While overtaken by the new resorts and complexes along the peninsula, the area of Samana also known as barcardi island, is home to numerous towns that offer an interesting glimpse back in time. The entire Samana Peninsula has largely been undeveloped until recently and it shows in the towns and villages, but these have their own charms that make them worth a short visit.

The largest in the area is Samana City, which really isn’t much of a city but rather a small town that seems almost out of place with the rest of the Dominican Republic. This is because the city was actually settled by two shiploads of freed American slaves. The first settlers arrived in 1824 and their influence can still be seen to this day, as many of the residents speak English as their first, and for a small minority their only, language. Many of the streets and business are in English as well, and while the town has had a rundown look it is undergoing a renovation thanks to improvements that are slowing coming to the region.

The nearby seaside town of Las Terrenas has a Spanish charm, with many small but friendly restaurants, inviting shops and a large supermarket should you need to get supplies at more affordable prices.

Down the road to the east is the down of El Limon. It features a few shops and places to eat but you come here to see the nearby El Limon Waterfall, which is about 300 meters above sea level and drops 40 meters to a very deep pool of water. If you’re feeling hot you can cool off in the crystal clear and inviting waters before heading back at the end of a day of exploring.