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Home > Destinations > Dominican Republic > Samana Penisula

Samana Penisula

The most prominent geographic feature of the Dominican North Coast is the Samana Peninsula. Its extension out from the mainland of the country creates the magical bay of Samana, which attracts whale-watchers from around the world to observe the fantastic conclave of thousands of humpbacks in mid January to mid March.

At the peninsula's midpoint lies the city of Samana, which claims an unusual history and, as a result, an unusual characteristic. It was settled by two shiploads of freed American slaves around 1824 and, to this day, many residents speak English as a first language.

Further along the peninsula, tropical vegetation surrounds a turquoise bay, dotted with tiny islets. The last of these is the jewel-like Cayo Levantado; a trip there by boat makes a wonderful one-day excursion.

Las Galeras and Playa Rincón are dream beaches both close to the city of Samana. Take back memories of paradise. Ask for assistance at your hotel and book an excusrion for your group to one of the many smaller sandy coves and beaches not yet touched by hotel development.

Much of the Samana Penisula remains wild and sparely populated. Hardy visitors can penetrate unexplored patches of tropical jungle and bathe in bubbling, unpolluted rivers.

Visitors to this area can now easily tour Samana and then drive west along the scenic new El Limón highway to Portillo and Las Terrenas the small town whose sandy road embraces the calm water beaches where French nationals and other Europeans have built an international community. Over the years they have developed many small inns and restaurants with a distinctively European flair, many just steps from the beach. At the same time, Samana is the place to enjoy Dominican specialties, such as the delicious fish in coconut sauce. When staying at Las Terrenas, venture out and discover the soft sand beaches of Cozón and Punta Bonita.

Across the bay but easily reached by a short boat ride from the coast of Samana, lies Los Haitises National Park, a marvelous sanctuary for nature lovers and those interested in natural history. The underground rivers flow through caves replete with pre-Columbian petroglyphs, silent testimony to the Indian population who dwelled there peacefully for centuries before the arrival of the Europeans.

Information provided by the National Hotel & Restaurant Association Tourism Promotion Council.

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