Celebrating the undiscovered charms of Caribbean travel & culture.

Dominican Republic

Whale Watching in Samana Bay

Uncommon Caribbean escaped to the Dominican Republic earlier this year, and while merengue, mojitos and mingling with locals were all part of the fun, the highlight of the trip was definitely our first-ever whale-watching excursion. Being out on a boat is always great, but having the chance to get up-close and personal with some of the world’s largest creatures is simply amazing.

Though still endangered, humpback whales like the ones we saw are making a serious comeback, thanks in large part to conservationist organizations like the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Currently, there are about 40,000 humpbacks roaming the seas (30-35% below original population estimates), and Samana Bay, located along the north coast of the D.R., is one of the best places to see them.

Between January and March each year, thousands of humpbacks migrate here for many of the same reason tourists do — swimming, sunshine and, *ahem*, breeding. Thankfully, the Dominican government enforces strict whale protection laws and guidelines, ensuring that it’s well worth the trip for the whales and those of us lucky enough to see them.

On this particular trip, though, up-close and personal was almost too close for comfort. You know the famous “We’re gonna’ need a bigger boat” line from Jaws? Well, just watch the video and tell me you wouldn’t be thinking the same thing…

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