Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

Under the skies of Cayo Los Pájaros
Helmsman at the stern of a boat, next to the Cayo Los Pájaros de Los Haitises.
dark anchorage
Boat enters Mouth of Tiburon de Los Haitises
Cayo de Los Pajaros
Frigates fly over the Cayo de Los Pájaros, in Los Haitises.
A (un)Communal Wait
Horse riding guides await guests to take them to Cascada Limón.
pure exhibitionism
Male frigate with Cayo Los Pájaros in Los Haitises.
cow stew
A frightened cow leaves the Cascada Limón lagoon, on the Samaná Peninsula.
The Owner's Landing
Macaw on a keeper in front of Cascata Limón, on the Samaná Peninsula.
light of that day
Opening in one of the many caves de los Haitises, off the Samaná Peninsula.
the last goal
Couple on the seafront of a beach in Las Terrenas, on the Samaná Peninsula.
lost cow
Cow in the jungle, next to Cascada Limón, Peninsula of Samaná.
Read from the house Las Ballenas
Eduardo Cancu irons Las Ballenas cigar packs.
in the sun
Guide under an opening in one of the many caves in Los Haitises.
Cascada Limón visitor holds a blue macaw.
Cueva de La Linea backwards
Boat about to leave the mangrove swamp surrounding the Cueva de la Línea, Los Haitises.
Silver Peninsula
Bathers on the waterfront of Las Terrenas on the Samaná Peninsula
In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.

The Caribbean Revolt of Las Terrenas

We are approaching the end of September.

The official Caribbean hurricane season is halfway through. We've been lucky. The storms that were building by this time to the east of the Atlantic were bent north.

Days later, one of them, Lorenzo, strengthened to a category 5 hurricane, defied any logic of the weather. It advanced the North Atlantic and lashed the Azores. It still had the energy to torment the coasts of Ireland and Great Britain.

The Caribbean seaside of Las Terrenas that welcomed us also showed a different face from the sunny turquoise-emerald that attracted vacationers from other parts of the world in a flood.

Agitated by a Karen tropical storm that curved abruptly to the north as it passed beyond the Lesser Antilles, the darkened and churning sea extended in vigorous, frothy waves to the base of the coconut trees and to the edge of the already shortened sands.

Las Terrenas Beach, Peninsula of Samaná, Dominican Republic

Bathers on the waterfront of Las Terrenas on the Samaná Peninsula

To the added frustration of bathers, these days, lifeguards from offshore hotels held up the red flag and followed instructions to forbid them from entering the water, even for mere refreshing dips. That left the pools of shiny tiles and fresh water. It wasn't the same thing. Nor to what had gone there.

We decided to walk out of its range. A few hundred meters to the east, entry into the sea was less deep and problematic. We realized that there were no currents, just the normal and controllable movement of the waves, so common on our Portuguese beaches. We had fun facing them and hitching rides from them, until we saw the crown of coconut trees high above our heads.

We resume the walk. As we approached Punta Bonita on the Samaná Peninsula, we realized that part of the projects – the most exposed to the sea – had not yet recovered from the damage caused by hurricanes or storms of the past season.

And how the vagaries of the climate made volatile investments made thinking above all about the long Caribbean lull from December to May, when that same coastline and those of the Caribbean in general take on their immaculate views of sea, sky and lush vegetation.

Cascada Limon, Cigars of Other Flavors

The next day dawns radiant. We left the hotel at eight in a convertible truck that began by making up its capacity with passengers from other hotels on the seafront and from distant and soon frigid places in the world: Canadians, French, Germans, Americans, among others.

Then, we follow the path through the green and picturesque little lands and terrains of the peninsula of Samaná. As is customary on these tours, the company had a scheduled stop at a local store, in the case of cigars. It was Las Ballenas, located in El Cruce. We went down. We crossed the road after giving way to two young men who had emerged from the end of the road at a gallop on savage horses.

We entered. We immediately smell the widespread smell of natural tobacco, with hints of the various aromas in which cigars were made there: mango, vanilla, brandy and others. One cigarette working by hand behind a small counter focuses attention.

It attracts a curious group of spectators who follow their busy hands cutting and rolling the tobacco leaves until they reach another of the handcrafted cigars that gave the brand its name. And to another. And to others more.

The different Las Ballenas packages surround us. In a small separate work station, a younger craftsman, armed with an old iron and wearing an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball t-shirt, tries to enlarge them. We approach you and get to know your craft better.

Employee at Las Ballenas cigar shop, Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic

Eduardo Cancu irons Las Ballenas cigar packs.

Afraid of destroying the packages he was responsible for finalizing, Eduardo Cancu barely takes his eyes off the iron. Still, it gives us enough rope to realize that it processes a good hundreds a day. And that, “thank God, that's not the only task he carries out in the company”.

We all return to the truck and travel mode. For a mere 2km, the same ones that were from there Rancho Limón from where we were supposed to leave towards the homonymous waterfall.

As soon as we got back to the ground, we came face to face with a small crowd of expectant Dominicans from the area, each holding his horse. More outsiders arrive. A person responsible for the operation of putting them on horseback calls his fellow countrymen according to any criteria.

