The authentic Dominican Republic | Discover the Samaná Peninsula

The authentic Dominican Republic | Discover the Samaná Peninsula

Who said that the Dominican Republic was all about Punta Cana and all-inclusive hotels set side by side? Forget everything you know about resorts, leave behind the many clichés and set off to explore this piece of land still untouched by mass tourism.



Move away from Punta Cana to discover a wilder, greener area with beautiful beaches and turquoise waters. Welcome to the Samaná peninsula. Las Terrenas, located on the northeastern tip of the Samaná peninsula, will be your starting point for many excursions. Over the years, this fishing village has become a popular seaside resort for the French. The French-speaking community has taken up residence here, and you can see it in the signs, the few stores and bakeries. The beaches of the Samaná peninsula are magnificent and often deserted – unheard of in a country said to be very touristy!

I invite you to consult all our other articles on the Dominican Republic to help you prepare for your trip:






A few kilometers from the village of El Limón (about 25 minutes by car) lies a waterfall some 50 meters high, accessible on foot or horseback, the El Limón waterfall. The path to get there, both rocky and mountainous, is superb. The dense flora, populated by coconut palms and tropical plants, creates a verdant landscape where birds sing at the top of their voices. All you can hear are the sounds of the forest and streams. Once there, the waterfall is impressive in its noise and height. It’s the ideal place to take a dip and cool off in the emerald water. On your return, you will have a local lunch at the restaurant la Manzana stop.

  • To avoid the horde of local and international tourists, get there as soon as possible to take full advantage of this peaceful place (which is no longer hidden and little-known).
  • Allow 30 minutes for walking on an easy trail (yes, there are a few climbs) and a 20-25 minute ride. Only use the horse if the path is muddy and slippery, or if you have back or knee problems when hiking, as it’s much more fun to take photos on foot.


You can book the Cascade el Limón and horse excursion directly by clicking on the booking link.

➡️ Check availability and make a reservation





This day trip by motorboat takes in four beautiful, unspoilt beaches on the Samaná Peninsula and offers a glimpse of the Caribbean coast. If you love the beach and swimming, but also relaxation, nature and beautiful landscapes, this sea outing is for you. All the same, you’ll visit 3 wild beaches ranked among the world’s most beautiful waters, so all of a sudden you won’t be indifferent, will you? I invite you to read our article on our top 7 beaches on the Samana Peninsula.

The sea can be rough at times, so be patient. It’s not a long crossing to Playa Frontón, so breathe in the fresh air and keep your eyes on the horizon!


From Las Terrenas, you can take a day trip in French to discover the beaches of Playa Fronton, Playita and Playa Rincon.

➡️ Check availability and make a reservation





Los Haitises National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, is said to resemble Vietnam’s Halong Bay. No wonder! On arrival, we find a similar landscape: limestone hills some 500 metres high, covered with dense vegetation and populated by birds – just sublimely beautiful! This reserve, rich in flora and fauna, is one of the unspoilt jewels of the Samana peninsula. boas, reptiles, dolphins, sea turtles, fishing birds, frigate birds, parrots, pelicans and even a pair of manatees, also known as dugongs (you have to be very lucky to see them). For over three hours, we cruised around the small islets by speedboat, as well as the many mangrove trees that form the mangroves. Time has stopped here! The tour also takes in a number of caves containing Taino Indian statues, but above all numerous petroglyphs from the pre-Columbian period.

The crossing is short, just 25 minutes from Sanchez, the small fishing village.


From Las Terrenas, you can take a day trip in French to discover Los Haitises National Park.

➡️ Check availability and make a reservation





Thanks to this ranch and the owner, who takes excellent care of her horses. What a pleasure to ride or gallop for 3 to 4 hours in these surroundings!



From las Terrenas, you can gallop along the long beaches of Samaná. Just click on the booking links below.

➡️ Check availability and make a reservation




I love quad biking and wasn’t sure what to expect on this trip. I wasn’t disappointed, because it’s a REAL local and nature outing between the sea and the mountains, lasting a whole half day. I have fond memories of this trip, as we ventured into the Dominican countryside around Agua Sabrosa y el Limón to meet the locals and discover their know-how. We took rocky paths, crossed rivers, drove on tracks and beaches like Lanza del Norte. It was also an opportunity to meet a lovely Dominican family, small-scale producers of coffee, cocoa, vanilla and honey, who kindly opened the doors of their beautiful home to us. It’s a time to taste (and without obligation to buy) local products and talk with them. Nothing is overdone, everything seems natural and sincere!

