One of the most beautiful bays in the Dominican Republic, this spectacular body of water–fed by the Yuna River, the second largest in the DR–hugs the town of Santa Bárbara de Samaná on its southern end, and is the primary jump off point for daily boat excursions into Los Haitises National Park, Cayo Levantado, and Samaná’s renowned whale watching expeditions that run from mid-January through March every year. Indeed, at least 1,500 humpback whales return to Samaná Bay to court, mate, birth, and flipper in its warm waters. Serving as a marine sanctuary, with a well-protected location and deep waters, the bay includes small mangrove cayes, seagrass beds, and corals, all of which provide nutrients to the visiting humpback whales, turtles, and manatees. It’s no wonder many fought to take over this area, including the British, French, and Spanish. Aside from boat excursions, a great vantage point to admire the bay, is the walk along the waterfront Avenida Marina in Samaná, or a hike across the Bridges to Nowhere, connecting several of its mangrove cayes.

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Other attractions in Samaná

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Avenida de la Marina

The scenic Samaná Bay wins over every photographer’s eye. This seaside promenade is the heart and pulse of the town of Santa Bárbara de Samaná. Residents and visitors relax on shaded benches facing the bay waters to take in views of anchored boats, ready to whisk visitors and fishers.

Samaná, Family-Friendly, Iconic Sights

Juana Vicente Ziplines

Ten zipline courses running a length of 1,750 meters (1,087 miles) across 20 platforms take you flying above the peninsula’s gorgeous landscapes. You’ll glide above rolling hills, dense tropical forests, and take in panoramic, distant views of Los Haitises National Park.

Samaná, Family-Friendly, Ziplines

La Churcha

The oldest building in Santa Bárbara de Samaná and a cultural heritage site, this 18th century wooden church was built by freed African-Americans. To this day, La Churcha practices the African Methodist Episcopal faith, and its attendees are descendants of African Americans.

Samaná, Churches, Iconic Sights

La Playita

Off the beaten track of Las Galeras village, La Playita is lovely white sand, crescent shaped stretch shallow enough to walk for several feet. With a beachfront casual restaurant–crystal clear azure waters, and distant views of Playa Rincón, it is a favorite among those who find its shores.

Las Galeras, Samaná

Las Galeras

This remote fishing village is home to a handful of the DR’s most beautiful beaches, including the world-ranked Playa Rincón. Daytime crowds flock here to hop on a boat excursion to Playa Rincón, Playa Madama, and Playa Frontón.

Las Galeras, Samaná

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