Most amongst us envision a Caribbean vacation as sipping from a coconut while reclining in a hammock on a soft, white sandy beach. Fly into Punta Cana and you’ll see what I mean. The “sun, sand, and sea” image tourism catchphrases are typical of most of the Caribbean islands.
When everything feels like an uphill struggle, Just think of the view from the top.
One’s vacation, however, need not be limited to beaches and hammocks. The cocoa palm tree covered hills offer respite from the unforgiving and hot summer sun. Hidden in these hills are many hiking trails through a tropical jungle like woodland which house astonishing flora and fauna. Samana has tucked away waterfalls in these green hillsides.
You will have to get out and explore them yourself, just be patient enough to find them. There’s something off-the-beaten path for every kind of traveler and it’s fairly inexpensive and healthy too.
For the next 20 minutes or so, we had the amazing experience of following a local farmer and his herd of 6 bulls and cows up and down a hilly dirt path surrounded by jungle.
Samana is a large peninsula in the heart of the Caribbean. With verdant mountains running through its interior, the hiking possibilities in this Jurassic Park like region are endless. Samana’s mountains are rich with waterfalls, rivers, and endemic plants. The mountains conceal Samana’s endemic fauna such as the extremely rare Ridgway’s Hawk in the lush limestone karst forest of Los Haitises.
Hiking isn’t very popular amongst local Dominican people. They don’t have a culture of backpacking and camping either. What Samana has though, is a mountainous interior teeming with beautiful trees, plants, birds, sweeping valleys, magnificent views towards the ocean and the Bay, rivers, waterfalls, great weather all year long. More than ideal for hiking and trekking throughout the year.
We knew it would be worth it if we could make it, but were very unsure if we would be able to find the right paths, as everything is unmarked and really only used by local farmers.
There is a continuously growing number of people who already regularly make use of Samana’s outdoors and are reaping the benefits. That’s what we call the Triple-H life-hack.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of walking through the palm trees and arriving on the empty, wild beach. After hiking for miles, not seeing another soul around, and ending up on a beach that looked straight out of Swiss Family Robinson, we felt an eerie but awe-struck excitement. It was the most remote place I’ve ever visited and the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt. The somewhat cloudy skies, wind, and rough surf added to the ambiance.
Hiking Makes You Happier And Healthier.
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”, said John Muir. People who do hit the trails battle bug bites, blisters, and bruises for the sake of overcoming challenges. They experience enjoying quality time within nature. But along with jungle like trails and ocean views comes an abundance of mental and physical perks.
Research learns that spending time outdoors increases attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by more than 50 percent. Trekking and walking get the creative juices flowing far more than sitting. Hiking works out your body as it does your brain. Just an hour of hiking will burn over 500 calories. Hiking is a great way to get a serious workout without putting too much pressure on your joints. Plus, tramping through rough and wild trails on a regular basis decreases your blood pressure and cholesterol. Some research suggests that the physical benefits of hiking extend far beyond cardiovascular health.
Using hiking as an additional therapy helps people with depression feel less hopeless, depressed and suicidal. It may even inspire those suffering from it to lead a more active lifestyle. Hiking offers huge mental benefits. Being out in nature, away from the business of our daily lives and technology, allows people to connect with themselves and nature in a way that brings about peace and a sense of well-being.
So long treadmills, we’re going rogue! Explore how being outdoors, walking or hiking, makes you healthier, happier and full of adventure!
Cabo Cabron National Park offers travelers a taste of old Dominican Republic—a place and time before all-inclusive resorts and the tourists touched down on this beautiful Caribbean island. With uninhabited coastlines, rocky cliffs and rugged trails, this protected national park is one of the most remote locations in Samana.
Visitors can freely hike the rough and challenging trails of this area, which winds through lush tropical vegetation and snake up difficult passes. Guides are available to help more experienced travelers navigate through Cabo Cabron. Maps are rarely of any use in this region. While this national park has no famous beaches, a trek to the secluded volcanic area tucked into the hillside of this national treasure boasts a refreshing natural water source that’s perfect for cooling off after a long—but amazing—hiking experience.
Fronton national park
Not far from Las Galeras is El Cabito. On a cliffside at the ocean. Actually, it is an ideal base for various hikes and they can arrange experienced guides too. If you want to explore the utmost northern region with the huge Cabo Samana area than this is your starting point.
One can explore the bat caves and cliffs near Boca del Diablo. An adjacent national park provides access to Playa Madama and Frontón, both of which have retained their original charm.
When you are serious, then get Wikiloc on your gsm. A very handy app with lots of trail paths to find your way easy in the magnificent area of Samana. It is free and very useful. You can download many paths and trails to explore yourself.
The El Cabito restaurant on the north coast, near Las Galeras, is an ideal place to start exploring the trails in this area.