Dominican Jewels - Haitises and Cayo Levantado
Duration: Half Day
The Dominican Republic is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, and some of the most beautiful can be found on the northeast coast around the Samaná Peninsula. This region is the epitome of a tropical Caribbean paradise, boasting crystal clear aquamarine waters and pristine white sandy beaches lined with coconut palms and lush vegetation. If you dream of relaxing on your own idyllic island during your holiday in the Dominican, this tour provides the perfect opportunity. Visit the stunning Cayo Levantado and enjoy a day of pure escapism in paradise.
Until the late 19th century, the Samaná Peninsula was an island in its own right, separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. Over time, the channel was filled by sediment, which joined it to the mainland to form a peninsula. Today, it is considered one of the most beautiful corners of the country, remaining unspoiled by mass tourism. Located at the entrance of Samaná Bay (the Dominican Republic’s largest bay), the beautiful island of Cayo Levantado is just one of the jewels of this region.
The island is also known as Bacardi Island after featuring on advertisements for the well-known brand of rum. If you could imagine a paradise island, this would be it. Powdery soft white sands merge with translucent turquoise waters; coconut palms sway gently in the breeze whilst tropical birds soar overhead. Let your cares float away as you soak up the sun and take a refreshing swim, or spend time snorkeling in the shallow lagoons and discover the majestic natural treasures under the sea. A typical Dominican lunch will be freshly prepared on the island and served at open-air tables for you to enjoy wonderful tropical vistas of the beach and ocean.
Another Dominican jewel on the Samaná Peninsula is Los Haitises National Park, which is accessible only by boat. Located in the Bay of Samaná, this protected area comprises lush tropical forests, coastal mangroves, mountains, rivers and waterfalls, and is a haven for an incredible diversity of wildlife. Being near the coast, the park hosts over 100 species of birds, both native and migratory, including egrets, pelicans, herons and brown boobies. The reserve is a mecca for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
Aside from the park’s rich flora and fauna, Los Haitises is famous for its unique geological formations. Sail around dramatic rock islands, spectacular cliff faces and an extensive cave system, which has formed over millions of years. The limestone caves were once inhabited by the indigenous Taino Indians, who resided in this area before Columbus came to shore. Inside you will see ancient Taino hieroglyphs that hold great historical and archaeological value, as well as magnificent formations of stalactite and stalagmites. These caves are also believed to have been the hideout of some of the most notorious pirates of the Caribbean during the 17th century.
Try and visit both Cayo Levantado and Los Haitises National Park if you can. These breathtaking natural treasures will undoubtedly be amongst the highlights of your Caribbean holiday.
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