Director’s Choice: Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic

Director's pick Samana

Welcome to our new feature ‘Director’s Choice.’ Here, we’ll share our collective wealth of expert knowledge on Bespoke Travel, exploring a different destination every month.

The directors here at Voyages GAM SPS Travel have decades of experience and an unparalleled passion for travel that has taken them to all corners of the world. From boutique luxury hotels to majestic African safaris – and of course, to secluded island resorts, like the one we’re featuring this month.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado,
Samaná Bay, Dominican Republic

The Samaná Peninsula is known for its lush terrain and pristine coastline. Located in the town of Samana, Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado is a luxurious, secluded escape – and it’s the only resort in the Dominican Republic on its own private island.

Reached by ferry, the resort boasts stunning views, two beautiful pools, butler service and virgin white-sand beaches. Guests can choose from five restaurants and three bars, or stroll the Maleçon, the town’s waterfront promenade.

“Samaná is a natural treasure. Wild, lush, rich vegetation, with secluded beaches, coves, waterfalls, mountains and awe-inspiring views,” says Shirlie Mauer, Director at Voyages GAM SPS Travel.

Whale Watching

In the winter season, thousands of humpback whales make their way to the warm waters of Samaná Bay to have their young. Excursions to see the pods range from highly scientific to a more relaxed atmosphere. In Samaná Town, the Whale Museum offers a chance to discover more about these graceful creatures, including a full-sized whale skeleton exhibit.

Chasing Waterfalls

Reachable by horse or mule, El Salto del Limón is a beautiful waterfall in a thickly forested area in the northeast of the peninsula. After the ride in, a swim in the naturally-occuring turquoise pool below is a welcome refresher. Along the way, keep your eyes open for the nearly-endangered Royal Palms, and the Cigua Palmera, a native heron that makes its nest in these majestic trees.

Caves and Caverns

Los Haitises National Park admits only a limited number of tourists each year, so booking early is paramount. Tours to this area vary and can fill up fast, so if it’s on your wish list, talk to your Travel Agent about securing one of these coveted spots. The landscape includes a mangrove forest, caves, sinkholes, and rocky plateaus. Two of the caves contain sculptures and pictograms left by the Taino people who lived there for millenia before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Popular Activities:

  • Whale watching
  • Waterfalls swimming
  • Scuba Diving
  • Ziplining
  • Cave discoveries
  • Safari
  • ATV Quad Adventures
  • Deep Sea Fishing

About the region

Samaná Province is distinguished by its lush greenery, mountainous terrain and calm turquoise waters.

  • Area: 853.74 km2
  • Elevation: 5 m
  • Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time
  • Airports: 3
  • High Temperature Range: 24-27 Celcius
  • Population: 139,707 (2014)
  • Municipalities: 3
  • Languages: Spanish, Haitian Creole, Creole English. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.