My second itinerary for visiting northeast Dominican Republic works well any time of year. It includes the Dominican Tree House Village & Samana Zipline, the beach at Playa Rincon & snorkelling in the Cano Frio River, and the beach at Hotel Todo Blanco. If you have more time you can take an extra day or two at either hotel, or combine this itinerary with days from the first itinerary.
Route from Santo Domingo on the south shore:
Once out of the city, take highway #7 N for several hours. When the road Ts take #5 East along the south side of the Samana peninsula and arrive in the town of Samana about noon.
Route from Punta Cana and La Romana on the east and south:
Drive west on Hwy #3. Just before San Pedro de Macoris get on the #4. It will T with Hwy #7 N which you will drive (as above).
Route from Puerto Plata on the north coast:
Drive east on Hwy # 5 all the way to Samana.
Lunch: Picnic lunch in the car. (Only breakfast and dinner served at Dominican Tree House Village.)
Destination: Dominican Tree House Village & Samana Zipline
- Drive past Samana town on sea front road going east toward Las Galeras.
- Take left turn north toward the zipline and tree house village; signage is good.
- When road becomes primitive, keep going. You need to go about 5 mph. Truly. Ease your tires over those rocks.
Samana Zipline — many tours per day, so phone to check time. Reservations 1.800.820.1357 for larger group.
- Follow signs on the road to DTHV until you come to the huge Samana Zipline sign across the road
- Parking & meeting area on the right. Pay fees, sign release, put on gear. Truck takes you to the launch area.
- Zipline has 12 stations through the tops of the jungle. Guides do the braking for you, so it’s a fairly easy ride. Height makes it a thrill.
- Truck drives you back to the original launching area. Stay for interesting Cultural Presentation.
Overnight: Dominican Tree House Village — El Valle, Samana – 829.542.3005 / 1.800.820.1357
- A bedroom on stilts in the tops of the trees. Lots of stairs. Ten-minute hike into the area on paved path.
- Pack a small bag or backpack with toiletries and any change of clothing you might need. A roller bag or any large suitcase would be a real disadvantage as you hike in and climb to your room. Porters will help you. Tip them generously.
- Fire pit with swinging chairs for visiting
- Borrow the DTHV rickety bikes and ride down dirt road to little village and beautiful unpopulated beach; borrow boats to use on beach; chairs for lounging.
- Perhaps meet Bart, the owner, who is often onsite ([email protected]).
Dinner at 7:
Everyone served the same meal; menu changes daily.
Evening: Visit with other guests and the friendly staff
- Take some cards (don’t count on a complete deck if you use theirs)
- A few other table games available, but best to take a compact version of your own.
- Best of all — have Leo, the cook, teach you Dominican-style dominos.
Breakfast: Complimentary at Dominican Tree House Village
Playa Rincon — one of 10 best beaches in the world according to Conde Nast. When you get to the T in the road at the beach entrance you can turn in and park on the hard sand underneath the trees.
If you walk right at the T you will come to a pristine white-sand beach. Rent lounge chairs under trees for 50 pesos (about U.S. $1). Tent various kinds of boats to take you further out into the bay. Promontory above the bay there has a good outdoor cafe. Past the promontory to the right, the beach has stiffer waves good for body surfing.
If you walk L at the T you will find a shallow freshwater river, the Cano Frio, that flows into the sea. You can rent a boat (including the man to pole it) to take you up the river. Some captains will take you ashore and demonstrate how to climb a coconut palm; serve fresh coconut water to drink. Snorkel back down the river to the beach.
Lunch: Outdoor restaurant on the north end of the bay.
- Go around back to see the clean method for cooking.
- Recommend parrot fish, tostones, and warm coconut bread.
Dinner: Try the outdoor cafe on Playa Rincon, or . . .
Restaurant Il Pirata, Calle La Playita, Las Galeras; 809.935.2765
Beautiful decorative wrought iron panels throughout; lovely ambience. Don’t order the Dorado, but pasta is usually safe choice.
Overnight: Hotel Todo Blanco, Calle Principal 1, Las Galeras. Phone 809.538.0201; Cell 908.729.2333
- Website = hoteltodoblanco.com; Email = [email protected];
- Hotel manager = Sr. Maurizio Bartezzati
- After your initial Online booking, they will tell you the amount of advance deposit in RD pesos to take to Banco Popular. (This is a nuisance, but we liked the hotel.)
- Be prepared to pay the balance at the end of your stay in cash (take Dominican pesos).
Breakfast: Complimentary at Todo Blanco
- Explore beach.
- To your right are beach art vendors (much cheaper than the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo; similar quality).
- A little further — a privately owned aquarium/preserve where you can snorkel.
- Check-out time 11 AM.
Dinner: Buffet inside gas station at junction of Hwy #7 & Hwy #3.
More JMBryceTravel blogs about visiting the northeast Dominican Republic area: