Los Haitises National Park
POINTS OF INTEREST
Los Haitises National ParkA highlight of any visit to the Samaná Peninsula is Los Haitises National Park (pronounced High-tee-sis), which is across Samaná Bay. The park is famous for its karst limestone formations, caves, and grottoes filled with pictographs and petroglyphs left by the indigenous Taínos. The park is accessible only by boat, and a professionally guided kayaking tour is highly recommended (a licensed guide from a tour company or the government is mandatory for any visitor). You'll paddle around dozens of dramatic rock islands and spectacular cliff faces, while beautiful coastal birds—magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans, brown booby, egrets, and herons—swirl around overhead. A good tour will also include the caverns, where your flashlight will illuminate Taíno petroglyphs. It's a continual sensory experience, and you'll feel tiny, like a human speck surrounded by geological grandeur. DominicanShuttles (DominicanShuttles.com) can arrange a park tour and a stay at the adjacent, and rustic Paraiso Caño Hondo Ecolodge, which has authentic creole cuisine and multiple waterfalls.