From eating fried red snapper to sunset-watching on the beach, supermodel Arlenis Sosa shares her favorite things to do—and her beauty must-haves—while in the Dominican Republic.

When Arlenis Sosa isn’t busy gracing the pages of Vogue or walking the runway for designers like Prabal Gurung, she’s trying to get back to her favorite place in the world: Her home country, the Dominican Republic. She grew up in a small town called Copey, where a population of around 5,000 people made for a close-knit community. “I was hard to miss, standing at 6 feet tall as teen,” the 31-year-old model laughs.

Sosa travels home at least five times a year, even if it’s just for the weekend. “It’s such an easy flight [from New York],” she notes, and even a quick turnaround is worth it for the warmer weather and family time. As soon as Sosa lands, she runs to Boca Chica Beach to enjoy fried red snapper (a DR tradition) and a cold, Presidente beer. “I usually have my routine every time I visit my country,” she notes. It starts with coffee and a traditional Dominican breakfast called mangú con los tres golpes: fried cheese, salami, mashed plantains and sautéed onions, which Sosa has with her mom. Then, she’ll spend the whole day at the beach, drinking fresh coconut water with friends and family. Sosa recommends packing lightly for the DR: her hometown uniform consists of Rag & Bone shorts, and Hermès scarf that she likes “wearing as a shirt, too,” some Havaiana flip flops, a Dannijo slip dress and, of course, a few swimsuits. (Solid & Striped, Tropic of C and Teayou are her favorites.)

To enhance her island glow, Sosa’s must-pack beauty products are her 111Skin eye masks, Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Acid, a CO Bigelow lip balm, and of course, EltaMD’s sunscreen. If you’re a wellness junkie visiting the DR, Sosa recommends picking up melaza (molasses) “for the immune system!” fresh coconut oil, cacao butter cream, and an organic deep hair treatment called Jalea Real, or “Royal Jelly,” that includes ginger, avocado, cinnamon and rosemary.

But what truly keeps Sosa coming back is, of course, the people. “We have the most amazing, contagious, joyous spirit!” Sosa said of her hometown community, “Regardless of how little or much we have, we wear a smile at all times. Music and dancing adds to that happiness… We just love to have fun.”

Sosa gives us a snapshot of her latest trip home.

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