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“Cruise stop in Samana” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Samana Bay

Samana Bay
Dominican Republic
809 538 2042
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Samaná Peninsula Whale-Watching Tour from Punta...
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Whale watching, Group tours/walking tour
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Owner description: This bay is best known for the frequency with which humpback whales and dolphins are seen here.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Cruise stop in Samana”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We took the 9-day Carribean cruise with NCL overt the Spring break. I will review the cruise separately but wanted to write a couple of words about our last stop – Samana, DR. Honestly, it is beyond me why such cruise company as NCL would every pick that place as a stop. Yes, there’s a beach you can tender to which we did not even attempt to go to due to bad weather, but the tender is not free (as it would be to a private NCL island) and the people that did go there were underwhelmed. We opted to tender to the village. What can I say… the “port” was dirty, water was full of garbage floating by, poverty – worse than some 3rd world countries I traveled to. We found a nice guy and his “auto rickshaw” to take us around. We saw a waterfall that was pretty decent but that was IT. He attempted to take us to another beach but it was just simply terrible: I was amazed there were tourists staying in the nearby hotel.
My advice, if you do take this cruise (other stops were Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Thomas) stay on the ship when docked in Samana or pay the money to tender to the Cayo Levantade if it’s a beautiful day.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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193 reviews from our community

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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a great little town to visit for anyone that is planning a trip to the Dominican Repbublic. It's an up and coming destination for cruise ships and is rapidly becoming the next tourist haven in the Caribbean. The most beautiful beaches in the world are found here along with very affordale hotels and dining. I would recommend spending at least 2 days there. Be sure to visit Cayo Levantado, Playa Bonita, Playa Rincon and the city Santa Bárbara de Samaná.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Easy walk for local color”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

Samana is a newer stop for cruises and touted to be their eco tourism port. While we did not partake of any of the offered shore excursions, we did walk around town and enjoy the vibrant colors of the buildings, the open air market, and the nearby jungle.

This is not a beach friendly port unless you walk over the bridge to the hotel beach. The main bay has no nice beach and was strew with litter when we were there. The market and town were fun though. Lots of paintings by local artists for sale and typical island style clothing. In the nearby hills are lovely churches and there are maps of town posted in multiple places pointing out sites of interest for more extended walking tours. There is also a Casino of sorts, if you are looking for that sort of entertainment - but there hours seemed kinda wacky. I recommend walking around the port and town a bit to experience the local culture - as best you can during a short stop on a cruise. If you have the time and inclination explore across the bridge too (see review by NahanniRafter). It was a nice relaxing change of pace from the "glitz" of some ports - although that clearly scared some of our fellow cruisers away.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whidbey Island, WA
Level Contributor
65 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“A Short Walk in and to Beauty in Samana Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

While you are in the town of Samana, do try to walk out to Cayo Vigía. My husband and I did, and we were happy we did. We think you'll be glad you did also.

The walk provides numerous photo opportunities with views of Samana City, the port, the bay, Cayacoa Beach (public swim beach shared with hotel), and lush forests. You might also be able to take a swim here, though we did not. And oh yes, there is a geo-cache out there as well. There is no restrooms out on the island nor obviously on the bridge walk. The closest restroom is at the public beach.

The walk is not for the mobility impaired, nor stroller friendly. There are steep stone steps both on what I will call the hotel end, and on the cay itself.

How to get there: from then tender pier in town, you could walk about a mile or so along the waterfront to the start of the bridge (Brug Samana van Leona) Cayacoa Beach in front of the Hotel Bahia Principe Cayacoa. From the beach, it is about a half-mile walk.

If you are pressed for time, you could take a local taxi to the base. That is another adventure we did, on paved road and dirt road. The taxi was an open--sided cart seating four, pulled by a motorcycle. A more conventional taxi could take you to the hotel, then you could make your way to the bridge.

You actually cross two bridges, with one span being longer. Some of the path is through a small but beautiful forest, part is on stone steps. The bridge is very sturdy with fine sturdy railings on both sides.

I am sure most people see the island, and the bridge from a distance, but do not make the small effort needed to get there.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Whales with Kim”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Whale watching with Kim Bedall was fantastic. I highly recommend this tour. Kim is Canadian and has a very safe and large boat for whale watching. Her company is dedicated to protecting the whales in Samana and around the world. Awesome staff

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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