Little by little, the foreigners are invited to mount the assigned horse and follow them into the forest guided by their dismounted squires.

Horseback Riding Guides, Cascada Limón, Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic

Horse riding guides await guests to take them to Cascada Limón.

We are not one of the first to receive a horse, or anything like that. To compensate, the guides that suit us are young, fun and unconscious. Moments after we leave, we are already urged to pull at the horse's trot. For them, we could even have completed the route at a gallop, and it is not entirely unrelated to the fact that one of them is called Geronimo.

But the route was rocky, irregular and muddy, uninviting to large animals. Even so, we took the lead in a flash.

On the last winding descent to the waterfall, we passed a lost cow that stalked all this action suspiciously from the middle of the rainforest. Now, when we disassemble, already overlooking the waterfall Limón, without realizing either how or why, this or another almost identical cow swam in panic, circling, inside the waterfall's lagoon.

Stewed cow, Cascada Limón, Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic

A frightened cow leaves the Cascada Limón lagoon, on the Samaná Peninsula.

The cow takes two more laps, realizes that there is only an exit from the side where humans watch, in disbelief, the swimming she practiced, and resigns herself. Finally, he leaves the pond, messed up and out of control. It forces us all to take refuge from its unpredictable trajectory. When most of the truck's passengers gathered there, the animal was already gone.

Due to the lack of rain in the previous weeks, the Waterfall Limón exhibited a contained flow. Thus, the protagonism passed almost directly from the bovine to two macaws that opportunistic entrepreneurs took there to earn some pesos each time someone gave in to the chromatic and instagrammatic attraction of taking pictures with them.

Visitor with Macaw, Cascada Limón, Peninsula of Samaná, Dominican Republic

Cascada Limón visitor holds a blue macaw.

Cow outside, humans inside. The lagoon soon filled with bathers eager to cool off from the humid, chlorophyllinous heat of the rainforest. There we also dive and relax for a while. After which we return to the ride, this time uphill.

We found that most of the pseudo-jockeys had stopped at a small craft and food shop at the top of the ramp. We dismounted to investigate it and buy the bottled water we were already in short supply. A salesman hears us chatter.

Even if we spoke our usual original Portuguese, not Brazilian, it recognizes the language. “Portuguese? My bankroll is good for you! Nobody sells that cheap. Only cheaper at Pingo Doce!” he shoots, amused.

In the case of Dominican Republic, a destination in Portugal for a long time, it didn't surprise us beyond that a cibao from the rural interior of Hispaniola were aware of the advertising slogans of Portuguese supermarkets.

Incursion to Los Haitises, the Dominican “Land of the Mountains”

We had been circling the peninsula of Samaná for some time, from the north coast to the interior rancher. Three days later, it was time for us to go to its bay. From Las Terrenas we travel diagonally to the south coast of the peninsula, towards the port city of Samaná.

We got into a boat with a fishing profile. In three times, we set sail from the jetty to the bay in front of the city. We sail under the Puente Peatonal de Cayo Samaná. Shortly after, we faced a dense forest with an incredible concentration of coconut palms stretching from the seashore to the top of the slope.

We are in favor of the swell, so that, with no maritime traffic to condition it, the boat advances stabilized, at high speed and diagonally, from one side of the bay to the other.

Half an hour later, we glimpse the colony of rounded and forested hills between 30 and 50 meters – lomites, that's what the Dominicans call them – which signals the entrance to the Bahia de San Lorenzo and the access to Los Haitises National Park, further inland.

As we head deeper into the park, we pass some of these lomites independent. Some appear alone, others in duos or trios that seem to float over the sea.

Boca de Tiburón boat, Los Haitises

Boat enters Mouth of Tiburon de Los Haitises

Connoisseurs of these labyrinthine domains, the helmsman and the guide take us straight to a cave known as mouth of shark, the hollow interior of a Haiti (mountain in the Taíno tribal dialect) to which we were quick to surrender.

Slowly, slowly, they anchor the boat on the beach hidden inside the cave. We disembark onto the soaked sand and inspect the inverted scenery in its time-carved limestone frame.

Returning to the sunny Haitises, we point to Cayo de los Pájaros, a rocky formation crowned with vegetation and which, even at that distance, we could see overflown by dozens of birds.

Frigates, Cayo de Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic

Frigates fly over the Cayo de Los Pájaros, in Los Haitises.

We get a little closer. Enough to appreciate the peculiar flights of frigates that took us back to the prehistoric imagery of conflicting flocks of pterosaurs. And, in eight or nine male frigates, in particular, the scarlet hearts they have under their crop and which they inflate to win over females for mating.

Male frigate, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic

Male frigate on the Cayo de Los Pájaros in Los Haitises.

A few vultures that hovered in the same airspace above the verdant islet broke the frigates' exclusivity without disrespecting the uniformity of the blackness that dotted the blue sky.

From the avian Haiti of Cayo de los Pájaros, we set sail for another of the park's various caves, filled with pictograms and petroglyphs there bequeathed by the ancestors of the Taínos natives found by Christopher Columbus and his men at these stops.

