One of the most popular attractions of Roche Harbor is our natural wildlife. You will see wildlife in the water and along the shores of the San Juan Islands. The most popular wildlife in the area that attracts visitors from across the country are our orca whales.
You can schedule tours and excursions in Roche Harbor from April until Octobr to see the orca pods that live in the area. This is one of the most popular excursions in all of the San Juan Islands.
Before you come to see our orca whales, perhaps you would like to learn a little more about these beautiful sea creatures:
- Orca whales weigh up to 6 tons and grow a long as 23-32 feet. Their total length is similar to the length of a school bus. These are some of the largest sea creatures known to man and they’re the largest species of dolphins according to National Geographic.
- Orca whales live in several different climates and habitats and are considered the second-most widely distributed mammals after humans. That’s right! You can find orcas in warm waters such as the San Juan Islands or freezing, icy waters around the globe. Orcas never stay any one place too long and are known to travel extremely far distances.
- Orcas are an apex predator, meaning no other animal hunts them. The only mammal that hunts or kills orca whales are humans. Orcas feed on turtles, sea birds, octopi, rays and even sharks.
- Orca mothers are pregnant for 17 months and will give birth to one new orca whale once every three or 10 years.
- The black and white color of orca whales helps to camouflage them in the water in order to hunt their prey.
You can learn more about orca whales online before your visit or ask your tour guide several questions during your scheduled excursion as all of the tour guides are extremely knowledgeable about these amazing creatures.