Kayak With The Orcas In Washington

Kayaking Tour in Washington


The San Juan archipelago is made up of over 400 islands and rocks, 128 of which are named. Altogether, there are over 478 miles of shoreline to explore!

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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You’ll be greeted at the Seattle/Tacoma airport and transferred to a shuttle that will take you to the San Juan Islands ferry. The adventure begins on your way to the island, as the views are spectacular! Once you arrive at the ferry landing on San Juan Island, you’ll be taken to your hotel. After you have some time to freshen up, you’ll meet with your guides for dinner at a local restaurant where you can discuss your upcoming adventures!

After breakfast, you’ll get acquainted with your new best friend, the kayak. Starting off in the tranquil waters off the eastside of San Juan Island, you’ll learn how to kayak safely, and what to watch out for when you do encounter orcas. While you get comfortable kayaking, you’ll have spectacular views of Lopez Island and the Cascade Mountain range. For lunch take a break on Fourth of July beach before getting back out on the water.

Now it’s time to test what you’ve learned, as today you’ll head to the west side of San Juan Island. This area, between the San Juans and Vancouver Island, is known as The Orca Highway. Here there are over 70 killer whales in residence from April to October, along with other wildlife like sea lions, seals, porpoises, humpback whales and of course stunning views. After trying your hand at kayaking for a few hours, take a break and hang out on the beach for a while at the spectacular Lime Kiln Point State Park. Even when you’re on land this area is known as Whale Watch Park, and offers sightings of orcas as close as 20 feet from shore!

Following breakfast you’ll pack up and head to the ferry to Orcas Island, where you’ll stay the next two nights. Once you get checked in, your guide will take you to the North Shore of the island for your next kayaking adventure. There, weather permitting, you’ll head out to the remote Sucia Islands, a marine park with a permanent population of just four people, according to the 2000 census. It may not have hardly any people, but what it does have is wildlife, including bald eagles, sea lions and blue herons. You’ll also get to see gorgeous emerald waters and sandstone formations as you paddle by.

After sitting in a kayak for the last few days, maybe a nice trek on dry land is in order. Luckily, Orcas Island is home to Mount Constitution, the highest peak in the San Juan mountain range. Located in Moran State Park, you’ll be able to hike the 3.4 mile trek to the peak of the mountain which offers 360-degree views of the North Cascade mountains. You can also opt for the easier 3-mile loop on the Cascade Falls Trail, which offers its own stunning views of the falls. While the mountain summit is a great place to watch the sunset, another option is to head to West Beach, where you’ll get awe-inspiring views of the sun setting over other islands.

For your last full day it’s time to get wet again! We’ll head back over on the ferry to San Juan Island, where you’ll stash your gear and get ready for a full day of kayaking. You’ll head out on the northwest side of the island, this time to circumnavigate the rocky Henry Island – we’re back on the Orca Highway! Along the way you’ll also see harbor seals, cormorants, and bald eagles while stopping off for lunch at Posey Island, a state-run marine park. At dinner that evening, you may be tired from all that paddling, but you’ll have some great stories to tell about your adventure!

Today you’ll say goodbye to your temporary home among the islands and the giant beasts who navigate the waters nearby. A ferry ride across to the airport in Seattle will give you some time to reflect and think about your next trip to hang with your new buddies, the orcas!

The San Juan Islands, scattered off the coast of Washington north of Seattle is one of the premiere destinations for whale-watching, particularly orcas. These mighty beasts pass through the islands every summer to feast on Chinook salmon, and there’s no better way to experience the tranquil majesty of these animals than by sharing the water with them while aboard a kayak. Along the way you’ll be able to view the incredible lush green scenery, and you’re likely to spot bald eagles, seals, sea lions, humpback whales, and a variety of other marine wildlife.


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