If you love a beach escape with fewer crowds and near-zero huge all-inclusive resorts, then you’ll love Las Galeras–a small fishing village turned tourism hub, tucked on the far eastern tip of the Samaná Peninsula.

The tropical scenery on the remote Atlantic coastline of Las Galeras is breathtaking–and I dare say more impressive than Las Terrenas. Yes, it’s way more rustic and less developed in these parts, but that’s what makes it special.

Las Galeras is one of my personal favorites, and I made my second trip there over New Year’s weekend, to ring in 2018. No regrets!

Here are six reasons to visit Las Galeras and make that extra long journey to get there.

  1. Playa Rincón

It is one of the Dominican Republic’s most famous beaches – an undeveloped five kilometers of white sand, peppered with giant coconut trees, tucked away on the easternmost corner of the Samaná Peninsula: Playa Rincón. I’ve been here several times in the past by boat, and explored all of its sides, but last week I hopped on a motorbike taxi and went from one end of the beach all the way to the other (where the river meets the sea and forms a gorgeous natural pool). We rode along the sandy backroad that runs parallel to the beach. It took over five minutes of video time and my arm got tired! But what a way to take in this full tropical splendor. Check out the full video clip (sped up) in the BIO ☝🏽☝🏽 or at bit.ly/DRVisitorYoutube Sit back, turn up the volume, click on HD and full screen… and feel that warm #DominicanRepublic and #Caribbean sun. It might just get you booking ASAP! • • • • • #drvisitor #sunandstilettos #traveltuesday #moondominicanrepublic #surroundmewithwater #ipreview @preview.app

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Want more? Check out my clip on Youtube from my recent motorbike ride from one end of Playa Rincon all the way to the other, where the river meets the sea.

2. Río Caño Frío

On the eastern edge of Playa Rincón is where the river meets the sea–and a popular hangout you wouldn’t know of unless someone tipped you off. You get a gorgeous emerald, fresh water river to swim in–Río Caño Frío–while also being steps away from the beach (though the waves on this side are stronger).

You also get local meals (fresh seafood and more) at a fraction of the price charged on the other end of Playa Rincón, where most tourists spend the day.

Waist deep in work again, but the happy vacation memories are helping!

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3. Playa Frontón

4. La Playita

Located right in Las Galeras, a five-minute motorbike taxi ride will land you on this gorgeous beach. Walk to the far end, away from the crowds, and you’ll find more privacy (loungers for a small fee) as well as…. a semi-nude beach section. It is normally illegal to be nude in any way on Dominican beaches, but I guess some “private” sections allow it (read: lots of Europeans in these parts).

5. The seafood

Aaah the seafood! It’s good all over the Samaná Peninsula, to be honest. But it just feels fresher in Las Galeras, and it’s cheap.

6. The Sunsets

Nuff’ said. It was cloudy and rainy when I was there this time, but there’s rarely a day without a great sunset on this Atlantic coastline.

Looking for more? Enjoy this video recap from my recent trip over New Year’s.

Have you been to Las Galeras? Share in the comments on this post, or on YouTube!

Lebawit Lily Girma

A former corporate attorney, Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning travel writer, photographer, and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for US-publisher Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic. Originally from Ethiopia, Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–fluent in four languages, she has lived in eight countries besides the U.S., including Belize, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Her articles and photography focusing on the Caribbean region have been published in AFAR Magazine, CNN, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, and others. She is the recipient of the 2016 Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

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