Samaná, or to give it its full name Santa Bárbara de Samaná, is a town and municipality in the northeastern Dominican Republic and is the capital of Samaná Province. It is located on the northern coast of Samaná Bay. It also gives its name to the whole of the peninsula that includes the other popular towns of Las Terrenas and Las Galeras
The town and area are steeped in history being one of the locations visited by Christopher Columbus on 13 January 1493. It is the only time his landing was met by resistance, and the Cigüayos refused to trade their bows and arrows that Columbus’s pathfinders wanted. Possibly, as a result of the unfriendly reception, the Spanish did not colonize the area and it became an area for runaways and privateers.
It wasn’t until 1756 that the village was founded and named. During the following years, the peninsular changed hands several times being passed to the French, then back to the Spanish, overrun by Haitians, and finally becoming the Samaná Maritime District in 1865 after the Haitians were expelled from the Dominican Republic.
Today, Samana is an important tourism destination and is the main center for whale-watching tours in the Caribbean region. The largest boost to the local economy takes place between January and March with the annual migration of thousands of North Atlantic humpback whales that come to the Samaná Bay to give birth. Samaná is a leading center for the country’s tourism during these months.
Samana now boasts one of the most popular marinas in the country at Puerto Bahia where you will also find the Bannister Hotel, named after a privateer who became famous whilst sailing from the area.
The Bay is a paradise for boaters and is ideal for sailboats and fishermen alike. The bay has relatively calm waters but also has strong trade winds from the east for great navigation. On quieter days, the bay is ideal for paddle surfing. Fishing boats have direct access to the Atlantic Ocean for large fish. So for those who may wish to mix living on and off the water, this area is a dream come true.
There are both condos and villas available in Samana. Developments such as Puerto Bahia, Hacienda Samana, Samana Bay Residences, and Punta Balandra offer a very wide selection from 1 bedroom condos to 5-bed villas overlooking Samana Bay. And, of course, you could always buy a boat or a mooring in the marina and live full time on the water!
The town is approximately 30 minutes east of the El Catey Samana International Airport.