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It is very popular since many countries have realized it is better to develop tourism around whales than to eat sushi, whale watching is one of the top attractions in the Dominican Republic. It is off the Samana peninsula where you can have this great experience. Each winter thousands of Humpback whales arrive here after a long migration across the Atlantic Ocean. What an unforgettable encounter!
One of the best tours that exist in the Dominican Republic, is undoubtedly the visit to the Shrine of humpback whales in Samana Bay, or if you are more adventurous, area of Banco de Plata "Silver Bank".
Silver Bank is a sandbar located about 100 km from the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos Islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the whales. It covers an area of 1680 km ².
Humpback whales use the bay of Samana peninsula and its surrounding coral reef as a nursery and breeding area for millennia. Drawings or Taino Indians, considered an ethnic Indian who occupied the island after the arrival of Europeans in the fifteenth century to prove it.
In the park of Haitises, drawings show the whales breathing, and the journal of Christopher Columbus notes their presence in 1493. Since the dawn of time, between December and April several thousand whales leave their cold waters of the North Atlantic in search of a huge amount of food.
They come to calve and mate in warm water of mild Dominican Republic, especially in the Bay of Samana. Some specimen roam up to 25 000 km from their breeding site.
Thus for two months, the males compete in acrobatics, ballads and love to achieve their end.
Long and bumpy, the humpback whale is not an easy girl! He must approach her gently, play the vocal cords to express his feelings, and finally to dazzle by engaging in a courtship by making crazy loops and other high-flying figures.
Tamed, whales are easily approached.
During their game of seduction, these impressive marine mammals from vary from 15 to 17 meters in length, commonly exceeding 35 tonnes are easily approached by boats from observing them. A blessing for the tourism industry in the region that organizes these Whale-Watching trips, and a constant concern for the Dominican authorities, so far successfully, to best preserve the tranquility of the animals and keep intact the natural environment in which they operate. For if the humpback whale is quite sociable, too many comings and goings of boats full of tourists could lead to slipping away to the more hospitable shores.
A disaster that already existed in Hawaii would not want to reiterate the government. In the last thirty years the Dominican Republic has engaged in the development of a series of measures to protect whales from excessive pressure. Creation of a marine sanctuary in the Bay of Samana, limiting the number of vessels allowed to browse the site and create an official calendar that allows visits from January 15 to March 20.
Departures of boats are mainly from the port of Santa Barbara in the city of Samana.
Excursions are limited exclusively to the period from January 15 to March 20, which can sometimes be done at other cities like Punta Cana or Puerto Plata.
Having a good reputation, Kim Beddall, a specialist in marine mammals located in Samana, for example, organizes exciting excursions aboard her ship, the Victoria H, from Santa Barbara or Cayo Levantado.
here is her website
Otherwise you will find a number of tours once there, take about $ 80 usd
Tom Conlin, founder of Aquatic Adventures, is the first operator to lead the expedition "Whales of Banco de Plata'' with a 20-year experience of a total of 206 weeks of work with whales. More info on the site Escapade Samana
The major highlight of your stay will be when you slip into the water to go and meet these magnificent mammals. No words can express the feeling you will experience ....
Aquatic Adventures provides dispatch from Puerto Plata.
How to participate in a whale watching tour in the Dominican Republic?