Samana Excursions

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About Samana Peninsula

If you want the Dominican Republic to appear before you in an unusual role, allow it to show one of its most striking images – go to Samana. This trip will completely change your understanding of the country. You will see what we have already seen – anyone who comes to this peninsula at least once will definitely return here.

Samana, a lush tropical paradise in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, was the site of the first battles between Christopher Columbus and Indians in 1492. This turquoise place with small islands is a paradise for lovers of sport fishing and water sports.

Samana was a picturesque fishing village, but when a fire burned it down in 1946, it was attacked by businessmen from the cities who wanted to redevelop it for tourism purposes. These dreams were never destined to come true. The charm of Samana lies not on the shore but in the sea, dotted with small islands, where humpback whales can be seen between January and March.

Top 4 Samana tours you must visit

Who can be inspired by a holiday on Samana? First of all, fans of ecotourism, active, inquisitive travelers who prefer to travel to interesting locations, immerse themselves in the country's life, rather than sit in hotels. For this purpose, you should consider our top 4 Samana excursions.

And how can you sit in a hotel when there are so many interesting things around rich, unsurpassed in its splendor nature with varied landscapes, flora bursting with abundance (virgin forests in which coconut palms grow, the concentration of which per 1 sq. km there is simply off the charts, and there are mahogany trees, mangrove forests), original villages, and from January to March – humpback whales. At this time, water giants, reaching a length of 19.5 meters, swim here for the purpose of mating.

1. Visit to the magnificent Los Haitises National Park

Since Samana is the natural pearl of the Dominican Republic, we should start with natural beauty. For example, go on a boat trip through the Los Haitises National Park (area 208 sq. km), which combines mangrove forests, rivers, creeks, swamps, and bays of Samana.

Hundreds of small islands covered with mangrove forests, inhabited by rare birds and butterflies. In numerous caves, there are traces of the presence of the Taino Indians (the original inhabitants of these places) in the form of rock paintings and stone sculptures. Here the reality show “The Last Hero 3” and episodes of the film “Pirates of the Caribbean” were filmed.

2. Charming El Limon Waterfall

In the depths of the Samana Peninsula, there is one of the most important eco-attractions – the El Lemon waterfall, which height is 52 meters and the water temperature is about 20 degrees.

If your soul has drawn you to heroic deeds and your body is in solidarity with it, go to the waterfall! You will not be allowed to jump for safety reasons, but you can take a plunge. Moreover, as the legend says, by swimming in this waterfall, you will receive untold riches. This is why locals call El Limon the Millionaires' Falls.

3. Cayo Levantado

But the charm of Samana lies not only on the shore, but also in the sea, dotted with small islands. The most beautiful is Cayo Levantado, located a few minutes by motorboat from Santa Barbara de Samana. The sand there is snow-white, the sea waters are transparent and crystal clear – there is no better place for solitude, swimming, and snorkeling.

4. Humpback whales watching

From the south, the Samana Peninsula is washed by the waters of the bay of the same name, indented by small bays, where humpback whales swim annually from mid-January to mid-March. The mystery of the birth of cubs and the mating games of these giants do not leave tourists from all over the world indifferent.

Being in the center of an ocean bay, you will be able to see with your own eyes, just a few meters away, how a huge whale jumps out of the water or throws out a fountain of water up to 3 meters high, how a whale calf, born for the first time, explores the elements of the ocean. Whale watching as one of the Samana excursions is truly an unforgettable experience!

A small boat excursion to whales is the most dynamic! If you want to take beautiful photos while watching whales, you should take the ferry. But if the goal of a whale-watching excursion is a thirst for adventure, positive emotions, extraordinary sights, and adrenaline, then we definitely recommend renting a boat! Pleasure guaranteed!

Other places you have to see in Samana

Samana is one of the best resorts for a relaxing holiday with the whole family. Apart from the various excursions here, you can also visit many different colorful places, and here some of them.

Capital of the province – Santa Barbara de Samana

The capital of the province of Samana is Santa Barbara de Samana – a cozy city with a 250-year history, located in one of the bays of the bay. It was founded in 1756 to protect the bay from attacks by corsairs who wanted to conquer this delightful region dotted with palm trees.

A charming malecon (embankment), a picturesque bridge, a stylish shopping street – everything is conducive to leisurely walks and allows you to fully experience the local flavor.

Never sleeping Las Terrenas town

There are also other interesting settlements on the peninsula, for example, Las Terrenas. This town is called a French colony because of the large number of French living in this place. And therefore, do not be surprised by the number of different restaurants where you can eat deliciously and have fun because Las Terrenas never sleeps.

The magnificent nature of the tropics, numerous waterfalls, wild beaches, caves, mountain rivers – all this may surprise you with the Samana Peninsula, which can be reached from anywhere in the country.

As a conclusion

The Samana Peninsula is almost entirely a resort area. Tourists from all over the world gather in this amazing corner of the Dominican Republic. But despite all the fame of the resort, you won’t find a crowd here. On the contrary, Samana is famous for its privacy and untouched nature. There are stunning coconut groves here and you will surely find a great place for a stroll. And the surface of the sea is constantly cut by dolphins and manatees. So, if your dream is to get up close and personal with wildlife, definitely head to Samana.

Frequently asked questions about Samana
Peninsula and tours there

1. Which is better Samana or Punta Cana?

Whether Samaná or Punta Cana is better for you depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for in a vacation:

  • Samaná is known for its natural beauty, including whale watching, lush landscapes, and stunning beaches. It’s a great choice for eco-tourism, outdoor adventures, and a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere.
  • Punta Cana, on the other hand, is famous for its all-inclusive resorts, a wide range of activities, golf courses, and a more vibrant nightlife scene. It’s an ideal destination for a luxurious and all-inclusive resort experience.

