The Dominican Republic is a hugely popular destination for humpback whale watching, these magnificent creatures are seen off the coast of the Dominican Republic from January 20th to March 20th each year. They migrate from the cold north Atlantic Ocean back to the Dominican Republic every year to mate and give birth.
How To See Them
The best place to see these beautiful creatures is in Samana Bay. There are many reputable whale-watching tour companies to be found all across the bay, and they not only provide fantastic service and experiences, but also work sustainably so as not to impact the mating and birthing habits of the whales that visit each year.
The chances are fantastically high of not just seeing whales, but witnessing them breaching (jumping out of the water) and tail-slapping, as well as hearing them sing. This is thanks to the fact that thousands migrate here around the same time, leaving little chance of disappointment.
How To Choose A Tour
When choosing a whale-watching tour, it’s important to do your research and select a reputable tour provider. Consider the size of the group when choosing a tour. Smaller groups are often more intimate and give a more personalized experience, while larger groups may be more affordable but don’t offer as much opportunity for one-on-one interaction with the expert guides often available on these tours.
If you haven’t been to sea before, or struggle with the motion experienced at sea, consider the type of boat that is used for the tour. A larger boat can offer a more stable and comfortable sailing experience, but may not be able to get as close to the whales as smaller vessels.
When choosing a tour operator, be sure to read their reviews to get an idea of the reputation of the tour company. It’s important to choose a company that has a good track record of providing safe and enjoyable tours. A good example of a reputable operator is Whale Samana, they are one of the highest rated whale-watching tour operators in Samana Bay, known for providing informative and educational experiences. Their tours feature onboard marine mammal experts who provide guests with insight into the behavior of the whales.
What Are Humpback Whales
Humpback whales are known for their hump-like shape and long, white pectoral fins. These majestic creatures are known for their vocalizations, which are some of the most complex we know of in the animal kingdom. These vocalizations, also known as songs, are believed to be used for communication and mating.
Humpback whales are also known for their acrobatic displays, which often include breaching and slapping the water with their tail or fins. Both of these are truly awe-inspiring events to witness up close.
Humpback whales can grow up to 50 feet in length, around the same length as a semi-truck trailer, and can weigh up to 40 tons. They are found in all of the world’s oceans, but their population has been hugely reduced because of commercial hunting. But today, humpback whales are protected by international law and their populations are slowly recovering.
What To Bring
When preparing for a whale-watching tour in the Dominican Republic, it’s important to bring a few essential items to make the most of the experience. First and foremost, make sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun, which is especially strong when you’re out on the open water.
And don’t forget to bring along a good camera or your phone to capture photos of the whales, and it’s also a good idea to bring along some snacks and water to keep yourself hydrated during the tour, as you’ll be on the water for several hours. Additionally, be sure to bring along any medications you may need throughout the day.
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