The San Juan Islands are a beautiful archipelago located in the Pacific Northwest, just off the Pacific Coast. You can get there by air, land and sea, using many of the transports available. Using the Washington State Ferry lets you enjoy a preview of the islands’ beautiful scenery. If you decide to catch a flight, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the archipelago, or if you prefer to travel by land, you can catch a shuttle bus from SeaTac International Airport.
Once on the main island, the best way to explore the archipelago is to take one of the many available San Juan Islands cruises.
There are 172 islands in the archipelago–and 4 are served by Washington State car ferries—San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw Island. They vary in size, but they have one thing in common: thriving wildlife. If you are a bird watcher or a nature lover, this is a trip you will greatly enjoy. To give you an idea of what you can experience, read this brief preview of nature-watching activities that open a portal as wide as the sea to a wonderful array of marine life around the islands.
Watch orcas swimming about the islands. Orcinus orca, commonly known as the killer whale, is a magnificent sea mammal. They are carnivores, meaning they feed exclusively on meat. Did you know these resident orcas can eat up to 400 pounds of fish every day? Or that their favorite dish is salmon? They resort to other fish and marine life when salmon are not migrating. Their size, combined with their eating habits, places them at the top of the food chain.
Despite that, orcas are highly social, just like most sea mammals. You’ll be able to watch San Juan Island’s resident orcas, dubbed the Southern Resident Killer Whales by sea biologists.
Bird watching is a popular activity amongst nature lovers and the San Juan Islands provide an excellent setting for this activity. Because there are so many islands that form the archipelago, the bird life is diverse and beautiful. There are over 300 species of birds living on and around the islands, which serve as nesting sites for many magnificent birds, including the peregrine falcon and the bald eagle. You’ll also be able to watch waterfowl, such as cormorants, harlequin ducks, trumpeter swans, and the threatened murrelet if lucky.
These are just two activities you can enjoy during any of the San Juan Islands cruises through the archipelago. If this verbal peek into the living luster of the San Juans entices you, contact one of the many island charters that can bring it all to life for you.
San Juan Islands. How to get there.https://www.visitsanjuans.com/ Visitsanjuans.com