Cayo Levantado

Península de Samaná

A gorgeous public beach lies on the western third of this lush island, 7km from Samaná. It's the only section that's open to the public – a five-star hotel occupies the rest. Boatmen at Samaná's pier can get you there for RD$250 per person round-trip; groups of up to 15 people can negotiate a private full-day boat for RD$3000 round-trip.

Note that the idyll can be somewhat marred by the commercialization of the experience. Large cruise ships dock here regularly, and the facilities, including a few restaurants and bars, don’t offer much peace and quiet. If you choose to visit, try to go in mid- to late afternoon, when most of the activity is winding down.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Península de Samaná attractions

1. Playa las Flechas

3.15 MILES

This small beach, 5km east of Samaná, is easily accessible from town. It's thought by many historians to be the site of a small and short battle between…

2. El Museo de las Ballenas

4.72 MILES

The little-visited, old fashioned Whale Museum is housed in a dilapidated building south of the center. It won't tell you more than you'll get on a whale…

3. Playa Rincón

8.73 MILES

Pitch-perfect Playa Rincón, with soft, nearly white sand and multihued water good for swimming, stretches an uninterrupted 3km – enough for every day…

4. Playita

9.87 MILES

Better than the beach in town, Playita (Little Beach) is easy to get to on foot or by motoconcho (motorcycle taxi). It’s a stretch of tannish sand and…

5. Boca del Diablo

10.31 MILES

'Mouth of the Devil’ is an impressive vent or blowhole, where waves rush up a natural channel and blast out of a hole in the rocks. Car or motorcycle is…

6. Playa Frontón

12.11 MILES

Playa Frontón boasts some of the area’s best snorkeling. Apparently it’s also popular with drug smugglers and Dominicans braving the Mona Passage on their…

7. Playa Madama

12.23 MILES

Playa Madama is a small beach framed by high bluffs at the edge of the country; keep in mind there’s not much sunlight here in the afternoon.

8. Cascada El Limón

13.22 MILES

Tucked away in surprisingly rough landscape, surrounded by peaks covered in lush greenery, is the 52m-high El Limón waterfall. A beautiful swimming hole…