El Limón, Samaná


Basic Statistics

  • Trail difficulty: 1-3
  • Reserve hours: none
  • Entrance fee: none

Site Description

In addition to gorgeous beaches, the Samaná Peninsula also offers the forested mountains of the Cordillera Samaná and their incomparable views. Here we offer several different walks to waterfalls and secluded beaches. The principal attraction here is the trek to El Limón Waterfall but there are actually three waterfalls here that are up to 47 m high. Waters from the Arroyo Chico, a tributary of the Río Limón, feed the waterfalls, as does the abundant rain. Be aware though that some of these trails, especially in the mountainous interior may be challenging, not only because of the terrain, but also because the trails are often made much muddier by the passage of horses. In addition, the mountains of the Samaná Peninsula capture some of the greatest amounts of rainfall on the island, so be prepared for showers and mud underfoot.

Access

From Samaná the easiest route to El Limón is to travel west on the C-5 highway to the outskirts of town where you will find the signed road to the north (right) to El Limón. The distance from Samaná to El Limón is 24 km (14.9 miles).

Target Species

American Kestrel, Common Ground- Dove, Hispaniolan Lizard- Cuckoo, Antillean Palm- Swift, Antillean Mango, Vervain Hummingbird, Broad- billed Tody, Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Red- legged Thrush, Palmchat, Black- crowned Palm- Tanager

Birding Areas

There are several pleasant walking trails in this area that get you away from the beach and into the mountains. The most prominent is the hike to Salto (or Cascada) de El Limón, or the El Limón Waterfall. Although there are a number of horseback operations that offer this trip, you may rather consider walking for much better birdwatching; from central El Limón it is a 5.6 km (3.5 miles) walk. But there are numerous alternative routes to the waterfall including the Sendero El Cafe (0.8 km or 0.5 miles south of El Limón), La Manzana (4.8 km or 3.0 miles south of El Limón), and the La Javilla trail (about 5.6 km or 3.5 miles south of El Limón). At each of these entrances, ecotour operators offer guide services and horses but may be amenable to birdwatchers on foot or on horseback.

Also from El Limón you can walk to the coast about 3.0 km (1.9 miles) distance and find Playa Limón and Playa Morón. From the main crossroads in El Limón, head east to the small path that takes you north to the coast. Nearing the coast you will first encounter Playa Limón, while Playa Morón lies another 1.0 km (0.6 mile) to the east.

Santi Rancho offers a variety of excursions that may be of interest to birdwatchers and naturalists, but we strongly suggest that you make clear that your interest is in birdwatching before booking these treks. The Ruta de Bonillo allows a 30-minute walk to the falls followed by a 3 hour return hike through the mountainous countryside. They also recommend the Ruta de las Playas Virgenes. This 3-4 hour trek begins with a short truck ride to the trailhead, followed by a walk through the countryside to the isolated beach at Playa Ermitaño. The trek then follows along Playa de las Canas, Playa Honda, and Playa Morón to Playa Limón where public transport will return you to El Limón.


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There are countless fascinating stories to be told through birds. Discover an island's bird life, and you will discover Caribbean heritage.

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The Caribbean Birding Trail is a project of BirdsCaribbean, a 501(c)3 non-profit.

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