Samana Travel Guide, Dominican Republic
Samana Peninsula, located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the north-eastern part of the Dominican Republic, this remote region is perhaps the most appealing part of the whole country.
The Taino warriors were the pre-Columbian natives that inhabited the peninsula and the island. After the discovery of Samana by Christopher Columbus, it is said that this was the first instance of violent opposition to the Spanish conquistadors in the Americas.
Following Columbus’ discovery, the island became a Spanish colony, arising dispute between Spain and France. The Dominican Republic gained its independence in 1865, after a long period of domination of the western part of Hispaniola, called Haiti.
Over the centuries Samana underwent crucial transformations. In the 1920s under American protection, the island was almost turned into a military base. Nowadays the tourism industry has developed, especially in the city of Santa Barbara de Samana, although this industry has not yet exploited the full potential of its location.
Until the Samana International Airport is scheduled to be opened in 2007, the Puerto Plata Airport and the Las Americas Airport situated on the south coast near Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic. These airports make a connection with the United States and other destinations in the Caribbean Sea.
Considering the distance between the airports and the resorts, there are a few ways to arrive to the hotel where you are accommodated. Taxis and shuttle buses are the most appropriated means of transport in Samana. If you enjoy driving, then you should know that you can rent a car from the baggage area in the airports of Las Americas and Puerto Plata or from nearby resorts. Although you do not need an international driver’s license in the Dominican Republic, tourists are advised not to drive because of the bad road conditions of the island, especially during night, due to the precarious marking of the roads and their lit.
If interested in visiting the peninsula, tourists are advised to take a taxi or simply explore it on foot. Want to explore the countryside? Why not use a mountain bike rental; although the roads are rough, there are cycling trails between the villages and towns, and will surely have a great time.
There are two seasons in the Dominican Republic: the wet and the dry season. The wet season, especially during summer, is the hurricane season, lasting from May until November. But these tropical storms do not last for long, so Samana is mostly bathed in the Caribbean sun. The average temperatures in this season are around 80 degrees, although they can reach 90 at noon, this being a perfect pretext for going to the beach.
The other season is associated with winter, a period when isn’t raining a lot. Waves of cooling are brought by the North Atlantic storms, causing the dry effect of the weather. Besides this, Samana is a tropical oasis.
It offers a great variety when it comes to activities.
The region boasts a coast full of beaches that match the Caribbean type of powdery white sand and transparent green-blue sea. Besides lying on the towel and catching the blissful rays of sun, the big waves on the north shore attract like a magnet those interested in surfing, water skiing, parasailing and lots of other water sports that rise your adrenaline at maximum.
The south streams that make their way through the peninsula’s arroyos represent the most appropriate water for scuba diving. Because of the high grade of visibility underwater, the warmer waters of the Samana Bay, protected from the Atlantic waves, present a spectacular show to the divers, the aquatic world of coral reefs teem with brightly-coloured fish and other underwater formations. And you can enjoy these warmer waters all the year.
Internationally known to be a breeding place for the humpback whales, those who are interested in the life of these mammals can do whale-watching, especially during winter from January 15 to March 15.
With coconut-covered mountains around you can experience rock climbing, mountain biking, horse back riding and hiking. Caving is also a major activity as Samana has many caves to explore.
The sights and sounds of this tropical paradise will remain with you forever, haunting your memory and tempting you time and time again to return. So, don’t let time pass and visit the Samana peninsula.
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