This great escape to the north coast of the Dominican Republic packs a lot of adventure in just seven days. Around the city of Puerto Plata, you'll explore colonial history, laze on white-sand beaches, and hike to romantic waterfalls. Then, on the unspoiled Semaná Peninsula, you'll embark on quad adventures, trips to hidden beaches, and discover the best snorkeling spots along the coast and offshore islands.


  • Discover Puerto Plata's colonial landmarks on a walking tour
  • Hike to waterfalls and soar above the trees on a zip-line
  • Ride quad bikes to the remote beaches around Samaná
  • Visit offshore islands and perhaps go whale-watching

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Puerto Plata, Walking Tour Puerto Plata
Day 2 Damajagua Waterfall Adventure & Zip Line Puerto Plata
Day 3 Playa Dorada Free Day Puerto Plata
Day 4 Hike to El Limón Waterfall, Transfer to Samaná Samaná
Day 5 Quad Adventure & Beaches Samaná
Day 6 Samaná Free Day Samaná
Day 7 Depart Samaná  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Puerto Plata, Walking Tour

Puerto Plata Walking tour and Amber Museum visit
Explore Puerto Plata
Welcome to the Dominican Republic! Upon arrival at the international airport in Samaná, a personal driver will be waiting to pick you up. You'll then transfer about 1.5 hours west on a scenic road to the paradise of Puerto Plata, a city famous for its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel, unpack, and unwind.
Then head out and stretch your legs on a 3-hour walking tour of the city's historic center. Here stands one of Puerto Plata's oldest monuments: the San Felipe Fortress. You'll get to visit this impressive battlement and learn about its rich history and colonial past. The Spanish built it in the 16th century as a defensive fort to guard Hispaniola's north coast.
Next, you'll tour the Amber Museum, which features the finest display of amber and Larimar in the country. These precious stones are an integral part of the history of the Dominican Republic. Exhibits here showcase amber's famed effect of preserving dinosaur fossils for millions of years. Meanwhile, the Larimar rooms include ornate pieces of jewelry made from this "blue jewel of the Caribbean."
The next stop is an even deeper dive into the region's culture as you learn more about the famed products of Puerto Plata. You'll visit the Macorix House of Rum, an artisanal cigar factory, a chocolate confectionery, and finally stop at the Malecón (waterfront promenade), where locals might show you how to dance merengue, the national dance of the Dominican Republic.

Day 2: Damajagua Waterfall Adventure & Zip Line

The waterfalls at Damajagua

Your half-day adventure begins in the morning with a transfer to a hidden paradise of cascading waterfalls and turquoise river pools. There are 27 waterfalls along the Damajagua River, as well as limestone caverns and natural waterslides. 

You'll embark on a 60-minute hike up to the area's best-known falls. Then the real fun begins as you slide and swim your way back down the mountain, passing multiple falls along the way. That's not all because you'll enjoy a zip-line adventure over the water at the end of the hike. After the wild ride, it will be time for a delicious Dominican lunch buffet (vegetarian friendly). Then you'll transfer back to your hotel in the beach town of Cabarete, where you can kick back and relax.

Day 3: Playa Dorada Free Day

Free day in Playa Dorada - Optional activities
Spend the day at the famous Playa Dorada
Plan your trip to the Dominican Republic
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Just 10 minutes east of Puerto Plata is the most famous beach in the region: Playa Dorada. This stretch of sand earned its sterling reputation due to its crystal clear waters and offshore coral reefs teeming with marine life. Because of its natural beauty, Playa Dorada enjoys the coveted Blue Flag status, and you'll get to experience it firsthand. There are extensive options for water sports here, from kitesurfing to banana boat tubing, and a number of restaurants and beach bars.
Other optional activities include a visit to Ocean World Adventure Park, an interactive marine park home to dolphins, sea lions, rays, tropical birds, and even sharks. There's also the laid-back beach town of Sousa. Or you can head to the long sandy beaches in the resort enclave of Cabarete.

Day 4: Hike to El Limón Waterfall, Transfer to Samaná

Hike Adventure to El Limón Waterfall
Hike to romantic El Limón
Another epic hike is in store for you today. In the morning, you'll head to the Sierra de Samaná Mountains to start the 1.5-mile (2.5-km) journey, which you can do on foot or horseback. This is an adventurous trek through fertile rainforests abounding with exotic flora and fauna like coconut palms, pineapple trees, and tropical birds such as the palmchat (the national bird of the Dominican Republic).
The trail ends at El Limón Waterfall, your reward for all that jungle trekking. The falls are a marvel, cascading 131 feet (40 m) into a shimmering emerald pool. Feel free to dive in and cool off. After a refreshing dip, you'll have free time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings before making your way back to the trailhead. Then, satisfy your appetite with a fantastic Dominican lunch. 
Afterward, your driver will meet you for the 1.5-hour transfer back to Samaná, where you'll spend the remainder of the trip. After checking in to your hotel, you'll have free the rest of the day. 

Day 5: Quad Adventure & Beaches

Hop on a quad and explore Samaná
Hop on a quad bike and hit the road on a day tour north from Samaná. The ride will take you around mountains and along rivers on the way to discover some of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in the area. This is a guided tour led by an expert who will make you feel comfortable, even if this is your first time on a quad. 

After driving amid stunning scenery, you'll end up at some of the most secluded beaches on the peninsula. First up is windswept La Cana, then rugged Lanza del Norte, and finally tranquil Playa Morón, where turquoise waters lap at the shore. These unspoiled stretches of the coast have changed little over the past 500 years, and you'll enjoy them in perfect serenity without the tourist crowds. Capping the experience will be a delicious Dominican lunch. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel in Samaná.

Day 6: Samaná Free Day

 Free day in Samaná - Optional Activities
Take a day trip to Cayo Levantando
Spend your last full day in the Dominican Republic however you like. This is an excellent opportunity to discover more beautiful beaches around Samaná or embark on another day trip. If you're here between January and March, this coincides with whale-watching season and is a great time to spot some humpbacks. 
One of the most popular activities is a day trip to the stunning islet of Cayo Levantado. Located about 3 miles (5 km) from Samaná Bay, it takes just a few minutes to arrive by boat. Once there, you can relax on powdery white-sand beaches, enjoy fresh seafood, and hit the water to explore some prime snorkeling spots. For another great day trip, drive to the northeast end of the peninsula and Playa Rincón, a romantic white-sand beach untouched by tourism.
Or you could spend the day hopping from one incredible beach to another. There are many to choose from: Playa El Valle is located in a remote fishing village and surrounded by forested mountains; Ermitaño is another hidden gem, accessible via a scenic boat ride; the 2 miles (4 km) of golden sands at Cosón are popular with kitesurfers; and Playa Bonita (which means "beautiful beach") is true to its name, as it's fringed with coconut palms and fronted by crystalline waters.
For a bite to eat amid incredible scenery, visit Playa Las Terrenas. This fishing village with a Mediterranean air offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as exciting nightlife to satisfy even the most restless of visitors. And since it's your last day in the DR, you might like to party.

Day 7: Depart Samaná

Farewell, DR
At the appropriate time, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to the airport in Samaná for your flight home. Come back soon!

More Great Dominican Republic Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the DR? Check out these other Dominican Republic itineraries, with outdoor adventures, beach vacations, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Explore the Northern Dominican Republic - 7 Days
Map of Explore the Northern Dominican Republic - 7 Days