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Dominican Republic

humpback whale The Silver Bank is located 100 km north of the Dominican Republic and approximately the same distance from the Turks and Caicos Islands and is one of numerous breeding and calving zones of humpback whales. Research indicates that the Silver Bank contains the largest population of humpbacks in the North Atlantic Ocean, if not the world.  Conservative estimates believe three to five thousand humpbacks pass through this odd shaped twenty square miles encompassing the Silver Bank during a season.

From December to the middle of April waters of the Dominican Republic are alive with migrating North Atlantic Humpback Whales enroute to breeding and calving zones throughout the area. These breeding and calving grounds include the waters of the Dominican Republic (primarily Silver Bank, Navidad bank and Samana Bay), Mona Passage (Puerto Rico), Virgin Bank and Anguilla Bank.

The humpbacks gather during late winter and early spring to mate and breed. Male humpbacks serenade females with the longest and most complex songs in the animal kingdom. And you'll probably be encountering a lively party of other whales and dolphins.

humpback whale This is a monumental achievement for the sanctuary commission, placing an even larger burden of responsibility in the educational and regulatory aspects of their duties. With distinctive definitions of each areas activities such as breeding and calving, juvenile gathering, whale traveling routes, human interaction, tourism, local boat traffic, water sports equipment, scuba diving, fishing and transient ship traffic, the management of this newly enlarged sanctuary will be required to distinguish guidelines and regulations specifically designed for each distinctive area. With the knowledge gained since the inception of the Silver Bank Sanctuary in 1986, and the assistance of national and international advisors, the sanctuary commission will have the opportunity of designing guidelines and regulations that will be at the forefront of future sanctuaries worldwide.

What you might see there:
Sperm whales, pygmy sperm whales, pilots, false killers, and a variety of dolphin species including bottlenose, Risso's, Fraser's, spotted, and spinner.
When to go: January to April for humpbacks
Viewing options: Boat, shoreline

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