Cayo Levantado

Photo Credit: © Rachel Docherty CC BY

Set in Samana Bay, to call Cayo Levatado beautiful would be under-selling it. In fact, this island was used to shoot the original Bacardi Rum campaign in 1970. Today, it is a popular tourist destination due to the upkeep of the island, the calm waters that are perfect for snorkeling and swimming, and the huts selling authentic Dominican cuisine. Several hundred tourists visit this island daily, so expect a crowd.

Located in the Samana Peninsula, Cayo Levantado is on the North edge of Hispaniola. You might think about stopping by even if you aren't staying in the immediate vicinity. This beach is not just another pleasant piece of the coast, it also has a private beach feel——a unique quailty in a touristy place like the Dominican Republic. While Cayo Levantado may be a little farther away, it's a pleasure to find an undisturbed plot of sand like this one.

How to Access The Beach
Cayo Levantado is accessible only by boat, and many tourists will opt to take the $10(USD) ferry from Samana.

Amenities and Ambiance

Lined with swaying palms and white, powder soft sand, you won't find a more picturesque beach in the Dominican Republic than this. The turquoise waters are calm, and the sand you feel between your toes while you're swimming is thick and grainy, yet soft at the same time.

For your convenience, restrooms are available at Cayo Levantado. In addition, you'll find umbrellas and chairs, so guests seeking relief from the sultry island sun will not go leave unhappy. You'll find the waters off-shore to be clear enough for snorkeling, so bring your gear if you're hoping to see what lies beneath the surface.

the immediate vicinity around Cayo Levantado is not near many tourist spots. Thankfully, because of this you will generally find all facilities open to use, not having been scooped up by others.

What's Nearby


Visitors will find this beach on the Dominican Republic's North coast; this area boasts other attractions such as Shipwreck Maritime Museum, which is one of the closest attractions.

Historical attractions like St. Peter's Church offer a wonderful compliment to the scenery of Cayo Levantado, plus they allow vacationers to learn more about the Dominican Republic, without having to venture too far from the coast.

If you can't wait to see as many of the Dominican Republic's attractions as possible, you'll find the closest ones in the following table.

Activities and Attractions Near Cayo Levantado
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
Shipwreck Maritime Museum Museum 4.3 NW Hispaniola
St. Peter's Church Historical Site 4.6 NW Hispaniola
Parroquia de Samana Historical Site 4.6 NW Hispaniola
Whale Museum Of Samana Museum 4.7 WNW Hispaniola
Baseball Stadium Sporting Event Venue 5.5 WNW Hispaniola

Cities and Towns

Cayo Levantado is near Samana, so travelers staying in town won't have far to go. Cayo Levantado guests looking for other interesting places to see should consider going to Samana, which is close-by and is an area full of activity. From Cayo Levantado, Samana isn't far off, roughly easily reached by taxi.


Whether or not you encounter a lot of other visitors will depend on if you visit during a popular season, which is often indicated by how busy the hotels are. Typically, you can expect to see a fair amount of vacationers who are staying in the area.

You'll find a fairly good selection of lodging options to pick from in the area that surrounds Cayo Levantado. The most accessible of which are shown below.

Accommodations near Cayo Levantado
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Grand Bahia Principe Samana 0.1 mi. WSW Resort
Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado 0.2 mi. W Resort
La Tambora Beach Resort 2.0 mi. NE Resort
Hotel Las Ballenas Escondidas 2.0 mi. NE Hotel
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa 4.5 mi. WNW Hotel
Hotel Nilka -- -- Hotel
Hotel Docia -- -- Guest house
Chino Hotel 4.6 mi. NW Hotel
Hotel Samana Spring -- -- Hotel
Hotel Bahia View -- -- Hotel


A hot day at the beach will have you craving more than just a cocktail; no beach day is complete until you walk to a nearby restaurant, where you can sample regional favorites, within a reachable distance. One of the closest places to eat is Sol y Luna. The restaurant has Caribbean cuisine. They have become well-known, however, because of their seafood.

A list of nearby restaurants is provided in the following table.

Restaurants near Cayo Levantado
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
Sol y Luna (809) 495-0888 Caribbean Very Casual 2.0 mi. NE
Cayenas del Mar Beach Club (809) 538-3114 American Very Casual 3.1 mi. NW
Taberna Mediterranean (809) 994-3634 Mediterranean, Spanish Very Casual -- --
Bambu Restaurant & Bar (809) 538-2661 -- -- 4.4 mi. NW
Le Royal Snack (829) 994-2951 French Very Casual -- --
La Hacienda Grill & Bar (809) 538-2383 Caribbean Very Casual 4.5 mi. NW
La Mata Rosada (809) 538-2388 French Informal -- --
Chino Restaurant (809) 538-2215 Asian, Chinese -- 4.6 mi. NW
Sunset Garden Cafe (829) 285-0227 American, Caribbean, International Very Casual 4.6 mi. NW
El Rancho du Vagabond -- American, Italian Informal -- --
Bahia Azul (809) 538-2694 American Very Casual 4.7 mi. NW
El Cafesito Bautike (809) 538-2544 -- -- -- --

Other Beaches

Vacationers who are looking for the ideal beach will have lots of choices besides Cayo Levantado.

You might also enjoy Bonita Beach, an additional spot which provides ample time for relaxation. On the other hand, Playa Anadel offers a little more opportunity for excitement, and isn't far from additional things to do and see nearby.

Another sun-drenched spot to consider is Las Galeras Beach, which is close-by and another fun spot in the Dominican Republic.

You may find that Cayo Levantado is a great fit for your vacation, but maybe you want to see more; if so, the Dominican Republic offers a variety of beaches for travelers who wish to try elsewhere.


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