of cetacea.
  • An average adult humpback whale is 50 ft. long and weighs 44 tons.
  • A healthy humpback whale can live up to 50 years.
  • The largest ever recorded humpback whales measured in at 89 ft. long. That’s 30 yards on a football field.
  • Humpback whales typically travel alone or in small pods of two or three.humpback whale diving
  • During the summer months, humpback whales head to cold water. But in the winter months, they head to warm tropical areas to mate and bare offspring.
  • Humpback whales are known to fast during the winter, living off of fat stores they’ve acquired during their feeding season.
  • Humpback whales travel great distances during migration periods (as much as 16,000 miles each year)
  • During reproduction cycles, fertile female whales will bear a single offspring once every 2 – 3 years.
  • Humpback whales communicate through sound as well as body language, like lunging, tail slapping, or breaching.

humpback whale

  • Only the male humpback whales sing.Whale songs can communicate their desire to mate, showcase their youthfulness, and show dominance around other males.
  • Humpback whales do not have vocal cords and use their blowhole sort of like a whistle.
  • Humpback whales do not have teeth
  • Humpback whales are baleen whales. Baleen whales have baleen plates in their mouth instead of teeth, with bristles to capture and filter out small prey.

adult humpback whale calf

  • Humpback whales hunt using a technique known as bubble net fishing which involves a group of them swimming around and blowing bubbles. Whales also will create loud vocal sounds to scare the fish to the surface of the water, then slap their fins against the water to stun the fish and immobilize them.
  • The humpback whale is an endangered species and is protected against hunting by law.

Humpback whale helloThe best chance of seeing whales in the waters around St. John is January-March, depending on when the humpbacks decide to head south. Even if you don’t see any whales, a St. John vacation will offer you an underwater experience you will never forget.


Find the perfect vacation place on St. John by contacting Windspree Vacation Homes. Renting US Virgin Islands vacation rentals for nearly 40 years, island experts help you design your dream vacation on St. John. For the best Virgin Islands rentals and St. John USVI rentals, call or text Windspree Vacation Rentals directly at (340)201-3002.


-Your future self

Trunk Bay on St. John
Trunk Bay on St. John

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