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“Worth the walk”
Review of Playa Madama

Playa Madama
Reviewed 21 May 2013

This beach (also spelled Playa Madame) is found in a small bay east of Las Galeras, at the northeast tip of the Samana Peninsula (19.3009, -69.1625). The 30 minute walk to the beach means you will often have the gorgeous beach to yourself. Just behind the beach is an interesting cave (bring a flashlight/torch). The beach is a beautiful sand beach under a coconut grove that is surrounded by rock headlands on the sides of the deep bay. For swimming, the beach is very nice because the water stays shallow and the bay is protected by an outer reef that breaks any waves. The narrow entrance to the bay from the sea also means that only waves coming straight in could be of any nuisance. As a consequence, the beach is good for swimming. They bay is a mix of sand nearshore, changing to grass, and some coral further out. Snorkling near the coral revealed more fish life than I have seen at other nearshore DR reefs.

Directly, west of the beach, a little to the north of where the trail enters, there is a cave that makes an interesting diversion, and is easy to access from the beach. The main entrance to the cave is on the first shelf up from the ground, which is reached by walking a little further away from the beach and a scramble of a few steps up to the shelf. Smaller people (children) can actually enter through a small passage from ground level. Beyond the entrance chamber of the cave, there is an inner chamber that is accessed through a couple of passages. It is darker in the inner chamber with more attractive structures, and bats. You need a flashlight for the inner chamber.

To reach the beach you will have to take a 30 minute, 2 km, walk on a decent trail through scrub forest and a few mango trees. The start of the trail is reached by taking the road east from the center of Las Galeras (at Gri Gri/Las Galeras Divers), going past the entrance to Grand Paradise Samana, then on past La Rancheta Guesthouse to where the road 'T's'. Take a right (east) at this intersection, and stay right at the 'Y', on the pavement up the hill. Stay right at the next intersection, and the road gets a little rougher on this last part. Go past a few fancy houses and broken dreams on this road until you come to the sign for Playa Madama (see photo). You can park near the sign, or take the road to the left to save 100m of walking, and better shade for parking (19.2908, -69.1734). When you reach the foundation of a house on your right, park there and take the trail that goes off just to the left of the foundation. The trail is a pleasant walk through the forest, flatter than most areas on the Samana Peninsula. The surface of the trail is rocky (no flip flops!), and at the start of the trail the brush can rub against your legs (can you bear long pants?). We saw a couple of mosquitoes during the walk. It is hot, this is the tropics, bring plenty of water. There is a spot about half way to the beach under the shade of three mango trees that is a good rest spot.

You can also get horses and a guide to the beach and cave from the La Rancheta Guesthouse, for those adverse to some exercise. Boat trips out of Las Galeras are possible for the truly lazy.

It takes a little extra effort to get to this beach, but it is worth it; until too many people take that advice in the future.

10  Thank Ashwabay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"secluded beach"
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Reviewed 20 May 2013

We visited Playa Madama on horseback with Karen from la Hacienda hostel in early May. The entire trip lasted about 4 hours and it consisted of a leisurely horse ride through the national park. Throughout the trip, Karen shared her knowledge with us about the local vegetation and landscape. Prior to reaching Playa Madama, we dismounted our horses and headed down towards the beach, which was empty, pristine and amazingly clear. We had a swim, tasted some coconut water from freshly plucked coconuts (thanks to Amalfi). Then we climbed up a rock to get a fantastic view of Playa Madama and took some photos. Lastly we visited a Taino (the now extinct indigenous people of the DR) cave and once again Karen showed how knowledgeable she was on everything dominican. There were four of us and we were almost beginner riders (had only ridden once previously). The ride was not an easy one, but Karen never made us feel insecure. She was patient and gave us clear instructions when needed. My partner and I would highly recommend this trip with Karen if you are staying in Las Galeras. You can contact Karen directly on the link below.


2  Thank Maria P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2018
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 May 2018 via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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