Whale watching is one of the main attractions of the Dominican Republic. The bay of Samaná is one of the most important whale sites in the world. As a matter of fact, the natural spectacle of these marine mammals in their sanctuary attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
Whale-watching on a tour
The best way to see humpback whales in the Dominican Republic is to take part in one of the excursions offered to visitors between mid-January and the end of March. However, it should be noted that these excursions are only available onboard vessels that have been authorised by the Ministry of the Environment. Indeed, whale watching must follow strict rules to guarantee the tranquillity of these giant mammals. For example, only a group of three boats may approach a group of whales. Of course, it is not allowed to get too close to the whales; you must keep at least 50 metres away, or 80 metres if they are accompanied by a calf. The tour usually takes place in the open sea of Samaná Bay where around 300 whales meet during the winter to mate and give birth. However, it is also possible to observe them from the coast, as there are so many of them on show during this period. There is a dedicated land-based observatory at Punta Balandra. Nevertheless, the tour is the only way to see them up close.
An unforgettable spectacle!
The whale spectacle that visitors to the Dominican Republic can enjoy from January onwards is a truly unique experience. The male whales are the masters of ceremony during their approximately two-month passage through the Caribbean Sea. As this is the mating season, they do everything possible to seduce the females. Acrobatic jumps, songs and blows from a height of 3 metres are their main weapons of seduction. The best part is that all this is done in front of the amazed eyes of the visitors who come to meet them.
Why do whales like the Dominican Republic waters?
There is a simple reason why humpback whales come to the Dominican Republic at the beginning of each year; as the cold starts to become intense in the North Atlantic (Canada, Iceland, Greenland) from December onwards, these amazing creatures begin a great migration that leads them to the warm waters of the Caribbean, notably in the Bay of Samaná in the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Guadeloupe. To reach their destination, these humpback whales must travel more than 5,000 km. Ultimately, they find food and an ecosystem that is suitable for mating and giving birth in the waters of Samaná Bay.