to get to the Samana Peninsula
Flights to the DR:
Links below for some airlines that serve the DR out of Europe
and North America. The closest airport is Samana (El Caty).
Puerto Plata, Santiago, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana are also
possible airports to arrive at.
taxi fares are expensive in the DR but it is often the only practical way out of the airport.
To Las Galeras from any airport will cost between 70
to 350 US dollars, depending on how far away the airport is. From El Catey (Samana airport) a taxi to Las Galeras generally starts at US 70.
From Santo Domingo - The Carretera De Samana is a two lane highway starting at km 15 of the Autopista de Las Americas (not far from the Las Americas airport). This highway is east of Santo Domingo and west of Boca Chica. It takes 2.5 hrs to Samana. If you have to overnight but don't want to go into Santo Domingo, than staying in Boca Chica is an option.
Puerto Plata – Follow the coastal highway (Route 5)
all the way to Samana. At Nagua ensure you stick to Route
5 and do not start heading for Santo Domingo! About 4 hours.
Santiago – The recommended route is to head south
on Route 1 for La Vega. South of La Vega head for San
Francisco de Macoris than take Route 132 heading
to Nagua. From Nagua take Route 5 for Sanchez and Samana.
About 4 hours.
Cana – driving a car from Punta Cana (5 hour drive) it is best to head towards Santo Domingo and take the Autopista de Las Americas highway. About 6 hours.
Check with www.LonelyPlanet.com or www.DR1.com for current
bus information, things change quickly in the DR.
From Sosua/Puerto Plata – stand in front of the police
station in Sosua at 6 am and get the public bus to Samana.
About 350 pesos, subject to change. You can do this trip with
gua gua (around 4 changes), a bit more expensive and less
convenient but possible.
From Santo Domingo and Santiago– check with Caribe Tours (809 538 2229) or on their website for the schedule to Samana. From Santiago you can also try
Arriving by plane at Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo it is not necessary to go into the city to catch the Caribe Tour bus. There is a Caribe Tour bus stop at the beginning of the new highway to Samana which is between Las Americans Airport and Santo Domingo, parada "Las Americas". You can get a taxi from the airport to the bus stop without going into the city. (about USD 30 from the airport to the bus stop.) Check the "Caribe Tours" Bus website for bus times to Samana.
There is also a bus direct to Las Galeras from a separate bus stop (near Caribe Tour bus stop). It is best to tell your taxi driver you want to go to Las Galeras by bus. It is a good possibility he will stop to enquire when the next direct bus to Las Galeras leaves. It you don't need to stop in Samana town, this is a good option to take and it will be a bit cheaper.
From Punta Cana – take a series of gua guas from the airport or Bavaro
to Sabana de la Mar in order to get the passenger boat across Samana Bay
to Samana town. (About 5 hours from the airport to Sabana.) The last ferry from Sabana to Samana is at 5 pm and the last gua gua from Samana to Las Galeras is around sun down.
If you are relying on public transportation you should plan to arrive in Las Galeras before dark.
Internal Flights to the Samana Peninsula
Check current information at www. DR1.com or call Aerodomca.
to get to Las Galeras
Galeras is on the eastern edge of the Samana Peninsula. Follow
the road from Samana town until you hit the beach….you
have reached the end of the road.
The closest airport to fly into is the Samana (also called El Catey) Airport. There are no hotels
or services near this airport and it is about an hour
drive to Samana town.
at this airport you will have to take a taxi or rent a car. During day time you can take a bus...walk outside the airport (1 km) till to the main road. (Advised only for the hardy traveler with light luggage).
From the Malecon in Samana town you can get a gua gua (local
public transportation that looks like a mini bus that has
fallen off a cliff) for about 3 US dollars (100 peso - have the correct change). The gua gua stops at sunset.
You can also get a private taxi from Samana town, and the
cost will depend on your negotiation skills, but about 1500
pesos would not be unreasonable - and expect up to 3000 pesos at night.
