Samana Peninsula

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Samana Peninsula - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. La Playita

    La Playita, or Little Beach, is a stunner that's a 15-minute walk from the main Las Galeras beach. Here you'll find a small shack serving...

    La Playita, or Little Beach, is a stunner that's a 15-minute walk from the main Las Galeras beach. Here you'll find a small shack serving fresh fish and a newer, two-story stucco restaurant with a variety of seafood offerings and a full bar. Coconut trees lean far out over the water, and the virgin stretch of Cabo Cabrón extends far along one side, providing incredible views and a sense of privacy and solitude. Amenities: food and drink; parking; toilets. Best for: partiers; solitude; sunset; swimming; walking.

    32000, Dominican Republic
  • 2. Los Haitises National Park

    A highlight of any visit to the Samaná Peninsula is Los Haitises National Park (pronounced high-TEE-sis), which is across Samaná Bay. The park is famous...

    A highlight of any visit to the Samaná Peninsula is Los Haitises National Park (pronounced high-TEE-sis), which is across Samaná Bay. The park is famous for its karst limestone formations, caves, and grottoes filled with pictographs and petroglyphs left by the indigenous Taínos. The park is accessible only by boat, and a professionally guided kayak tour is highly recommended (a licensed guide from a tour company or the government is mandatory for any visitor). You'll paddle around dozens of dramatic rock islands and spectacular cliff faces, while beautiful coastal birds—magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans, brown booby, egrets, and herons—swirl around overhead. A good tour will also include the caverns, where your flashlight will illuminate Taíno petroglyphs. It's a continual sensory experience, and you'll feel tiny, like a human speck surrounded by geological grandeur. Dominican Shuttles can arrange a park tour and a stay at the adjacent and rustic Paraíso Caño Hondo Ecolodge, which has authentic Creole cuisine and multiple waterfalls.

    32000, Dominican Republic
    809-720--6035-Booking Adventure Tours

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $4, not including mandatory use of licensed guide
  • 3. Playa Colorada

    Only accessible on foot or by boat, this beach is undeveloped save for a hotel at the far end, and it offers solitude on most...

    Only accessible on foot or by boat, this beach is undeveloped save for a hotel at the far end, and it offers solitude on most days. Have your hotel arrange for a small boat to take you there, either privately or with a group. Intrepid travelers who choose to go by foot will enjoy an intermediate, one-hour hike worth every second of the slight climb--especially for the incredible views. To hike here, ask for directions to Casa Dorado and stay on that path until you reach the beach. Bring water and snacks as there are no facilities. In the low season, expect to be among the only visitors. Amenities: None. Best for: sunbathing; swimming; hiking; solitude.

    Dominican Republic
  • 4. Playa Cosón

    This is a long, wonderful stretch of nearly white sand and the best beach close to the town of Las Terrenas. Previously undeveloped, it's now...

    This is a long, wonderful stretch of nearly white sand and the best beach close to the town of Las Terrenas. Previously undeveloped, it's now reachable by a new highway, Carretera Cosón, and there are a number of condo developments under construction (so the current sense of solitude probably won't last). One excellent restaurant, called The Beach, serves the entire 15-mile (24-km) shore, and there's the European-owned boutique hotel Casa Cosón and its restaurant and bar. If beachgoers buy lunch and/or drinks at either, then they can use the restrooms. Amenities: food and drink; parking; toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking; kitesurfing.

    32000, Dominican Republic
  • 5. Cayo Levantado

    There are no public beaches in Samaná town, but you can hire a boat to take you to Cayo Levantado, which has a wonderful white-sand...

    There are no public beaches in Samaná town, but you can hire a boat to take you to Cayo Levantado, which has a wonderful white-sand beach on an island in Samaná Bay. Today the small island has largely been turned into a commercial enterprise to accommodate the 1,500 cruise-ship passengers who anchor here; it has dining facilities, bars, restrooms, and lounge chairs. It can be extremely crowded and boisterous when there's a ship in port. The beach, however, is undeniably beautiful. The Bahía Príncipe Cayo Levantado an upscale, all-inclusive resort with its own launch, sells adults-only day passes.

    32000, Dominican Republic

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Public beach free
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  • 6. Dominican Evangelical Church

    The historic Dominican Evangelical Church is the oldest original building left in Samaná. Back in 1824, a sailing vessel called the Turtle Dove, carrying several...

    The historic Dominican Evangelical Church is the oldest original building left in Samaná. Back in 1824, a sailing vessel called the Turtle Dove, carrying several hundred enslaved people who had escaped from Philadelphia, was blown ashore in Samaná. The structure actually came across the ocean from England in 1881 in a hundred pieces and was reassembled here, serving the spiritual needs of the African-American freedmen. In 1946 a citywide fire wiped out most of Samaná's wooden buildings and Victorian architecture; this church was miraculously saved. 

