During my visit to Samana, Dominican Republic, my friends and I were looking for a fun-filled day that was both relaxing and entertaining. When we read the description for Moto Marina’s tour to Los Haitises National Park and Cayo Levantado Island, we immediately signed up. The tour offered everything we were looking for, hanging out on a beautiful island, a scenic boat ride and some on foot adventures exploring caves.
The tour started with a boat ride, where we were offered rum and coke to start the journey off with as we headed to Los Haitises National Park. It is a protected forest that has had very little disturbance and mainly accessible by boat. The number of tourists allowed to visit are limited in order to keep it conserved. As we approached the park, I felt like I was tossed into the opening scene of Jurassic World. We mightttt have started humming the movie’s theme song as we arrived (hehe). I didn’t know where to look first! Not only was the landscape stunning but there were tons birds flying overhead as they nest on many of the islands.
There are caves throughout Los Haitises that were created by water erosion. We stopped at three caves, each incredibly different from each other. Years ago, Native Americans inhabited them and left their mark with various artwork. It was surreal to stand in the middle of all that history. We hiked around, exploring the different parts of the cave while we learned more background information from our guide. I didn’t realize how beautiful caves would be! The rock formations made me feel as if I was on another planet and all of the openings led out to gorgeous views of the national park.
After cave exploring, we hopped back in our boat for a fun ride to Cayo Levantado Island. Our initial ride to Los Haitises was very laid back and calming but on the way to the island, our driver switched it up! We drove much faster, speeding over waves, bouncing up and down in our seats. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. Once we arrived to the island, all I could see was palm trees and crystal blue water. I was definitely ready for some beach time!
When we first arrived to the island, we ate at a lunch buffet, which was included in the tour. It had a great variety of salad, chicken, fish, rice, beans, pasta.. basically everything you need to fill up after an eventful morning. After eating, we had three hours to do whatever we wanted. There was a strip of souvenir stands, so we decided to do some shopping. The locals that owned them were friendly and even negotiated prices down for us. We walked away with beautiful jewelry, handmade wooden animal statues and shawl beach wraps.
Then, it was time to relax on the beach and dip in the dazzling water! I assumed the prices on the island would be expensive but you can rent a beach chair for only $2 an hour, not a bad deal! Some of us got Pina Coladas in a pineapple and Coco Loco’s which is a coconut filled with juice and rum, each was only $4. I was happily proven wrong on my price expectations!
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, as we eventually had to leave the island. We got one last relaxing boat ride back to the port before the tour was over. Even though we were returning, the workers were still serving us fruit and rum on the boat, which made it even harder to leave!
**Thank you Moto Marina Tours for providing my tour. As always, my opinions are my own.