Vehicles – it is possible to rent a vehicle in the DR,
a jeep or four wheel drive is advised for the Samana Peninsula
if you intend to explore the area fully. It is possible to
rent a vehicle for a few days in Las Galeras. Driving in the
DR can be a bit of a challenge and it is best not to be on the roads after dark.
- Caribe Tours is the national bus line and has a fairly good
service from Santo Domingo to Samana. Dress warm as they blast the air con.
Gua Gua – privately owned mini vans that go from town
to town throughout the DR. Generally very crowded and inexpensive.
A common way to get from Samana to Las Galeras
Motorconcho – motorcycle taxi. A common way to get around
Las Galeras if you do not feel like walking.
Private Taxi – You can arrange a private taxi from any
of the major entry points. ( Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto
Plata, Punta Cana, Samana Airport (El Catey)) It will cost
you in the region of 70 – 350 US dollars depending
on the distance from the airport to Las Galeras.
Note: if you are coming from Punta Cana by taxi you will be dropped
at the wharf in Sabana del la Mar where you will get a boat
to Samana town.
La Hacienda Hostel accepts euro, US
dollars, and pesos. Like most places in Las Galeras, we do not
accept credit cards.
There is a bank in Las Galeras with an ATM. The daily withdrawal limit is 2000 pesos for the ATM. With your passport and credit card you can go into the bank and withdraw what you like.
It is possible to exchange
money in Las Galeras.
It is best not to rely totally on ATM withdrawals while in the DR and especially in Las Galeras (The ATM's are often out of money or not working in Las Galeras.)
general, if you take the normal, common sense precautions you
should be fine in Las Galeras. Be careful what you eat, drink
plenty of water, and avoid sunstroke.
It is wise
to cover exposed areas and wear mosquito repellent. If you are sensitive to mosquitoes, for your own piece of mind bring a portable mosquito net with you - they are very reasonably priced.
and scrapes may happen in the normal course of events,
especially if you are traveling with children. It is advisable
to carry a small first aid kit. (salt pills, disinfectant,
band aids, anti itch cream and so on)
There are no dangerous land animals (insects, spiders, snakes) in Las Galeras - despite what you may think about the size and variety of insects and spiders you may encounter. The red centipede can give a nasty bite so don't be tempted to handle it.
It is possible to use your cell phone in Las Galeras, coverage can be patchy.
International rates can be high so an option is to buy a local cellphone (for as low as 700 pesos). You will find this handy as most places don't have land lines.
WIFI is becoming common in Las Galeras and La Hacienda has WIFI. Please ensure you know how your smart phone or tablet works to connect to WIFI.
-There was no official place to do laundry in Las Galeras.
– You are advised to fill your tank in Samana as there
is no gas station (as you know it) in Las Galeras.
Galeras is one of the few places in the DR with
a reliable electrical supply. The standard is 110 voltage.
suggest the following;
Reading material, reef shoes and snorkel gear, batteries needed
other than AAA and AA, any gear needed for digital cameras,
an alarm clock, flashlight (because it can get as dark as the inside of a cow) , binoculars, small package
of hand wipes, sun protection, small first aid kit, comfortable
walking shoes, light weight long pants and long sleeved
shirt, travelers net if you are sensitive to mosquitoes, and light rain gear.
are about four shops in Las Galeras selling a variety of items
that normally appeal to visitors, including places to purchase
the typical Dominican paintings.
There are three shops where basic food and supplies
can be purchased. The french bakery produces fresh bread.
Galeras has a pharmacy.
the best site for local information on the DR, largely provided
by people who live in the DR.
Thorn Tree on Lonely Planet can be a useful source of information
and their DR guide book is good.
||Best hiking, biking and offroading trails in Las Galeras
watching with Kim
||Hostel in the centre of Santo Domingo (gets good reviews from La Hacienda guests)
||Direct flights to Samana from major cities
flights from Canada
||Direct flights from Canada to Samana
from east coast of USA
flights from the UK