Santi and his family are great people. We stayed in their rancho for two nights and did two excursions: Limon waterfalls and Haitises National Park. The first one was by foot. Most of the people decide to do it riding a horse but our opinion is that you enjoy more walking through the mountains instead of being nervous upon the horse and. It took around one hour and a half to get to the Limon waterfalls, very nice place and surroundings. The way until there is relaxing, you can enjoy the trees and the sound of the animals. Don’t forget your swimsuit and most important go early because if you delay your visit you will coincide with lots of tourists!!
One recommendation: if you are going to do it by foot do the excursion for yourself, so you can go on your own pace and stop wherever you want, without a guide hurrying you up. You can perfectly do yourself because there are several paths from the road to get to the waterfall and they are all signalized. Moreover, be careful with the local guides who will try to trick you with the money and what is included in the price.
Anyway, if you do it on your own, you definitely must have lunch in Santi’s rancho (included in the price of the excursion if you decide to do it). We enjoyed a typical Dominican food for lunch: criollo chicken with fried banana, delicious octopus. All garnished with boiled rice and beans soup.
The Haitises National Park excursion was spectacular. The journey started early, first Santi drove us to the Samana Port where we took a small boat but a fast one, very comfortable up to 12 people approximately. In our excursion we were 6 tourits, Santi, the captain of the boat and the kind local guide. It took around 1 hour to get to the National Park. At the park we visited the beautiful islets full of pelicans and with caves inside and the mangroves. Inside the immense caves we saw different formations and several taino paintings engraved on the rocks. Maybe one of the most amazing things was to see how the roots of a local tree have been able to pass through the rocks. The next stop was the marvelous Cayo Levantado, a small delightful island. Cayo Levantado has a small beach surrounded by coconut palms with crystalline and turquoise water. We had free time before and after having lunch, a time for taking a bath, wandering or tasting the best piña colada we have ever had. The food was delicious, one grilled fish by person with salad, rice and fried banana. During the excursion we could drink water, refreshes and rum, delicious rum in the Caribbean. Our last stop after the paradise island was the infinity pool of a hotel in Samana. The perfect end for an unforgettable day: having a cocktail and relaxing.
In short, the excursion was perfectly organised and we enjoyed every moment with Santi and the local guide. The price of the excursion was one of the cheapest we found, so having into account how the journey was and the things included in the price, we can say we chose the ideal option. We strongly recommend doing this excursion with Santi.
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