17km (11 miles) NE of Sánchez, 249km (155 miles) NE of Santo Domingo

On La Samaná's north coast, this former fishing village has grown greatly since its discovery by expats, often from Switzerland and France, in the late '70s. Las Terrenas stands as one of the newest and emerging resorts of the Caribbean.

In an attempt to end urban slums in Santo Domingo, the dictator Trujillo began exporting people here in the 1940s, instructing them to make their living fishing and farming the land.

Of course, it was its beaches that put Las Terrenas on the tourist map, and these strips of golden or white sand remain its major attraction. Otherwise, there is very little to see and do here except hang out on the beach, eat seafood dinners at night, and frequent the beachfront merengue dives until the early hours.

Las Terrenas is one of the least formal and least structured resorts in the Dominican Republic.