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Eco Adventure in Las Galeras, Samana

One of the things I love most about the Dominican Republic is how diverse it is. Supersize and super luxury all-inclusive hotels sit side by side with the hustle and bustle of island life. Quaint little hostels beside big name resorts, here there’s something for everyone.

Best of all, is the opportunity to connect with nature. Hidden amongst mangroves and mountains, you can find amazing places to completely switch off from the world. After all of the negativity that experienced in 2020, spending time reconnecting with nature was a remedy I desperately needed to reset and gear up for the new year ahead. The source of my regeneration was an invite to a rustic getaway, nestled between the hills overlooking the beautiful Las Galeras in Samana. And what an experience it was:

a close up of a flower garden

There Are No Words!

We arrived at 5pm, tired from the long drive and hungry! Since restaurants were closed due to the pandemic, we weren’t able to stop at our favorite places along the way. Lucky for us, Chef Mirko, the resident Italian chef from Milan was available to rustle up something delicious! Meanwhile, we were shown to our room by the hosts Nora and Jose!

It’s hard to describe how it feels to walk into one of the rooms here. There is no way to accurately describe the sheer awe you feel as you enter a completely open room, with no windows. Only the stunning view over the Samana bay greets you! The room was tastefully decorated to blend in completely with the mountain. We got the feeling we would be camping in the wilderness, but with all the comforts of home!

Real Food!

A quick freshen up and our stomachs couldn’t wait any longer! Due to the open plan of the room, the scent of delicious food delicately touched our noses, and like hungry hound dogs we followed it! What a feast awaited us! Freshly cooked lobster, melting in the mouth and paired with exceptional wine, as the sun set on the Samana bay. The perfect end to an arduous day on the Dominican roads!

Food here is available from Chef Mirko, who sources fresh local ingredients, and with his expert hands transforms them into culinary masterpieces. It’s all about the flavor, and working with nature to select local produce at its prime is a skill that he has honed to perfection. Guest also have access to a fully equipped kitchen, with fridges and storage should they want to cook for themselves. A nice touch for anyone who really wants to disconnect from the world!

Breakfast is included with the room, and you’ll be spoiled with typical Dominican breakfast delicacies. Fresh tropical fruits, mangu, salami, queso frito to name a few! You’ll be full to bursting, ready to spend the day exploring the wilderness that surrounds the house.

a tree next to a body of waterAdventure Time!

Although relaxing in the room was a temptation, we were eager to explore Las Galeras and really make the most of the area. We headed out wild and free on quad bikes, meandering along single track island roads. We stopped at a coffee plantation to learn all about the history of coffee, which provides a vital source of income for the island via export. We also had the opportunity to sample freshly made coffee, which is unlike any other, since it was made at the source!

Beaches are plentiful this side of the Dominican Republic and are regularly voted some of the most beautiful on earth! One of the highlights of our trip was a boat ride over the Caño Frío at Playa Rincón. Refreshment is supplied by nature with an abundance of fresh coconuts and freshly caught fish. If we had to pick a place to live in an apocalypse, this would be it! Nature really provides everything you need to live well from the ocean, and from the land. With every minute I spent amongst the palms, I came to realize that all the trappings of modern life that we so rely on, are really insignificant! This place really is magical!

For those that really do want to take the opportunity to chill in the incredible rooms, you’re in for a treat if you visit between January and March! The annual migration of humpback whales will accompany you as you watch them leaping in the bay. You’ll have the best seat in the house to see them!

a large bed in a roomThe Best Night’s Sleep!

After a busy day exploring the area, and yet another exquisite meal from Chef, we were ready to sleep. My head barely touched the pillow as I melted into the cozy bed, surrounded by a delicate mosquito net. The fresh sea breeze flowing with the rhythm of my breathing, and the hypnotic chirping of crickets sent me off to the deepest and most satisfying sleep I have had in forever.

I was awoken only at dawn by birdsong and the rising sun. As I opened my eyes, taking in the incredible views, I felt renewed, and ready to take on the world again!

a view of a large treeThe Eco Adventure of a Lifetime!

My heart was filled with happiness and my time here completely relaxed me. I will forever remember my nights here! I am so happy to have discovered this oasis of calm and I will be sure to return! We all need time to regenerate in this crazy world we live in! I learned that Mother Earth has the power, and El Paraiso is the perfect gateway to connect us with our planet. The owners have created something incredible, and I recommend a visit for anyone who needs to rest and reset!

This magical place is available to book by Airbnb, find out more and access their booking pages via their website, casaelparaiso.