Hugging a breathtaking bay dotted with sailboats and flanked by verdant bluffs, the town of Santa Bárbara de Samaná is the capital of the Samaná Peninsula. This small waterfront hub retains its fishing traditions, but it’s also an eco-tourism destination thanks to the yearly visit of 1,500 humpback whales in its bay. History and culture are also reflected in the diverse population, cuisine, and architecture of Samaná. Made up in good part of descendants of African American freed slaves, you’ll find restaurants serving coconut-based dishes and ginger beer, and an 18th century African Methodist Episcopal Church. The town is also the most popular jump off point for boat excursions into Los Haitises National Park–the nature jewel of the peninsula. To relax, enjoy the slow pace and views on the waterfront boulevard, lined with restaurants, shops, and bars.

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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