Las Terrenas, on the north coast of the Samana Peninsula, is home to a large French community who emigrated in the 90s. Most businesses here are still French-owned so don't be surprised to hear French being spoken on most street corners.
Renowned for its bustling and friendly local lifestyle, with plenty of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants right on the beachfront, it is also the perfect base from which to explore the rest of the peninsula. This village is teeming with colourful little houses and life set to the beat of the merengue and the bachata, so you're guaranteed to make a few friends here. The beaches are jaw-droppingly gorgeous - expect a long ribbon of fine sands and turquoise lagoons that line the main road that crosses the area.
In terms of accommodation, there is something for all tastes, from the upmarket Peninsula House, the gourmet Atlantis, to cheaper options like Villas Mariposas and Residencia del Paseo.
- Instead of heading out from Samana Town, you can also use Las Terrenas as your base for exploring Salto El Limon (waterfalls). You get there on horseback via beautiful verdant terrain but the falls can get fairly crowded by tourists so either go early or late to avoid the crowds.
- One of the most beautiful beaches in the area is Playa Coson at the entrance of Las Terrenas.
- Also makes sure to have dinner at the Atlantis Hotel, where the owner was the chef of former French President, Mittérand.
- There isn't really anything to do in the area of Las Terrenas except for make the most of the beautiful beaches and lively bars.
- Think about planning your itinerary carefully so that you don't stay too long in Las Terrenas. There is a lot to see in the Dominican Republic.
- It's worth remembering that prices here are higher than most local villages as Las Terrenas is popular with tourists. Also worth remembering is that prices don't include taxes.
- Spending longer than a few days in Las Terrenas as you will run out of things to do unless you are a keen hiker.
- Las Terrenas isn't the most authentic of local enclaves, but if you are after a good meal in beautiful surroundings, book a table at The Peninsula House (one of the best, if not the best, hotel in the country).
- For something a tad less elegant but right on the beach you can't miss trying the restaurant at the boutique Atlantis Hotel.
- As with most places in the Dominica Republic, souvenirs of good quality are rare and far between, so the best thing you can bring back is a good tan.
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