By Waheeda Harris, “Atmosphere” (Air transat), April – August 2018

The Dominican eco-paradise of Samana has something for all types of adventurers: the wave runner, wildlife enthusiast, deep swimmer and high climber. Which one are you?

Head to the region of Las Terrenas, where the northeast swell creates a daily diet of perfect breaks. Chase the wind while gliding over the big waves at Playa Punta Popy, a mecca for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Traditional surfers, hit the waves at two of Las Terrenas’s most beautiful beaches, Playa Coson and Playa Bonita. You’re a newbie? No problem, these beaches offer surfing lessons. Then stick around for some post-surfing happy hour at one of their many beach bars. Try the piña colada with Brugal rum, served in a pineapple.

Los Haitises National Park is so stunning, you half-expect to see dinosaurs roaming around. It’s no surprise, then, that it was used as a film location for Jurassic Park. Covering an area of 1,600 square kilometres, this protected park features vast rainforests and mangroves, and is home to over 200 bird species. See if you can spot the endangered Ridgway’s hawk, the Hispaniolan woodpecker, pelicans, grey herons and frigatebirds. On your boat tour, keep your eyes also peeled for manatees and dolphins. Then hike to Cueva de la Línea and Cueva de la Arena to see other types of wildlife—in the form of ancient Taino petroglyphs and pictographs. (…)

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