The best of Las Terrenas: beach, eat, drink, relax, repeat
Coson beach near Las Terrenas, Samana
Once a fishing village, Las Terrenas is now a trending destination on the tip of the Samana peninsula in the Domican Republic.
The region is a darling of international beach-going vacationers, and a slew of picturesque beaches nearby, each with their own appeal, makes for a very relaxing itinerary if you’re looking for a weekend or week-long getaway.
Come high season, Las Terrenas is thronged with French, Italian, Spanish and American visitors and expats. Whenever you decide to travel, the township has plenty of places to eat, drink and wake up to those stunning Caribbean ocean views.
The town is compact and its narrow streets are easy to navigate on foot, but you’ll find lots of moto riders and cab drivers to help you get around, too.
Houses in Las Terrenas, Samana
The best beaches in Las Terrenas
Playa Grande is rocky and jagged, so it’s better for soaking up the sunshine and the view than wading into the waves. For just a few dollars you can rent a white plastic folding chair at Playa Grande and gaze out to the cays that break up the endless sea of turquoise. Nearby Las Galeras is the local starting point for boat excursions to take you around the peninsula’s beaches.
Playa Fronton is a gorgeous beach that plays hard to get. Only reachable by boat, this beach features a riot of palm trees and a dramatic cliff abutting the sand.
Playa Bonita has the best waves of all the local beaches and is a great place to learn to surf, and a fantastic place to watch the sunset.
Coson Beach is a long, lovely beach framed by palm trees, about four miles from Las Terrenas and easy to reach. The great waves here make it another top surfing spot, and locals visit the beach to sell Dominican-grown coconuts and coconut oil.
Best hidden beach
Carolina Portillo Beach is a little further away, but easy to reach by car. It’s ten miles from the center of Las Terrenas, in the municipality of El Limón, and is even quieter than Coson.
Beachfront restaurant in Las Terrenas
Photo: Mikkel Ulriksen
Where to eat
Pueblo De Los Pescadores - the main strip of Las Terrenas - is where most folks go out to eat, though you’ll find little cafes, bars and restaurants dotted around a few of the popular beaches too.
In the center of Las Terrenas, Boulangerie Francaise is a European-Dominican fusion restaurant serving up pizzas, croissants, empanadas, sandwiches and traditional Dominican fare like mangu, made from plantain (green banana) served with cheese, eggs, salami and onion. Boulangerie Francaise is our favorite place in Las Terrenas to grab coffee.
White House Beach is fringed by little restaurants, and our favorite is Nana Gourmet. This seaside restaurant features friendly service and affordable prices (RD $ 500 - 600 for seafood mains). We recommend a plate of chillo (northern red snapper), or the exceedingly fresh fried grouper, washed down by a cold Presidente beer.
Seafood not your thing? Try Pizza Coco, a laid-back, spacious pizzeria on February 27 Avenue and less than a thousand feet from Casa Blanca Beach. Expect an extensive pizza menu with single-serve pizzas starting at RD $300 (about US$5.15). The pizza goes great with fresh juice squeezed from locally-grown fruit. This is our favorite spot to take large groups. Don’t miss the trees that form part of the interior architecture!
Nighttime at Las Terrenas beach
Where to drink
Mojitos Restaurant is an easy stroll from Pizza Coco, even on a full stomach. If you haven’t eaten yet, you can browse on ceviche, mero fish, squid and other gourmet seafood bar fare, but you’re probably here to drink. The mojitos don’t disappoint, but for something you won’t find everywhere else, we recommend ordering a Caipiriña - the national cocktail of Brazil, made with cachaça, sugar, and lime. Drinks start at RD$200 (USD$3.40).
For more on the best places to drink and dance while you’re here, check out our guide to party-hopping in Las Terrenas!
Where to sleep
Villa Casa Bienestar is downtown, easy to find, and a lazy stroll from the best place in town to watch the sun go down. The Hotel Punta Bonita located near the secluded beach of the same name, less crowded than the drawcard beaches around town, and within walking distance of Ney’s Beach Bar & Grill and Restaurant Costa Las Ballenas.
Las Terrenas is a two-and-a-half hour drive from the capital Santo Domingo.
Written by Aura De Los Santos.
Published December 2023
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