One of the most beautiful tour in Dominican Republic is the Visit to the Sanctuary of Humpback Whales in Samana, Dominican Republic. Samana’s whales are well known. Each year 3 to 5 thousand humpback whales return to Bahia de Samana and adjacent waters to give birth and mate for the following year. From January until March, frolicsome males can be observed vying for the attentions of demure females. Sky-rocketing, standing on their tails (and heads, too!), flippering, tailing; all sorts of antics may be observed under carefully controlled conditions aboard excursion boats staffed by knowledgeable personnel.
Excursions leave from Samana Harbor and several other points along the north shore of the bay. Samana’s whales are truly an international treasure and are fully protected by the Dominican government.
Thousands of humpback whales migrate to Samana Bay every year for the breeding season, which runs from January through March. Their journey is a long and slow trek spanning from the polar regions of the North Atlantic to the warm and clear waters of the Caribbean. Regrettably, over the centuries, whale hunters have decimated the population of these magnificent creatures to the point of near extinction. But, thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the International Whaling Commission (IWC), humpback whales along with other species, have received world protection since 1966. However, there is still a long way to go for full recovery. The world population of humpbacks has reached approximately 40,000 or about 30-35% of its original levels.
Humpbacks can be easily observed, either at their feeding or breeding grounds. Whale watching has become an increasingly popular worldwide activity, and the Dominican Republic is fortunate to have one of the largest and best humpback breeding sanctuaries in the world.
The Dominican government enforces strict whale protection laws and guidelines to ensure the safety and conservation of these wonderful animals. Whale watching can be a thrilling experience for anyone interested in nature and the preservation of our natural resources.
We must continue to respect and protect these incredibly gentle giants so we can enjoy them for a long time to come. The following photos are images of what one would see on a typical whale-watching tour in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic.