Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. Must See!
The Dominican Republic has so many unique and diverse beach areas to explore and enjoy. The country is big – more than double the size of Puerto Rico and Jamaica. There are countless areas with amazing sandy beaches, colorful people, and lovely vacation rentals. Most of the attention is focused on Punta Cana and La Romana. But for me, the Samana Peninsula is the top tropical paradise destination in the DR.
Located in the northeast, it is a mountainous region with spectacular waterfalls and amazing tropical forests and flora. The town of Samana and the villages of Las Terranas and Las Galeras are the vacation destinations. It’s one of those areas you have to WANT to visit. You don’t just stumble over it. That’s one of the things that makes it so attractive. The destination less travelled.
Small mom & pop motels and vacation villas dot the beaches with plenty of room in between them. Most of the area is undeveloped. There are only a couple of all-inclusive resorts tucked away in less populous areas. You won’t have to worry about stumbling over bodies on the beach.
Las Terranas and Las Galeras have no Hard Rock Cafes nor chain restaurants. The meal of choice is usually the fish caught earlier in the day and served up fresh in a little beachside restaurant with a few tables and meringue music filling the air.
The beaches are natural and untouched. Palm trees grow at the water’s edge and coconuts lay where they’ve fallen. Dirt roads outnumber paved ones. Scooters and 4-wheelers are the primary mode of transportation. You get the idea…
It’s not unusual to go all day without seeing another American too. As a matter of fact, we stick out like a sore thumb! The area is a favorite of the French and Italians. Many have migrated or have vacation homes in the area. As a result, there is a French speaking school, wonderful Italian restaurants and amazing French bakeries. It’s like visiting a foreign country within a foreign country!
When I lived in Santo Domingo, Las Terranas was my favorite get-away locale. I still look at my photos and fondly remember the wonderful times I spent there. The Samana Peninsula is the real Dominican Republic. It’s not spit-shined and polished like a Florida theme park. Hands down, I’d recommend it any day over Punta Cana.