    Calle Theodore Chaseurox, 32000, Dominican Republic

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Donations appreciated
  • 7. Playa Bonita

    On Playa Bonita you can bounce between the golden beach (BYO towel—no chaises) and one of the hotels and restaurants directly across the rough road,...

    On Playa Bonita you can bounce between the golden beach (BYO towel—no chaises) and one of the hotels and restaurants directly across the rough road, where you can have lunch. The beach can disappear during flooding and high tides. It's a quiet stretch of gold sand with leaning coconut trees. If you go across the street, there are restaurants/bars where you can find food and restrooms. Amenities: food and drink; toilets. Best for: partiers; sunset; surfing; swimming; walking; kitesurfing.

    Dominican Republic
  • 8. Playa Frontón

    Playa Frontón is a beach accessible only on foot or by boat and offers gorgeous views. It's on the east side of the easternmost cape...

    Playa Frontón is a beach accessible only on foot or by boat and offers gorgeous views. It's on the east side of the easternmost cape of the peninsula. You can have your hotel arrange for a small boat to take you there, either privately or with a group. As you might expect, this long, uncluttered, white sand beach will have almost no one there. (It's BYO everything.)  Wear reef shoes to protect your feet from sea urchins. Snorkeling is stellar but beware of strong currents. Amenities: None. Best for: sunrises; swimming; snorkeling; walking.

    32000, Dominican Republic
  • 9. Playa Las Ballenas

    Playa Las Ballenas is the westernmost of the three beaches at the town of Las Terrenas (the others are Terrenas and Punta Popy, all three...

    Playa Las Ballenas is the westernmost of the three beaches at the town of Las Terrenas (the others are Terrenas and Punta Popy, all three of them forming a continuous stretch of beach with different names). Ballenas is the nicest stretch in town since it's the quietest. Moderately priced hotels across the street provide chaises to their guests. Kayaking and sailing on Hobie Cats are popular here. This beach is named for the small whale-shaped cays in the distance. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: sunrise; sunset; swimming; walking; kitesurfing.

    Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deñó, 32000, Dominican Republic
  • 10. Playa Las Galeras

    Playa Las Galeras lies at the end of the highway of this tiny coastal town, a 20-minute drive northeast from Samaná town. The sand is...

    Playa Las Galeras lies at the end of the highway of this tiny coastal town, a 20-minute drive northeast from Samaná town. The sand is nearly white, the Atlantic waters generally calm. It has been designated a Blue Flag beach, which means that it's clean and unpolluted, though there are several small hotels here. Seaweed is regularly raked up and there is no parking fee, as it is just street parking. That all said, this is really just a departure point for the nearby virgin beaches closer to the cape to the west. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; sunset; walking.

    32000, Dominican Republic
  • 11. Playa Las Terrenas

    Playa Las Terrenas is the most crowded of all the peninsula's beaches. As you approach the ocean from the town of Las Terrenas, the road...

    Playa Las Terrenas is the most crowded of all the peninsula's beaches. As you approach the ocean from the town of Las Terrenas, the road forks. To the west is Playa Las Ballenas, and to the east is this beach. Still, it is golden sand, and a good long stretch. It’s heavily populated with Dominicans and lots of kids on weekends, which keeps things lively. On weekends, you'll find vendors with makeshift grills and coolers of beer; otherwise, you must go to the nearby restaurants for restrooms and food; you'll need a cover-up there. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: partiers; sunset; swimming; walking.

    27 de febrero, 32000, Dominican Republic
  • 12. Playa Madama

    Playa Madama is one of Las Galeras's most well-known beaches and also one of the most charming. Located in a cove a five-minute boat ride...

    Playa Madama is one of Las Galeras's most well-known beaches and also one of the most charming. Located in a cove a five-minute boat ride away from Playa Las Galeras, on the way to Playa Frontón, this beach is a little slice of undeveloped heaven. The water is fairly low and calm, and the backdrop is a jungle of palms and local trees. Bring your own blankets and drinks, as this beach has no amenities. Adventurous travelers will enjoy the long, solitary trek through the jungle and along several local farms to get here, but boats can also be hired to take you for a fee. Ask your hotel to help you book or head down to Playa Las Galeras, where the bulk of the boats are kept. The larger the group, the cheaper the price. Amenities: none. Best for: swimming; solitude; snorkeling.

    Camino a Playa Madama, Dominican Republic
  • 13. Playa Punta Popy

    Playa Punta Popy is basically an undistinguishable continuation of Playa Terrenas to the east; this section is slightly cleaner and less crowded the farther east...

