Budget Beaches

by Sarah Tuff

Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic

Air carriers such as JetBlue are making the Dominican Republic a hot zone with so many cheap flights. But we suggest flying into Santiago and then making the three-hour drive to the Samaná Peninsula. From January to March, it is prime whale-watching territory. Smart guests unpack in one of the 23 garden villas at Las Palmas and begin toasting themselves at the eight-mile-long Las Terrenas beach across the street. After relaxing, they have the chance to explore the rest of the 500-square-mile waterfall- and sand-strewn Samaná Peninsula. Skip the $85 guided trip to Cayo Levantado—too touristy—and instead cough up $10 for the boat ride from the nearby town of Las Galeras to Playa Rincón. The eight-mile talcum-powder-soft beach belongs only to the coconut trees and the fish shacks, where two bucks buys you a fried seafood lunch.

Fly Buy: Fare still too high to Santiago? Check JetBlue's Travel Deals for even cheaper flights to the D.R. (800-538-2583; www.jetblue.com/traveldeals).

Las Palmas
Tel: 809 240 6436
Two-bedroom villas for four from $70

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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