They say that the locals greeted Christopher Columbus with a shower of spears back in 1493, but the welcome modern visitors receive is a whole lot warmer. The people of Samana love to enjoy life, and who can blame them? With lush landscapes, unspoilt beaches and hundreds of whales gambolling in the waves off shore, this is a magical region.
Get up close and personal with humpback whales, or simply get away from it all on gloriously golden beaches.
Things to do
The waters off the province of Samana are the natural breeding ground for the humpback whale. Thousands come here between January and March – book a private whale watching trip to spot them in the wild. Don’t forget to investigate inland too. There are cococnut-covered mountains, tropical forests and waterfalls just waiting to be explored. Listen out for the sounds of parrots as you do.
Although it is becoming more popular with tourists, Samana is a relatively unspoilt part of the Dominican Republic and you’ll still find plenty of secluded beaches. As well as reclining on the warm sands, you can take part in everything from horse riding to scuba diving.
The Carretera Samana is a recently opened toll road that takes you from the airport at Santo Domingo to Samana, and it’s becoming a popular tourist destination in its own right. With superb vistas along the whole stretch of tarmac, and certainly the best driving conditions in the country, it’s a pleasure to drive along.
Just across the water is Los Haitises National Park where you can swim in limestone caves, visit cascading waterfalls and spy rare birdlife.
Top tip from SLH