January 15 marked the beginning of whale watching season here in the Dominican Republic. Until the end of March, visitors will flock to see the hundreds of Humpback Whales (or as we say here, the “ballena jorobadas”) that migrate each year for breeding season to the Bay of Samana, off a peninsula on the northeast part of the island.
From nature lovers to adventure seekers, anyone can appreciate the beauty of Samana and its humpback whales. A full-day tour to see the whales is the perfect addition to a trip to the Dominican Republic. The Samana Whale Watching tour starts with a private plane ride from Punta Cana Airport to Samana’s Arroyo Barril Airport. The tour includes a trip to Cayo Levantado, an island off the Samana peninsula, for a delicious lunch, and a journey by foot or on horse to see the beautiful Limon Waterfall.
The prime time to see the whales is from January 20 through March 20, and whale watching trips are offered any day of the week. Book the Samana Whale Watching tour from Punta Cana today and lock in your pricing by clicking here.
Did you know: Humpback Whales
- Humpback whales are an endangered species, with an estimate of over 15,000 whales worldwide. They live between 45-50 years, weigh between 30-50 tons and can grow to be over 50 feet long.
- Humpbacks migrate over 3,000 miles during each seasonal migration, and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal.
- As many as 300 whales can be found in the warm and clear waters in the Bay of Samaná at any point during the mating season. During the rest of the year, the whales can be found in the colder waters of the North Atlantic.
- Whales can eat up to 3,000 pounds per day, but they do not eat during mating season. These mammals live off their fat stores, or blubber, which they build up during the winter by eating small crustaceans.
- Humpback whales are the most vocal whale species. Males are very “creative” with their songs, and tend to sing more when in warmer waters, perhaps as a way to attract females.
Getting Ready for the Tour
If you have decided to take the plunge and will go on a Samana Whale Watching adventure to see these beautiful whales for yourself, as well as the unique sights and island oases, read these five tips to ensure you and everyone on your tour has a fantastic time.
1) Get a good night’s rest
The whale watching tour is all day and starts in the morning. It will be an active day, therefore it is important to be well rested in order to enjoy the full day!
2) Be well prepared
Pack a bag (a waterproof bag if possible) with essentials. Don’t bring too many things, but if you must, put valuables in a zip-lock bag for protection. Make sure to pack a bathing suit, towel, sunglasses, sunscreen with a high SPF, and of course bug repellent. If you are prone to seasickness, pack some Dramamine. You won’t want to miss a moment being sick! Wear good walking shoes since you will be outdoors all day.
3) Bring a camera
You will be taking many beautiful photos of the sights near Samana Bay and of the whales breaching, rolling and flippering, so make sure your camera is well charged the night before! If you have a point-and-shoot camera, bring extra batteries.
4) Let the tour guides be your guide
Your guides are experts – let them take you on this amazing journey. Relax and take in the new sights. The tour guides are knowledgeable and follow the Dominican government’s whale protection laws and guidelines in order to protect the whales. Be respectful, cautious and courteous when in a new environment – respect nature and do your part to conserve the ocean and these majestic whales for generations to come.
5) Be ready for adventure
You never know what you will find on a whale watching excursion so be ready for anything! When you are out in nature, you cannot predict what will happen. Keep your ears and eyes open, and let your senses delight you.
With these tips in mind, you will have a wonderful tour. From gorgeous sights like the Limon Waterfall, the Cayo Levantado island, and the exceptional whales, the day will be an unforgettable, grand adventure.
Have you been on a whale watching adventure before? Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below.