Sunday, 15 September 2013

Spotlight Samana - Playa Anadel

If you want to go to the beach in Santa Barbara de Samaná, you might think your only option is to head to Las Galeras. In actuality, you have a couple of options close by Samaná Bay that will be easier if you don’t have the time or money to spend to get to Las Galeras or Playa Rincon.
Playa Anadel, Santa Barbara de Samana, Dominican Republic
Playa Anadel is an easy beach to access. If you have a car, it’s a five minute drive on the road that heads east and then north over the hill beyond Samaná Bay. If you don’t have a car, you can catch a cab or motoconchos to the beach. It’s a short ride either way to the small road that is marked with a Brugal Rum sign “Playa Anadel.” 
There are entrances at either end of the beach but the first entrance is better if you are driving because there is space to park your vehicle at the end of the drive. We were greeted by a “security man” who would be guarding our car for us. At the end of the day,we paid him RD$50 for his services despite the fact that we could personally keep an eye on our car from our beach chairs.
You can park close to all the action on Playa Anadel
We rented two beach chairs for RD$100 each and got a small end table and umbrella along with the price of the chairs. Our spot on the beach was provided by a young man who assured us he would provide whatever services we needed including drinks and fresh seafood if we want lunch.
You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas at Playa Anadel, Dominican Republic
The beach is shorter than those in Las Terrenas, bounded on both ends by cliffs. Heading into the water, the slope is gradual and you can wade out into the surf a reasonable distance before you begin to tread water. The waves are gentle and you can swim at Playa Anadel along the beach without much effort. Some small motorboats zipped by close to shore while we were in the surf so be watchful of traffic in the water.
The second entrance to Playa Anadel is beyond the green umbrellas
The crowd at the beach on Sunday appeared to be passengers from the large Norwegian Cruiselines ship anchored in Samaná Bay. They arrived in groups of four or six - American, German and French tourists ready for sun and fun on the beach. They were immediately set upon by locals with offers of cigars, jewelry, massages and hair-braiding. Our friend at the restaurant was quick to deliver drinks in tropical containers – pineapples for the piña coladas and coconut for coco locos – coconut milk spiked with rum.
Vendors on the beach serve all types of Dominican drinks, snacks and fresh seafood on Playa Anadel
We had brought our own drinks in a cooler but that wasn’t a problem for our hosts. We added to their coffers by ordering lunch of whole red snappers, ensalade verde (cabbage with tomatoes and cucumbers) tostones (fried, mashed plantains), rice and habituale (soupy red beans that accompany most Dominican meals).
Too late, I requested the red snapper be prepared “a la plancha” or grilled. Instead, they served up whole fried fish – one for each of us. The fish was not breaded though, so the “fried” quotient wasn’t so bad. The meat was moist and tender once I managed to separate it from the bones and other fish parts.
There are plenty of tables where you can eat a meal at Playa Anadel
Our lunches were a little expensive for the quality – RD$350 apiece. I chalk this up to the heavy cruise ship traffic. I’ve become accustomed to RD$100 plato del dia so this was a little underwhelming. The view, though, was spectacular looking out at Caya Levantado. We also had a view of the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship and could watch the tenders shuttling their passengers back and forth from the ship to shore.
Playa Anadel isn’t the most spectacular beach on the peninsula but it certainly is convenient and everyone was very hospitable. It’s a great choice if you only have an afternoon to spare at the beach while you are in Santa Barbara de Samaná.

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