Whale watching is one of the top attractions for visitors to the Dominican Republic and each year thousands of humpback whales congregate in the waters just off the coast of the island to breed. Humpback whale breeding season in the Dominican Republic lasts from January through March, and one of the best spots on the island to view these magnificent creatures is the Bahía de Samaná (Samana Bay), located just off the coast of the Samana Peninsula on the island’s northeastern end.
One of the largest estuaries in the Caribbean, Samana Bay separates the Samana Peninsula from mainland Dominican Republic and the Parque Nacional Los Haitises (Los Haitises National Park), a remote forested area and popular ecotourism destination. Rich in natural wonders and home to diverse wildlife, the Samana region of the Dominican Republic attracts nature lovers and adventure travelers, many of whom visit the island to witness the annual humpback whale migration.
The humpback whales that arrive in the Samana Bay sanctuary in the Dominican Republic each winter migrate from the waters of the North Atlantic, from as far away as Greenland and Iceland. Humpback whales can grow to be 40-50 feet (12-15 meters) long and weigh as much as 30-40 tons. This species of whale has a distinctive body shape with black coloring and white markings on their fins. Humpback whales are one of the most active species of whales and can often be seen breaching and rolling their bodies out onto the surface of the water. Male humpback whales produce a series of sounds, often referred to as a “song,” for which the species is famous.
Whale watching in the Dominican Republic is a unique opportunity to see humpback whales up-close and in-person. Don’t forget your camera!
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