Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | June 7, 2011

Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic

N 19° 11.66′ W 69° 21.31′

Puerto Bahia is a new resort outside of the town of Samaná, with a hotel, marina and condo residences lining the hillside, restaurants, pools, a spa, small grocery shop and tennis courts. It has the marks of a first class resort, and is a stark contrast to our last location, although we loved the quaint ambiance of Luperon.  George Bush from Crawford, TX, signed the guest book in January as one of the hotel’s first visitors.

Puerto Bahia lobby and bar overlooking the marina

Bob remembered visiting the Puerto Bahia exhibit at the Fort Lauderdale Boat show, which was helpful since the marina is not listed in all the cruising guidebooks yet. To stay on target with our budget, we limit marina time unless it offers some particular benefit or value. The marina charges a $1 per foot per night transient rate; a very inexpensive price as marina fees go. The Samaná anchorage is reputed to have some crime, including dinghy and motor thefts, and a less-than-friendly port entry process. The marina has excellent security, and they handled delivering the despacho to the port officials.

It was nice to have a break from two weeks at anchor and a chance to clean up the boat. The gals were thrilled to have dog walks on pristine grounds rather than muddy roads with little grass. The staff are extremely pleasant and well versed in customer service skills. It is a really nice place, and we hope their business picks up. Right now it is slow, attributed to “rainy season”.

Beautiful palm forests are abundant here, and provide a built-in landscape for the resort

This location has provided some good Spanish practice. I have the TellMeMore computer Spanish classes on board (similar to Rosetta Stone), and am plodding through the lessons. I purchased 10 levels in my enthusiasm to master the language, and at my current pace that will be sufficient material for the rest of my life. Having real life communications in Spanish has been fun and helps retention. On laundry day, we decided it best to use the shore facilities rather than using the ship’s washer on the flybridge, running the waste water overboard, then hanging our clothes out for all the guests at this nice place to see.  I looked up “where is the laundromat?” – “donde esta la lavanderia?” and thought I had it made. Then I found that I had to figure out how to purchase tokens, identify which tokens to use for the washer and which ones for the dryer, and communicate that I wanted them charged to my marina bill. Then the dryer wouldn’t start and I had to report back “la secadora no funciona” and figure out whether it was user error, and inquire if there was another dryer somewhere else, or if they were going to repair it today. They took back my tokens, but then got the dryer started, so I had to explain to the new person on duty what happened and get back the appropriate number of tokens to finish the wash, and get my account straightened out. Whew!! Hopefully it will get better with time and practice.

Today we went to the actual town of Samaná, also known as Santa Barbara de Samaná. Mr. Luigi, the resort’s general manager, offered a courtesy ride to town, and then we were to arrange return transportation on our own. The town was only a few miles away, but the steep hill would have made for a rough hike in the heat. We got to see the harbor, walked along the waterfront, explored the downtown area, and picked up a few more provisions. We found what we needed in the shops, although they were very modest compared to Puerto Plata’s La Sirena market.

The Samaná anchorage held many vessels that supported the cruise ship visits and a few cruising boats

Downtown Samaná

Waterfront park close to downtown

Waiting for the afternoon downpour to stop was a good reason to share a REALLY cold Bohemia Especial

The town hosts cruise ships on occasion that anchor outside the harbor and tender their guests to town or to Cayo Levantado, a picturesque island not far offshore. We timed our trip to town to miss the Enchantment of the Seas, due to visit tomorrow.  Samaná seems a little spoiled by the cruise ship culture. It is the only destination so far where we have been aggressively approached by vendors.  Interestingly, we have not seen any panhandlers in this relatively poor country, only people trying to earn our business.

Motoconchos have a little carriage attached to a small motorcycle to carry passengers. We hired one to take us back to Puerto Bahia.

As we descended the steep hill to the marina, we wondered how good the brakes are on these things with the added weight of the carriage and extra passengers

It looks like Wednesday may be departure day. We are planning our Mona Passage crossing to allow the opportunity to stop in Punta Cana, on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, if we decide to break up the long trip.



  1. Samana looked like a very nice place to stop! Good luck with your crossing of Mona Passage!

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