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Occupying a narrow peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Samaná Province is one of the less-traveled gems of the Caribbean. Quieter and more secluded than Dominican destinations like Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, the province gets its name from its capital, Santa Bárbara de Samaná, and is renowned for its pristine beaches and other natural wonders like the limestone caves and dense forests of Los Haitises National Park. Between January and March, the warm waters of Samaná Bay draw thousands of humpback whales, offering some of the best whale-watching in the world. As you discover the many things to see and do in this breathtaking province, it's easy to create a vacation with the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.
Samaná Province consists of two sections—a large chunk of Los Haitises National Park and the Samaná Peninsula, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors come to stay on the white-sand beaches of the peninsula, where you can choose between resort destinations like Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, and the town of Santa Barbara de Samaná.
Located on Samaná Bay on the southeastern side of the peninsula, the town of Santa Bárbara de Samaná is a convenient starting point for whale-watching tours, Los Haitises National Park cruises, and day trips to Cayo Levantado. The waterfront promenade, known as the Malecón, is lined with restaurants and bars, and the Whale Museum of Samaná is famous for its giant whale skeleton.
Las Terrenas lies on the northwest side of the peninsula, and is known for its sophisticated European vibe and lively nightlife scene. The town is Samaná's original resort area, so you can find an abundance of beachfront restaurants and accommodations, as well as stunning beaches like Playa Cosón, Playa Bonita, and Playa Popy.
Smaller, sleepier, and more remotely located on the peninsula's eastern tip, Las Galeras is an ideal destination for those seeking a quiet retreat. A European expat community has given the town a strong French and Italian flavor. Discover a slice of Caribbean bliss at the idyllic and isolated Playa Rincon, or venture to Playa Frontón for world-class snorkeling and diving.
Prepare to be dazzled by Samaná's beauty as you experience its natural attractions. Accessible only by boat, Los Haitises National Park encompasses a spectacular landscape of limestone caverns, hidden cays, and the largest mangrove forest in the Caribbean. Venture deep into the jungle to survey the splendor of El Limón Waterfall, a 171-foot (52-m) cascade that plunges down into an aquamarine pool. Samaná Bay offers incredible opportunities to observe humpback whales, as well as tiny, idyllic islands to visit such as Cayo Levantado. And of course, Samaná has no shortage of photogenic beaches to visit, from the secluded Playa Rincón to the palm tree-lined Playa Bonita.
Between lounge sessions on the beach, venture out and explore Samaná with a variety of activities and adventures. For an adrenaline rush, conquer the churning rapids of the Yaque del Norte River on a whitewater rafting expedition, or survey the Caribbean scenery from the sky on a high-speed zipline tour. Equestrian enthusiasts can go horseback riding on trails through dense tropical forest, while chocolate lovers can head out on mouthwatering tours of renowned Dominican chocolate factories. Hop aboard a sightseeing cruise to bask in the glorious Caribbean breeze while soaking up Samaná's most stunning coastal scenery.