When travelers think of visiting the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana or Santo Domingo might be the first destinations that come to mind.
However, Samaná is making news in its own right, with the recent launch of an airline route to this peninsula from a major U.S. airport hub.
On June 5, American Airlines began a new and seasonal route between Charlotte and Samaná. Operating now through August 16, 2021, the twice-a-week flight will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This route will resume on the same days from November 17 through November 27, 2021 and then again between December 18, 2021 and March 26, 2022.
“The seasonal CLT-AZS route was added in direct response to customer demand,” said Brian Metham, American Airlines’ senior specialist, global communications. “It’s operated with a dual-class 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft.”
With flying during this time, Metham said passengers flying to and from Samaná and the U.S. can use American’s Sherpa travel planning tool to become aware of current COVID-19 related travel mandates and restrictions. Introduced by the airline in August 2020, the web-based tool informs users of travel requirements such as taking a COVID-19 test and other guidelines pertaining to and from where they’re flying.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, passengers flying into the United States currently are required to get tested no more than three days before they travel by air. They also have to show their negative test result to your airline before boarding, or documentation of recovery.
In Samaná, Laboratorio Clínico Sireny in Las Terrenas is listed as providing both the antigen and PCR tests. More information relating to COVID-19 health and safety standards can also be found on the US. Embassy in the Dominican Republic’s website.
Another testing site option is at Viva Wyndham V Samaná, an adults-only resort also in Las Terrenas. The lux property is offering free antigen testing for U.S. travelers; PCR testing is also available but for a fee.
“Both [tests] are coordinated through the Guest Services department at the resort. Samples are taken at the hotel’s medical facility by laboratory staff,” said Amanda Santana, Viva Wyndham’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “The resort is also offering a flexible cancellation policy and free international travel insurance to all guests who book directly with us.”
In northeastern Dominican Republic, the Samaná Peninsula, or also referred to as Samaná, is described as a natural haven for wildlife and nature travelers. Each year, this rocky coastline region welcomes a plethora of humpback whales who head to Samaná Bay to mate and give birth to their calves during their winter season.
Other popular attractions around Samaná include Cayo Levantado, an island in Samaná Bay whose claim to fame is as the backdrop for a 1970 Bacardi commercial filmed there amid its white sand and palm tree landscape.
Belonging to the Dominican Republic’s National Park System, the Los Haitises National Park has been featured in the “Jurassic Park” and is still known for its mangroves, waterside high rock formations and caves adorned with petroglyphs and pictographs.
El Limón waterfall — or also known as Cascada el Limón or Salto El Limón— involves a 1.5-mile trek that can be done on foot or horseback through hilly terrain to reach this 130-foot cascading wonder. The waterfall is located near a small town called El Limón.
“For many, this region is considered the most beautiful part of the Dominican Republic,” said Santana. “There is lots to explore in the area and it is well connected by land and air. Yet it remains one of the DR’s most secluded and paradisiacal escape, featuring wild beaches, coconut plantations and rainforests.”