Escape the mob scene cruise line tours on this exclusive small group Samana orientation tour with usually no more than 16 guests per guide. Get a real feel for the island through a local's eye
You will drive in an open-air safari vehicle to a typical village, where you will have a presentation of local items you can sample, including local fruits, nuts, moonshine and some locally grown and processed HOT CHOCOLATE! It's like tapping a Chocolate tree! Bring along a little spending money, as you will have time in the community co-op/gift shop to purchase cocoa or other local products for gifts.
Next, you will pass through a very small country town, where there is a hand-rolled cigar factory. If they are working, a stop will be made.
We then head down a non-paved road (bumpy) to reach a semi-secluded natural beach, where the view of the mountains diving into the ocean is just awesome. Although the beach is not safe for swimming, it more than makes up for that with its natural beauty. In this setting you will enjoy a typical Dominican buffet (fresh fish and chicken) with as much local beer, soda and water as you can drink (and maybe even some local rum!).
After lunch you will visit the Lulu Waterfalls. A 10-minute walk from the parking area along a fairly moderate trail will bring you to this jungle setting. Local kids are on hand to help those guests needing help along the trail or crossing the river via 6-8 sandbags. If you ask for their help, a dollar tip is suggested for services rendered. They do not beg for handouts. Here you will have approximately 20 minutes free time to take a quick swim, jump from the rocks above into the water, or just sit and enjoy the setting or take photos.
Please be aware that most of the roads traveled during the tour are not paved, and bumps are to be expected. If heavy rains make the waterfall or beach inaccessible, alternative sites will be substituted.
For guests wanting to add a little "zip" to their tour, they should book the Zip, Waterfall and Lunch #11tour. Both tours travel together except for the time at the Zip line.
Reviewer: Canadian Cruiser
We found this to be an excellent excursion, primarily due to the personability of the guides. We also found them informative and found this to be a relaxed, enjoyable, non-rushed tour.
I would have given it a 5 stars, but the only complaint that I have is that we were supposed to start the excursion at a certain time but it was like an hour later because they kept waiting for some people that were extremely late so that was a waste of time. other than that the excursion itself was great, nice views of the Samana rainforest and everyday living. They took us to a cigar shop and showed us step by step how they process the cigar. Also went to a little farm where they show us different exotic fruits and gave us hot chocolate tasting. We also went down a small hill which was kind of slippery because it was raining off and on and arrived at a small waterfall. It was a nice place to take pictures. We had lunch in front of the beach. The food was tasty, fried fish, rice and beans, plantains, salad and of course Presidente beer and rum was available during the whole excursion. Overall I had a great time.