The Samaná Peninsula is crossed from east to west by
the Cordillera de Samaná, a mountain chain of mountains whose rounded peaks reach
heights of more than 500m. At various points, these mountains plunge abruptly into the
blue waters of the ocean or the Bahía de Samaná, adding greatly to the charm of the
region. Furthermore, their slopes shelter a wonderful variety of lush vegetation.
Mountains give way to magnificent white-sand beaches that extend over several kilometres
in some places along the northern and southern coasts of the peninsula, and on the
shores of nearby islands.
Samaná has a distinctly
modern and airy feel that is not found in most Dominican towns and cities. There is a
simple reason for this: although its origins stretch far back in time, the town had to
be rebuilt after it was completely destroyed by fire in 1946. Today, wide avenues,
traffic circles and recently constructed buildings give it a very distinctive look that
is not without its charms. Samaná's location, sheltered by mountains and overlooking the
magnificent Bahía de Samaná dotted with fishing boats and yachts, adds greatly to the
appeal of the town. This lively city boasts a pretty little port, one of the most
colourful public markets in the country, a few quality hotels and several good
The structure known as La Churcha, in
downtown Samaná, was brought here from England in 1820. Originally a Methodist church,
it is now home to the Evangelical Church of Samaná. The Sunday services are celebrated
The little island of Cayo Vigía can be
reached via a long footbridge located just behind the Cayacoa hotel. The island has
experienced more prosperous times in the past; the view, however, is still striking,
encompassing Samaná, the port, and the bay, and visitors can go for a swim
From January to March, humpback whale-watching
excursions depart from Samaná.
Many restaurants are clustered along the Malecón
which faces the bay on the east side of the city, where most of Samaná's nightlife is concentrated.
Where on earth
The Samaná Peninsula covers an area of almost 1,000km2
and is washed to the north by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the
Bahía de Samaná. Its main cities are Santa Bárbara de Samaná, commonly known as Samaná;
Sanchez, the gateway to the peninsula; and Las Terrenas, the only main city located on
the Atlantic Coast of the peninsula.