Back in the 1800s, Sánchez was a major fishing village. To this day, there is a lot of shrimping here, catching some of the biggest and best in the country. Now, however, what Higüey  is to the Southeast , Sánchez is to the Samaná Peninsula : a transportation hub. Those who stop in Sánchez are mainly doing so to get to other places on the peninsula or to catch a boat to Los Haitises  (Sánchez is the closest launching point to the national park).
If you find yourself in Sánchez and have some time, take a stroll through town and notice the brightly colored Victorian homes or wander down by the sea where the ruins of the old port (leftover from the early 20th century) are lying in their rusty state, jutting out into the water.
This is where buses from Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata  stop to exchange and pick up passengers whose final destination is to either Samaná  or Las Terrenas . Two bus companies serve this area. The trip to Santo Domingo takes four hours.
Caribe Tours (tel. 809/552-7434, www.caribetours.com , US$7.50) has buses to and from Santo Domingo at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Metro (tel. 809/552-7332, US$7.50) has service twice a day at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to Santo Domingo.
Most who visit the parque are doing so through tour agencies from other towns. However, local boats in Sánchez can take you as well.
One reputable company has been running tours out of Sánchez for over 10 years. Amilka Tours (Calle Colón 15, tel. 809/552-7664, www.amilkatoursdominican.com ) will take you to Los Haitises  for US$50 per person (minimum four people). Fee includes lunch, drinks, and entrance into park. You’ll pay extra for a tour guide (RD$200). They will take you through mangroves and you’ll see the Taíno drawings on the cave walls. It is worth the cost to get the guide. Amilka can also take you whale-watching during whale season (US$50). Calling a day ahead to reserve a spot is a good idea, but you can just show up. Buffet lunches of fish, rice, pasta, and salad for the tours are served at the beach, where there are bathrooms available as well.