When tourists head to the Dominican Republic, the top three places to visit are typically Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, or Santo Domingo – which is exactly why you should head to the Samana Peninsula, instead. Here you will find Dominican bliss and discover the natural side of the Dominican Republic; the Samana Peninsula is full of raw nature, coconut-covered mountains and inexpensive seafood that would otherwise be served at a five-star restaurant. Go ahead and discover the beauty you can explore during your stay on this gorgeous piece of the world.
This is the main town of the peninsula and has a nice mixture of scenic nature and cultural experiences to take part in. If you’re into exploring the local night scene, step into one of the bars for a taste of authentic reggae music and locals dancing to the beats. In the same town during the morning it’s a completely other story; the locals are hard at work and the serenity of the setting is quite breathtaking. The highlight of the town is the scenic walkway that connects a series of small islands in the bay. If you’re around January-March, Samana is one of the breeding places of the humpback whale. Make sure to be on the lookout for spouts of water shooting from the sea. For accommodation you can find some sweet deals to stay on budget and still get the amenities you require.
Playa Rincon, also known as the Fisherman’s Beach, has made the charts as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and some even consider it the most beautiful in the world. While you cannot actually find accommodations on this beach, you can easily travel from Las Galeras by boat (about $12 a person) to indulge in this pristine shoreline. There are other ways to get here but I’ve found that a boat ride is both the most scenic and cost efficient way to travel. You may be in the middle of nowhere, but the locals who run the two makeshift restaurants at Playa Rincon will cook you the best meal of your life. Choose from lobster, octopus, shrimp, or fish, plucked from the sea, cooked over a small fire, and served with coconut rice and fried plantains. It just doesn’t get much better than that when you would have to pay an arm and a leg at Punta Cana or Santo Domingo.
To get in touch with nature during your stay this national park will be worth your while to visit. An easy boat ride across the peninsula (or a somewhat longer drive), Los Haitises National Park is known for having one of the most important rainforests and mangrove reserves in the entire Caribbean. Look out for parrots, owls, and gannets in the trees or head into the caverns to explore the drawings of the native Taino Indians. You can only enter with a special guide, but day excursions can be booked from most hotels and there is a booming ecotourism industry in the park.
Posted : Thursday, February 21st, 2013 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.