Holidays to Las Terrenas let you slam on the brakes. The Dominican Republic’s rising star is all about laid-back partying and shameless lazing on camera-perfect beaches.
Ready for business
Las Terrenas doesn’t believe in doing things in a hurry. It’s taken this corner of the Samaná peninsula the best part of 30 years to transform itself from a ramshackle fishing village into a look-at-me destination. And now it’s ready to shout about its near-deserted shores and backyard of palm-robed hills.
Playa Las Terrenas’ white sand stretches out from the town for 2 kilometres. Its raft of watersports includes snorkelling, diving, windsurfing and kiteboarding. You can also walk right out to the coral reefs at low tide. A new highway now links Las Terrenas with neighbouring Playa Coson in 30 minutes, too. Don’t be surprised if your only company here are a couple of fishermen’s shacks selling cold drinks and grilled fish.
You can’t go wrong with Las Terrenas’ Spanish and African-influenced cuisine. There are plenty of relaxed fish restaurants along the beach, either side of the main intersection. Fish with coconut is a winning dish. Elsewhere, the night market along the main road gets into its groove at the weekend, with street sellers putting on a spread of rice and beans, mashed plantains with onions, and fried fish.
Samaná Port, 30 minutes south, is your jumping off point for a speedboat trip to Los Haitises National Park, a protected area on the Dominican Republic’s remote northeast coast. You’ll follow tour guides through the subtropical forest to hushed mangrove swamps and ancient caverns, where drawings by the native Americans can still be seen.
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