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Holidays Puerto Plata

Silver Bank, an interesting sanctuary!

Silver Bank and Christmas is a sanctuary for the protection of mammalian animals in the Atlantic Ocean, belonging to the Dominican Republic. It was created by Decree No. 319 of October 14, 1986 and modified by Law No. 202 of Areas Protected, increasing the area from 600 miles to 19,438 square miles in Puerto Plata province.

Humpback whale watching season in Samaná Bay draws visitors from around the world from mid-January through March, when these huge mammals head to Dominican waters to breed.

Located approximately 80 nautical miles off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the Banco de la Plata is a submarine platform of coral origin with an average depth of 20 meters and is part of a system of banks that extends from the Bahamas to the Bank of Christmas. Because it is dangerous for navigation, this area is not very frequented by boats and ships.

You will be able to swim and snorkel with these majestic creatures, but only in the Banco de la Plata Marine Mammal Sanctuary, located north of the coast of Puerto Plata, and only in three boats approved by the Dominican government.

In these calm waters, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) find a suitable environment to reproduce and care for their young during the winter season. After a short season on the Bank, the whales return with their calves to the cold waters of the North Atlantic.

An estimate made indicates that during the months of November to April, some 2,500 to 3,000 whales come to the Bank, which constitutes 80% of all populations of these whales in the North Atlantic. The Banco de la Plata is a critical area for this species, so it must be protected in order to guarantee its survival.

Located 140 km from the Puerto Plata province, it has an average depth of 20 meters, although it can reach 1,800 meters deep. The limits of the Marine Mammal Sanctuary of the Dominican Republic include the areas corresponding to Banco del Pañuelo and its surrounding area, Bahía del Rincón and the surroundings of Cayo Levantado, as well as the area used for humpback whale watching.

It is estimated that 85% of the Humpback Whales population of the North Atlantic have been born in this sanctuary and that thousands of them visit this area between November and April. Humpback Whales come to this area to reproduce, give birth and take care of their young during the winter season that affects the North Atlantic.

Porfirio Rubirosa, a well-known Dominican playboy of the international jet set, who died in a car accident in Paris, once hired French divers to extract the treasure of the Spanish galleons that are said to have been shipwrecked in the Banco de la Plata; but the galleons were not seduced and Rubirosa failed in that adventure.

Other expeditions have had better luck and in some museums pieces obtained from these archaeological rescues are exhibited.

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How to get to Silver Bank : conocer gente en cuba