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Whale Watching Tour

Watch the 1,500 to 2,000 whales that migrate to the waters of the Samaná Bay on a guided boat tour or from the land at the observatory in Punta Balandra. The official whale-watching season runs from mid-January to March, but tours are available as long as whales are in the bay.

What you’ll see

With a little patience and luck, you’ll see humpback whales leap out of the water in an incredible display of acrobatic grace. Scientists say they do this not just for fun, but to alert other whales to a good feeding ground, or as part of courting rituals. Sometimes, it's their way of getting rid of sunburnt skin after their long trip south.


Apart from seeing moms swimming around with their newborn calves, you'll also hear the males' courting songs. Your guide will use a hydrophone so you can listen in, but don't neglect to keep your eyes peeled for surface activity!


Some of the most exciting surface activity you’ll see happens when up to twenty male whales compete for mating rights with a female. The drama includes blowing water, head lunging, slamming each other, and breaching.


Breaching is when a whale launches into the air then crashes back down onto the water's surface. It's not too hard for the whale to achieve, but the sight is certainly impressive to humans, and presumably to other whales as well. Breaching is a common courting ritual (but not all breaching is part of courting - whales breach for plenty of reasons).


Some of the other movements to watch for are “flippering” - raising the flippers and flapping them against the water's surface, sort of a lesser breach. You'll also see them rolling in the water in a horizontal posture.

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