Thousands of humpback whales from the North Atlantic migrate to the waters of the Dominican Republic each winter to mate and give birth. Their most popular winter rendezvous is Silver Bank, the 3,000-square-kilometer reef system approximately 70 miles north east of Puerto Plata. But from there many circulate to other popular areas like humans do at singles bars! One of these gathering places is Samana Bay. More than 1,500 humpbacks visit the bay, with as many as 300 present at any given time during mating season.
The World Wildlife Fund considers Samana Bay one of the best places in the world to watch whales.
It offers something for everyone - the outer bay is where you might find aggressive males competing for the favors of willing females, and the sheltered inner bay is one of the most important humpback nurseries in the world.
Mid January to the end of March is the usual whale-watching season in Samana Bay; however, the excursions continue as long as enough whales remain. The rest of the year, the whales feed in the cold, fish-rich waters of the North Atlantic between Massachusetts Bay and Iceland and Greenland. Summer whale-watching excursions are offered in those areas, but there is no better time than the winter mating season when the male humpbacks, eager to impress the females, are most animated, and when newborn calves can be seen swimming alongside their mothers.
Humpback whales have been wintering near Samana for centuries. Cave drawings made by the aboriginal inhabitants of Los Haitises National Park long before Columbus arrived depict the spouting whales. And Columbus saw them too, as the log of his travels along the north coast in 1493 makes clear.
In Samana City you will find a lot of operators that will be glad to organize your whale watching cruise.
TRAVELING TO SAMANA PENINSULA ON YOUR OWN IS QUITE EASY:
YOU CAN HAVE DAILY EXCURTIONS TO SANTA BARBARA DE SAMANA LODGING IN ONE OF THE BEAUTY
SEA FRONT LAS TERRENAS HOTELS
, ENJOYING MEANWHILE THE BEAUTY OF THIS SMALL TOWN
ONCE IN SAMANA YOU HAVE MANY BOATS TO CHOSE FROM:
WE RECOMMEND THE LARGE ONES THAT HAVE PROTECTION FROM WEATHER ( RAIN) AND WIND-BLOWN SPRAY
IN FACT NO MATTER HOW CALM THE INNER BAY LOOKS FROM THE DOCK,
THE OUTER BAY , WHERE THE WHALES USUALLY ARE, IS OFTEN ROUGH ENOUGH IN WINTER MONTHS.
SO CHOICE OF BOAT IS VERY IMPORTANT.
CONSIDERATIONS INCLUDE ALSO HEIGHT ABOVE SEA LEVEL FOR VISIBILITY AT THE
DISTANCE REQUIRED BY WHALE-WATCHING REGULATIONS.
TWO OF THE BEST COMPANIES ARE LISTED BELOW:
VICTORIA MARINE WHALE SAMANA 809 5382494
TRANSPORTE MARITIMO MINADIEL 809 5382556
A NICE CHOICE WILL BE A 3/4 HOURS CRUISE
SAMANA BAY IS A MARINE SANCTUARY BY DECREE OF THE DOMINICAN GOVERNMENT
WE NOTE SOME OF THE MAIN WHALE-WATCHING REGULATIONS:
MINIMUM DISTANCE BETWEEN BOATS AND WHALES
LIMITS OF THE NUMBER OF VESSELS OBSERVING A SINGLE WHALE
SPEED OF TRAVEL THROUGH THE WHALE AREA
PROHIBITION OF SWIMMING CLOSE TO THE WHALE
WHILE IN SAMANA A VISIT TO THE WHALE MUSEUM IS WELL WORTH THE TIME.
THERE IS A WHOLE HUMPBACK WHALE SKEKETON , FILMS, RECORDINGS OF WHALE SONGS AND SO ON.
DAILY OPEN FROM 9 -11 AM AND 2 - 5 PM