During the winter months, the northern islands of Tonga become the traveling grounds of a large population of humpback whales. Here, visitors can swim with these gentle behemoths in small groups & in the presence of a licensed guide. It is a spectacular place to observe mother and calf pairs, lone wanderers, and occasionally, larger groups of whales - usually males, competing for the role of escort to a female traveler. Encounters with these colossal wanderers varies greatly, depending on the individual - occasionally, the fortunate swimmer comes upon a whale who appears deeply curious, and lingers in the water with its admirer for some hours. Being in the water with these magnificent animals is a truly unforgettable experience.