Samana, Dominican Republic, is a natural treasure of this beautiful island. Wild, verdant, with coves, bays, waterfalls, mountains and awe-inspiring views – there is lots to explore. It is known for its wading and body-boarding beaches, nature trekking and whale-watching.
It is for independent travelers, and thousands of Europeans have come as tourists and stayed, setting up businesses that give Samana its cosmopolitan vibe. Samaná City is the provincial capital; Las Galeras is the base for visiting the famous Playa Rincón beach; and Las Terrenas is the main tourist center, but still retains an easygoing beach town feel, with some great shops, restaurants and bars.
Samaná has its own international airport at El Catey (AZS). Cruise ships arrive mainly in the winter season docking offshore near Cayo Levantado. Many cruise ships stop here for a afternoon swim. Snorkelling is very good and waters are calm. They filmed Bacardi rum commercials here in the 70s.
Cayo Levantado island, also knowned as Bacardi island is located in Samana Bay, at a distance of only 7 Kilometers (About 4 Miles) from the Port of the town of Samana. This is a „not-to-be-missed“ place to visit when vacationning in Samana. Cayo Levantado is a tiny island of about only 3 square kilometers in size. We can easily say that this is the BEST BEACH near the small town of Samana, pure white sand beach with crystal clear waters that is totally idyllic, gorgeous and exceptional… paradise truly found.
There are actually 2 beaches on Cayo Levantado island, one that is open to the public and the other one that is private and accessible only for the guests of the Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado hotel. On the public beach side you will find many restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood caught the very same day, small bars with tropical drinks and nice cold beers and also many shops selling authentic hand made artifacts from Dominican Republic. Public bathrooms can be found in two different places on the island, you can also pamper yourself with a relaxing massage done by professionals.
Cayo Levantado island is also knowned as Bacardi Island because of an advertising campaign done for the Bacardi rhum in the 80’s. Something very unique on the island is a small aquarium area with Sea Lions that are brought out swimming in the waters of Cayo Levantado public beach to perform, entertain and do private photo sessions for guests and tourists alike.
The island is only accessible by boat, most departures are from the main dock of the Port of Samana town, on a 50 foot vessel serving the island every day, cost per person is about $8 USD for round trip leaving around 10:00 AM. You can also arrange a private trip by talking to the locals at the main dock of Samana who will take you there on their small 18 foot boats ( called Yolas ), prices will depend on your group size, your personnal schedule and your negociation skills.
You can visit this link to see what things you can do in Samana.