I’m back from another updated region: the lush Samaná Peninsula. A place with glorious beaches, but also stunning hillsides, forests, and national parks. A place where you can easily mingle in local communities and get a feel for Dominican culture.

I was glad to see that Samaná continues to attract independent travelers, from all corners of the world.  Backpackers, but also all ranges of travelers and age groups. They rent a car, scooter, or ATV, and explore the countryside, local communities, and go on outdoor adventures. They come here for ecotourism, water sports, culture (including merengue and bachata lessons with Las Terrenas’ dance professionals).

I must have been at least three or four times to this region in the past year, including New Year’s in Las Galeras and a couple of stops in ever-slow changing Samaná Town (actually, with a couple of great finds there), which makes my update work much easier. Las Terrenas was the one I needed to spend more time researching a new — you’ll have to look out for those great updates in the book and upcoming articles, including affordable lodges, hostels, and a fabulous new boutique hotel in town, as well as inspiring escapes in the hilly outskirts of Las Terrenas.

In the meantime, I’m spending a week state-side catching up with family, and attending the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s annual conference. I’m thrilled to have been nominated as a finalist for the CTO 2018 Media Awards, for this article I wrote last year on Curacao for CNN Travel (I write about other parts of the region as well). So I’m going to catch up with family—while writing of course—bask in some glory for a minute, and then be back on the road again to continue updating #MOONDR2019.

Also, look out for my usual curated calendar of hot events around the DR, coming back on the blog for June and July (skipped May because of my huge work load but you didn’t miss much anyway, it was pretty quiet.)

Last but not least, you can keep following my journey around the DR and glimpse my Behind the Scenes series on Instagram and Facebook. OR simply by searching with the hashtag #MOONDR2019.

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