    Playa Punta Popy is basically an undistinguishable continuation of Playa Terrenas to the east; this section is slightly cleaner and less crowded the farther east (away from town) you travel. Closer to town, and particularly on weekends, it is jammed with locals who spread out their lunches on the picnic tables, play music, and enjoy themselves. Across the road, depending on where you are, there are restrooms and food and drink; otherwise, not. Amenities: none. Best for: kitesurfing; swimming; walking.

    Dominican Republic
  • 14. Playa Rincón

    Remote Playa Rincón, a stunning white sand beach, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire region. Relatively undeveloped, there are no facilities...

    Remote Playa Rincón, a stunning white sand beach, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire region. Relatively undeveloped, there are no facilities per se, but spread out across the large stretch there are two or three restaurants offering traditional Dominican food. Other vendors may have beach chairs or sell bracelets and kitschy souvenirs or massage and braiding services. The water can be rough, but there are some calmer areas. The beach is cleaned regularly but not often enough. You can reach Rincón by boat, bus, or car from Las Galeras, with a boat the better option. Driving here takes about 30 minutes from town.  Theft is a real problem here, so when swimming, watch your belongings, don't bring valuables, and don't stay late. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; swimming; walking.

    32000, Dominican Republic
  • 15. Puerto Escondido

    Beach

    Puerto Escondido is the beach at the Grand Bahía Príncipe Cayacoa, and day visitors can enjoy the sands if they buy a day pass at the resort...

    Puerto Escondido is the beach at the Grand Bahía Príncipe Cayacoa, and day visitors can enjoy the sands if they buy a day pass at the resort. Availability and price depends on the season, hotel occupancy, etc. Though crowded with guests, the beach offers great views of the bay, plenty of drinks and lunch options, chaises, nonmotorized water sports, and the best strand on the south side of the peninsula. Amenities are available if you partake of the resort's facilities. Amenities: food and drink; parking; toilets; water sports. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; swimming; walking.

    Playa Puerto Escondido, Samaná, Samaná, 32000, Dominican Republic
    809-552–1444-Grand Bahía Príncipe Cayacoa
  • 16. Salto el Limón Waterfall

    Provided that you're fit and willing to deal with a long and slippery path, an adventurous guided trip (three hours) to the spectacular Salto el...

    Provided that you're fit and willing to deal with a long and slippery path, an adventurous guided trip (three hours) to the spectacular Salto el Limón Waterfall is a delight. It's mostly on horseback, but includes walking down rocky, sometimes muddy trails. Horse paths are slippery, and the trek is strenuous. The well-mannered horses take you across two rivers and up mountains to El Limón, the 165-foot waterfall amid luxuriant vegetation. Some snacks and drinks are usually included, but a grilled chicken lunch is only a few more pesos. The outpost for the trek, a local guide service called Santi Limón Excursiones, can be reached by phone in Las Terrenas.

    32000, Dominican Republic
    829-342--9976-Santi Limón Excursiones
  • 17. Whale Museum & Nature Center

    This tiny museum is dedicated to the mighty mammals of the sea. Samaná Bay is part of one of the largest marine mammal sanctuaries in...

    This tiny museum is dedicated to the mighty mammals of the sea. Samaná Bay is part of one of the largest marine mammal sanctuaries in the world and is a center for whale-watching during the winter migration of humpback whales. The Center for Conservation and Ecodevelopment of Samaná Bay and its Environment (CEBSE) manages this facility, which features a 40-foot female humpback skeleton. Information in English is available at the entrance.

    Av. La Marina, 32000, Dominican Republic
    809-538–2042

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: RD$150, Closed Sat. and Sun. except for reservations of 8 or more
  • 18. Taíno Park

    Museum Village
    Closed Permanently

    This unique park tells the story of a lost civilization. The Taíno Indians, the indigenous people of this island, were the inhabitants here...

    This unique park tells the story of a lost civilization. The Taíno Indians, the indigenous people of this island, were the inhabitants here some 1,500 years ago…that is, until Christopher Columbus discovered it. And then came the inevitable clash between the Spanish colonials and these peaceful natives. The major exhibits comprise 25 animated scenes with life-size figures depicting the life of the Taínos and their conflict with the Spanish conquistadors. Their costumes came from the best movie-company makers in Europe. The museum has an archaeological exhibition of more than 200 pieces—bone, clay, stone, and wood. If it's raining, the tour is fully roofed. Plan on at least one hour with a personal audio guide (available in five languages).

    Before the Arrollo Airport, 15 minutes west of Santa Barbara de Samana, Los Róbalos, Samaná, 32000, Dominican Republic
    809-729–1514

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $15

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