There’s no better way to see the Dominican countryside than from the back of a moto taxi. Dirt roads wend their way through the fields outside of Las Galeras. (Lois Farrow Parshley/FTWP)

Spirit Airlines offers one-stop flights from Reagan National to Santo Domingo, with fares starting at $314 round-trip.


Hotel la Residence

Calle Danae 62, Santo Domingo


Simple, clean and in the heart of the quiet Gazcue neighborhood. The waterfront is just a few minutes’ walk away, and there’s a nice balcony for reading. Rooms with queen-size beds and (working!) air conditioners from $30.

Paradiso Bungalows

Central crossroads, behind El Taino Restaurant

Las Galeras


A half-dozen thatched-roof cabanas just a coconut’s throw from the ocean and steps from the best restaurants in town. The bathrooms and linens are spotless, and you’ll welcome a front porch looking out over the small tropical garden. Rooms from $25.


La Cafetera Colonial

Intersection of Calle El Conde and Calle 19 de Marzo

Santo Domingo


Perfectly situated along the main thoroughfare. Choose a stool under a fan and get lost in the ceaseless banter. Coffee and sandwiches start at $2.

Boulangerie La Marseillaise

Calle Principal, Las Galeras


Begin your mornings with a chocolate croissant and a double shot of espresso, and take a beautifully crusted baguette to a picnic lunch on the beach. Tarts for less than $2; pizzas start at $6.

Il Pirata

Calle Principal, adjoining Plaza Lusitania

Las Galeras


The divan seating and cream linen interior will keep you long past dessert. Chef Manuela crafts rich pastas and decadent pizzas. The fresh mozzarella is a welcome touch. Entrees start at $8.

Le Tainos

Calle Principal, Las Galeras

Slightly pricey but sleekly designed and always humming. The bar is well stocked, but no vice can match the Nutella brownie. Entrees such as Thai chicken start at $8.


Tour Santo Domingo’s Ciudad Colonial

Begin your exploration of the capital’s colonial city at Parque Colon, where you can hire a licensed private tour guide ($20-$30 for two hours) or go it alone with a good guidebook. Nearly all the surrounding museums and ruins are free and open to the public. The New World’s first cathedral, located right on the park, is a don’t-miss, but dress appropriately.

Take a motoconcho to the beach

Las Galeras has no shortage of moto taxis willing to go anywhere for the right price. For $10 per person, take an exhilarating ride through the countryside to any of the surrounding beaches. Don’t expect to be offered a helmet, and be sure to confirm when and where your driver will pick you up for the return trip.