Speedboat to Los Haitises Caves and Mangroves
Samana, Dominican Republic
- Speedboat ride: Get ready for an exhilarating adventure, on an ecological adventure that begins aboard a speedboat. Your guide will take you across the turquoise waters to Los Haitises National Park.
- Bird Island: You'll circle this small cay as your guide talks about the countless migratory and indigenous birds on the north coast of the island.
- Los Haitises: Discover cave art left behind by the Taino Indians in mysterious caves studded with stunning stalagmites and stalactites that took centuries to form.
About This Samana Tour
Los Haitises (High-tee-sis) National Park is like something out of a storybook. The only way to get to this eco wonderland is by boat, which only adds to the whole wilderness adventure. Haitises means "mountain range" in the Taino language, and you'll be greeted by rolling mountains carpeted in lush greenery, along with a maze of watery paths lined by mesmerizing mangroves.
The small cay known as "Bird Island" is, not surprisingly, home to an awesome variety of birds – pelicans, egrets, herons, frigate birds, and the brown booby. Your guide will point out the birds that make their home year-round in the park, and those who migrate there for brief visits. And don't be surprised to spot some exotic aquatic creatures, like reptiles, fish, and crustaceans.
But what really makes this feel like you're in some kind of otherworldly adventure is your visit to the caves, where your flashlights will reveal more than stalactites and stalagmites. You'll find Taino petroglyphs that reveal the everyday life of the Taino Indians that were wiped out by Spanish invaders hundreds of years ago – drawings of their gods and daily life.
After his first encounter with the Taino, Christopher Columbus wrote that, "In all the world there can be no better people." So enjoy a glimpse into an ancient tribe that left behind this footnote in the pages of history.
Don't go into the light!
The Taino believed their world began in the limestone caves of the Dominican Republic. Macocael was a sentinel who was supposed to guard the caves, but when he left his underground post, the sun turned him into stone. Macocael, whose name means "no eyelids" in Taino, now stands guard for the rest of time.
Meet your driver in the Hotel Lobby of either the Bahia Principe El Portillo or Bahia Principe Cayacoa. Call the operator once you are at the designated meeting point.
Take extra precautions to avoid too much exposure to the sun. Even on cloudy days, the UV is stronger than you may think.
Participants must be able to step in/out of boats without assistance. Walking portion is roughly 1 mile and performed over dirt and sand trails. Interior cave walk can be dark and slippery.
Adventure, Boat Tour, Scenic, Wilderness/Wildlife
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Travelers must be 8 years of age or older to participate in this tour.
Special Medical Restriction
The ride to caves and National Park will be on a small, fast boat. The ride can be rough so travelers with back, neck or shoulder injuries should be aware. Participants must be in good health, disclose their physical fitness and sign a waiver.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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