Most new visitors to the Dominican Republic flock to the beach resorts of Punta Cana. “Planned tourism” there is polished to make a great product. While a beach, buffet and booze holiday will appeal to many, some visitors still yearn for a more authentic Dominican experience. One option is to stay on the lesser-visited peninsula of Samaná, on the north-eastern coast of the Dominican Republic.
How to get to Samana?
Getting to Samana requires a little more effort than usual. Direct international flights to the region’s Samaná El Catey International Airport are rare. Most visitors need to use connecting flights from Punta Cana or opt for a two-hour drive from the capital, Santo Domingo, along a new modern highway. So why make the extra effort when upon arrival, visitors will find a region filled with a remarkable history, superb environmentally friendly attractions and amazing hotels and restaurants. All this takes place in a lush natural setting of tropical forests and coconut plantations. Note that the Samaná peninsula has over 6 million palm trees!
Samana’s must-visit spots
The tourist centre of Samana is Las Terrenas, a town of about 14,000 inhabitants. Over the years, Samana has attracted more European holidaymakers than those from the United States, the former being attracted by the authentic restaurants serving local dishes and the possibility of staying in luxury resorts or trendy, eco-friendly and affordable hotels. The main attraction of Samaná is its natural attractions. These range from beautiful white sandy beaches such as Rincon and Coson, to what could be described as Samana’s landmark, the trio of waterfalls that make up El Limon Falls.
Samana’s unmissable activities
One of the most go-to activities in Samana is horseriding alongside the falls. Those planning a visit between January and March can enjoy whale-watching during boat trips on Samaná Bay. During these winter months, around 2,500 humpback whales migrate to the bay. Another eco-excursion is hiking, caving and birdwatching in Los Haitises National Park, a vast protected area covering an impressive area. Water sports in Samaná include kitesurfing, paddleboarding, diving and surfing, with the chance of taking lessons at the Carolina Surf School in Playa Bonita.