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You can have a whale of a time in Samana — a slender peninsula jutting into the Atlantic in northeast Dominican Republic. The warm waters of Samana Bay draw humpback whales by the score in early winter. Many people visit simply to thrill to sightings: a whale-watching trip is de rigueur. Sugar-white beaches limn the mountainous peninsula, so bring both your towel and hiking boots. Hot spots for sunning are the sands of Cayo Levantado and too-beautiful-to-be-believable Playa Las Terrenas. Trade winds blast Samana's north shore, thrilling kite-surfers. Scuba divers get metaphorical raptures of the deep in the waters around Islas Las Ballenas — ...

You can have a whale of a time in Samana — a slender peninsula jutting into the Atlantic in northeast Dominican Republic. The warm waters of Samana Bay draw humpback whales by the score in early winter. Many people visit simply to thrill to sightings: a whale-watching trip is de rigueur. Sugar-white beaches limn the mountainous peninsula, so bring both your towel and hiking boots. Hot spots for sunning are the sands of Cayo Levantado and too-beautiful-to-be-believable Playa Las Terrenas. Trade winds blast Samana's north shore, thrilling kite-surfers. Scuba divers get metaphorical raptures of the deep in the waters around Islas Las Ballenas — a nesting site for birds. Birding is the name of the game on a boat excursion to Parque Nacional Los Haitises. And a must-do horseback ride to El Salto Limon waterfall leads into the mountains, ending with a refreshing dip in a cool pool (go only with a licensed guide). Samana is only just gearing up for mega-tourism, so finding sleepy fishing villages and rural hamlets is easy; for that, don't miss Las Galeras. Las Terrazas has the coolest hotels (from budget havens to chic beach shacks) and the hottest nightlife. Take a siesta to gear up for late-night dancing 'til dawn.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Samaná Península is a peninsula in Dominican Republic situated in the province of Samaná.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Dominican Peso
  • Research: Wikipedia | Eastern Cibao
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter months offer the nicest weather. However, hotels offer discounts in the June-November hurricane season.