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“Best tour” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tour Samana with Terry

Tour Samana with Terry
Avenida La Marina, Santa Barbara de Samana 32000, Dominican Republic
+1 809-538-3179
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Type: Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: 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. Activities for all ages. Welcome families!!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
New Castle, PA
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Best tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

The low impact tour of Samana is great. Terry's guides were the best. They took us deep into the forest. Peter the driver was unbelievable. Of all the tours we have taken over the years, this one ranks with the best of them. Well worth the money. Cheaper to book over the internet than through the cruise ship.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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306 reviews from our community

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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Northern Ontario, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“El Limon on Horseback and Playa Rincon on ATV”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

After months of preparation and research my wife and I just returned back from our vacation in Samana.

Having read the reviews and compared our options we chose Tour Samana with Terry because of the quality of his reviews, suggesting this was a company we could rely on, and because he offered full day options, while this could not be guaranteed with other providers. Needless to say we were not disappointed.

For the sake of those giving consideration to other companies, we also gave serious consideration to Razor Tours (now known as Ritmo Tours) because they were offered by our vacation provider (Sunwing) and Raymond and Gregory because of the possible low prices, after all we were on a budget. The reason we chose Terry was because Razor Tours primarily offered half day experience and while Raymond and Gregory appeared to be legitimate, by their inclusion on the toursamana.com website, they could only muster up three reviews to support their service and did not reply to an email to answer some questions - for the record they still have not replied.

In addition to our tours, we chose to try Terry's cell phone rental service, which gave us a reliable means of communication while away from North America including both cellular service and text messaging, which came in handy because my wife's office cell phone (via Rogers in Canada) proved much less than reliable.

I'll start off with some general comments about Terry and his staff and then move into more specifics regarding the tours we did take part in.

The first thing I will say is Terry aims to please in any way possible. This includes doing his best to accommodate your preferences, while ensuring the tour is viable. This included rescheduling our first tour (El Limon) on a day's notice because my wife and I were sick - I find it unlikely that some of the larger operators, who make their money by cramming in as many people from as many different resorts as possible, would be willing to work so hard to ensure we could maximize our enjoyment.

The second thing that is important to note is that Terry seems to put his guests and his guides above his profit, which helps ensure a great experience for you. Because we visited during a low-period (January 8-22) finding other people to go on the tour was difficult and in both instances we ended up enjoying private tours (my wife and I and the guide) without inflated rates or any pushback from Terry. In fact, he seemed perfectly happy to offer the tours despite the low demand because it allowed to keep his guides working. We did offer to move to different days if that would allow for Terry to put an actual group together, but he was perfectly happy with the private tour set up, which in the end probably leads to both a happy guide (because of the extra work and a happy customer).

Now on to the specific tours:

El Limon Waterfalls on Horseback

There are a couple of pieces of advice I will offer.

The first is, this tour is really more about the horseback riding than the falls itself. While the falls are spectacular and the pool at the bottom is good for a nice refreshing dip, that is exactly what it is a swim at the bottom of a scenic waterfall and potentially watching a few locals do backflips and dives off of the face of the rock. I'm not trying to downplay the beauty or the falls itself just trying to be honest about the experience. The good thing is, unlike other tours, your guide will give you all the time you want to explore the falls, so you will never be rushed for time.

The other thing to keep in mind is that many of the tour companies will load large groups and drop them off at the falls at the same time - this was a complaint a woman at the hotel we stayed at had, having taken the tour from a company that sold tours through the resort. This can lead to a very crowded and disappointing experience and is another reason why booking with Terry can be a benefit.

As for the ride, it is spectacular. Some of the views you will see are simply breathtaking. Fluffy clouds hanging from the sky over the mountains you are traversing. From our resort we were looking at a range of mountains off in the distance and wondering what kind of tour we could take to experience that type of nature. While not the same mountains, this is the one. You are really being guided through the peaks and valleys of the Samana wilderness and will see some awe inspiring views along the path. Many of the smaller falls, rivers and waterways you will pass by or cross are just as beautiful, in their own way, as the El Limon Falls. As someone who spent a lot of time on horses growing up (but haven't been on a horse in at least 15 years) it was a refreshing way to enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds the falls and I was quite pleased to have taken the trip.

That said, as Terry points out in his description, this is not a tour that I would recommend for those with mobility issues. While the horseback ride takes you most of the way, there is a very steep set of stairs to get to and from the bottom of the falls, which left both myself and my wife gasping for air on the way up.

The second thing I would point out is if you are unwilling, unable to, or scared of horses this is probably not the best tour for you. The hike to the top of the falls would be exhausting - if it's even possible. The guides are able to do this because, frankly, they are in excellent shape and probably make the trek on a daily basis. Those scared of horses or at the thought of riding a horse may also wish to consider that the landscape is rocky, steep and to those who have not ridden it may be a nerve wracking experience.

I personally recommend this tour, however I can see how some would not enjoy the experience since it can be nerve-wracking if you do not feel comfortable on your horse.

