A little more than 150 kilometers from Santo Domingo, south of Samaná, is the town of Sabana de la Mar, a coastal municipality where you can enjoy fabulous excursions and ecotourism activities.
Sabana de la Mar is the largest town in the province of Hato Mayor del Rey, declared an ecotourism province two decades ago for its natural importance. So you can imagine that we are talking about a real paradise, with lots of things to do and visit, such as fascinating waterfalls, places to rest and live a unique vacation with family, friends or as a couple.
Today we are going to take a look at some of the best places to see in Sabana de la Mar and its surroundings, as well as the most impressive excursions you can enjoy if you visit this place.
Undoubtedly, the main reason why every year increases the number of ecotourism lovers who come from all over the world. It is one of the largest National Parks in the Dominican Republic, and the land it occupies is mostly in Sabana de la Mar.
One of the great attractions of this paradise is the largest mangrove area in the Caribbean, with species such as red and white mangrove. Other plant species that can be found are cedar or mahogany, as well as orchids of various species, topping off an extraordinary plant life.
As for the fauna, you cannot miss the immense amount of birds that populate the National Park, especially in the Cayo de los Pájaros, which is preferred by species such as the gannet, the pelican or the parrot, among many others. Also noteworthy is the presence of the Hispaniolan Hawkbird or Dominican Sparrowhawk, which is currently a protected species because it is in danger of extinction.
As for the rest of the animals, manatees and bottlenose dolphins can be found in the waters surrounding the whole place. On land you can observe the solenodon, a mammal that shadows scientists for being one of the few "living fossils" that exist, a name given to the species that have lived on the planet almost since its origin. It is also home to boas and sea turtles, which visit some of the most remote hummocks to lay their eggs.
Remember that you can book your excursion to this National Park from this link.
All of Caño Hondo's water flows into San Lorenzo Bay, which is of great importance to both sustainable tourism and scientists who want to investigate more about the formations here.
Bordering the gulf is a full selection of things to see and do. There are rivers full of native fauna and beaches like Punta Arena, which are visited daily by tourists looking to enjoy the experience to the fullest. There you can also taste the local cuisine and buy handicrafts if you want to take home a souvenir.
You can also visit caverns such as Boca de Tiburón, under a key in the middle of the bay, or the San Gabriel cavern, with an impressive variety of cave paintings and geological formations that have given it the title of "cathedral" of all the caverns and caves in the area.
If you are looking for an ecological hotel surrounded by waterfalls in which to rest, Caño Hondo is one of the places that will come to mind when you hear the word "Paradise". In fact it is known as Paradise Caño Hondo, and its environment is perfect to enjoy the water, with plenty of areas where you can take a bath listening to the murmur of the waterfalls hitting the stones from the heights and the songs of the birds. You can also kayak or canoe and enjoy a unique space.
It is also a good place to enjoy typical Dominican gastronomy. The Caño Hondo restaurant has an excellent buffet where you can taste exquisite fish and seafood, obtained in the bay.
Its beauty is so impressive that it has become one of the best ecotourism areas in the world, present in the lists of major specialized publications. Caño Hondo offers a very pleasant experience to everyone who visits it.
Sabana de la Mar and Samaná are the only cities in the Dominican Republic that are connected by ferry, which reduces travel time between the two by 90 percent.
The Sabana de la Mar Pier is fundamental for the fishermen of the area, who go out every day to gather the fruits that the sea offers. It is also the place from where we go whale watching, another of the attractions of visiting this area. The bay is a meeting point for humpback whales, which come every year to reproduce, and offer a unique natural spectacle for those who want to observe these animals in total freedom.
This beach is one of the many treasures in the Haitises National Park, and can only be reached by boat. This place has an easily accessible cave, inhabited since before colonial times by the Taino Indians, who left their mark in the interior.
Cueva de la Arena beach is not very big, but it is really beautiful. It has a house where fishermen live, and it is a good place to sunbathe after having experienced the adventure inside the cave.
Discover these and other places in Sabana de la Mar, a cultural and ecological paradise that has become one of the fastest growing destinations in the Dominican Republic.