Things to Do in Samaná
The trails that lead to El Limón Waterfall (Cascada El Limón are towered over by mountains, and lined with coffee and cocoa plants. If the picturesque Caribbean landscape isn't enough, a crystal-clear natural pool at the foot of the falls provides a place to cool off after a mountain hike.
The remote tropical island of Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the Dominican Republic. Home to a 5-star resort, white-sand beach, and lush rain forest, Cayo Levantado is rife with opportunities to hike, snorkel, scuba dive, and relax.
Samaná Bay is the heart of the Samana region in the far northeast of the Dominica Republic. Along its shores, you’ll find the famed Los Haitises National Park, protected tropical forest where you can explore caverns adorned with native Taino petroglyphs, spectacular tree covered islets, and idyllic mangrove lagoons. The bay itself is also a popular attraction for divers and snorkelers, and during the winter months it becomes a gathering point for migrating humpback whales, which come here from cooler climes to mate and birth their calves. During this time, whale watching tours practically guarantee sightings of these massive marine mammals as the jump and play at the water’s surface.
There’s a reason this pristine stretch of white sand has been rated one of the top beaches in the world. The scenic shores of Rincón Beach are some of the Dominican Republic’s most idyllic and captivating. And because of its limited accessibility, visitors say it’s not uncommon to have the crystal blue waters and open expanse of ocean all to yourself.
The historic fishing village of Las Galeras is stationed along the east coast of the Dominican Republic’s Samaná Peninsula. Travelers venture to this quiet town for its idyllic palm-lined beaches and easy access to Rincon Beach via the Las Galeras jetty. The village is close to Playa Fronton, another popular beach home to some of the Dominican Republic’s best snorkeling.
On the edge of Playa Rincón—considered one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic—lies the Cano Frío River. This cool stream feeds into a quiet pool that’s perfect for relaxing along the sheltered shores of the Samaná peninsula. Travelers can escape the heat by taking a refreshing dip in this secluded destination away from the tourists at the other end.
Cabo Cabrón National Park (Parque Nacional Cabo Cabrón) offers visitors a taste of the wild side of the Dominican Republic—a place before resorts, tourists, and development touched down on this tropical island. With uninhabited coastlines, rocky cliffs, and rugged trails, this protected forest is one of the most remote locations in Samaná, attracting both divers for scuba expeditions and adventure-seeking tourists.
Some 1,500 years ago, the Taino Indians, the indigenous people of Dominican Republic, inhabited this tropical island. But arrival of the famed explorer Christopher Columbus sent locals into a tailspin and forced them to defend their land, their tribe and their traditions against colonizers. Today, 25 unique life-size figures stationed in Taino Park depict the peaceful life and bloody battle of the Taino people, with ornate costumes fashioned by European designers. Visitors can bear witness to their troubling past and explore their ancient culture and historic traditions.
Additional exhibits include bone fragments, clay pots and stone carvings excavated from the site. Travelers can explore the grounds alone, or spring for a personal audio guide, which is available in a number of languages, for more historical context.
This boardwalk winds along the Dominican Republic’s Samaná Bay, where tourists, locals, artists, and musicians gather to relax near the shoreline and take in epic views of the island’s striking blue horizon. Lively outdoor cafes serving strong brews and local cuisine and interesting shops selling handmade items line this strip, a popular destination for travelers to Samaná.
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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