More Fun On The Samana Peninsula

Heading to the beach, Las Galeras.

There are plenty of reasons to spend time exploring the Samana peninsula on the Northeast end of the DR. Beautiful beaches around every bend, whale watching and Los Haitises National Park being on the top of our list.

The tail end of a humpback whale in Samana Bay.

Whale Watching

Kim Beddall of Whale Samana is a marine mammal specialist who cares deeply for the 2,000 or more Atlantic humpback whales that arrive each year to Samana Bay. This is where the whales mate and give birth. She guarantees you’ll see whales if you go out on one of her tours, and we weren’t disappointed.

Dorsal fin of a humpback whale.

A highlight was seeing a mother with her tiny calf riding on her head while a male escort fended off a younger, more brash competitor male. Whale’s have unique markings on their tails (no two are the same, like fingerprints) which help scientists around the world keep track of their migrations.

Las Galeras

The white sand beach of Playa del Aserradero.

Las Galeras is a 45 minute drive from Santa Barbara de Samana. It’s a smaller, quieter town whose big draw is gorgeous uncrowded beaches. We stayed at a guesthouse within walking distance to Playa del Aserradero. Fine white sand and towering palm trees make this an especially gorgeous beach.

The west end of Playa Rincon.

A twenty minute drive from Las Galeras is Playa Rincon. There are restaurants on each far end and a freshwater stream to swim in on the west end. Besides that we found the long beach empty except for ourselves.

The east end of Playa Rincon.

After exploring many of Las Galeras’s beaches we returned to Santa Barbara de Samana in order to visit the National Park and visit a waterfall.

Los Haitises National Park

The Magnificent Frigatebird showing off for the ladies in Los Haitises National Park.

To visit Los Haitises National Park we booked a boat tour from Santa Barbara de Samana the day before. It left at 9:30 in the morning and returned at 4:30. We took a motorboat across the bay and visited several caves with petroglyphs drawn by the extinct Taino indigenous people in the 15th century. We toured around limestone islands where rare birds nest each year and moss and ferns hang into the water.

One of many bird nurseries in the park.

Our tour also took us among the extensive mangroves. Mangroves play an important role in the ecosystem here by providing fish nurseries and combating erosion due to hurricanes.

In among the mangroves.

Rio de los Cocos Waterfall

The easy to hike to but hard to find Rio de los Cocos waterfall.

A fifteen minute drive from Santa Barbara de Samana is non-touristed Cascada de Rio de los Cocos. This waterfall was a short hike through the jungle. There is no sign for the path on the road and we parked next to a house where the locals were playing outside. Unfortunately the water was brown due to recent heavy rains along with some trash washed down stream from the communities above.

The view of Samana Bay from our guesthouse was pretty sweet.

The actual large, sometimes loud town of Santa Barbara de Samana is somewhat lacking in charm but it’s a great jumping off point for lots of fun adventures!

2 thoughts on “More Fun On The Samana Peninsula”

  1. Your photos are wonderful and your descriptions are magical, as one reads your story and look at the pictures, it’s like you are actually there. Just need the smell of the salt air and breeze on your skin

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