Tucked away on the beautiful northeastern part of the Dominican Republic, stretched out into the Atlantic, the Samaná Peninsula enjoys a splendid isolation from the rest of this magical island.
This part of Hispaniola has long been famous for its long, uncrowded, white-sand beaches flanked by craggy limestone cliffs and Mountains with panoramic views and rolling hills blanketed in coconut trees. You could almost stand anywhere on the Samaná Peninsula, throw a stick, and it would likely hit a tree, sand or water.
Those who travel here often come in search of one of the most secluded and stunning beaches in the Dominican Republic, like Playa Moron, a dreamy mile long, undeveloped stretch on the peninsula’s Northern Tip.
But beyond this famous beach, the peninsula’s laid-back seaside towns and its rugged tropical landscape — a popular backdrop for feature films and series as Pirates of the Caribbean and Survivor — make it the perfect destination for outdoor adventures on or off the water.
The best Eco-adventures in Samaná are:
Whale watching in the Bay of Samaná.
Thousands of humpback whales visit Samaná every year to bask in the warm Atlantic waters that surround the peninsula. From mid-January through March, they feed, mate and birth in the area’s three major breeding grounds: Silver Bank, Navidad Bank and the Bay of Samaná.
Together, they make up the Sanctuary for Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic, established in 1996 and the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
The closest area to explore is the Bay of Samaná, facing the peninsula’s south shore, with near-daily whale-watching boat excursions departing in-season from the bay front town of Santa Barbara de Samaná.
With hundreds of whales swimming in the bay during winter, you’re almost guaranteed sightings of the giant mammals flippering, tail lobbing, breaching, courting with songs that echo off the waters and rearing their calves in these nutrient-rich waters. You can also spot them swimming in the distance from various towns along the peninsula’s coastline, including Punta Balandra, Las Terrenas and Las Galeras.
Sailing through Los Haitises National Park.
From the Bay of Samaná, a nine-mile boat ride south takes you into Los Haitises National Park — one of the largest protected areas in the Dominican Republic. It’s an important bird-nesting sanctuary and a principal water source for the eastern coast.
Its unusual landscape alone is worth a glimpse: rock mounds 30 meters high (almost 100 feet) punctuate the water. They are partly covered in vegetation and bird colonies, including vultures, pelicans, and herons. On land, the park encompasses thick mangrove channels and rainforests flanked by limestone hills.
Boat excursions will make stops along the way to hike the trails leading toward a couple of Taino Indian caves. These chambers house some of the largest numbers of Taino petroglyphs and pictographs found in the country. Sketches of whales, gods, shamans, and human forms cover the walls, offering a tiny window into the DR’s first inhabitants.
Sailing tours to Los Haitises are available daily from the town of Samaná, with outfitters picking up guests from around the peninsula.
Horseback riding to El Limón waterfall.
A bustling, small town north of the peninsula, Limón is home to the tallest waterfalls in the DR. The eponymous El Limón tumbles 130 feet from the peak of the Sierra de Samaná into a deep emerald pool flanked by a thick forest.
The adventure begins at one of the multiple ranches in town. You’ll make your way on horseback down a rocky and at times muddy, wild trail through the forest, before eventually hopping off and reaching a series of steps leading toward the giant cascade.
Opt to hike instead of horseback riding, and you’ll get a closer look at the flora and fauna in these parts, where native species grow abundantly, including orchids, royal palms, pineapple, and mango trees.
Birders will spot the palmchat (DR’s national bird), the Black-crowned palm tanager, and the Hispaniolan woodpecker, among hundreds of species. Excursions to El Limón are offered from all around the peninsula
Riding the waves in Las Terrenas.
An hour east of Cap el Limon, steady, sweeping trade winds grace the beach town of Las Terrenas and have turned it into an increasingly popular coastline for wind water sports.
From December through September, surfers and kite surfers are seen flipping and gliding off the area’s coveted beaches.
Carolina Surf School, run by a former Dominican professional kitesurfer, is based on Playa Bonita, and offers lessons year-round. The hub for kite-surfing schools is Playa Punta Popy, where a handful of beginners can be seen braving the turquoise sea throughout the day. Watch or join in, before relaxing at one of the bars across the beach, just in time for sunset.
Staying in a stunning villa at Cap el Limon
Are you looking for the perfect holiday destination? At Cap el Limon we offer you the perfect mix of luxury in nature. A sanctuary for those seeking peace of mind and privacy in the midst of nature, without sacrificing amenities and convenience. Book your favorite holiday villa in Samaná here and we’d be happy to organize any of these wonderful activities/experiences for you! Please feel free to get in touch for any questions you might have.