With activities like these, who wouldn’t want to spend mañana in Samana?
As the last of the fall leaves flutter to the ground and the winter holidays loom closer, you might find your mind wander(lust)ing more often. Screens fade into dreams of golden sands and sunshine. Island paradises like the Dominican Republic become a mainstay in your thoughts, and you find yourself transported from carpools to the poolside in a place like Punta Cana.
And why not? Punta Cana is beautiful—there’s no question about that. Yet if you think the region’s 184 square miles of coconut tree-lined beaches, pampering resorts, and vibrant nightlife is all that the Dominican Republic has to offer, it’s time to broaden your travels!
Millions of families and couples, groups and solo beachgoers have headed out beyond the DR’s most famous town to discover the sights, and seafronts of destinations like Puerto Plata, La Romana … and Samana.
Kissed on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and Samana Bay, the Samana Peninsula, part of the Dominican Republic’s lush northeastern coastline, is where natural splendor thrives alongside luxurious all-inclusive hotels. It’s a destination renowned for its unspoiled scenery (and where, incidentally, pirates once hid their spoils), from waterfall-laden mountainsides to cinematic mangroves, with a hidden-gem vibe to match.
But what, exactly, is it that makes Samana so deserving of your exploring? To put it simply: the limitless eco-adventures.
1. Whale Watching
From November to April each year, you can witness one of the world’s most spectacular migrations. Roughly 2,000 humpback whales make the annual commute to the warm, peaceful waters of Samana Bay to breed and give birth. Take a boat ride to see if you can spot any whales breaching the sea, or peep for pods from the shoreline.
2. Las Terrenas
A local favorite for a day by the seaside, this town’s 18 miles of pristine white sands has all the boutiques, restaurants, bars, and water sports you could ask for. Reenergize between sunbaths or snorkels with your choice of coconut specialties. Find it in everything from savory rice dishes to memelos, a lollipop filled with coconut fudge and coated with caramel, to classic cocktails like the piña colada.
3. Salto del Limón
Think of the prettiest secluded-in-the-jungle waterfall you’ve seen in a movie, and odds are it looks just like El Limón. Surrounded by palms and pineapples and beloved by wild birds like the palmchat—the national bird of the DR—you can hike to the 130-foot cascade or ride there on horseback. Cool off with a dip in its refreshing pool before heading back.
4. Playa Frontón
As a former Survivor camp, it’s only fitting that while it takes a little effort to get to this off-the-beaten-path beach, the vistas are well worth it. Take a boat from the charming fishing village of Las Galeras; your first view of Frontón’s sugar-fine sands and coconut groves belie the adventure that awaits. Climb its 300-foot cliff, snorkel its coral reefs, and try to “outplay” your companions to snap the best photo of its mesmerizing coast.
5. Los Haitises National Park
The tropical rainforest, home to birds as colorful as the fragrant flora that attract them, is just one of the highlights of this 618-square-mile reserve. Considered one of the country’s most significant parks, it’s also where visitors can search caves for ancient petroglyphs; stand in awe of towering rock formations jutting out of the seafloor; and have free reign of a former Jurassic Park filming location.
6. Cayo Levantado
Already an upscale vacation destination, this island on Samana Bay has become even more glamorous thanks to the recent enhancements to its only accommodation, the premier Cayo Levantado Resort. Synonymous with sumptuous wellness and meticulous attention to detail, it’s a private playground perfect for those seeking the finer things on their Caribbean getaway.
Why limit your DR trip to one destination? Be All You Want and do all you want with a custom itinerary designed by your travel advisor. Fly into Punta Cana or Samana’s El Catey Airport, and then let Amstar take it from there—easy!