The Samaná Peninsula is a destination for nature lovers and adventurers. Emerald mountains, long beaches, turquoise waters, lively little towns nestled in the landscape. Samaná is a romantic destination, and several of its small hotels are perfect for honeymooners. Samaná is also a good choice for experienced scuba divers and world-class whale-watching. It’s the perfect place to take in the sunset or simply relax, sitting on a porch or beneath the shade of a palm tree, sipping something cool; here, one feels the joy of living simply.
Samaná boasts natural exuberance and a variety of natural attractions, making it the preferred choice of those seeking an active vacation. And if it’s action you crave, you’ve come to the right place. Horseback riding, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and sailing are just a few outdoor attractions you’ll love.
You can always beach it, but Samaná is truly an explorers’ paradise. Samaná has a distinct European flavor. The French arrived first, but now many Italians and Spaniards have opened up businesses to cater to tourists in the area.
Considered by many Dominicans and visitors alike to be the prettiest part of the Dominican Republic, the Samaná Peninsula is a naturalist’s delight!
Unspoiled white-sandy beaches, coconut-covered mountains, clear mountain streams winding through lush, tropical rain forests, vibrant coral reefs, internationally known whale-watching and many other attractions, a vacation of adventure is awaiting your discovery.
Samaná is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic. It is known for its mountains, of which it is almost entirely formed. Samaná has numerous beaches, and with the 2006 opening of the new Samaná “El Catey” International Airport, it is bound to become a major tourist destination in the Dominican Republic.
Samaná is considered one of the most beautiful areas of the Dominican Republic, yet remains one of the least known by Dominican natives in general and foreign visitors in particular. Its tourist industry has not yet exploited the full potential of its location: the tropical forests, coconut groves, hundreds of cozy alcove beaches with turquoise crystal clear waters, waterfalls, protected national parks, a protected bay, and a peninsula are just a few of its natural treasures.
Samaná is one of the breeding places of the humpback whale. Thousands of humpback whales come to the coast off Samaná from January to March.
A city that, at one time, was proposed to be the capital of the country, Samaná was to be sold to the United States as a military base during Pedro Santana’s presidency, but the deal was never realized because the United States felt that the cost was too high.
Biosphere Reserves are protected areas in terrestrial, coastal, and marine environments that have been selected to serve as representative examples of a countries natural and cultural patrimony. Reserve designation is provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB), initiated in 1971. The Biosphere Reserve is the oldest and only internationally recognized program which designates protected areas with the objective of making conservation compatible with economic and social development
Attractions in Samaná
Beaches on the north side of the peninsula:
Playa Bonita (fun waves), Coson (fun waves, can be rough), Las Terrenas, El Portillo and Playa Popy (always tranquil waters). Playa Rincon is on the north side, but needs to be reached via the Samaná road or by boat. Once you are in Las Galeras, there are daily small boat ferries to Playa Rincon beach, a spectacular 2 km. bay.
Beaches on the south side of the peninsula:
Playa Galeras (about an hour and a half from Las Terrenas) and Cayo Levantado. Cayo Levantado is an island of about one square kilometer, made of a protruding coral reef which protects Samana bay from the Atlantic waves. With its lovely white sand beaches flanked by tall coconut trees, this island is a popular day outing with boat loads of tourists arriving daily.
Horseback riding or four wheel riding trails through the mountains and beaches.
Samaná city claims an unusual history and, as a result, an unusual character. It was settled by two shiploads of freed American slaves around 1824 and, to this day, many residents speak English as a first language. The US cultural influence is also apparent in many of the last names of the settlers of this area. Urban renewal is improving the overall look of Samaná city.
Las Terrenas town.
Worth a stroll. Lots of shops feature all sort of beach wear and gear. Great supermarket in town, restaurants, delicious pate and pastry shops, reflecting the European influence.
El Limon Waterfall.
Take the El Portillo road going East and stay on it until you get to the town of El Limon. The waterfall is about 300 meters above sea level and has a 40 meter drop that ends in a very deep but swimmable pool of crystal clear waters
Whale-watching Samaná has some of the best whale-watching in the world. Every year, the excursions depart to catch the frolicking giant creatures from 15 January to 15 March. See the Whale-Watching Tour of Colonial Tour and Travel
Los Haitises National Park. Easily reached by a short boat ride across the Bay is Los Haitises National Park. This area is known as having one of the most important rainforests and mangrove reserves in the entire Caribbean, complete with keys and caves. You can only enter the park with a certified guide. Day excursions can be booked from most hotels.
Mountain biking, hiking, horse riding There are few destinations as great as Samaná for these ecotourism sports. Be on the lookout at your hotel for tour operators that offer these activities. Note that there is no better way to really see the area than by mountain bike, hiking or horse riding. End the day with a plunge in a deserted beach. Horse riding excursions that will take you through jungles and paradise beaches are offered at many hotels. Highly recommended.
Caving Samaná has many caves for exploring. Check out the availability of excursions offering sightings of petroglyphs and pictograms from the days of the Indian settlers. Samaná is known as the site of the first battle between the Indian settlers and the European conquerors – the Battle of the Arrows.
Rock climbing Rock climbing enthusiasts should look into the Playa Fronton excursions. Playa Fronton is located at the end tip of Las Galeras. It is a spectacular beach, even if you are not into climbing.
Beautiful fisher village , located in the Northeast Coast. The Samaná Peninsula is the most prominent geographic region of the Dominican Republic. In the Northern part of the Peninsula is the small town of Las Terrenas, whose sandy roads embrace the calm water beaches. French nationals and other Europeans have built an international community here. Over the years, just steps from the beach, they have developed many small inns and restaurants with a distinctive European flair.