POINTS OF INTEREST
There are no public beaches in Samaná town, but you can hire a boat to take you to Cayo Levantado, which has a wonderful white-sand beach on an island in Samaná Bay. Today the small island has largely been turned into a commercial enterprise to accommodate the 1,500 cruise-ship passengers who anchor here; it has dining facilities, bars, restrooms, and lounge chairs. Unfortunately, it can be extremely crowded and boisterous when there's a ship in port, so it may be best to avoid a trip to the island on those days. The beach, however, is undeniably beautiful. The island's Bahía Príncipe Cayo Levantado (809/538–3131), an upscale, all-inclusive resort with its own launch, sells one-day passes (adults only) for about $120.