My parents retired to Las Galeras, Samaná in the Dominican Republic, so it’s no surprise that I visit often, and have become pretty familiar with the ins + outs of the beach town. Nestled on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Las Galeras in the Samaná Peninsula is a hidden gem awaiting exploration. Away from the bustling crowds of popular tourist destinations, this picturesque village offers pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and a laid-back atmosphere. In this travel guide, we’ll unravel the charms of Las Galeras and guide you through an unforgettable Dominican adventure.
Las Galeras is approximately a 3-hour drive from Santo Domingo and can be reached by bus, taxi, or rental car. Alternatively, you can fly into the El Catey International Airport, just an hour away, and arrange for transport to the village. More details on how to get there are below:
- Bus: Grab a taxi from the airport to Las Americas Caribe Tours Bus Stop and buy a ticket to Samana. Tickets are about $8 each way. Once you’ve reached Samaná City Center, you can catch a cab to your destination.
- Renting: Renting a car at the airport is going to run you around $100 a day and driving in The Dominican Republic, can be intimidating if you aren’t a savvy driver.
- Hiring a driver/ renting a shuttle: This will cost about $200 for the day. You’ll be driven from the airport to your destination, it’s not a bad deal if you have a few people to split the bill with, if you’re alone it is the most expensive way to transfer, but the safest.
Where to Stay
Embrace the local charm by opting for boutique hotels, eco-friendly lodges, or beachfront villas. Some of my favorite choices include Villa Salamandre, Stylish Room by the Beach (this is my parents’ property), and Hotel Todo Blanco.
Las Galeras boasts stunning beaches, each with its unique appeal. My favorites are Playa Rincon, consistently ranked among the world’s best beaches, which offer powdery white sand and turquoise waters. La Playita is a beautiful white sand beach with clear blue water backed by tall palm trees and towering mountains in the distance, it’s truly a stunner. Playa Fronton is a more secluded option accessible by boat or scenic hike.
What to do
- Explore Playa Madame and Playa Grande:
These neighboring beaches are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or simply soaking up the sun. Local vendors offer fresh coconuts and snacks, adding to the relaxed beach experience.
- ATV or Catamaran Excursion: I’ve done the ATV excursions with JL Excursions, they took us to La Boca del Diablo and Playa Rincon. On the Catamaran we visited virgin beaches in the area.
- Whale Watching:
Samaná Bay is renowned for its humpback whale migrations from January to March. Join a guided whale-watching tour for a chance to witness these majestic creatures up close.
- El Limón Waterfall Excursion:
Immerse yourself in nature by taking a short trip to El Limón waterfall. Enjoy a horseback ride or hike through lush landscapes to reach the cascading falls, where you can cool off in the refreshing pool.
- Diving and Snorkeling:
Explore the underwater wonders of Samaná by diving or snorkeling. The coral reefs teem with colorful marine life, providing an unforgettable aquatic experience.
Where to Eat
- La Bodeguita: I love the pasta dishes here, super cute restaurant on the main strip, with great prices for the amount of food.
- Le BDM Playita: This amazing French Restaurant is great for food, and cocktails, and the ambiance is rustic chic.
- Langostino de Oro:
This hut restaurant is located in the center of Las Galeras, It is a fusion of French flavors and Caribbean influences.
- El Cabito: Perched on a cliff with breathtaking ocean views, El Cabito offers a unique dining experience. Indulge in fresh seafood dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The intimate atmosphere and the sound of waves crashing below make it a perfect spot for a romantic evening.
- Coco Fabuloso: Quiet beachfront restaurant
- Isabel y Misael: Beachfront Shack at La Playita cooking local cuisine and serving amazing fresh caught fish.
- Juana Restaurant: Local Dominican Kitchen, the food is so good and budget-friendly.
Where to Grab A Drink
While Las Galeras is relatively tranquil, there are vibrant beach bars and small venues where you can enjoy live music and mingle with locals and fellow travelers. Here are my favorite places to grab a drink:
- Todo Blanco Beach Bar: Beautiful green grass right on the beach, with palm trees and hanging cafe lights, they have a yummy signature drink, and it’s also kid-friendly with ping-pong tables and hammocks.
- Raquel Sunset Bar
- Central Bar
- Le BDM Playita
Las Galeras in Samaná, Dominican Republic, is a haven for those seeking a tranquil escape with a touch of adventure. With its unspoiled beaches, diverse activities, and welcoming atmosphere, this destination promises an authentic and memorable Caribbean experience. Pack your bags and get ready to discover the beauty of Las Galeras!
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