Cave guide, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic

Guide under an opening in one of the many caves in Los Haitises.

In order to avoid the desecration of this heritage, the authorities keep guards at the small anchorage that gives access to the cave. One of them rests sitting in a chair. He is wearing a gray cap and t-shirt, green trousers and wellies. On his belly and chest, he keeps a shotgun with sawed-off pipes, ready for anything.

From that cave, we navigate to one of the park's mangrove areas. We followed a channel delimited by the amphibious roots of these trees until we came across a new dock.

Vessel in Los Haitises, Dominican Republic

Boat about to leave the mangrove swamp surrounding the Cueva de la Línea, Los Haitises.

We were at the entrance to Cueva de la Línea, another cave patrolled by bats and studded with more pictographic inscriptions. This one, too, has a natural opening that displays the resplendent green of the forest above.

Visitors after visitors are photographed in that underworld. Until an unexpected overpopulation of the cave forces them all to disband. We traversed the same mangrove channel.

However, we returned to the secluded sea of ​​Los Haitises and the much more open Bahia of San Lorenzo. We make the return to the port of Samaná against the wind, with the boat always jumping over small waves. Much smaller than the ones we found to resist returning to the beaches of Las Terrenas.

Henri Pittier NP, Venezuela

PN Henri Pittier: between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera da Costa

In 1917, botanist Henri Pittier became fond of the jungle of Venezuela's sea mountains. Visitors to the national park that this Swiss created there are, today, more than they ever wanted
Margarita Island ao Mochima NP, Venezuela

Margarita Island to Mochima National Park: a very Caribbean Caribe

The exploration of the Venezuelan coast justifies a wild nautical party. But, these stops also reveal life in cactus forests and waters as green as the tropical jungle of Mochima.
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

The Desired City

Many treasures passed through Cartagena before being handed over to the Spanish Crown - more so than the pirates who tried to plunder them. Today, the walls protect a majestic city always ready to "rumbear".
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

At the gates of PN Tayrona, Santa Marta is the oldest continuously inhabited Hispanic city in Colombia. In it, Simón Bolívar began to become the only figure on the continent almost as revered as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Enriquillo: the Great Lake of the Antilles

Between 300 and 400 km2, situated 44 meters below sea level, Enriquillo is the supreme lake of the Antilles. Regardless of its hypersalinity and the stifling, atrocious temperatures, it's still increasing. Scientists have a hard time explaining why.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Longest Colonial Elder in the Americas

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Saona Island, Dominican Republic

A Savona in the Antilles

During his second voyage to the Americas, Columbus landed on an enchanting exotic island. He named it Savona, in honor of Michele da Cuneo, a Savoyard sailor who saw it as an outstanding feature of the greater Hispaniola. Today called Saona, this island is one of the beloved tropical edens of the Dominican Republic.

Montana Redonda and Rancho Salto Yanigua, Dominican Republic

From Montaña Redonda to Rancho Salto Yanigua

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Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

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Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

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Visitors in Jameos del Água, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Architecture & Design
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

By itself, Lanzarote would always be a Canaria by itself, but it is almost impossible to explore it without discovering the restless and activist genius of one of its prodigal sons. César Manrique passed away nearly thirty years ago. The prolific work he left shines on the lava of the volcanic island that saw him born.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

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Conflicted Way
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

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Singapore, Success and Monotony Island

The Island of Success and Monotony

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Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Bride gets in car, traditional wedding, Meiji temple, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

A Matchmaking Sanctuary

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Man: an Ever Tested Species

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kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia
Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

The Red Center is home to some of Australia's must-see natural landmarks. We are impressed by the grandeur of the scenarios but also by the renewed incompatibility of its two civilizations.

Amberris Caye, Belize

Belize's Playground

Madonna sang it as La Isla Bonita and reinforced the motto. Today, neither hurricanes nor political strife discourage VIP and wealthy vacationers from enjoying this tropical getaway.

portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

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improvised bank
Ibo Island, Mozambique

Island of a Gone Mozambique

It was fortified in 1791 by the Portuguese who expelled the Arabs from the Quirimbas and seized their trade routes. It became the 2nd Portuguese outpost on the east coast of Africa and later the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. With the end of the slave trade at the turn of the XNUMXth century and the passage from the capital to Porto Amélia, Ibo Island found itself in the fascinating backwater in which it is located.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel
Natural Parks

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Agua Grande Platform, Iguacu Falls, Brazil, Argentina
UNESCO World Heritage
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
Zorro's mask on display at a dinner at the Pousada Hacienda del Hidalgo, El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle

El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
church, our lady, virgin, guadalupe, mexico
San Cristóbal de las Casas a Campeche, Mexico

A Relay of Faith

The Catholic equivalent of Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Guadalupe moves and moves Mexico. Its faithful cross the country's roads, determined to bring the proof of their faith to the patroness of the Americas.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
São João Farm, Pantanal, Miranda, Mato Grosso do Sul, sunset
Fazenda São João, Miranda, Brazil

Pantanal with Paraguay in Sight

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The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.