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About Dominican Republic - Samana via Samana Airport

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Short Description

Samana is a destination for nature lovers and adventurers. Green, green mountains, long beaches, solitude, lively little towns in between, turquoise waters. Samana is also a romantic destination, and several of its small hotels are perfect for honeymooner

Destination Highlights

Beaches on the north side of the peninsula: Playa Bonita (fun waves), Cozon (fun waves, can be rough), Las Terrenas, El Portillo and Playa Popy (always tranquil waters). Playa Rincon is on the north side, but needs to be reached via the Samana road or by boat. Once you are in Las Galeras, there are daily small boat ferries to Playa Rincon beach, a spectacular 2 km. bay.

Beaches on the south side of the peninsula: Playa Galeras (about an hour and a half from Las Terrenas) and Cayo Levantado. Cayo Levantado is an island of about one square kilometer, made of a protruding coral reef which protects Samana bay from the Atlantic waves. With its lovely white sand beaches flanked by tall coconut trees, this island is a popular day outing with boat loads of tourists arriving daily.

Horseback riding or four wheel riding trails through the mountains and beaches.

Samana city. Samana city claims an unusual history and, as a result, an unusual character. It was settled by two shiploads of freed American slaves around 1824 and, to this day, many residents speak English as a first language. The US cultural influence is also apparent in many of the last names of the settlers of this area. Urban renewal is improving the overall look of Samana city.

Las Terrenas town. Worth a stroll. Lots of shops feature all sort of beach wear and gear. Great supermarket in town, restaurants, delicious pate and pastry shops, reflecting the European influence.

El Limon Waterfall. Take the El Portillo road going East and stay on it until you get to the town of El Limon. The waterfall is about 300 meters above sea level and has a 40 meter drop that ends in a very deep but swimable pool of crystal clear waters.

Whale-watching -- Samana has some of the best whale-watching in the world. Every year, the excursions depart to catch the frolicking giant creatures from 15 January to 15 March.

Los Haitises National Park. Easily reached by a short boat ride across the Bay is Los Haitises National Park. This area is known as having one of the most important rainforests and mangrove reserves in the entire Caribbean, complete with keys and caves. You can only enter the park with a certified guide. Day excursions can be booked from most hotels.

Mountain biking, hiking, horse riding -- There are few destinations as great as Samana for these ecotourism sports. Be on the lookout at your hotel for tour operators that offer these activities. Note that there is no better way to really see the area than by mountain bike, hiking or horse riding. End the day with a plunge in a deserted beach. Horse riding excursions that will take you through jungles and paradise beaches are offered at many hotels.

Caving -- Samana has many caves for exploring. Check out the availability of excursions offering sightings of petroglyphs and pictograms from the days of the Indian settlers. Samana is known as the site of the first battle between the Indian settlers and the European conquerors - the Battle of the Arrows.

Rock climbing -- Rock climbing enthusiasts should look into the Playa Fronton excursions. Playa Fronton is located at the end tip of Las Galeras. It is a spectacular beach, even if you are not into climbing.

Local Weather

Average yearly temperature is 80F. Tropical storms are possible during rainy season, June through November.



As diverse as the Dominican Republic is geologically, so are its vacation choices. To some the island is full of swank resorts and night life pulsating to merengue and non-stop casino action. Then there are those who come to enjoy a thousand miles of sugar-white beaches, or challenge some of the most beautiful and difficult golf courses in the world. Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to trekking and biking through the magnificent mountain ranges which are scattered throughout the island, often dramatically rising straight up from the sea. In Old Santo Domingo, history aficionados can witness the buildings and streets that were once inhabited by Columbus, Ponce de Leon, and Cortez.

Nestled between Puerto Rico and Cuba on an island that it shares with the Republic of Haiti, the Dominican Republic offers travelers the best that the Caribbean has to offer, with a unique personality rooted deeply in her Latino heritage. On the island, there are 3 major tourist destinations. Puerto Plata to the north, Punta Cana to the east, and Santo Domingo to the south. All have excellent beaches and popular resort areas.

Beaches, beaches and more beaches - thousands of them to be precise. If sun worshiping is your pastime of choice, the Dominican Republic is ideal. Its appeal extends far beyond its shores, however. Its complex landscape is a mixed metaphor, boasting both the Caribbean's tallest mountains and its lowest inland point - a million year old lake the size of Manhattan. You'll find a mountainous interior and healthy rain forests encircled by miles of white sand beaches.

The people are passionate about music and dance. Merengue greets you at the airport, travels with you in your taxi, and is probably playing in the lobby as you arrive at your hotel! While you will hear the latest hits from America or Europe, you will also be able to experience a wide range of Dominican music (with influences from Africa and Latin America), including Salsa, Caribbean Jazz, Folkloric and the Tumba (horn) styles of neighboring islands.

Local Information

The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted. The official language is Spanish, but English is spoken in the resort areas. The electric current on the island is 110 volts. This island is big, so you will need a car to do any major exploring. Driving is on the right, and an international driver's license is required.

Airport Information

Please be advised that the Dominican Republic charges a mandatory fee of $10.00 USD (subject to change) per person upon arrival to the airport, payable in cash as part of the immigration process. Also, take note that many destinations charge a departure fee. Generally, most airlines include this fee in the cost of your airline ticket. We recommend you contact the airline directly to review the details with the carrier.

Entry Requirements

Effective December 31, 2006, the U.S. Department of State and Homeland Security requires all travelers to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer's identity and nationality. This information should be used only as a guideline and non-U.S. citizens should contact the airline they are traveling on, or their local consulate regarding the specific entry requirements that apply to their nationality.
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