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Humpback Whales in the Dominican Republic | Scuba Diving Blog

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Approximately 55 miles north of the Dominican Republic, the UNESCO-considered Marine Mammals Sanctuary Bancos de La Plata and Navidad protects nearly 19,500 square miles of Atlantic Ocean for a very special reason. Every year between January and April, as many as 3,000 North Atlantic humpback whales pass through the area to mate, birth, and raise their calves.

Known in English as Silver Bank and Navidad Bank, this area is one of the only places in the world where interacting with these awesome marine mammals is carried out safely and with strict regard for the welfare of the animals. Boats can only visit with a permit, and only three are issued each year, limiting visitor numbers to 60 per week. This protects the whales from detrimental human impact and also prevents the area from becoming too overcrowded for those lucky enough to visit.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to swim with humpback whales in Dominican Republic will agree it is one of the most enjoyable and memorable in-water experiences they have had. Floating in the middle of the ocean watching large males display at the surface while mothers and calves interact below gives an incredibly intimate insight into the world of these gentle giants. Their inquisitive nature means that individuals will often approach humans and initiate contact if they feel inclined, alleviating the need for any form of chasing or harassing the whales which is, of course, frowned upon.

If you would like the opportunity to swim and snorkel with the largest concentration of humpback whales in the world, you will need to book well ahead of time as trips fill up several years in advance. Bluewater Travel can arrange great rates on one of the very few liveaboards that visit Silver Bank, so contact us today for more information.

Another fantastic spot to swim and snorkel with humpack whales is Moorea in French Polynesia. Check out our in-depth destination guide to scuba diving French Polynesia.

Read our Trip Report from the 2021 whale swimming trip to Moorea.

For the best rates and great advice on purchasing an underwater camera, check out the Bluewater Photo Store.

For expert reviews on the canon r5 underwater housing, take a look at the Underwater Photography Guide.


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