The northern coast Samana Peninsula of the Dominican Republic is one of the most unspoiled parts of the island of Hispaniola, but instead of a resort it almost ended up a US military base.

The island and the peninsula were the home to various pre-Columbian natives including the Taino warriors. This tribe had been on the island for several hundred years and had developed a culture that had traded with the surrounding islands. Samana Peninsula was part of the Hispaniola that was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus during his voyage to the New World. This was where the first conflicts between the Spanish Conquistadors took place, signaling a trend that would follow for the next several hundred years.

The island was a colony of Spain, and then divided between France and Spain, with the western half becoming Haiti, which eventually conquered and ruled the entire land. The Dominican Republic received its full independence in 1844, with a brief return to Spanish rule in 1861 and then independence again in 1865.

The area of Samana was largely developed over the centuries, and during American protection of the island in the 1920s there was the consideration of building an American military base on the peninsula. Only in recent decades has any significant growth come to Samana, including the small Samana City, which is also known as Santa Barbara de Samana. Today this region is known for new resorts and is largely an unspoiled paradise on Hispaniola.