Samaná Province ,at the northwest part of the country, with a territorial surface of 853, 74 square Kilometers, is one of the provinces that covers 1, 8% of the national territory. Its coasts at the North and East are bathed by waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Samaná Bay is at the South, Monte de Plata Province is at the southwest and Duarte and Maria Trinidad Sanchez Provinces are at the West. It has been called Samaná by natives of the region since times of the conquest and colonization, although its name used to be written as Xamaná. Together with Puerto Plata Province, Samaná Province was the 6th province in being created. It was created in the Constitution of November 14th 1868 as Marine District, a territorial division that existed at that time and became a province with the constitution of 1907.
This place was visited in January 1493 by Cristóbal Colón in his first trip to the Americas. At that time the Ciguayos lived in this territory and it was then that the first confrontation between natives and Europeans took place.
During the 16th, 17th , and beginnings of the 18th century ,this region was practically depopulated, with just a few single fugitives or wild slaves and some Europeans who tried to colonize the region, among them English and French, mainly. Beaches in this territory were used to repair and clean ships or as it was common to say at the moment to careen the helmets of the English and French boats and even boats of buccaneers and filibusters.
The Spanish colonial authorities tried, not in a continuous way, to evacuate the French with the purpose of occupying the region. It kept 2 galeras in Galeras Key, in front of the present town which has the same name.
In 1756, the city with the name of Santa Barbara of Samaná was founded. Their settlers were original from families of the Canary Islands. This town was organized as Parish of La Vega Province Party, within the Territorial Division that the Spanish colony had.
As a result of the Treaty of Basilia, Spanish Santo Domingo became French Dominion. Its governor Ferrand tried to develop the region of Samaná installing French colonos like Théodore Chassériau who escaped from the Revolution in Haiti. They dedicated themselves to export precious lumber and to cultivate coffee. Last names from those families are still kept in the toponymy, for example: Tenacity (from Tessón), Anadel (Arrendel), Clará (Clarac), or words like the Earth ones (from the Terrienne).With Reconquerst, Samaná became part of the East Party together with Monte Plata, Sabana de la Mar, Boyá, Bayaguana and El Seibo (this last one the head). In the Haitian occupation (from 1822 to the 1844) there was a new political division and Samaná as Common of the Department of Cibao.
Being occupied by Haiti, its president Boyer, made build a fort at the East of Samaná for a better control of Samaná Bay. He sent Haitian families there that settled in Teson. Some American slaves returned and those who stayed there kept their language and traditions.
Its population until 2002 was 91,875 inhabitants. 46,738 inhabitants are men and 45,137 of them are women. Samaná has a population density of 107, 6 inhabitants per square kilometer and the urban population is of 10,692 inhabitants.
Its municipalities and municipal districts are:
- Santa Barbara de Samaná (principal municipality)
- Arroyo Barril
- El Limón
- Las Galeras
- Las Terrenas
Geographically speaking, Samaná is as such a peninsula which crosses the Samaná Mountain range from East to West, being the highest mountain or plateau with 605 meters. The Gran Estero, a marshy region that originated from continuous flooding of Yuna River is at the western part of the province. In ancient times it was an island which is still possible to observe in maps, because there used to be communication between Samaná Bay and Escocesa Bay.
The rivers that are in this province are short in course and poor in volume. Among them we can mention: the Limon River, which is the longest one with 14, 5 km and ends at the North coast. Other rivers are San Juan with 12 km, Tito River with 8 km and its affluent: Corner with 7, 5 km and La Majagual River with 6 km. All of these rivers end at the South slope. A humeral of great importance is in the region of the low Yuna River at the southwestern part. In addition to Yuna River (that is the mightiest of the country), we have the Barracote River which ends at the western part of Samaná Bay. They are the rivers of more volume among the rivers in the peninsula.
The weather is tropical although it rains all year long because of the Samana Mountain Range that attracts trade winds, that is why precipitations usually keep between 5 meters of altitude and 7 meters which is the annual average. Temperatures keep from 26, 5ºC and to the 27 ºC.
The most important economic activities include: agriculture whose main products are Coconut and yautía (malanga), and fishing. Also, tourism because this is a province of great development in this activity , mainly in Samaná, Las Terrenas and Las Galeras where humped whales that appear mainly at the beginning of winter and spring have been observed in the last years. There is a slight development in the production of marble.