Falling in Love with Las Terrenas

April 28, 2017

I will never forget when I fell in love with her. It was June of 2011. The sky was a golden pink and magic hour was upon us. The ocean was calm and the sound of waves (if you could have called them that) was drowned out by my ATV. But that didn’t matter to me in the least because in place of the soft sound of waves, freedom combed my hair and the sea breeze was my breath. My heart was full and overjoyed and it was almost too much. Falling in love with Las Terrenas was easy. Leaving her… deep breath… leaving her might kill me.

Terrenas Love

This is our last long weekend in the Dominican Republic. It might possibly be our last beach weekend too, and there was no question where I would spend it.

Sort of like marrying Husband, it’s hard to put into words how I could love something so much, I just do. There is something about it’s quiet manner that is so different from most of the island. Las Terrenas has a vibe that feels easy to come home to. It is a beautiful fusion of Dominican locals and expats who are now locals, a balance that gives off the sense that something new is being created here. Las Terrenas makes me feel like I belong.

 Las Terrenas with family

And so when I come back to LT, I feel like I’m coming to a place I never left. It’s even in the way her arms open when the road that leads into town breaks in two. The left arm leads you to Calle Caamaño Deño Francisco Street; the right arm to 27 de Febrero. And it is in those arms that I spend hours hugging the shore line on an ATV, allowing that charming town to bewitch me. Back and forth and back again.

Sometimes, I have nowhere to go and other times I find things to do, just to ride around town. I joke that I will sleep on an ATV this weekend or cuddle with it. It isn’t far from the truth. To understand my affection for ATVs, you have to understand that I am not a thrill seeker. I am not an adventure junkie or a speed demon. I don’t like riding an ATV for the jolt of adrenaline; it is actually far less exciting and much harder to describe. It’s an avalanche of feeling rolled into one – so many tickets in the lotto machine that it’s hard grabbing onto just one.

So I’ll stick with describing it like this: in that moment, with the salt water in my hair and the sun warming my face, my soul smiles.


I expect that I’ll find other beach towns to fall in love with; I also expect that some day I’ll return to this one and remember, all over again, why she was my first.

ATVs in Terrenas


What My Kids Have Learned from the Dominican Republic

P.S. Where to eat in Las Terrenas and leaving Cabarete.

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