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best time to see dolphins

Did you know that dolphins get high? Yup, dolphins are dope fiends. They tend to travel in gangs, looking for their next fix, in search of Pufferfishes — known for their highly toxic and hallucinogenic poison. When they finally stumble onto one, well, they go all Burning Man. That’s just one of the hundreds of oddball and fascinating facts about Flippers.

And one of the reasons why folks are so enamored of them. For those looking to experience the beauty and majesty of dolphins, Hawaii & Oahu offer some of the best spots for viewing these amazing creatures. With their warm waters, an abundance of sea life, and great migratory waterways, the islands are an ideal place for catching dolphins in their natural habitat. But when is the best time of year to visit Hawaii & Oahu to see dolphins? In a nutshell, you can see dolphins all year round, but there are particular seasons when your chances rise.

Fascination with dolphins in Hawaiian culture

The Hawaiian culture has long been fascinated with dolphins. For centuries, the people of Hawaii have looked to these graceful creatures as symbols of strength and luck. They are seen as protectors of fishermen, vessels, and surfers alike. Dolphins have become an integral part of the archipelago’s culture and folklore in many ways, from artwork to songs to festivals dedicated to them

Traditional Hawaiians view the Nai’a, also known as porpoises or dolphins, as an oceanic tribe with rights comparable to those of mankind. They are believed to be disobedient ancestors or spirits sent to protect family members from beyond.

Dolphins are also referred to as the “Angels of the Sea”. They are said to have a divine aura that enchants the senses and radiates healing energy that affects the mind, body, and spirit.

Meanwhile, sighting a dolphin is said to be an omen of good luck to sailors.

The popularity of dolphin sightings among tourists

Dolphin sightings are a popular tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world. Due to the island’s magic and natural infrastructure – the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, the beautiful beaches of Oahu and Maui, and the coral reefs – sightings of dolphins are incredibly common.

Not only do these creatures offer an unforgettable experience for visitors, but they also provide an opportunity to learn about their behavior and habitat. Dolphins are incredibly intelligent mammals that in many ways mirror our own human patterns and behavior— and they can be spotted in many places around the Hawaiian Islands. 

Seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat is a thrilling experience that many folks never forget. But, like all things natural, they don’t stick to a schedule so most tourists have to do their research so they increment their chances of sighting one out in the wild.
see dolphins

Factors affecting dolphin sightings in Hawaii

There are a number of variables that can influence when and where dolphins can be seen. It’s important to really understand them in order to up your chances of spotting one. 

Let’s dissect what they are.

Here are some factors that affect dolphin sightings in Hawaii and how they impact our chances of seeing these amazing creatures:

Time of year

Depending on the season, dolphin populations fluctuate and can affect how often they are seen in the area. There are migratory factors to consider. However, dolphins, unlike other sea animals, are less nomadic. They set up shop and tend to stick around, so in theory, it is possible to see them all year long.

Weather conditions

The warm waters of the Pacific Ocean create ideal conditions for dolphins to live and feed, but the weather can also have a significant impact on their behavior. In stormy seasons during freak cold fronts, your chances diminish.


The chances of spotting dolphins vary depending on where you are in Hawaii. Different locations have different levels of dolphin activity, so it’s important to know where to go if you want to spot these majestic creatures. Dolphins like all animals tend to move around in search of food sources — certain places due to their natural characteristics are more abundant when it comes to plankton and small sea life. They attract more predators.


The chances of dolphin sightings can vary significantly depending on the habitat. Factors such as water temperature, depth, food availability, and ocean currents all impact the likelihood of spotting dolphins in Hawaii.

Best Time of Year to See Dolphins in Hawaii and Oahu

If you’re planning a trip, you may be wondering when the best time of year to see dolphins is. The answer depends on where you plan to go and what type of dolphin experience you’re looking for. 

Here is a list of the ideal conditions for dolphin sightings in Hawaii and Oahu.

The active season for dolphin sightings

For the majority of tourists, the best time to see dolphins is during the months of April through May and August through November.

Ideal weather conditions for dolphin sightings

It will depend on the type of dolphins and their habitat. Generally, calm seas, sunny days, moderate temperatures, and light winds are best for dolphin sightings.

The ocean should also be relatively clear so that dolphins can easily be spotted from a distance.
best time of day to see dolphins

Increased dolphin activity and other patterns

Dolphins can stay awake for the whole day, 24hs without the need for a Monster Energy Drink; however, they are most active during the day and less active at night. They too are prey to larger more vicious animals such as sharks, and those toothy villains tend to go out after sunset. 

Salinity levels are another issue. As it arises, dolphins are less likely to be seen in certain areas.

Regarding food sources, research has shown that dolphins tend to congregate near areas where there are plentiful sources, which could explain why they are so common in Hawaii.

Oahu and Dolphins.

Each year things on the island tend to get wacky— el Niño effect, ocean currents, migratory factors, waves of sharks, ocean liners – dolphins tend to follow them due to the yummy waste they excrete – ect. All those plus more X-Factor make the whole idea of planning the excursion a game of chance. Calculating those imponderables is next to impossible.

Still, there are a couple of things you can take into account and factor for. The seasons, for example, the time of day, and the places where to spot them. Your best bet is to hire out a tour. Dolphin Tours knows all the ins and outs of these natural attractions.