Just a few decades ago there were only two ways to reach the natural paradise of Las Terrenas, on the Dominican Republic’s Samana Peninsula. You could take a horse, or a boat. Then, word spread among Europeans about a place with stunning waterfalls cascading down from lush green mountains, and shady woodlands touching on miles of palm-fringed, white-sand beaches.
Only a two-hour flight from the U.S. and home to 1,015 miles of Caribbean coastline, exquisite white-sand beaches, swaying palms, and friendly locals, the Dominican Republic has long been a popular vacation destination. Every year four million people visit its shores to stay in all-inclusive hotels or as part of a cruise itinerary.