Landing back in Samana has brought back so many happy memories of when I was backpacking in the Dominican Republic five years ago. It is hard to believe it has been five years since I was last here. Samana is one of my favorite Dominican cities because of the natural beauty nearby. The peninsula is bursting with picturesque islands, tranquil virgin beaches, stunning waterfalls, tropical forests, bird sanctuaries, mangroves, caves filled with stalagmites & stalactites, and not to mention the province’s national park Los Haitises. I love exploring the natural wonders of each country that I visit. There is also a variety of activities that you can do in and around the Samana area including snorkeling, scuba diving, catamaran tours, deep sea fishing, whale watching, horseback riding through the jungle, swimming in waterfalls, zipling, jeep safaris through the lush countryside, shopping, and of course getting muddy on a buggy. Samana has it all! My mom is in awe of everything Dominican has to offer.
Yesterday we spent most of the day lounging on the small island Cayo Levantado. From Samana, We traveled to the island in a small boat with a local guide which we booked on the beach; it took about 20 minutes to get to the island. The island is absolutely stunning! All of the beaches in the Dominican Republic are public so you have the luxury of visiting any one of the excellent beaches in the area. This is definitely one of the best and my favorite. When I visited Dominican in 2008 I didn’t get an opportunity to travel to Cayo Levantado. It was so worth the trip this time. I highly recommend it. When I looked at the pictures of the beach afterwards, I was amazed that I was actually on that beach. It looks unreal—too beautiful for words. I loved swimming in the turquoise waters with the various shades of blue surrounding the island. It was the perfect day trip.
Today my mom and I both tried something new and completed another item on our bucket list when we went off-roading in our very own buggy. We got down and dirty when driving through the dense Dominican vegetation and splashing through the rivers and muddy puddles. It was the perfect opportunity to see the Dominican country side and how people really live in the Dominican. My mom and I brought with us school supplies, toiletries, and small gifts which we gave out to the families in the villages as we passed through. My favorite part was seeing all the smiles on the children’s faces. Along the way we got to try fresh roasted coffee, coconut, pineapple, papaya, and bananas with grated coco. Off-roading for hours in a buggy on the windy dirty and dusty trails of Dominican was an incredibly bumpy and exciting journey. I think I scared my mom a few times as I sped up and down the steep hills and around the jagged corners. Sometimes you just want to be a kid and not have to worry about getting covered in mud from top to bottom. We stopped at a beautiful beach along the way to rinse off just to get going and get muddy all over again on the way back. I enjoyed putting the peddle to the metal as we drove through the brown rivers just to see how muddy we could get. This adventure trip is definitely one of my favorite excursions and one I would do again. It is a must do trip in the DR.
Tomorrow we are heading to the town of Samana to do some site seeing and shopping. Afterword’s we are heading back to the beach for some kayaking, snorkeling, and wind surfing! I love watersports. What better way to spend your time in the Caribbean? My mother always told me that I was a fish in the sea. She remembers me crying as a toddler whenever it was time to leave the beach. Even today, I don’t want to leave the beach. I love being in the water. It’s going to be hard to leave this place (again), but I know that I will return someday. It makes me look forward to my next adventure and not knowing where my next adventure will be makes it all that much more exciting.
Where would you go next?