As summer is quickly coming to an end you might already be thinking about escaping the upcoming cold winter months with a vacation to Punta Cana. If you’re planning your trip between January and March, you should know that you won’t be the only one seeking out the Caribbean in search of a warmer climate.
Between these months, thousands of whales make their migratory journey from the polar regions of the North Atlantic to the warm waters of the Dominican Republic to mate and give birth to their calves in the tropical climate. While Punta Cana has been a popular tourist destination for decades, Humpback Whales have known about wintering in the Dominican Republic for centuries.
Cave paintings from the Taino indians show that whales have been migrating to the region for at least 15 centuries before Columbus arrived in 1492. There are close to 25 different species of whales and dolphins that make the winter journey to the Dominican Republic, but the star of the show is definitely the North Atlantic Humpback Whale. Today, these winter migrations form one of the largest Humpback whale conventions in the Atlantic Ocean.
While amazing beaches and luxurious resorts keep the tourist coming back, it is no doubt the safety of the Samana Bay is what keeps the whales coming back by the thousands. The Humpback whale was once almost hunted into extinction, and still today the humpback whale is considered an endangered species with only 30% of their original population alive. In 1966, the Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic was formed in the Samana Bay by the Dominican government.
The Samana Bay sanctuary is considered one of the largest humpback breeding grounds in the world. This is what makes the Dominican Republic one of the principal places for whale watching. Humpback whales are known as being very active and lively, but mating season amplifies these behaviors. In a fierce competition to win the girl, male Humpback Whales display their best jumps and whale songs. In the shallower waters near the bay, female whales can be seen swimming with their newborn calves. All of this action is what makes for guaranteed whale sightings on every trip.
If you are planning your vacation to Punta Cana during these months, come out and see your fellow snowbirds, the Humpback Whales of Samana. Among catamaran sailing, Segway tours, and many other exciting tours in Punta Cana, the Punta Cana Whale Watching Tour has to be one of the most spectacular.
I am a writer, development worker, and adventurer who loves to travel and all things new and exciting. I just embarked on the most exciting and challenging journey of them all, motherhood. Free time, sleep, and hobbies are scarce commodities in my world, but I always find a little time for to catch up on trashy celebrity gossip, and read updates from my favorite bloggers. I’m originally from New Mexico, and am passionate about learning how to be a better mom, a more engaging writer, ice cream and green chile.