Touristic activities in the Samaná Peninsula

Click here to see a bigger imageThere are many ways of appreciating and enjoying Samaná. First and foremost is being informed and secondly being open to the "other". No matter what the activity, respect the environment and the culture.


There are many places to stay, from luxury hotels to small family-run guest houses, the most choice being found in and around Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, and the town of Samaná. As yet accommodation in the villages is informal and ad-hoc but being developed.

Whale watching

Click here to see a bigger image In the season (mid January to mid March) the town of Samaná is the focus for guided and regulated whale watching trips, although many small operators offer trips from various embarkation points between Samaná and Las Galeras. Although very few "pirates" operate, make sure that your captain and guide have permits to enter the whale watch area, have been certified by the Whale Sanctuary Commission and CEBSE, and comply with the regulations.

Humpback whales are the most playful of their species, providing spectacular displays which include breaching, flippering, and tail lobbing; mainly performed by males out to impress. Mothers and their calves are less active but equally fascinating, as they can be observed relatively close to the shore. The Whale Sanctuary Commission monitors whale watching very closely for your benefit and that of the whales.

El Salto del Limón

El Salto del Limón se encuentra en el interior de la península, a unos 300 metros sobre el nivel del mar. Al área se llega por la carretera Samaná - El Limón - Las Terrenas. A lo largo esta vía, grupos comunitarios de diferentes parajes ofrecen en sus "paradas" comidas, bebidas, artesanía, excursiones a la cascada y hospedaje sencillo. Las excursiones se realizan en caballos y mulos desde donde el visitante podrá disfrutar del paisaje campestre y de una frondosa vegetación de cultivos tropicales. La cascada tiene aproximadamente 40 metros de altura y culmina en una piscina de aguas frescas y cristalinas.

Cayo Levantado

Click here to see a bigger imageComo un centinela situado a la entrada de la Bahía de Samaná, se encuentra Cayo Levantado. Esta isla, de 1km2, es la parte más elevada del arrecife de barrera que protege la bahía de los poderosos oleajes del Atlántico. Sin duda Cayo Levantado es uno de los lugares favoritos de los visitantes, por su ambiente de isla tropical caribeña.

Esta isla posee áreas boscosas y la típica vegetación de cocotales bordeando dos hermosas playas de arena blanca, que la convierten en un escenario idílico para el viajero. Personas de la comunidad samanesa ofrecen los servicios de comida típica, bebidas y actividades acuáticas acompañadas de música de la región. El transporte marítimo a Cayo Levantado es frecuente y es ofrecido por embarcaciones desde Samaná y varios puntos de la costa.

Los Haitises National Park

Guided boat trips to Los Haitises are run from the same places as above as well as from Sánchez. Visitors may only enter the national park with a certified guide. With its keys and caves Los Haitises is an important mangrove and tropical rain forest reserve and home to the endangered manatee, many birds, reptiles and bats. In Pre-Columbian times the Tainos sought refuge and left petroglyphs and pictographs in the myriad caves found in the karstic formations.

Scuba diving and snorkeling

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Clear waters, coral reefs and walls, and qualified diving instructors with gear for hire are found close to and in Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, Samaná and Los Cacaos. Snorkeling can be enjoyed off any of the sandy beaches.



Horseback riding and community-based ventures

Click here to see a bigger image  Horses are still the only form of transport for many living off the "beaten" track, and are the best way of exploring. Horses can be hired on an ad-hoc basis almost anywhere. Organised horseback treks are offered in Samaná, Las Galeras, Las Terrenas and El Limón. For the inexperienced, short horseback trips are offered to the attractive Salto Limón waterfalls. These trips are mainly community-based ventures, promoted by CEBSE, and are located at El Limón, El Café, Arroyo Surdido and Rancho Español, on the road between Las Terrenas and Samaná.

Mountain biking and hiking

As yet no organized tours are offered. Information at CEBSE on routes available. Routes can be planned using detailed ordinance maps.


Click here to see a bigger image Being a karstic region, the peninsula is riddled with caves, passages, caverns and grottoes which are largely unexplored and open to discovery. Another community based venture is found in Cuevas de Agua, Cabo Samaná, where local guides provide an introduction to this fascinating subterranean world.

Taking it easy, going lobster, chilling out and getting around Las Terrenas, Las Galeras and Samaná are the centres for restaurants, cafes, bars and bakeries, stores etc, car and. motorbike hire, boat trips. Check out the map for the many beaches, bays, coral reefs, and other features. If you can't drive, clamber on a pick-up truck taxi or flag down a motorbike taxi. If you really like miles of truly deserted beaches, head for El Rincón. Be warned, the road/track is rough in places. The same is true of the "road" to El Valle, a beautiful beach. If you prefer full-catering and a gentle throng, hop on a launch to Cayo Levantado. If you can't speak Spanish, try your English. Samanes, English with a Creole twang, is still spoken by the older folks in the villages and above all in Samaná.

Do's and Don'ts

Apart from customary courtesy and respect for other cultures and the environment, please adhere to the following:

  • Stick to paths and tracks.No driving on beaches, nor riding cross bikes or 4-wheel balloon-tired bikes along foot or horse trails.
  • Do not disturb or touch corals
  • Do not leave rubbish
  • Do not consume or purchase immature fish (small fry), lobsters or prawns.
  • Do not purchase live birds or animals (especially parakeets and turtles).
  • Shells or conches.
  • Use water sparingly.
  • Save energy.

Information sheet: Acrobat PDF file (ca. 30 kB). Click here for information on Acrobat.

Contact CEBSE for more information on sustainable tourism and activities as well as ordenance maps.

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