Recently, I was able to visit the resorts of the Bahia Principe in Samana during a Dominican Republic vacation. Each of the properties has countless on-site activities and places to relax. And, while there really is no need to leave the property, the truth is you should and must. The entire island is filled with beaches, jungles, waterfalls, cities with unique architecture, and so much more. So, go explore!
While staying in the Dominican Republic at the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection, my experience was facilitated by Bahai Principe through a company called Coming2, who hosted me on a full-day excursion to get a taste of what is offered by their guides. The area in and around Samana is rich with nature, culture, and traditions that I couldn’t wait to explore.
First, the guides are amazing. They are local and passionate about where they work and live. You re not treated like a tourist; you are family! The tour we took was a combination, but the main part was the De Luxe Rincon Beach Lobster.
Rincon Beach – or as it is referred to locally, Playa Rincon – is considered one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Driving down the road in the open truck, you have a view of what is to come and it is stunning. I have seen a lot of beaches and I would have to agree that it is one of the best. The beach is long and deep with beautiful white sand and lots of sun or shade. The water is truly magnificent; pure blue with so many shades of turquoise.
We started our day by finding a few lounge chairs under a tree. We had plenty of room to move around to enjoy the sun as well, because the beach is so long! You can find the perfect spot for your day.
Lunch was served in an open air restaurant with long tables. The food was prepared in an open kitchen right off the structure with a huge grill. The food is local, fresh, and simply prepared. Lunch is included in the package and drinks are served as well. The meal includes a variety of freshly prepared salads, freshly picked local fruit, and grilled chicken and lobsters. To top it off we had local rice and beans. The food was amazing.
After lunch, we had our choice of several activities that truly amped up our Dominican Republic vacation.
If you would like, you can take a short walk with your guide and enjoy a horseback ride on the beach. I’m sure you’ve seen this in many movies!
A Dip in the River
There is a very special part of Playa Rincon where the river from the mountains feeds into the salt water of the bay. It is worth the stop on this side of the beach for a dip. The water is beautiful and cool.
Your guide will have all the equipment for you. The entire bay is full of life, but there are also a few coral beds and reef areas worth exploring. We saw so many different types of fish and sea life. Take a few trips with your snorkel to the different areas throughout the day.
Yes, this is an accepted activity. Take a good old fashioned nap under a giant palm. But, beware. You may be disturbed by a local selling wonderful baked goods. I’m telling you to just say yes! They are that good.
Both on the beach and a few feet before the break, you can search for shells. There are so many different types of to take home as souvenirs. Just make sure nothing is living in them before you take them home!
TravelingMom Tip: One of our favorite things to do when taking a beach vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we're traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.
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Before we arrived at the beach, our guide stopped at a local farm, a fruit stand, and an iguana breeding facility. These can be combined with the beach tour or be a tour on their own. At the family farm, we toured the grounds and were introduced to the different native trees and produce grown for the families consumption as well as for market.
The grounds are home of the Iguanario, which breeds, protects, and educates the public about the native iguanas, all to aid the population. The final stop was an unbelievable fruit stand where we were able to sample local finds, including fresh hot cacao and a local favorite, mañana. Truthfully, I would love to live across the street from this wonderful find.
No matter how happy, comfortable, and content you are at the resort pool or beach, plan a day off-site in the Dominican Republic just to explore!