Choose based on your interests. If you prefer nature, eco-tourism, and a quieter atmosphere, go to Samaná. If you’re looking for a more resort-oriented experience with plenty of amenities and entertainment, Punta Cana might be the better choice.

2. Is Samana Dominican safe?

Well, the Samana Peninsula is safe for travelers. However, like any travel destination, it’s important to exercise common-sense precautions. Be mindful of your belongings, stay informed about local conditions, and follow any safety guidelines by tour operators or local authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

3. What is Samana known for?

Samana is famed for its annual humpback whale migration, pristine beaches like Playa Rincón, lush natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, adventure activities, and opportunities for relaxation, along with delicious Dominican cuisine, local festivals, and island-hopping adventures.

Separately, it is worth noting the delightful Samana excursions, which will not leave either adults or children indifferent. El Limon waterfall, humpback whales, the amazing Los Haitises park, and much more.

4. Why visit Samana?

There are several reasons to visit Samaná:

  • Samana is renowned for its incredible whale-watching opportunities. During the winter months, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Samaná Bay to give birth and mate. Visitors can take whale-watching tours to witness these majestic creatures up close.
  • Samaná is home to some of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches. Playa Rincón, Playa Frontón, and Playa El Valle are just a few of the stunning options for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.
  • It is lush with tropical forests and offers numerous opportunities for hiking, eco-tourism, and exploring nature reserves. The El Limón waterfall is a popular natural attraction.
  • Samaná has a rich cultural heritage, influenced by the indigenous Taíno people and Spanish colonial history. You can explore the local culture, visit small villages, and enjoy traditional Dominican cuisine.
  • The region offers adventure activities, including zip-lining, horseback riding, and ATV tours. These activities allow you to explore the natural beauty of the area from a different perspective.
  • If you’re looking for a peaceful and tranquil getaway, Samaná is an excellent choice. The laid-back atmosphere, serene beaches, and cozy accommodations make it ideal for relaxation.
  • Enjoy delicious Dominican dishes, including fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and traditional meals like sancocho and mofongo.
  • Samana hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year, allowing visitors to experience local music, dance, and celebrations, etc.

Samaná is a versatile destination that combines natural beauty, cultural experiences, adventure, and relaxation. Whether you’re interested in observing marine life, exploring pristine beaches, or immersing yourself in Dominican culture, it has something to offer every type of traveler.

5. How much does it cost to see whales in Samana, the Dominican Republic?

The cost of a whale-watching tour in Samaná can vary depending on several factors, including the tour operator, the tour duration, and the type of experience offered. Prices range from approximately $90 to $200 or more per person for a half-day tour. Longer tours or those with additional amenities or services may be more expensive.

We offer a tour with whales on Samana for 10 hours. The cost starts from $149 per person. You will be able to enjoy not only whales but also the peninsula of Samana, a traditional Dominican lunch, drinks, and emotions!

6. Is the Samaná Peninsula safe?

Samaná Peninsula is generally considered safe for tourists. Practice common-sense precautions, like safeguarding your belongings and being aware of your surroundings, and stay informed about local conditions and advisories.

7. What time is best to see whales?

The best time to see whales in Samaná is during their annual migration season (from February to March). There are some considerations to have a successful whale-watching experience:

  • Mornings are often a good time for whale watching as the seas are usually calmer, and the lighting is better for visibility. Whales are also more active during the earlier part of the day.
  • To increase your chances of seeing whales, consider taking a whale-watching tour in the early morning. Whales tend to be more active and breach the water surface.
  • The tides and sea conditions can affect the whales’ behavior. It’s a good idea to check with your tour operator for the latest updates on tides and sea conditions to plan your trip accordingly.

Whale-watching tours in Samaná are typically organized by experienced guides knowledgeable about the whales’ behavior. We can help you find the best times and locations to observe these majestic creatures.

8. When can you see whales in Samaná?

The best time to see humpback whales in Samaná is during their annual migration season, typically from mid-January to mid-March. During this period, you can book whale-watching tours from Samaná and its surrounding areas.

These tours are usually organized by local operators and are guided by experienced naturalists and marine biologists who can provide valuable information about the whales and their behavior. To book your Samana excursions with whales today, review our proposal.

9. How much is the ferry from Punta Cana to Samaná?

The ferry cost from Punta Cana to Samaná can vary depending on the specific ferry service you choose, the class of service, and other factors. Prices for the ferry ride typically ranged from around $50 to $100 or more for a one-way ticket, with some services offering package deals that may include transportation to and from the ferry terminal.

10. Are there sharks in Samana, the Dominican Republic?

Yes, sharks are in the waters around the Samaná Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. The waters of the Caribbean Sea are home to a variety of marine life. Even though sharks are present here, encounters with them are relatively rare, and attacks on humans are even rarer.

The most common species are reef sharks, nurse sharks, and occasionally lemon sharks and tiger sharks. However, like many other coastal regions, the Dominican Republic takes measures to protect both its visitors and the local shark populations. There are regulations and conservation efforts in place to minimize potential conflicts between humans and sharks.

11. How big is Samana?

The Samaná Peninsula covers an area of approximately 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles). It has stunning natural beauty, including lush forests, white sandy beaches, and a diverse range of wildlife. Samana is very popular. It offers a variety of outdoor activities and attractions.

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