Samana Vacation Guide
Santa Barbara de Samana is where you go to find the Dominican Republic away from the nightclubs, crowded beaches, and busy towns that are characteristic of more popular destinations like Santo Domingo or Puerto Plata. This charming fishing village is set on a peninsula less than 16 kilometres wide and is surrounded by gently rolling hills on three sides, with the fourth leading out to the calm waters of the Bahia de Samana.
The tiny town seems almost sleepy for most of the year, but come January, the idyllic quiet is a distant dream as visitors arrive in the thousands to catch a glimpse of the North Atlantic humpback whales who make their home in the Bay until March. Less touristy than the nightclub-oriented Las Terrenas and a whole lot easier to get to than the isolated beach town of Las Galeras, Samana has great transport and hotel infrastructure, making it easy to navigate or use as a base while exploring the rest of the peninsula. Whether you've booked Samana vacations to visit the\ whales or go off the beaten Dominican Republic path, take a day or two to explore the actual town and discover just how good life can be here even when you're not rushing from one scenic beach to the next.
This otherwise quiet town explodes with activity and commotion between January and March, so if you're visiting Samana during the annual whale-watching season, you will need to book as early as possible. Flights and hotels sell out quickly, and even all inclusive vacations are not all that cheap during this time. Prices for package deals and all inclusive vacations drop dramatically after March, picking up again only around the end of December.
Year round, temperatures average in the mid-20s (Celsius), rising to the low 30s around July and August. However, your vacation plans may be impacted by the Dominican Republic's rainy season which begins in May and ends in early November. In the peninsula, you can expect occasional heavy showers to continue right up to December. Booking a vacation package during this season will be extremely cheap, but you should always check for hurricane and storm forecasts before you travel. Besides these, the afternoon showers will not impede your sunny summer days too much.
Unless you're booking Samana vacations for the whale watching, the best time to visit is in April, when you will avoid the peak tourist season as well as the worst of the rains.
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