Samaná Peninsula Whale-Watching

Humpback whales come to Samaná Bay to mate and give birth each year for a relatively limited period, from approximately January 15 through March 30. Samaná Bay is considered one of the top 10 destinations in the world to watch humpbacks. If you're here during the brief season, this can be the experience of a lifetime. You can listen to the male humpback's solitary courting song and witness incredible displays as the whales flip their tails and breach (humpbacks are the most active species of whales in the Atlantic).

Whale Samaná. Owned by Kim Beddall, a Canadian who is incredibly knowledgeable about whales and Samaná in general, having lived here for decades, this operation is far and away the region's best, most professional, and environmentally sensitive. On board Pura Mia, a 55-foot motor vessel, a marine mammal specialist narrates and answers questions in several languages. Kim herself conducts almost all the English-speaking trips. Normal departure times are 9 for the morning trip and 1:30 for the afternoon trip; she is flexible whenever possible for cruise-ship passengers but does require advance reservations. Across street from town dock, beside park, Calle Sra. Morellia Kelly, Samaná, Samaná, 32000. 809/538–2494; From $59.