On March 15th we arrived at Puerto Bahia, about 20 miles from the entrance of Samanà Bay. The marina pleasantly surprised us for the nice facilities and the friendly attitude of the personnel. It features wide berths, several restaurants, and two swimming pools that are at the disposal of the marina guests.
We were happy to get to know Alessandro, the Harbour Master, an Italian guy who chose to leave in the Dominican Republic since a few years; he gave us a lot of useful recommendations on what to see in the following days.
We rented a car for a day and visited the area around Samanà. We first went to Bahia del Rincòn, on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic, where we walked along one of the most beautiful beaches of the island, with a small river flowing into the sea.
We continued our day trip toward the “Boca del Diablo”, a hole on top of a cliff where air blows out violently because of the water and air compressed entering a cave in the rocks at sea level. It really gave us the impression of the devil’s breathing!!! We then drove to the “Salto del limon”; we walked along the shore of a small river covered by lush vegetation till a nice water fall.
The path was busy of little horses carrying tourists; we felt really sorry for them!
At the end of the afternoon we headed to Las Terrenas, an alive and popular village on the Northern see shore where we were able to make provisioning with a great selection of items and at very good prices (at the end!!!). Our touring day ended at an Italian restaurant – for once – where we had a very enjoyable dinner.
The following morning, upon Alessandro’s recommendation, we sailed a few miles to reach the National park of San Lorenzo where we anchored for the night being the only boat there. We were surrounded by mangroves where hundreds of birds were quietly resting.
Gunkholing by dinghy we got to a big cave covered by pictograms, drawings from the ancient population leaving there. The pictograms were representing animals such as whales, birds, bats, etc, as well as objects from everyday life. We kept exploring the channels flowing into the see and spent several hours just birdwatching: pelicans, gray and white herons, sterns, fregattas, etc. We were impressed by the confident attitude of the birds, which allowed us to get very close to them. The next day, following one of the channels, we landed in a small village where they cultivated rice and reared cattle. We returned to the marina in the evening where we stayed for a couple of additional days enjoying the swimming pool and the internet connection!
We can say that we reverted our initial unfavorable attitude toward the Dominican Republic, which we considered a crowded place exploited by tourism. In fact, we enjoyed very much the time spent there, the places we visited and the friendly spirit of the people we met.