  • This tour is suitable for everyone, families and even beginners who have never been on a quad before.
  • The smiling locals love to be photographed (especially the children), so make the most of it!
  • Bring back small souvenirs like handicrafts made by the family but also coffee, cocoa and the local alcohol the Homemade Mamajuana! That’s all I have to say!
  • Swimming is possible at Moron beach, so remember to bring your towel and swimsuit.




Explore the rugged terrain of the Samana Peninsula on this guided quad tour. Just click on the booking links below.

➡️ Check availability and make a reservation





Looking for a bit of height? Take to the forest canopy to explore this four-hour Limón zip-line adventure from Samaná. Enjoy views of the Juana Vicenta region, Haitises National Park and Cayo Levantado.

  • All equipment and transport to and from the hotels in Samaná are included.
  • 10 cables stretched between 20 platforms through the rainforest
  • All equipment and guide supervision included



From las Terrenas, zip-line through the canopy. Just click on the booking links below.

➡️ Check availability and make a reservation




If there’s one place in this world where you can see the humpback whales, this is the place. Each year, these whales migrate from the northern Atlantic Ocean to calve and breed on the Samana Peninsula from January to March. I wish I could have seen this show where the calves jump in front of your eyes and play with the mother!

There’s a mini-cruise that lasts a few days and allows you to snorkel with the whales – a dream come true! Beware of the cost, on average 2000 euros/p and this activity must be booked two years in advance!



From Las Terrenas, you can watch humpback whales in Samaná Bay. Just click on the booking links below.

➡️ Check availability and make a reservation




If you fancy spending a day on one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful beaches, Cayo Levantado is the place to be. This boat transfer, which includes a buffet lunch on the beach, allows you to be independent, walk, swim, relax, play volleyball, take photos, snorkel, enjoy the beach or simply lie back in the shade and enjoy a cocktail.



If you want to relax on a dream beach, head for Cayo Levantado. Just click on the booking links below.




From Santo Domingo, you can arrange an airport-hotel transfer to make life easier and avoid searching on site. It’s convenient and time-saving.



For added convenience, you can directly book the shuttle transfer from Santo Domingo/Punta Cana to Las Galeras / Las Terrenas



I stayed in the Resort Viva Wyndham V Samana on Cosón beach, all-inclusive. This hotel is perfect for its peaceful location, just a 15-minute cab ride from the village. Depending on your budget, you’ll find a wide range of accommodation options. Sublime Samana or the Costa Las Ballenas hotel and the Enjoy playa bonita, smallest hotel structure. For an apartment hotel, I was told about the apartments Aligio. The choice is yours!

The village of las Terrenas is home to a multitude of small bars and restaurants on the beach, in the water or on the seafront. For a taste of fresh, authentic Italian cuisine, visit the restaurant La Dolce Vita (27 de Febrero Street | Playa de Popy Road, Las Terrenas) run by a French-speaking Italian. The prawns were succulent and the dish quite hearty. For seafood à la plancha and grilled fish, come to at Luis, the ultra-popular institution of playa Coson or at Valério’s, a very good, less crowded straw hut. There’s one restaurant I’d have loved to try out, but lack of time meant I couldn’t, and that’s the Loma Monte Azul, de las Galeras on a cliffside! I hear the food is excellent and the setting breathtaking!



Visit Samana Peninsula was a real favorite. You’ll be enchanted by its majestic waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation, superb unspoilt beaches, impressive coconut-fringed hills and the peninsula’s rich cultural and historical mix. This region is a little-explored natural gem that offers hiking and horseback riding to the El Limón waterfall. But it’s also the place to be for whales in Samana Bay from January to March. In fact, whether it’s fishing, sailing, quad biking or strolling along the beach, you’ll find authentic experiences that will make you feel alive. There’s so much to do here, you’ll never want to leave!

The Dominican Republic has so much to offer! Please note that as an accredited bespoke travel designer, I offer to accompany you in the creation of your tailor-made trip to the Dominican Republic and create a personalized itinerary tailored to your needs. Please send me an email at :

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out our other articles on the Dominican Republic:





This article is our experience. It was made possible thanks to a collaboration with Hotel V Samana and the dominican republic tourism board whom we thank for their invitation and this discovery.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.