Amazing things to do in Samana : Las Terrenas

I could spend months exploring Samana and I would still have so much more left to discover. So full of amazing things is this place. So first thing to do is to find out exactly what you want to explore during your stay. With so many fabulous beaches, natural parks and stunning underwater life, is hard to decide what you want to see first. In this post I will share what else you can explore in Samana to help you plan better your stay and see as many awesome places as you can. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a few weeks here and I had the chance to discover many places who worth the visit. In my second part about Samana I will talk about the wonderful Las Terrenas.

Samana is famous for the fantastic beaches, mountains and waterfalls. Still, one thing is to hear about all the amazing things you can see and do there and another one is to actually live it yourself. The beaches here are an absolute dream, with exceptionally clear water, unique turquoise colour, warm enough to swim in it at any time of the day, even after dusk. This is the perfect place for unforgettable snorkelling, scuba diving and many other water activities. And that is not all, if you love hiking, this place has some of the most spectacular rivers surrounded by mountains where hike lovers can make beautiful memories.

You can find out more tips about Samana in the first part where I talked about Las Galeras. It includes a travel itinerary for places like Cayo Levantado, Playa Rincon and whale watching.

tropical

LAS TERRENAS

Las Terrenas is a small tropical and colourful town in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, located on Samana Bay. This is the perfect place to enjoy the best typical Dominican atmosphere. You can’t miss this place if you visit Samana.

It’s my first time in Dominican Republic and I’m already in love with how beautiful everything is. Despite the fact that the island has the fame for being all-inclusive resorts only, that is not true at all. If you go outside of your resort and start exploring the surroundings, you’ll discover a totally different world than the one presented by the resorts.

PLAYA GRANDE

Wow! Just wow! This beach is like a postcard but in real life and the only thing I can think about is how marvellous everything is all around. Playa Grande is a hidden gem, away from the crowds, or noise. This beach is quiet. The perfect escape for an afternoon of peace. At this beach are no resorts, neither bars or restaurants, it’s completely natural and wild and that makes this beach so special and one of my favourites in Dominican Republic.

This wilderness is an absolute dream, it has hundreds of coconut trees lined up, golden sand, it´s super natural and secluded. With so many palms around I couldn’t resist the temptation and I climbed a few. The feeling of freedom, the warm breeze on my face, the fine sand under my feet, is priceless.

Definitely this is in my top favourites beaches in DR. It was not hard to conquer my heart with all the palm tree perfection, empty of crowds, soft sand, warm and calm water.. what can I ask more. We spent here a whole afternoon, swimming and shooting all the time. It’s the postcard picture of a tropical paradise.

This slice of paradise is 10 minutes car drive from Las Terrenas. Close to the beach is a parking lot and then you have to make your way to the beach thru the vegetation, on a little road who will lead you to the main entrance at this beach. Being so close to the village, there are plenty of restaurants not to far away from the beach.

FUN STUFF TO DO:

  • Palm tree climbing
  • Explore the wild surroundings
  • Great for a picnic on the beach
  • Watch insane sunsets
  • Look for seashells
  • Picture – perfect
  • Breathe, meditate, take a nap
A great adventure climbing palm trees and swimming in secret spots

PLAYA COSÓN

This was our favourite beach to watch sunset. Everything was perfect.. the colours played by the sky, the peace, the sound of the ocean, doggies playing around, approaching us to play. It’s not hard to access this beach. After you walk through a dense jungle following an unpaved road, you walk like for 5 minutes max and there you are.

Once you set foot on this beach first thing that will call the attention is the virgin landscape. Thousands of coconuts lined up all along this huge beach. The water is so calm and it invites you to have a late swim. This is the best beach in Samana to see the most fascinating sunsets on the island. This is a moment you’ll hardly forget and you’ll easily fall into the temptation of taking tons of photos.

w a t e r s p o r t s

It seems that the calm water here is not a usual thing, we cached a rare day of a calm sea that night. Water sports lovers come from all over the world for a chance to surf or kite surf here. Don’t get scared, because the waves are not super big and you can catch days with calm water and those are the days with a good opportunity for snorkelling. DR is home for some of the most beautiful corals in the world (but you have to dive to see the good ones) and amazing marine life.

w h e r e t o e a t

Close to the beach you can find plenty of restaurants where you can taste some of the country’s typical dishes. Dominicans are great cookers, so any food you eat is delicious, but you should try ¨la Bandera ¨ (the Flag in English), this is the national dish of the Dominican Republic. It consists of rice, red beans and meat, they can make it vegetarian too. Most often served for lunch or dinner, is a salad and a side dish usually complete the meal.

