Cayo Levantado is a small, idyllic island off the south coast of Samana Bay, Dominican Republic. It is best known as famous Bacardi Island. The key feature is the white-sand beach laden with tourists on excursions, especially during the weekends and especially with families. The island and shore offer many attributes to write home about from a soft, sandy bottom to warm, shallow water. More than half of Levantado and Cayo Levantado Beach Dominican Republic is occupied by the large Gran Bahia Principe Resort. The island is also a quintessential stop on Dominican Republic cruises.
Getting to the island isn’t a big deal and is fairly inexpensive. Check for tours out of Samana Port where round-trip tickets are available. Be sure to bargain on price if your party includes several people and agree on the negotiated rate before getting onboard. Another area to find cruises to Cayo Levantado Beach is at Playa Carenero in Playa Carenero village, about four miles to the east from Samana. The last option is to board at the dock check-in area at the Gran Bahia Principe in Samana. If deciding to stay on the island, there are only two lodging options—book a room at Gran Bahia Principe Resort or camp along the opposite side of the island in a remote area for only a few US dollars.
There are many things to do once you reach Cayo Levantado Beach Dominican Republic, but it’s hard to get beyond the white sand and inviting water. The main activity is based around relaxation, and plenty of it. Splashing along the shore, soaking up the warm rays, and forgetting about everything else is the best way to go. Beachcombing, sand castle building, and snorkeling are the best ways to enjoy the natural bounty. Beach rentals and other necessities can easily be found along the beach.
The 120-foot Salto El Limon waterfall, reached by horseback, is a great place to cool off on a scorching day. The underground caves and rivers of Los Haitises National Park are a popular side-trip from Cayo Levantado, and once on the island, the short distance to the park is inviting. History is ripe within the region which was once home to Taino Indians and where ancient drawings are still visible. Within this same locale, during winter and early spring, the bay is a major breeding ground for humpback whales and popular with daily tours leaving Samana.
To get your shopping fix while visiting Cayo Levantado Beach Dominican Republic, head toward the pier where a bevy of vendors sell everything from handmade crafts to colorful paintings and jewelry. There are also a few shops within the island’s resort. If staying on Cayo Levantado, it’s a quick and easy twenty-minute ride to Samana where myriad restaurants, shops, and entertainment options are located just a few minutes from the main dock.
With such a small island also comes a small but good circle of options for dining. Again, the Gran Bahia Principe offers the most choice all under one roof including four a la carte restaurants featuring Mediterranean and seafood dishes, along with several other appetizing choices, and a snack bar and buffet. There are several small open-air restaurants available. Cruise ship and day tour passengers often enjoy a beach barbeque as part of the cost.