Activities & Sports
With a strong emphasis on ecotourism, opportunities for mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing abound. Horse riding excursions will take you through jungles and paradise beaches. Sailing is quite a popular local activity and a great way to see the local islets.
Golfers will have to contend with the only near by course, the easy but fun 9-hole course at the Loma de Chivo Country Club, located at the Gran Bahia hotel.
Samana features the best adventure scuba diving of the north coast of the Dominican Republic. This rocky coastline with high cliffs leads to an exciting underwater world of sheer drop-offs and pinnacles that rise up to 165 feet. Beneath the moderate depths of 30 and 50 feet, a vast collection of cave and tunnel formations offers attractive dives. Snorkel enthusiast can enjoy the coral gardens at a shallower depth.
Dining & Nightlife
At night, Dominican music is everywhere, made up primarily of Merengue, Salsa and Bachata. The nightlife in Las Terrenas and Samana, especially on weekends, is very good. A variety of cafes, bars and discos are located on the beach, in the city center, or at the hotel-boulevard on the road to El Portillo. Looking for a lively dance floor? Try:
- La Loba
- Rancho Allegre
Besides the few restaurant found on the peninsula (in Samana, Las Terenas and Las Galeras), the inhabitants often prepare and sell traditional Dominican foods, like grilled fish, and beer by roadside stalls.
Most of the boutiques and souvenir shops are located in Las Terrenas and Samana with a few in Las Galeras. Here you will find an array of primitive native paintings, wood or whalebone carvings, island jewellery, semi-precious lorimar jewellery and genuine amber artefacts. Beach and kiosk vendors also sell there handmade necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
Also a visit to the Farmer's Market in Samana is always rewarding. Watch the locals do their daily errand as fresh fruit and vegetables, saddles for horses and mules, and everything else you can imagine exchanges hands.
Language: Spanish; English widely spoken in tourist areas, although a Spanish/English dictionary can be helpful.
Currency: Dominican peso. The Canadian dollar is easily exchanged into Pesos, so no need for US funds.
Climate: Sub-tropical with some rain in May/June and November/December.
Electricity: Same as Canada and the U.S.
Canadians entering the Dominican Republic for tourist purposes must purchase a tourist card, at a cost of $10 US, which is valid for 30 days. It is strongly recommended that all Canadians be in possession of a valid Canadian passport while abroad. However, for direct air travel to the Dominican Republic, Canadian tourists are only required to be in possession of valid official photo identification (such as a drivers licence) and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate). Canadian tourists must also be in possession of a return airline ticket.
All other nationalities please consult a vacation specialist or the Dominican consulate at 1-888-494-5050.
Note: Some hotels require credit card imprint upon check-in for any incidental charges. Hotel check-in is typically between 3pm and 4pm. If your flight arrives early, it is a good idea to pack essential items in your carry-on luggage (i.e. bathing suit, suntan lotion, medications, etc.), so you do not miss any valuable vacation time.
There is a 16% sales tax in the Dominican Republic.