Do you think that you need to sacrifice amenities in order to find untamed and natural beauty in the Caribbean? Do you believe that there are no more ‘authentic’ destinations in the area? If so, you haven’t experienced Samana. Tucked away in a relatively unknown part of the Dominican Republic, Samana is quickly emerging as a preferred tourist destination because of its unspoiled nature. With much of its natural beauty and charm still in tact, Samana is your ideal stop for untainted beauty with all the basic amenities you would expect.
Samana is best known for its spectacular landscapes. Breathtaking mountain peaks surround the sandy beaches of the coastlines. Waterfalls and cool springs dot the tropical forests, where native birds and fish thrive in the underdeveloped region. If your dream Caribbean vacation is to be surrounded by natural landscapes and friendly locals rather than throngs of tourists, Samana is that dream destination. Step back in time and experience a simpler era with the relaxation you would expect from a Caribbean destination.
Relatively remote until a few years ago, the area of Samana is gradually being opened to tourism and other parts of the Dominican through intense infrastructure building. Because the area of Samana is generally undeveloped compared to the rest of the Dominican Republic, your accommodation options are fewer. Most of the hotels are run privately and operate around the major towns. While there are a few all-inclusive resorts in the area, don’t expect a diversity of accommodations. What Samana lacks in accommodation options, however, it makes up for in activities and uniqueness.
The best time to travel to Samana is between the months of January and March to coincide with the humpback whale season. This small area becomes a bustling hub of activity during the winter months when the humpbacks make their annual journey to the shores around Samana. Be sure not to miss the opportunity for some of the best whale watching in the Caribbean on a half or full day whale excursion. Departing from Santa Barbara de Samana, this is a must do activity during the migration months.
Whether it is whale watching season or not, a trip to the town of Santa Barbara de Samana is well worth your time. The local hub for markets and trading, this town is the go to spot in the area for connecting with native artisans and craftsmen. While the town reaches its peak during whale watching season, the more authentic experiences are during the off-season when the locals are the main people crowding the streets. Regardless of the season, visit one of the most historic towns in the area to catch a glimpse of the Dominican way of life.
Whales are not the only species of wildlife waiting for you to encounter in Samana. With a number of nature reserves in the surrounding mountains and coastal areas, this is your one stop spot for viewing the natural floral and fauna of the region. Consider a day trip to Los Haitises National Park, whether on foot, by horse, or motorized vehicle. With lush vegetation and tropical animals, this unspoiled nature reserve is breathtakingly beautiful. While visiting the park, be sure to check out the prehistoric drawings that dot many of the caves in the area. With a variety of visiting options available, the National Park has something for every visitor.
After exploring the National Park, you may experience an even greater desire to continue experiencing the natural beauty of the area. If so, book an excursion to El Limon Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. Whether by hike or by horse, you will never forget the views of this amazing waterfall and surrounding green landscape.
Like most destinations in the Dominican, Samana is well known for its white sandy beaches and turquoise water. What really sets this area apart, however, is the unspoiled natural beauty of the beaches on the peninsula. Consider a trek to Playa Rincon, considered one of the top beaches in the entire country. While the area is a little remote, once you arrive you will find all of the comforts you would expect including restaurants and equipment rentals. If you are looking to skip the busy tourist beaches, Playa Rincon is your ideal spot for seclusion yet comfort.
Samana is far from your average tourist spot in the Caribbean. Although gradually developing into a preferred destination, Samana is still a relatively well kept secret that locals and visitors cherish. If you are ready to experience the untamed beauty and Dominican charm, set your sights on Samana.