Entertainment and Events
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
Tourists in Samaná tend to make a night of their dining experience and then plant themselves wherever the lively atmosphere is on that particular night. Samaná does not have the same hopping nightlife scene of Las Terrenas, but fun can usually be found at the numerous open-air stalls that are set up at dusk on the weekends along the Malecón. A couple have even have laid out makeshift dance floors so that customers can enjoy a good merengue or bachata in the night air.
Naomi’s (Av. La Marina, 9 p.m.–4 a.m. Fri.–Sun., US$2), on the waterfront above the Restaurant Le France, is the local favorite for merengue and bachata dancing. It can get pretty packed.
Cielito (Calle Lebantiel, free admission) is the current merengue, bachata and salsa dancing hot spot. You can feel the beat pumping in your chest the music is loud and good. The crowd is mostly locals but tourists are peppered in lightly. The dance floor gets crowded as this is a very small club.
The Piano Bar (Av. La Marina, Pueblo Principe) disco is new and has nice lights and is on the main tourist drag. It doesn’t fill up like Cielito and is, somehow, less authentic. But, it is a nice facility and has a nice dance floor.
There are few times that Dominicans stray from their loyalty to dancing the merengue or the bachata, but if you’re in the area on October 24 for the Festival of San Rafael or on December 4 for the Patron Saint Day, you’ll see the traditional dances bambulá and chivo florete being performed in the streets. Their roots are from the African slaves and the immigrating American freed slaves who populated the area. Processions, open-air music, dancing in the streets, and stalls selling food, beverages, and local crafts are all part of these festivals.
The town holds a series of annual Harvest Festivals on Fridays from late August through the end of October with traditions dating back to the yam and rice festivals of the Canary Islands of west Africa. Each one is in a different church with the biggest at La Churcha on the last Friday in October.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition