All roads on the Samana Peninsula lead to a beach, and the 2-lane main artery that spans the length of the peninsula terminates at Las Galeras at the eastern tip of Samana Peninsula.
Despite its location at the extreme end of the peninsula, Las Galeras is on the development fast track, another small fishing community evolving into a beach town.
The 250-room all-inclusive Amhsa Grand Paradise Beach Resort, one of the country's
most modern hotels, was the first large hotel to arrive at this farthest beach from the Dominican mainland. Two smaller ones were quick to follow.
An old coconut plantation hides the buildings at Casa Marina Bay, but 2 smaller hotels border the sand behind me. Just a few yards offshore is the Las Galeras fishing fleet of about 20 small boats, their bow anchors set in the Atlantic.
However, the maze of 20 stern ropes are tied to palm trees bordering the beach. Those boat lines make casual beach walking difficult, if not precarious.
Las Galeras obviously is a working beach, not just a touristy one. One day this spider web of boat ropes will be judged too much of an impediment to be allowed to continue.
In the town of Las Galeras, discos now almost outnumber the restaurants, and “Se Vende” (For Sale) signs mark a sup rising number of houses and land tracts between Samana City and Las Galeras.
Witnessing a wholesale sellout by people seeking a new identity is unsettling. For now Las Galeras is still mostly a fishing village, its core heritage, despite new construction transforming it into a beach town.
But how much longer will it endure here and elsewhere after plane loads of international tourists start landing on the peninsula? Especially when everyone here seems to want to be a millionaire?