Samana Peninsula
Dominican Republic

Tourists are just beginning to discover
the variety the area has to offer: whale watching, endless beaches
and really good bargains.

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Getting to Samana
That's always been the Challenge

Driving the narrow two-lane road leading to the remote beaches of the Samana Peninsula I feel as if I've become a player in a high speed video game.

Swarms of Kamikaze motorcyclists challenge me to my half of the road, cars suddenly lunge from side streets as vehicles approach from opposite directions and make panic stops so their drivers can leisurely exchange the latest gossip.

The 3-hour journey to the extreme northeast corner of the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata is an exciting test of my reflexes. It also explains why almost every vehicle more than 3 years old looks like it's been attacked with a ball ping hammer.

The stimulating drive doesn't end after I arrive on the heavily forested Samana Peninsula. (See map of Samana)

Instead of finding a flat spit of land, I encounter the Sierra de Samana that rises as high as 1,500 feet before plunging down to the Atlantic on the north coast and the Bahia (Bay) de Samana on the south shore.

A narrow mountain road with hairpin turns finally deposits me in the small coastal village of Las Terrenas, my destination.

At Las Terrenas I stop at one of the small beach side stands for lunch and a chilled El Presidente. I'm not only surprised at how fatigued I am from imitating Rusty Wallace but at how little of the north coast scenery I remember.

I'd only looked at the road ahead so I could spot the next oncoming obstacle. The first thing I truly notice since leaving Puerto Plata is the long narrow beach of Las Terrenas that seemingly extends to the horizon.

But it's just one of Samana's many terrific beaches. And the access to them has become much easier with the new DR highway from Santo Domingo that cuts the driving time from the capital city from 5 hours to only 2 hours.

Samana is also easier to reach directly from overseas thanks to El Catey International Airport (IATA: AZS, ICAO: MDCY), about 5 miles west of the town of Sanchez. The airport is about 30 minutes from the beaches at Las Terrenas, a 40-minute drive to the provincial capital, Santa Barbara de Samaná, and approximately 1 hour drive to the resorts at Las Galeras. Flights into El Catey are seasonal with most flights in winter and spring.

Samana Best Beaches

Samana Whale Watching

Port of Samana

Exploring Samana City

Samana City Sights

Samana Peninsula Things To Do

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