Every year, in a period between mid-December and late March, thousands of humpback whales gather in the warm waters off the coast of the Dominican Republic. During the whale-watching season, these gorgeous mammals gather here to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. It’s one of nature’s most breathtaking annual events in the Dominican Republic.
Best places for whale watching
Located in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic, The Sanctuary of the Humpback Whales in Samaná is considered one of the best whale-watching experiences in the world. This is where humpbacks are treated with great respect. Whale watching in Samana is unique because the waters are available only for whale watching boats, so the whales feel comfortable. During Dominican Republic whale watching season here, you’ll see adult humpbacks and newborn calves swimming next to their mothers. You’ll also witness plenty of male humpbacks battling for the attention of their potential mates. Finally, you will see them leaping out of the water into the air and slapping their tails and fins to make a clap. The same whale activity can be observed on Punta Cana's and Cabarete's coast.
Whale Semana by Kim Beddall presents a once-of-a-lifetime experience that shouldn't be missed. This tour is a unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in their natural mating and calving grounds here in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic. You will be charmed by the male humpback’s solitary courting song and incredible displays of tail lobbing, flippering, and breaching by the most active whale species in the Atlantic. Onboard, you will meet Kim Beddall, a Marine Mammal Specialist, narrating and answering your questions.
The most popular whale watching tour in Punta Cana is similar to the Samana Tour. It includes the visit to the beautiful Cayo Levantado island, known as “Bacardi Island.” After the whale watching, you’ll move directly to Cayo Levantado for lunch and some free time at the beautiful beach. This tour may or may not include a visit to a Limon Waterfall. If you prefer a shorter adventure to enjoy this incredible experience, there is also an option to enjoy the whale watching activity departing from the port of Miches. This tour doesn't include visiting Cayo Levantado island or waterfall El Limon. However, you will have the chance to try some snorkeling and visit the natural pool of Miches, which is the home of many starfishes.
During the whale watching season in Dominicana, it is not uncommon to see Humpback whales from the beach in Cabarete Bay migrating to their breeding grounds in Samana. So if you will spend a lot of time on the beach armed with a pair of binoculars, you definitely will succeed in seeing some of those magnificent mammals. If water sports are your jam, try to keep your eyes fixed on the horizon while surfing or kiteboarding. It might be a good chance to see an impressive display of tail slapping and breaching as well.
Whale watching season
General whale watching season in the Dominican Republic lasts from mid-December to mid-April. However, the peak period for witnessing those giant creatures is set between mid-January and March for all the popular whale-watching destinations.