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Seek Advice on 9 days in Samana and possibly Cabarete

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I am planning a trip to Dominican Republic in June. My partner and I are looking for nice getaway with plenty of adventure and culture. We do not want to stay in resort and will most likely look for lodging in hostel or with Air BnB. After some initial research I think Samana peninsula has what we are looking for in terms of beaches, sea kayaking, SCUBA (him) and snorkel (me) opportunities.
I would appreciate anyput on the following:
1) I think we are flying into Santo Domingo. I would rather not hassle with rental car. What is best mode of transportation to Samana?
2) I've been looking at staying in Las Galeras and Las Terranas. What are the differences in the two towns (cultural and proximity to above related activities)?
3) I am interested in visiting Las Haitises. Once there, is there somewhere to rent kayaks?
4) My partner is avid diver and would appreciate recommendations on dive spots.
5) Lastly, Im intrigued with Ciguapa Falls canyoneering trip that is based out of Cabarete. Is it worth taking time away from Samana to stay a few days in Cabarete?
6) If so, are there smaller towns outside of Cabarete that are recommended to stay in? (Keeping in mind we might be relying on public transportation to get into town for tour).
Any help is greatly appreciated! I have received invaluable help from this forum when planning Belize and Costa Rica excursions.

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