Santa Barbara de Samana, Dominican Republic

Santa Barbara de Samana, is a town and municipality in north-eastern Dominican Republic and is the capital of Samana Province.

It is located on the northern coast of Samana Bay. The town is an important tourism destination and is the main center for whale-watching tours in the Caribbean region.

Samana is located in a small plain close to the coast but, now, most of the town is in the hills that enclose the plain.

It is the largest municipality of the province. It has a total area of 412.11 kilometres² (almost 49% of the total area of the province), including the three municipal districts that are part of the municipality.

Most of the territory is occupied by the Sierra de Samana, a short mountain range with steep slopes but no high mountains. The highest mountain is Monte Mesa. The city was founded in 1756 as Santa Barbara de Samana during the colonial period by the Spanish Governor Francisco Rubio y Penaranda.

It was named Santa Barbara after the Queen Barbara de Braganza, wife of King Ferdinand VI of Spain.

The main economic activities of the municipality are tourism, agriculture and fishing.

The largest boost to local economy takes place in Jan-March with the annual migration of thousands of North Atlantic humpback whales that come to the Samana Bay to give birth. Samana is the center of the country's tourism during these months.

Since 2006, cruise ships have been visiting Samana and it is becoming a very popular cruise destination.

Cruises operate in the Caribbean all year round. However many ships cruise here in the northern winter and then cross the Atlantic to cruise in Europe during the northern summer.
The Caribbean really is a year-round destination. Temperatures seldom vary from highs in the 80s (lows in the 70s), with humidity hovering at the 70 percent level just about all year. The hurricane season, which officially lasts from June 1st to November 30th, can occasionally disrupt cruise itineraries.

General Information:

Population: 108,179 (2012)
Language: Spanish
Currency: Dominican Peso
Time Zone: UTC/GMT -4 hours
Dial Code: +1

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