Experiences You Cannot Miss When Visiting Samana
I have been lucky enough to visit the Península de Samana in the Dominican Republic quite a few times. It is a place of many contradictions.
While Las Galeras and Las Terrenas have beaches of pristine sand and remind you of the beaches that international jet-setters go to be seen, Samana town is much more rough around the edges. You wouldn’t consider it a tourist hotspot if it were not for the whale watching season in mid-January to late March.
Over the last few years, Samana has become a very popular place for tourists to visit. Cayo Levantado, or Bacardi Island as the locals call it, is a luxury adults-only hotel that has been making waves for some time. It’s a great spot for those wanting a romantic time away from the hustle and bustle of more crowded destinations. It reminds me of a cool breeze, fresh, refreshing and pleasant.
There are some experiences that you cannot miss when visiting Samana, here are a few of them.
Samaná Whale Watching Excursion
If you want to see humpback whales putting on a show, then you must come to Samana. Every year between mid January and late March, these magnificent aquatic mammals come to breed in the warm waters off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Bull Humpbacks weighing over 40 tons leap out of the waters of Samana Bay trying to attract a female mate, seducing them through a song that echoes through the water. It is here that pregnant females give birth and nurse their calves before preparing for the long journey back north.
The tour guides on these tours have a profound knowledge of the Humpback Whales and by the end of this one in a lifetime experience, you will feel like you know as much as anyone about them.
On most organised whale watching excursions you will find included in the price, hotel pick-up and drop-off, transportation to the boat, a professional guide, lunch and non-alcoholic beverages.
Optional extras are a DVD of the tour, photographs and alcoholic drinks.
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El Limon Waterfall
The El Limon waterfall is tucked away in pretty rough landscape but is surrounded by lush vegetation. You would generally get there on horseback and the ride there can be hair-raising at times but the horses know the area very well and are very capable modes of transportation.
It normally takes around an hour of riding to get there and once there, you can take a dip in the pool and enjoy the scenery along with others. It’s a good idea to bring a towel and change of clothes if you want to have a swim and bearing in mind there are several river crossings on the way there and back, rubber sandals are a good idea as you will get wet.
Most organised trips include the horses, entrance to El Limon and lunch afterwards. It’s custom to tip your guide who will be walking while you are riding.
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Los Haitises National Park
Los Haitises National Park is one of the Dominican Republic’s largest protected areas. It is located directly below the Samaná Peninsula and is a very rugged area of landscape that seems to emerge straight out of the Mediterranean.
Massive rocks jut out of the bay with turkey vultures circling overhead while herons and pelicans nestle in the vegetation below.
Los Haitises is home to rainforest, mangroves and over 200 species of birds, being a key bird nesting sanctuary. You will also find Manatees and dolphins visiting the parks’ waters regularly.
Getting there is by boat from Samana and there is an option on each tour of visiting the beach for lunch and a swim on Cayo Levantado.
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Samana Zipline Tour
What can I say about the Zipline tour? Exciting, exhilarating, mind-blowing, electrifying, oh yeah, don’t forget your heart medication if you are of a nervous disposition.
You will Zipline from platform to platform, high, high up in the air with fantastic views of Cayo Levantado island and Los Haitises National Park as well as the Juana Vincenta region. It’s a breath taking experience that you will remember for a long time.
Don’t forget to bring your camera along with you to shoot some videos, you won’t regret it. When we went, we got there by Quad bike, which added immensely to the enjoyment of the day.
Organised trips include hotel pick-up and drop-off, entrance fees, safety guides, beverages and all necessary safety equipment.
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Whatever you do when coming to the region, these are Experiences You Cannot Miss When Visiting Samana.