8 Things To Do In Santa Barbara De Samana, Dominican Republic - Updated 2022

things to do in santa barbara de samana

The Dominican Republic is such a beautiful and tropical place, with tons of hotels and accommodation options. Like any country or city, there’s always the unknown - the path less taken - and Santa Barbara de Samana or just Samana for short is one of these places. Samana is a town located in the northeastern part of the country and it is absolutely stunning. It’s an important location for tourists, especially those who enjoy going out on the water, either swimming or boating and maybe even whale watching.

The small town is also historically important to the island, as Christopher Columbus landed on a local beach during his first voyage to the new world. Samana is definitely off the beaten path but it shouldn’t be overlooked. If you want to go to the Dominican Republic but don’t want to go where everyone else is, definitely check out Semana. There are tons of things to do!

1. Playa el Valle

El Valle - playa
Source: Photo by user Tio Tigre used under CC BY 2.0

Nestled away from the town is Playa el Valle - an amazing beach that’s pretty private as far as public beaches go. There’s not much around the beach, making it a very low key kinda place to grab a book, a towel and relax in the sunshine and work on that tan. But if you are looking for a bite, there are restaurants nearby.

Even in the heat of July, the beach is still relatively secluded. Since the beach isn’t part of a hotel, you’ll surely find a quiet spot for your afternoon. Favored by the locals of Samana, the Playa el Valle can be your little secret.

Playa el Valle

Address: Santa Barbara de Samana, Dominican Republic

Website: Playa el Valle

2. Whale Museum

Mother flippering

Posted by Whale Samana on Friday, 14 April 2017

Whale watching is something that is particularly big in Samana and many places offer tours for whale watching and sightseeing. Much of the tourist industry in Samana is, in fact, dependent on the whale watching business.

Because whales are big business in Samana, there’s no doubt that the Whale Museum is must see. When you’re looking for something a little more indoors and educational (hey, who says you can’t learn something on vacation), head over to the Whale Museum. They also have whale sighting excursions for the adventurous and they even guarantee a whale sighting or your next trip is free.

Whale Museum

Address: Santa Barbara de Samana 32000, Dominican Republic

Phone Number: +1 809-538-2494

Website: Whale Museum

3. Samana Peninsula tour (from 98 USD)

El Limon
Source: Photo by user AMartiniouk used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Experience the natural wonders and beauty of Samana, on an all afternoon tour of the peninsula. First, you’ll get to Rancho Aventuras, where you’ll get a horse for a guided walk through the amazingly beautiful El Limon National Park. Marvel at the lush greenery and exotic foliage on a casual stroll via horseback. If you work up a sweat you can jump in the natural pools of the park. After that, hop on board a safari style open-air vehicle, to a waterfront lunch! Finally, top off the day with some snorkeling or lounge time.

Samana Peninsula tour

Price: from 98 USD


4. Horseback tour (from 53 USD)

Horseback Riding Piney River Ranch Vail Colorado
Source: Photo by user Greg Tally - User... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Feel like an explorer while you travel through the lush forestry of Samana, on horseback. This five hour horseback trip includes a guided tour to the stunning waterfalls of El Limon National Park. Explore the rugged terrain and scenery and jump in the natural pools to cool off.

Dip your head in fresh, cool waterfalls and feel like you just discovered the mythical fountain of youth! Listen to the natural wonders of the forest and the sounds of the waterfalls. Afterwards, have a local lunch once out of the jungle.

Horseback tour

Price: from 53 USD


5. Malecon

things to do in santa barbara de samana | malecon
Source: andomisla on Instagram

The Malecon is the local marina. After a long day of horseback riding, lounging on the beach or ziplining, head to the local boardwalk, where you can grab a snack and watch the local fishermen make their money and just enjoy the view. The sights of the bay are amazing and it’s a nice local spot, where people from hotels and the town spend a warm evening.


Address: Avenida La Marina, Santa Barbara de Samana 32000, Dominican Republic


6. Parada la Manzana

Luego de tanta lluvia, retomamos nuestra labores y listo para recibir a todos nuestros queridos clientes. 🍋🍎 ••• After so much rain, we resumed our labors and ready to welcome all our dear clients.🍋🍎

Posted by Salto el Limón, Parada La Manzana, Samaná. RD on Monday, 11 September 2017

A trip to Samana isn’t complete without a stop at El Limon Park. Of course, there are many ways to explore the area (as outlined in this article) but the Parada la Manzana is the old-fashioned way - by foot! This way you’ll experience the sounds of tropical birds in the trees and the soothing sounds of the cascading waterfalls, nearby. This is for people who enjoy a good hike, so make sure you’re well prepared for all those steps. On top of the mountain is a restaurant where you’ll be able to rest up.

Parada La Manzana

Address: Carretera Principal El Limon Samana | El Limon, Santa Barbara de Samana 32000, Dominican Republic

Facebook: Parada la Manzana

7. Whale Watching (From 95 USD)

Mother Humpback Whale in Samaná Bay, Dominican Republic
Source: Photo by user Caballero1967 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

It wouldn’t be a Samana trip without some whale watching! Whales come from the North Atlantic to Samana Bay to birth their young. So, there’s no shortage of whales to be seen here! A certified biologist will guide guests through their whale watching experience. The views of the bay are also amazing, just make sure you’re not someone prone to seasickness!

Whale Watching

Price: from 95 USD


8. Zipline Adventure (from USD 75.0)

Zip-line over rainforest canopy 4 January 2005, Costa Rica
Source: Photo by user Khaufle used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Fly through the forests of El Limon and look at the jungle canopy below. This is not for the faint of heart but for those people out there craving a bit of an adrenaline rush. Sure, sitting on the beach and getting a tan is nice for a day or two but if you want to liven up your vacation, then look no further!

Get views of the Juana Vicenta region, the Haitises National Park, and the Cayo Levantado, all from the view of a zipline. Round trip transportation, to and from the location, are included in the price, as well as equipment.

El Limon Zipline Adventure from Samana

Duration: 4 hours

204 reviews

Beautiful Samana

From the marvelous beaches to the lush green of El Limon National Park, there’s no shortage of things to do in this place, off the beaten path!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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