Close up of two macaws in the Galapagos Islands.

Nature & Wildlife

Iguana in Costa Rica.

Top 6 Wildlife Viewing Trips with OARS

Providing a unique and unobtrusive opportunity to see animals in their native habitat, wildlife viewing is an inherent element of many OARS trips. But if you’re particularly interested in wildlife viewing adventures, we invite you to check out the following itineraries, which include everything from whale watching vacations in Baja to a Safari in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, with elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos, and more amazing creatures on our Zambezi adventure vacation. Whichever wildlife viewing adventure you embark on, one thing is for sure; you won’t be disappointed.

Whale watching in Baja California, Mexico.

1. Baja Sea Kayaking & Whale Watching, Mexico

See dolphins by the hundreds, snorkel among friendly sea lions, manta rays, and even sharks, and experience Pacific gray whales in close proximity in Magdalena Bay as part of this whale-watching adventure.

Bats on a tree in Costa Rica.

2. Costa Rica: Pura Vida

Costa Rica’s rainforests are home to jaguars, three-toed sloths, spider and howler monkeys, ocelots, and a great number of birds, including toucans, kingfishers, osprey, and egrets. But it’s the 300-pound green sea turtles that will steal the show. OARS multi-sport adventures in Costa Rica are timed to coincide with the million-turtle nesting miracle in Tortuguero National Park.

Tortoise in the Galapagos.

3. Origins of Species: Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galápagos is a wildlife lover’s dream destination. On this island-hopping excursion aboard a luxury yacht, expect to see everything from giant tortoises, marine iguanas, lava lizards, and playful sea lions to countless marine and bird species, including Galápagos sharks, penguins, Darwin’s finches, frigatebirds, and boobies.

4. Zambezi River & Zimbabwe Safari

Some of the most amazing wildlife viewing found anywhere in the world is undoubtedly in Africa. On our safari in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, you’re likely to see elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebra, lions, hyenas, and crocodiles, not to mention an impressive number of bird species.

Bear eating a salmon on the Nature Wildlife OARS trip.

5. Bear Camp at Chilko Lake, Canada

If seeing a grizzly bear is on your bucket list, this is the place to do it. After all, it’s called “Bear Camp” for a reason. Other animals found in the area include California bighorn sheep, fisher, wolverine, bald eagle, and sockeye salmon, which spawn along the shores of Chilko Lake.

A bald eagle perched on a branch.

6. Snake River Rafting through Hells Canyon, Idaho

With over 100 species of birds that call Hells Canyon home, a river trip on Idaho’s Snake River offers the chance to dust off your binoculars and check off a spectacular array of avian life. From falcons, eagles, swans, and owls to plovers, doves, sparrows, and thrushes, our Snake River Rafting through Hells Canyon trip offers ample opportunities to view many of these local species.

Guanacos graze in Torre del Paine, Patagonia.

7. Patagonia Wildlife Safari

Nature abounds as we seek out wild horses, gliding condors, graceful guanacos and great grebes among the stunning peaks and lakes of Torres del Paine. With varying trip lengths, this wildlife-focused adventure has options for everyone.

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Sea Lion on the Nature Wildlife OARS trip.

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