Getting Rubbed the Right Way With a Traditional Tincture in the Dominican Republic

The Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado's Mamajuana Spa Treatment is a massage to remember

The spa offers facials, couples VIP treatments, a variety of special therapies, and different types of massages.

As if you need help relaxing at the already serene Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado resort in Samaná, in the Dominican Republic, this adults-only property offers an extensive variety of soothing treatments and services at its Bahia Spa — including one that utilizes the Dominican Republic indigenous drink of herbs and tree bark macerated with rum, red wine, and honey.


Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

The spa feels like an oasis in the middle of a rainforest paradise. Each window overlooks a lush, green tropical scene with countless palms, banana trees, and various flowering plants. Here, I was treated to the resort's exclusive Mamajuana Spa Treatment ― a full body massage incorporating the mamajuana, an alcohol-spiked modernization of the herbal tea the island's indigenous Taino people called "the elixir of fertility."


Bahia Spa

Today, besides being rumored to be an aphrodisiac, this beverage is also consumed for its reputed medicinal value. The alcohol is believed by many to extract the herbs' curative properties, creating a healthful tincture, often served as a shot — when it's not being massaged into someone's tissues.

Check out the world's best all-inclusive resorts for food.

The massage was honestly one of the best I've had. It loosened my muscles, relieved tension (especially in my lower back), and wasn't too hard or rough in terms of pressure or technique. After the massage, I was calm and rejuvenated ― and ready for a nice nap.

mama juana

Public Domain


Post massage, guests are welcome to enjoy the spa's many facilities, including its Turkish bath, Finnish sauna, tropical storm shower, and bubble beds. We were also given a shot of the mamajuana to sip on while we took full advantage of the gorgeous indoor pool area. The pool was cool and refreshing ― the perfect ending to the spa experience.

For more travel news, click here.