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“DR a la Francaise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Las Terrenas

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Boston
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 helpful votes
“DR a la Francaise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2010

Touring the Samana Peninsula during a winter escape this year and came across this great little beach hideout called Las Terrenas. A sort of sub culture laid-back beach village that has become inhabited by French nationals. It's got all the necessities...beach, mountains, surf, Dominican coffee, French wine and boulangeries.
The road to town winds upward thru some impressively steep terrrain, suddenly opening up to an expansive amazing view of thick palm forests marching dead into the sea.
Had some great Italian food and few bottles of wine with friends from Santo Domingo, all sprawled out on outdoor cane sectional sofas remniscient of South Beach but without the pricey menus.
When in Las terrenas, check out some of the island excursions, kayaking, or whale watches if in season.
Oh and don't worry overmuch about the language, here French will get you by too.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
1 review
6 helpful votes
“Beautiful wide open beaches”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2010

We spent a week in Las Terrenas for our honeymoon in June. We unfortunately spent most of the time inside due to Tropical Storm Alex. However, the few days that we were able to make it outside, the beaches were wonderful- practically empty. We rented a small condo ~30 minute walk from the beach, walking through the town felt safe, but as a female I didn't want to wander by myself. I think June is definitely the off season as many restaurants were closed. Many of the people were extremely nice and willing to help us even though we spoke no spanish. For us traveling to Las Terrenas was rather terrifying experience, we flew into Puerto Plata and then because we were being cheap rented an economy car (i think it must have been a V4!) which barely made it up the mountain. Because of this we didn't drive around at all while we were staying at the condo. I think we would have been much happier had we rented a four-wheel drive car that we could have comfortably driven around to different beaches. In all, our trip was a big adventure, but I think if we had 1, rented a better car, and 2. traveled at a different time we would have had an amazing time!

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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 helpful votes
“Caribbean heaven”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2009

Las Terrenas is a lovely town, set on some of the most beautiful beaches around. It's got a bit of everything you need from a beach town: awesome beaches (think palm trees overhanging the beach), diving (I recommend Stellina diving on Playa Bonita, very serious, safe, well-run operation), snorkeling, kite-surfing, quad and horse excursions, natural parks around the corner, loads of great restaurants and surprisingly hip bars. For some reason it's quite run-over by French expats who've bought property here. It means it may actually be hard to find a tour that does NOT run in French, but there is some really good food to be had....I'd recommend it for a wonderful beach holiday!

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New York, NY
3 helpful votes
“Fabulous spot -- stunning beaches, latin culture, fresh seafood and activity”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2009

My boyfriend and I just returned from 5 days in Las Terrenas and loved it - a great balance of natural beauty (not beaches covered with all-inclusive resorts) and Dominican culture.

TRANSPORTATION: We flew to Santo Domingo and took a taxi 2.5 hours to Las Terrenas, with Jesus with Apolo taxi (based in Santo Domingo). He speaks fluent english and spanish and was very kind/easy going. We rented a moped, which was all we needed to get around Las Terrenas, and take day trips to El Limon waterfall, Playa Bonita and Playa Coson. Cost was economical. We at first rented from Rosela y Manuel - nice as they delivered the moped to our hotel, although gas tank was empty, they charged us $25/day. We found out the going rate was $16-18, so took back the moped after 1 day. We found a great deal and a fabulous manager/owner- Mary de Santana, at d D'Mary on Calle Libertad 3. Mary was amazing - quite a contrast to Rosela y Manuel - flexible, gave us an extra 2 hours on our return time on our last day, let us "try out" the moped to make sure we had what we wanted. Take note, there are no helmets available at any of these spots in Las Terrenas so I would not advise long trips!

DAY TRIPS/ACTIVITES: We enjoyed the El Limon horseback ride/waterfall visit/lunch with Santi. We paid $57 for two, think there are cheaper options but we had great horses that were in good shape. We had nice visibility on a scuba dive with Stellina divers - I enjoyed the reef dive (no huge fish, but beautiful corals/sponges) and my boyfriend did a 2nd cave dive that was pretty cool at Las Ballenas islands. I snorkelled there and enjoyed it.
We took salsa lessons ($40/couple/hour) with Pipo Alcala at Salsa Caribe. He and Andina were great instructors and we're still enjoying the steps/techniques we learned.

HOTEL: We stayed at the Kari Beach hotel, Calle de la Playa www.karibeach.com, which we strongly recommend for 1) location on the beach - close to town, but far enough from downtown to be quiet, 2) clean rooms with beach views, 3) price/quality ratio at $50/night including a great breakfast, and 4) its warm and fantastic host, Antonio that saw to our every need, and was always available with reco's, directions, etc. We saw the Palapa Beach Hotel as well - rooms at $70-75 were cute, great for a family of 3-4. They don't really advertise so it's under the radar.

RESTAURANTS: Los Pinos on Calle 27 de Febrero on the way to El Portillo. Pietro the owner is amazing and a great host. We ate fresh whole fish (only what is fresh catch is served), and had the best veal steak we've eaten in months (we live in NYC so this says a lot). Casa Azul for pizza on the beach, with a cool vibe/location (inexpensive and as my boyfriend is from Italy, he's a good judge). Playa Coson: The Beach restaurant. Pricier, but a picturesque location, great staff, beautiful ambience, fab food.

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NYC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 helpful votes
“Now accessible from Santo Domingo - still charming but ...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2009

We loved the charm of Las Terrenas: The fisherman shacks which are restaurants were awesome, the funky hotel we stayed in for $60 right on the beach (KariBeach Hotel), the really friendly people and of course the beautiful beach.

Also loved that it took us about 2 hours on the new highway from Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas which is now open from Santo Domingo to Sanchez. It's a toll road, but reasonable. Cuts through beautiful scenery. Practically no traffic. Best road we saw in the DR.

But it's getting over-run with new mega-developments. As everywhere in the DR, infrastructure lags development. Time is short to really enjoy this place as it is.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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