Whale Museum and Nature Center (Museo de la Ballena)
Whale Museum and Nature Center (Museo de la Ballena)

Whale Museum and Nature Center (Museo de la Ballena)

Each year between January and March, some 4,000 humpback whales descend on the cool turquoise waters of the Dominican Republic’s Samaná Bay. The Whale Museum and Nature Center (Museo de la Ballena), part of one of the world’s largest marine sanctuaries, celebrates these ocean giants and offers travelers uninterrupted views for winter whale watching.

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Avenida La Marina, Samana , Dominican Republic

The basics

A 40-foot (12-meter) humpback skeleton greets travelers arriving at this informative museum, managed by the Center for Conservation and Eco-Development of Samaná Bay and its Environment (CEBSE). Although most of the descriptions here are in Spanish, non-fluent visitors can hire a guide or request information in other languages at the museum’s main entrance. The museum perfectly accompanies a day spent searching for whales on a ship out at sea.

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Things to know before you go

  • A stroll through the Whale Museum and Nature Center requires only about an hour to see everything.

  • Museum admission helps to maintain CEBSE’s humpback whale monitoring and conservation program.

  • The museum has a small local craft shop, where purchases help support the conservation of whales and the natural resources of the Samaná region.

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How to get there

Located on Avenida La Marina in Samaná, just north of Hotel Cayacoa, the Whale Museum and Nature Center is about a 4-hour drive from Punta Cana and an almost 3-hour drive from Santo Domingo. Some whale-watching tours provide transportation to Samaná from Punta Cana and other cities. Bus companies also offer transport around the Dominican Republic, including Samaná.

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When to get there

Every year, between mid-January and late March, thousands of humpback whales gather in the waters of Samaná Bay. This is also during the Dominican Republic’s peak season, so expect crowds. Only whale-watching boats are allowed to enter the bay, and the number of boats is limited, so be sure to book trips in advance. The museum is open Monday through Friday.

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What to know about the humpback whales

After arriving from the northern waters of Iceland and Greenland, the humpback whales follow the current of the Caribbean Sea from Puerto Rico to Punta Cana before reaching Samaná Bay. On a whale-watching tour, you’ll see mama whales swimming with their newborn calves and listen to the males' courting songs.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Whale Museum and Nature Center (Museo de la Ballena)?
Attractions near Whale Museum and Nature Center (Museo de la Ballena):