Minke Whales can be spotted throughout the open waters of the archipelago. The best spot for whale watching is usually in the Bolivar Channel between Isabela and Fernandina islands. The north western islands of Darwin and Wolf can also be great spots for whales but can only be visited as part of a Galapagos dive cruise itinerary.
The best months to find all whale species at Galapagos are from June to December when the feeding is best.
Minke whales are the smallest member of the rorqual whales, one of the two largest groups of whales found in the Galapagos Islands. The dolphin-shaped whale can weigh as much as 10 tons and is recognized by its pointed head, hooked dorsal fin, and the white patches on its flippers. Other characteristics include a signal ridge running from its snout to its blowhole.
These slender, fast-swimming whales are quite commonly found on Galapagos cruises and liveaboard diving boats. Stay out on deck if sailing in waters frequented by Galapagos whales and keep your eyes open!
All rorqual whales have flaps of skin running along their throats to the lower portions of their bodies. These flaps allow the Minke whale’s throats to expand when feeding, letting them filter massive quantities of water through their mouths to feed on krill, plantain, and small fish that swarm underneath the shallow waters of the archipelago.
Minke are spotted by their dorsal fins and blowholes when surfacing in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, arching their backs when blowing from their dual blowholes.
Minke whales migrate to the Galapagos annually, making the trek alongside the Humboldt Current to feed off of the rich, underwater eco-system that develops when the cool waters of the southern current mix with the warmer waters of the Galapagos Sea.
All six of the Earth’s rorqual whales reside in the Galapagos Marine Reserve at some point annually, the largest being the blue whale and the smallest being the Minke.
Contact us for a FREE GALAPAGOS TOUR QUOTE, or assistance to organise your Galapagos vacation. To spot minke whales at Galapagos we recommend a cruise itinerary that includes the Bolivar Channel between Fernandina and Isabela islands. A Galapagos Scuba Dive Cruise is another great alternative.