We are Paola & Tomas from the Instagram page @trip.iando. Thanks for checking out our guide on the best things to do in Samana. We are both passionate about travel and our beautiful country: the Dominican Republic.
Paola is 26 and is Dominican/Spanish. She grew up in Santo Domingo, DR and spent many summers in Burgos, Spain where her Spanish family lives. Tomas is 30 and like Paola is from Santo Domingo. He spent large parts of his childhood traveling around the Dominican Republic with his family.
We have also both lived abroad – Paola lived in Belgium, Iceland and Spain for a year each and Tomas lived in Spain for two years and in Luxembourg for one. That is where our exploring instinct and passion for travel was born. We met almost 12 years ago – at a modeling agency – and remained friends up until 2018 when we started dating. The rest (as they say) is history!
Why Samana is our Favorite Province in DR
Paola’s family has a second house for rent in Las Terrenas which is a small town in Samana. When it’s not rented out, we often stay and spend weeks on end there – exploring the area and chilling at all the beautiful spots in Samana. We have been so many times now that we have lost count!
Samana is a unique province of the Dominican Republic. It has beautiful beaches, lush waterfalls, nice rivers, cool little towns, amazing views, great vibes, fantastic food, a stunning lagoon, bustling nightlife, charismatic people and did we mention the landscapes yet?! This province truly has it all and it’s actually our favorite destination here in the Dominican Republic.
Our favorite places inside Samana are Playa Ermitano and La Hondonada. Playa Ermitano is one of the most breathtaking beaches we have seen in the entire Dominican Republic. It really is a little slice of paradise. La Hondonada, on the other hand, is a cool rock arch formation.
5 Best To Do in Samana, Dominican Republic
Samana should be the first place on your Dominican Republic bucket list as it has so much to offer. This means visitors can enjoy everything from picturesque beaches and unique rock arches, to waterfalls and amazing hikes. So without further ado, here are the best things to do in Samana:
1. Hike to the Incredible Salto del Limon
The hike to Salto del Limon takes you along an amazing trail which is a highlight in itself. Once you arrive at the waterfall, you feel so tiny and yet so alive due to this impressive place! We recommend visiting Salto del Limon early in the morning as it’s very popular and can get super busy.
2. Swim at La Hondonada Arch at Low Tide
This wonderful arch was formed over thousands of years by ocean currents and waves. It’s a natural bridge which in turn forms a great cliff that shelters you from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. When the tide is low, and when the water level is low, you can head down some stairs to take a dip in the water. You might even find a small natural pool to bathe in!
3. Sink your Toes into the Sand of Playa Ermitano
You can only reach Playa Ermitano by foot or by boat from Playa El Valle or from Playa Moron. This makes this beach even more special as it avoids crowds. As mentioned before, it’s one of our favorite places in Samana and the only way to describe it is beautiful! Not only is the beach secluded but it has this golden sand just waiting for you to sink your toes in!
4. Visit Playa Rincon and its River, Cano Frio
Playa Rincon was ranked by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world and it’s easy to see why when you arrive! Every time we come to this beach we are speechless. It’s a long beach and so you can always find a free spot for yourself. The color of the water, the mountain and also the river make for the perfect combo for a beach.
5. Spend a Couple of Nights in Las Terrenas Town
Las Terrenas offers everything for travelers: great nightlife, amazing beaches, delicious food, wonderful people and you can also walk the whole town by foot or as many do, rent a motorbike and go exploring! There is so much life to be found and soaked up in just this one little town of Samana.
Our favorite accommodations in Las Terrenas are Saman Boutique Hotel and Playa Bonita Beach Residences. Saman Boutique is just beautiful and has amazing food. If you are looking for more accommodation in Samana outside of Las Terrenas, we recommend Hotel Todo Blanco in Las Galeras (another cool small town) and Hacienda Cocuyo in Monte Rojo.
*Bonus: be sure to check out some of the best restaurants in Las Terrenas such as Pizza Coco, Casa Azul, La Yuca Caliente, Le Tre Caravelle, the restaurant at Saman Boutique Hotel and Mi Amor. The typical food from Samana is all cooked with fresh coconuts – it’s super delicious and tasty!
Tips for your Visit to Samana
First of all, you should know that it rains almost every day on the Samana peninsula. But don’t worry, this is normal in the Dominican Republic. The rain normally passes quickly and the sun will come out again in no time!
Bring cash for your vacation in Samana. Not every store or restaurant here accepts credit cards. If you want to visit El Limon town with its amazing waterfall (Salto del Limon) or if you want to spend a couple of days in Las Galeras – you should rent a car for the day or go on a tour since it’s a bit far.
In Las Galeras, there is lots to see: lagoons, rivers, beaches and rocks. You will want to spend at least two days there. Just like the town of Las Terrenas, you will enjoy your time there with everything on offer.
Having a phone with Google Maps goes a long way in terms of finding your desired destinations and not getting lost! Almost all of the attractions have easy access. If you are finding a place difficult to locate, just ask a local for directions or for them to take you there. They will be happy to help you.
We would like to leave you with our favorite moment from our travels to Samana. It was last year after the lockdown and our family met in Las Terrenas. We went to Playa El Portillo where we saw one of the most amazing sunsets we have ever seen. It was really something special, especially after all the months we had without sharing moments like these.