Hotel at a Glance: Balcones del Atlantico
Rumor has it Christopher Columbus once dubbed the Samana Peninsula “the fairest land on the face of the earth.” The thick tract of land juts into the Atlantic Ocean on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. You can survey the peninsula from a hammock on the private beach at Balcones del Atlantico. The décor of the hotel is easy on the eyes, too—interior designer Patricia Reid designed the one- and two-bedroom villa suites, which have bright, tropical colors, hand-carved furniture, and local artwork.
- Redeem your resort credit: it’s valid for room upgrades, dinner, and spa treatments
- Dine in: Porto, located beachside and known for its fresh seafood
- Recommended dinner entrees: BBQ catch (barbecue-marinated dorado filet) ($15.40 USD), and camarones (Peruvian-style shrimp ceviche) ($13.20 USD)
- Lounge around on your own patio: each room has a private, landscaped terrace, equipped with stone floors and a plank wood table
- Must-see nearby attraction: El Salto del Limon waterfall, a 170-foot cascade that plummets into an aquamarine-hued pool
- Best beach to windsurf and kiteboard: Playa Punta Popy
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic: National Park and Rustic Island Beauty on the Samana Peninsula
Once a rustic fishing village, Las Terrenas is an up-and-coming beach destination along the Samana Peninsula on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast. Over the past two decades, Las Terrenas’ expat population has taken off, and local restaurants reflect the diverse mix of residents. In town, you can find French and Spanish cuisine, authentic Dominican entrees, and even thin-crust pizza.
Accessible only via boat, Los Haitises National Park is a must-see attraction. You can arrange for a tour through the park’s islets, cays, and mangrove swamps— keep an eye peeled for blue herons, pelicans, and Hispaniolan parakeets along the way. The national park is also home to an intricate cave system that is open for tours. It’s worth checking out the petroglyphs and unfinished crossword puzzles on the cavern walls left by Taino Indians, the island’s original inhabitants.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.