A magnetic sunset

PLAYA ESCONDIDA

This is the beach with perfect setting for a tropical dream and also my favourite in Samana. A hidden gem so particular, that made us fall in love deeply with the beauty of it. The name of the beach says it all, Playa Escondida (in English Hidden Beach) because this place is so secluded that you have it to yourself at any time. Even if it’s so close to the village and close to the main road where every day pass hundred of cars and people, for some reason there are never crowds.

Given the proximity with our hotel, only 5 minutes drive, we were lucky enough to visit it for a few times and still pinching ourselves for being so lucky to spend our mornings here. If you wander why we like it so much I have to say that it’s everything about it. The bay is relaxing and peaceful, the smell is amazing, the sunrise is at another level, soft sand, palms all around, mangroves and doggies. Just wow! To entry to Playa Escondida you just have to walk from the main road, all the way crossing the dense jungle and when you are at the beach just walk for like 10 minutes until you reach this place. You will find yourself in paradise right away and enjoying all this natural setting far away from everyone and everything.

This beach has the vibe of a swimming pool in some spots. Crystal clear water so calm that even a child is safe if he swims here. We can just float in it, watching the sky and the top of the palms. The only worry here is some nasty mosquitos. But beside that, all you have to do is to enjoy this place the best you can.

w h e r e t o e a t

Our hotel was super close to the beach and we had breakfast there and lunch at different places along Samana, but the beach is close to a cute little village, with a large variety of services such as bars, restaurants and gift shops.

Dream place with hundreds of palms
Shallow turquoise waters

PLAYA BONITA

This is the type of beach I would recommend you for a romantic sunset. You can find this beach very close to Las Terrenas and it’s way more serene than beaches like Playa Ballenas or Playa Popy, making it perfect for a moment of peace and solitude. This beach made it in the top 10 best beaches in the world ranked by National Geographic. And I have to totally agree. The place is an absolute dream!

While we were waiting for the sun to set we went swimming with colourful fish. Swimming here was such an incredible experience! The best part of this beach, for me it was that it has little pools, it feels like your own natural private pool with a water so clear that you can see the bottom. This beach has it all, a peaceful side perfect for barefoot walks, a quiet bay for swimmers and waves for surfers. A slice of paradise so amazing that will give you pretty special memories.

This beach is only 10 minutes drive from the town centre and if you feel like, you can even come at this beach by just walking. Anyway to walk until here is such a bliss, because the surroundings are so beautiful.

w a t e r s p o r t s

At this beach you can do plenty of water sports and one of the most famous here is surfing. The truth is you just wanna jump on a paddle board and drift away to explore this magical sea. You can rent surfboards and stand up boards at the two surf shops that are close to the beach for 10$ one hour. If you want to, you can learn the best surfing techniques by hiring a teacher as this beach is excellent for beginners.

Magical, romantic nights at the beach

PLAYA PUNTA POPY

This is exactly the type of beach that comes to my mind when I think of the Caribbean. Playa Punta Popy is huge, with soft golden sand, lined up with tall palms and a turquoise sea. The water is calm and shallow, great even for those who are afraid of swimming. Here you can lay down under the coconut palm trees and hide from the Caribbean sun while you have a picnic and a fresh cold juice, enjoying some of the best views in the world. But if you don’t want to eat at the beach, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We loved so much this beach, specially for its tropical setting, sunrise views and location just close to the bustling main town. It was a relaxing place to spend an unforgettable morning. It has the best views of the sun rising over the sea on the island, the pink sky with the silhouette of the palms is just something out of this world. No wonder so many people come from far away only to experience this beach.

