Planning Your Time
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
La Península de Samaná is a major destination for the tourist who doesn’t want to be confined behind the walls of an all-inclusive resort. It is chock-full of independent hotels, mom-and-pop restaurants, and small tour operators. Since it is a small sliver of land that is relatively easily traversed in a doable amount of time, it is possible to spend your entire vacation on just the peninsula and find plenty to keep you occupied.
Airports that serve La Península de Samaná make it more accessible than ever. The newest is the Aeropuerto Internacional El Catey on the highway between Nagua and Sánchez. Flights arrive here every day from Puerto Rico and Europe. Other airports are Aeropuerto Internacional El Portillo (by Las Terrenas) and the Aeropuerto Internacional Arroyo Barril near Samaná. These latter two airports are small and have domestic flights despite their names. If you’re flying into Puerto Plata or any other airport in the Dominican Republic, plan on using your first day for travel and getting settled in.
The three major towns on the peninsula—Samaná, Las Galeras, and Las Terrenas—while close to one another on the peninsula, are remote compared to the rest of the country. You’ll need four hours of travel time from Puerto Plata, and the other airports are farther away than that. However, if you are traveling from Santo Domingo, there is a new highway to take you as far as the turnoff to Sánchez. This cuts travel time in half and makes this route easy. Once you’ve gotten to your hotel, though, especially if you’re staying in one of the towns, walking around is the easiest way to get your bearings and explore.
Next up, decide if you’re going to do any excursions. For instance, if you’re going to go whale-watching in the Bahía de Samaná or take a horseback ride to Salto El Limón, but you’re staying in Las Terrenas, arrange for reservations and transportation right away since tour spots could fill up.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition