samana, dominican republic

(as read in National  Geographic Traveler)

An intriguing vestige of the old caribbean is alive and well on this slumbering 30 mile peninsula on he spanish speaking Dominican Republic's northern oast. some of the locals are the progeny of 6,000 slaves traveling the underground railroad, who migrated here in 1824 from philadelphia. "in church, you can still hear them singing hymns in english." says local frank minaya, a direct descendant. other migrants come to sing a different tune-underwater. "during the winter mating season, we get almost the entire north atlantic humpback population," says kim beddall, a marine mammal specialist who pioneered whale watching in samana bay. across the bay at los haitises national park, you can kayak the creeks and crannies of a red mangrove jungle and enter bat caverns to contemplate rare pre-columbian pictographs. inland, small villages offer community based activities, such as an hour long jaunt on horseback to swim at el limon waterfall. stop in colmados (local stores) to tak to the beach. and face it, that's why you're really there.

pictures of samana:

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