Lunch is great and is provided by the same family who provide the horses and, once again, you are permitted to take your own pace eating and enjoying the surrounding area.

ATV to Bocca El Diablo and Playa Rincon

This tour is an absolutely awesome experience. Quite likely the best excursion we have ever been on anywhere.

On our first trip to the Dominican we were a little hesitant about the idea of doing a tour on ATVs, it seemed a little weird, but with more time to prepare on this vacation we did the research and agreed that if there are so many great reviews about the experience in general there must be a reason. We were not disappointed at all and better still, the excursion was a full day as opposed to many of the other options who only offer four hour trips.

One thing I would recommend is, if you can afford it, pay the extra and ride on your own ATV. Sharing might seem like a neat idea, but to get the full experience you need the wind on your face and controls at your fingertips.

Our guide, David, was extremely friendly and knowledgable and helped make this experience truly memorable. One thing that was great was he realized that I love taking photos and video and was willing to stop at any point I saw something that caught my eye.

Our trip began with a short jaunt down the main road in Las Galeras before heading toward Bocca El Diablo (Mouth of the Devil) a blowhole that shoots sea water straight up into the air. Along the path we stopped at a granite mine and had the chance to see how the mountains are carved up to create things such as countertops and tiles. David was extremely knowledgeable about the process and the stop gave us a chance to not only see some local industry, but also take a few pictures of the scenery.

After a short trip down the road, we arrived at Bocca El Diablo, which is an amazing natural phenomenon. On the edge of the sea, waves crash against the rocks and trough cleavages in the rock force water through this blowhole in the middle of the outcropping. How high the water sprays depends on the roughness of the water. During our particular visit the ocean was relatively calm, although the sound itself explains how the site got its name. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can also view humpback whales at the site. We were told we narrowly missed them on this particular visit by locals at the site.

Following that stop it was more trips on scenic trails with views that defy description.

After a lengthy, but enjoyable, ride we arrived at the remote Playa Rincon, which is said to be one of the world's most beautiful beaches - I cannot argue with that description.

The blue waters with mountains off in the background are picture perfect, and there are many sites just off the main stretch of beach that also make for a majestic photograph. Upon arriving we were informed by David that we could stay as long as we wanted and we took full advantage of that offer, spending a number of hours swimming, snorkelling and exploring the area in addition to having lunch at the Restaurant Rubi, which is highly recommended.

After agreeing that our afternoon on the all-but deserted (there was an ATV tour from another company there when we arrived, but they were gone 10-15 minutes later) beach had given us the maximum enjoyment, David took us through a path at the far end of the beach where we viewed a more remote but similarly scenic portion of this gorgeous site.

Following that we stopped for a quick dip at the fresh water pool at the end of the beach, which was scenic enough itself to justify the trip.

On our ride home, we were treated to more breathtaking views of the area, including a stop at a point overlooking the Las Galeras area, which made for some tremendous photos.

Once we arrived back at the Las Galeras public beach we realized we truly had maximized the day, as it was beginning to get dark.

I know everyone says if you do one excursion in Samana do the whale watching. From past whale watching trips in other areas I can say, yes, it's spectacular but I truly believe the ATV trip through Terry is the one not the be missed.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Our group of six just returned from a cruise that went to Samana. We booked a day of zip lining with Terry. By far this was our favorite place. The zip lining was awesome. We loved swimming in the waterfall and the walk back to the bus but most of all we loved the cultural experience as well. Thanks for the things you taught us about the island and allowing us to take part in some of the treats your island has to offer. The beauty took my breath away. Thanks for a great day and we look forward to returning some day. I will highly recommend this tour to relatives traveling in March.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chadds Ford, Pa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Low impact Highlights of Samana: Culture, Beach & Waterfalls", Tour #5 on January 10, 2013”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

This was one of the most interesting and fun tours I have experienced. The cost was $65 and included lunch (this vegetarian could eat most of it) and unlimited beer, soda, and water for the day. The description by TheronKeller gave an excellent description of what was experienced. I have included a few photos with this post. There is some walking involved over uneven terrain, but each participant is assigned a local young person to assist during the walk to the waterfall. This tour was rustic and authentic and highly recommended. Loved it!!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Effort, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Samana Tour ZIP LINE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Absolutely recommend it. My wife and I just took a tour with Terry a week ago. We're already planning our next cruise and we're using Terry's tours as a major pointer of which cruise we do....it has to go to Samana so we can do Terrry's tour again, maybe a different one this time, my wife is not a lover of heights. Every phase of the Zip Line tour was awesome, most importantly the guide is a fellow American that is well respected in the Samana community and speaks perfect spanish with a Dominican accent...lol. The locals are just amazing people, friendly, humble and never a lack of a huge smile and a friendly wave as you go by. The most surprising thing besides the views and activities was that Terry and his helpers don't only show you what to do, they jump right in with you, either on the zip line or in the beautiful "cold" water of the falls. His love for the locals, their culture and the land is extremely evident as he presents it to you with pride as if it were his homeland. See you next year LOCO Terry!!!!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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