The Samana Peninsula:
The Samana Peninsula just northeast of the country into the Atlantic Ocean is surrounded by white sandy beaches. It is one of the key places to see whales at sea. This region has long been very independent from the rest of the island, mainly because of its difficult access. Many of the inhabitants of this region are descendants of slaves brought from the United States. The most important attraction of the peninsula is the whales escaping from northern cold towards south in the winter months. We can get insight into their mating habits and their new-born calves. They can be seen swimming near the coast. The capital of the province is called Santa Bárbara de Samaná. It was discovered by Columbus during his first trip and it was named after one of the Catholic Monarchs. Samana Peninsula is the destination for the biggest Caribbean cruisers. From Malecon the biggest cruisers can be seen during winter months. Cayo Levantado or Bacardi island as it is more often called is a 10-minute boat trip from the harbour of the city. We can experience fast development in tourism which has taken place recently. Besides places mentioned above Las Galeras and Las Terrenas are real shelters and places to relax. Its most popular beaches are Rincon, Playa Playita, Colorado and Madame or the Playa Front, which is not really well-known because it is difficult to access.
The tour begins with a visit to Bacardi Island (better known as Cayo Levantado), it is only 1 square kilometre. Its beautiful beach and crystal turquoise waters and white sand are also ideal for swimming or snorkelling. It is known as ‘Bacardi Island’ because of the palm trees that appear in advertisements for the famous brand Bacardi rum. Leaving Bacardi Island, we head to the city where we explore the Victorian part, Puerto Principe. Before crossing the city we will visit the local market. Saltos de Limon, the highest waterfall of the country can be found 30 minutes from here. It is a real adventure trip, you have to do your way in the tropical forest, often with the help of some horses. 40 m high waterfall, ferns, tropical fruits, cocoa and high humidity make it a very special place. The peninsula is well-known for its flora, some very special trees and plants can be found here, that cannot be found anywhere else. Of course, its 7500 mm annual rainfall contributes to this as well, as it makes possible this specific vegetation to grow here. Majority of inhabitants earn their living from tourism and fishing, they are very religious.