Whale Watching Dominican Republic Jan-March
As if you needed another reason to visit, Whale Watching in the Dominican Republic is in prime season! One of the largest mammals on the planet, Humpback whales are a beautiful sight to behold. The Dominican Republic is home to two Humpback breeding grounds, out of only a handful in the whole world. They are located just off the Samana peninsula, east of Cabarete, and north of Puerto Plata at Silver Banks. This is good news for visitors to the Cabarete (including guests of our hotel), as between January and March these magnificent creatures can be seen on guided tours to the breeding grounds, and spotted from the beaches of the North Coast. Heck, you will probably even see Humpbacks while out for a morning beach walk if you’re lucky! Check out our recommendations below for the best way to catch a glimpse of the migrating whales while on holiday in Cabarete.
Whale Watching at Silver Banks
Silver Bank was named the TOP snorkeling destination in the world by CNN as it is one of the few places where tourists can swim and snorkel with humpback whales. Located 90 miles off the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, Silver Bank is a relatively shallow part of the North Atlantic. It is off limits to big ships, so it provides a safe wintering haven for the Humpback whale population who gather there from January through April by the thousands to court, mate, calve, and rear their young. There are several tour companies that operate out of Puerto Plata, most are several day excursions aboard well appointed ships with sleeping quarters. Check out the Aggressor fleet, they depart from Puerto Plata every week and have comfortable, new ships. For die hard Humpback fans, a journey to Silver Banks is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be up close with these gentle creatures.
Whale Watching in Samana
The Samana Peninsula is one of the best places to view Humpback whales on the North Coast. About a 3 hour drive from Cabarete, Samana is a stunning locale to escape to for an overnight trip to see all the action. If you have a rental car, the drive to Samana is an event in and of itself. Quaint Dominican towns, secluded beaches and enough beautiful vistas and swimming spots to make the 3 hour drive totally worth it. Whale Samana offers 3-4 hour excursions for $59/ person. They depart from the main wharf in town every day between January and March at 10am. Passengers can expect to hear male humpacks courting songs, and witness staggering displays of breaching, tail lobbing and flippering. On board, they have a marine mammal specialist to answer guest’s questions. An overnight trip to Samana is a fantastic way to see the countryside and all the stunning views the North Coast has to offer. If you do not have a rental car, we can hook you up with Iguana Mama, a Cabarete tour company, that offers whale watching packages to Samana for the day. Prices range, but costs are approximately $140/person.
Whale Watching From the Beach in Cabarete
If you are content to just chill right out, and stay put in Cabarete (we totally understand!) you are in luck! Between January and March, it is not uncommon to see Humpback whales from the beach in Cabarete Bay migrating to their breeding grounds in Samana. Your best bet for a whale sighting is to make sure you spend a lot of time on the beach (oh darn!) and bring a pair of binoculars!
Surfers and kitesurfers often report seeing Humpbacks from the water during this time of year, so if water sports are totally your jam, keep your eyes fixed on the horizon and you may just see an impressive display of breaching and tail slapping. Just look how close they are to the shore in this video taken at Encuentro Beach!
Thanks so much for reading, we wish you the best Humpback whale sighting luck!