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Marine mammal sanctuary

Marine mammal sanctuary

Thousands of visitors flock to Samaná every year for its chief seasonal attraction: the equally large number of humpback whales that return to court, mate, and birth in the Atlantic waters off Samaná Bay–an area officially declared a Marine Mammal Sanctuary in 1986. Whale watching season runs from January 15 to March 30, with boat tours departing from Samaná Bay. But if you don’t get a chance to sign up for an excursion or visit in the off season, the small Museo de las Ballenas in the town of Santa Bárbara de Samaná offers interesting information on the gigantic mammals, and why they favor the Dominican Republic’s northeastern shores. Punta Balandra, on the road from Samaná City to Las Galeras, is also a good vantage point for spotting the 40-ton whales without having to get on a boat.

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