We offer a wide range of kayak tours from San Juan Island. All kayak tours have a shared focus on wildlife education, whale watching and adventure. Some kayak tours have more specific agendas such as whale watching while others focus on adventure and travel. San
San Juan Island offers a great blend of accessibility, wildlife diversity and natural beauty. Pacific Northwest kayaking is defined by rocky shorelines, swift currents, wildlife and amazing sunsets. Travel routes best know for whale watching along the west side of San Juan. Explore dense kelp forest traveling, pass by harbor seals lounging in the sun and keep an eye out for passing whales.
Discovery Sea Kayaks specializes in wildlife education based kayak tours.
MOST POPULAR KAYAK TOURS
The Half Day Kayak Tour is extremely popular for being the perfect balance of time on the water and the travels the best route for whale watching on San Juan. Departing 3 time daily, the half day tour easily fits into most travel and activity plans. Departure times are selected to miss the busy summer crowds.
- 3 Daily Departures to fit your schedule.
- Best Route for Whale Watching
- Naturalist Guides
- Best Price on San Juan
- Small Groups
There is little to explain why the Sunset Kayak Tour is one of our most popular kayaking tours. Departing late in they day there is little to no boat traffic on the water. Others offer sunset kayaking tours but we guarantee you are on the water for sunset while everyone else is offer the water a good hour before the sun actually sets. Why miss all the wonderful colors of the sunset? Once the sun passes behind Vancouver Island the real sunset show starts and rich pink, red and orange colors cross the skies. The route travels along the Orca corridor on San Juan Island. This is truly as special time of day to be on the water.
- The sunset and evening ambiance.
- Whale Watching Kayak Route
- Professional Guides
- Small Groups
One of the most unique kayak tour offerings we have. Over the years the “Bio” Tour has grown in popularity that it is recommended to reserve available slots months in advance. We limit the departures to only certain months and only certain times of the month to miss days during the full moon. There is only one departure per evening with a small group of guests. If you have not experienced kayaking in bioluminescence, this is a must do to add to your San Juan Island vacation.
- Most Unique Kayak Tour on San Juan Island
- Small Groups
- Professional Sea Kayak Guides
We offer several multi day kayak tour options but the 3 Day Kayak Tour has always been the favorite choice of travelers. Three days offers the perfect amount of time to travel the islands and enjoy the camping experience while searching for whales. Our 3 Day Kayak Tours is the most inclusive tour on San Juan. All the kayak and camping equipment is provided. All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided. We take care of all the details so you have little to worry about while traveling. Traveling in the smallest groups allows us to select some of the best camping areas larger groups simply will not fit. Our guides have the most experience kayaking the islands and provide you with the best options for camping and kayak routes. This is a perfect option for the adventurer who is looking for a memorable kayaking experience on San Juan Island.
- Smallest Group Size on the island.
- Best Value for your money
- All Equipment and Food provided
- Experienced Expedition Kayak Guides
WHALE WATCHING GUIDELINES
When you read about whale watching Seattle Washington this really means from San Juan Island. Whale watching is one of the main attractions on San Juan Island. Visitors can choose to visit the Lime Kiln State Park and chance an encounter from shore, purchase tickets for a whale watch cruise departing from downtown Friday Harbor or reserve a kayak tour and head to the west side of San Juan Island for a day on the water.
Many visitors to the island are not aware that the Southern Resident Killer Whales are listed on the Endangered Species List and have been since 2005. There are many laws and guidelines that govern how we behave around the animals.
We follow strict best practices guidelines around all animals and as a member of the San Juan Island Kayak Association we strive to set the best example while on the water.
The following are the best practices in the presence of killer whales:
- Maintain a distance of 200 yards from the side of the animals. To adhere to this guideline we follow a specific set of procedures to minimize our impact on the whales. If whales are in the area we will paddle near shore and observe their travel behavior. If the animals approach to within 200 yards of the shore we will stop paddling and raft our kayaks side by side in an appropriate area. At this point whales may approach and pass extremely close to our kayaks. Our goal at this point is to stay put and let the animals clear the area.
- If we are paddling off shore and notice the whales approaching directly in front of us (the travel path). We will move inshore before we are within a 400 yard distance of the animals. We want to maneuver to avoid being in the travel path of the whales. This can be tricky at times so pay attention to your guides, as they are experienced in working around the whales.
- If we are on the shore preparing to launch or having lunch, we will not leave the shore if the whales are traveling near shore. We can easily have a great experience viewing them from the beach.
This is a short list of protocols we follow to minimize our disturbance to the whales. It is important to note that all vessels whether under motor, wind or human power have to abide by the 200 yard and 400 yard rules.
For a detailed list of guidelines, laws and fines please visit the Be Whale Wise website.
In many ways kayaking can be one of the best ways to experience killer whales. All guides are trained naturalists and have extensive knowledge about killer whales. By traveling by kayak in small groups we are able to be in better positions than larger groups to see the whales when they make a pass. Kayaks are a minimal impact way enjoy the marine environment; sitting close to the water provides an unparalleled experience around the whales.
Discovery Sea Kayaks is a member of the San Juan Island Kayak Association (SJIKA). The association works hand in hand with NOAA and The Whale Museum to develop the best practice guidelines for commercial kayak tour operators on San Juan Island. We hold ourselves to the highest operating standards to provide the best kayak tour with minimal impacts or disturbances to wildlife.
Southern Resident Killer Whales are under survival pressure and we ask all visitors to respect the laws and guidelines in place to help protect them.