With all the fame this beach has, we were lucky and we could enjoy it without crowds. This beach is usually super crowded, mostly in weekends when the Dominicans come to spend the weekend in the Samana Peninsula. Also the fishermen come in their small boats in the early morning to catch fish.

w a t e r s p o r t s

Punta Popy is another fabulous beach perfect for many types of water sports. The place is perfect for kite and surfing on huge sea waves, is great for diving or snorkelling as here you can find some of the most vibrant corals and marine life . And for those who love paddle-boarding, it is possible too, due to the shape of the coastline at Punta Popy beach, the waves converge at a 90-degree angle and that makes the perfect conditions for this type of sport too.

Happy mornings in paradise
Exploring this pristine beach and it’s surrounding reef

PLAYA LAS BALLENAS

Playa Las Ballenas (Whale Beach in English) is a quiet and peaceful beach. This is the type of place where you come to have a moment of tranquility and relax. The name is inspired by the three small cliffs surrounding the beach, that resemble in whales shape. The jungle lined up all around the beach and the huge coconut trees only a few meters from the water gives this place a special vibe.

Another great thing about this beach is that rarely gets crowded, so if you are a person in search of a chill place this is perfect for you. I would place this beach in a top of great beaches to watch sunset here in Samana and believe the sun setting is absolutely incredible. I loved to spend time here, being most of the time in the water, taking photos, drone shots but also climbing the palms and exploring the lush jungle. This place is perfect for a little adventure, because it has it all

w a t e r s p o r t s

Also here you can enjoy cool water sports like stand up paddle boarding and snorkelling. This beach looks more like a magical calm lagoon surrounded by turquoise, shallow water which almost feels more like a huge natural pool, than the actually sea. This is awesome and a must do!

We were incredibly fortunate to witness another fascinating sunset

PLAYA EL PORTILLO

Playa el Portillo is a long beach, lucky not crowded, making it another great beach to spend a nice, memorable day in Samana. What makes this beach unique is its appealing golden yellow sand laced with palm trees, shallow waters, where the river and the ocean come together and you are greeted by cute doggies. What an awesome feeling to see them running at the beach, playing in the water and just being happy. These cuties know this places better than nobody else, so they are a pretty trustful source, to call it so, to take you around.. kind of funny!!!

The day was amazing, we swam and snorkelled, enjoying the beautiful marine life, we took many photos, we had a good massage under the palms and then we tasted some delicious traditional food. We couldn´t be more grateful to live such life, relaxing and doing so many cool activities in this picture perfect place and enjoy the idyllic setting.

a l l – i n c l u s I v e r e s o r t s

The beauty of this beach attracted all-inclusive resorts, but all the beaches in the Dominican Republic are public, so you can go with all the confidence at any beach and enjoy it all the amount of time you want to. Luckily the situation that is happening in Tulum is not happening here too. In Tulum the beaches are public, but many times you meet a lot of crazy people owning proprieties that think that they own the beach too.

w a t e r s p o r t s

Here you can do al types of activities, from relaxing on the soft sand, have a great massage, to cool water sports. The sea here is perfect for plenty of water activities, like kite surf, surfers attracting many adepts both beginner or advanced level. Best time for this type of sports is from October to January. During those months the conditions are excellent, due to moderate windy weather at this beach. 

Incredible views all over the beach

This beach was 5 minutes walk from our hotel and we came one last time before we leave Samana, it was like a good bye, see you next time you beautiful place. I know I will come back, but you always want to discover more and the good time we had here made it harder to leave. But we grateful for being here and more than ready for our next adventure!

THOUGHTS ABOUT SAMANA

I can’t recommend this place more. Here you have all you can dream when you think of a tropical adventure. Amazing tropical setting, mountains, all shades of blue in the sea, pristine beaches, awesome water sport, unique marine life. It’s super tranquil, set amongst lush greenery, delicious food and salsa music all day long. What can you ask more?

If you have been already to Samaná peninsula, just drop a comment and share your experience? And if you haven’t I hope I helped you to plan your trip. Just leave your thoughts by dropping a comment below!

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