The Splendor of Las Terrenas & The Samaná Peninsula
A tiny ramshackle fishing village only 30 years ago, Las Terrenas has developed into one of the Dominican Republic’s most sought-after tourist centers. An influx of expatriates from North America and Europe has brought a wide array of guesthouses and restaurants, tailored to the independent traveler. But development has not ruined this welcoming seaside community’s relaxed atmosphere. Lying on the North Coast of the Samaná Peninsula, a lush strip of land pushing out into the Atlantic, the town is blessed by the proximity of some of the country’s most beautiful beaches and by spectacular countryside around. Extensive groves of coconut trees fringe expanses of white sand which slope gently and invitingly into clear warm water.
Top 10 Attractions
1. Playa Las Terrenas
Stretching a mile in either direction from the small town center, the attractive beach is clean and safe with ample shade. Heading westwards, Playa Cacao, close to small hotels and bars, is slightly more developed than the others.
Relatively unspoilt coral reefs lie close to Las Terrenas. Divers are attracted to nearby Playa Las Ballenas, where a group of small islands stand just offshore. There are many dive shops, such as Stellina Diving Center, and snorkel hire shops.
3. Beachside Restaurants
Spread along the beach either side of the main intersection are many top-rate but informal fish eateries. Fish with coconut is recommended. Early evenings are atmospheric with technicolor sunsets over the water.
Painted walls of a beachside restaurant
4. Haitian Art
Naïve Haitian art is widely available and is often mediocre and mass-produced. The Haitian Caraïbes Art Gallery has a good and reasonably-priced selection of wooden sculptures and voodoo-influenced images.
For a small town, Las Terrenas offers a surprising range of shopping opportunities, from the small modern mall to outlets along the main street. Bargains can be had by bartering with stall-holders, especially near the beaches.
Las Terrenas is rightly celebrated for its busy but laid-back after-dark ambience, particularly at weekends when locals and tourists mingle at an open-air street fair or visit its many bars.
7. Playa Bonita
The immaculate “Beautiful Beach” is fringed by coconut trees, in which guesthouses are hidden. Less crowded than Las Terrenas, and ideal for kids.
8. Playa Cosón
This isolated curve of powdery white sand, limpid water, and palm groves looks every bit the idyllic image of the tourist brochures. A couple of fishermen’s shacks sell cold drinks and grilled fish to this beach’s few visitors.
9. El Portillo Beach Club
One of the largest all-inclusive resorts, complete with its own airport, this complex offers various sporting and entertainment options. Day visitors can admire its beautiful beach from the bar.
Samana Excursions: 'Tour Samana with Terry offers the HIGHEST rated tours and excursions to all corners of the Samana Peninsula. From Horseback to ATV to Zip Line to Maritime Whale tours enjoy their unmatched attention to detail and love of this beautiful natural wonderland.'
Whale Watching: 'A unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in their natural calving and mating grounds here in Samaná Bay, Dominican Republic. Listen to the male humpback’s solitary courting song and witness incredible displays of flippering, tail lobbing and breaching by the most active species of whale in the Atlantic. On board, a Marine Mammal Specialist narrating and answering questions. An experience of a lifetime, not to be missed! Dates January 15th to March 25th Departure Samaná:'
Kite Surfing: There are centers in Las Terrenas and Playa Coson.
Horseback Beach Tours: Located in Las Terrenas and Playa Coson as well!
Las Terrenas Exursions: 'Specialties : the national park of ¨los Haitises¨ and exclusivity, Haitises + tropicals rivers ! Whale watching (exclusivity, an hydrophone to listen them singing), catamaran - snorkeling, Limon´s waterfall, cayo levantado and Bacardi´s island, Rincon´s beach, coffee's road.'
Turtle Dive Center: 'Center and diving school, diving accessories Shop Swimming Clubs diver 8 to 12 years (Scuba Rangers) School Excursions Swimming Beach (snorkeling and diving) Snorkeling Day Out VIP restaurant on the beach (tasting menu) and Just Underwater yet!'
Epona Ranch: 'Located just outside of Las Terrenas with its beaches, among the most beautiful in all Dominican Republic, Epona Ranch Foundation is a haven of peace where mutual respect between horse and man reign.Our horses live happily and are free to roam the 24 acres of rolling hills, luxuriant vegetation and fresh lagoons.Epona Ranch is also the ideal starting point for discovering the hidden treasures of Samana Peninsula and Las Terrenas, in particular.'