Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island)
You can kayak, snorkel, rent pedal boats, or explore the hilly tropical forest via a series of trails that cut through the jungle. Day trips to Bacardi Island, which typically depart from Punta Cana, tend to include round-trip transport and lunch on the beach, and often also include a visit to Los Haitises National Park, whale watching off the coast of Samaná, or a stop at El Limón Waterfall.
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Things to know before you go
- Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit, beach towel, change of clothes, and reef-safe sunscreen.
- Amenities on the beach include a few bars and restaurants selling seafood and tropical drinks.
- Bring some local currency in small denominations if you plan to rent a beach chair.
How to get there
The island is three miles (five kilometers) from Samaná Bay and accessible by boat from the Samaná pier on Avenida Marina. You can hire a private boat or opt for a day trip with hassle-free hotel pickup and drop-off. The public beach occupies the western part of the island.
When to get there
The best season to visit the island is between March and May, when crowds are scarcer and there’s less chance of rain ruining your beach day. Plan to visit later in the afternoon, when day-trippers head back to Punta Cana. Take a look at the cruise ship schedule, as the beach can get crowded when a ship is in port.
Best Beaches Near Samaná
Cayo Levantado is widely considered Samaná’s most beautiful beach, but it’s also among the most popular. If you’d rather get away from it all, you have other options. Playa Rincon offers 2.5 miles (four kilometers) of secluded white sand, while Fronton and Madama Beaches, about 17 miles (28 kilometers) outside of town on Cabo Samaná, are accessible by boat and known for their excellent snorkeling.
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