21st September 2022

The incredible humpback whale watching in Samana Bay

The incredible humpback whale watching in Samana Bay
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One of the most amazing things to do while staying in Las Terrenas

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Tired of visiting the same old places and restaurants? Looking for a new adventure? Do you totally love animals? Then this post is absolutely for you.

Humpback whales! These amazing, enormous, and impressive animals travel to Samana Bay only during the winter season only 40 minutes away from our paradisiac beach town Las Terrenas. Read on to find out where, when, and how to see them in their natural habitat.

Humpback whales are sea mammals. Their name was given due to their hump in their dorsal area, plus the distinctive way of how they hunch their back before they make a deep dive.

These whales migrate to the Caribbean territory every winter season in order to mate, give birth, and nurse, making Samana Bay one of the best spots to watch them. Their arrival starts in the month of December, reaches its peak period during February, and lasts until March. 1,500 or more exemplars can end up coming to Samana Bay during this period.

Why take the time or make the effort? They are simply sensational!

  • Humpback whales can measure about 40–50 ft, almost the same size as a big yellow school bus, and their weight can reach up to 30–40 tons.

  • Their color oscillates between black and dark gray, with white patches while they are mature. Calves have a light gray color.

  • In relation to their eating habits, humpbacks eat up to 1.5 tons a day during their feeding season. This would mean the same as 12,000 McDonald's hamburgers. Their diet consists mostly of small fish and krill.

Outstanding senses and body features

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  • Humpback whales have got some bumps on their upper jaw parts, from which emerge some short, stiff, and sensitive hairs that scientists believe can pick up vibrations in the water, making this one of their principal senses.

  • Surprisingly, their eyes can see both wells inside and out of water.

  • Hearing is their second-best sense because they can hear extremely well.

  • They haven’t got any teeth. Instead, they have what’s called "ballen." Ballen are fibrous plates that hang from the upper jaw, which is made of the same material as nails and animal horns.

  • Their breathing capacity is phenomenal, making them able to swim for up to 40 minutes. The reason is related to the extremely effective way their lungs work. They replace 85–90% of their content v/s only 10% as humans do. They are also very tolerant to high levels of CO2, and their blood circulation system is very well adapted, making them able to direct the oxygen to essential organs while reducing the flow to the others, prolonging their swim underwater without a single breath.

  • The dorsal fin acts as both a keel and a heat exchanger, regulating the whale’s body temperature.

  • Humpbacks can also sing. Only males sing, and it’s related to the mating period because it is frequently heard during winter.

 

Acrobatic Show

If you still haven’t fallen in love with Humpbacks, the best is yet to come. Humpbacks are the most active of all whale species. They swim rapidly underwater and gain enough speed to jump out of the water and expose their whole bodies to the air. This is simply remarkable, considering their weight is between 30 and 40 tons!
 
Why do they do that? The answer is easy. Of course, to attract the attention of females!

It's all about the ladies. These whales can form groups of 2 up to 20 males, all of them competing with each other to mate with a single female. 
They may launch themselves into the air, smash their tails against the water, and even slam their heads and bodies against the ground to win the single female.

You have the chance to see this spectacular show at Samana Bay during the winter season from January to March! Let us know and we will help you organize this unforgettable adventure for you and your loved ones.

 

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