Naturist Eden in the Dominican Republic

By: Wendy Palmer
Tucked away on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic where tropical forests meet the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, lies the aptly named resort; Eden Bay. Although only eighty minutes away from the mass tourist resorts of Puerto Plata, Eden Bay feels beautifully remote and away from it all. The Adams and Eves who stay in Eden enjoy a fully naturist vacation at this beautifully maintained, clothes optional resort. It is only too easy to spend everyday of your holiday within the extensive grounds of Eden. They must cover at least 40 acres of land and include areas that are shaded under swaying coconut palms, grass lawns, sandy coves, rocky beaches and floral gardens. Amongst these natural features, the resorts man-made facilities can be found. They include; two swimming pools, three hot tubs, a volley ball court, a water volley ball court, bars, restaurants and accommodations.If you can muster up the will power to put some clothes on and step outside of Eden at some point during your vacation, this part of the Dominican Republic offers many sightseeing opportunities. My best travel tip is to visit the Samana peninsula.Here you will find lonely beaches with sand as white as sugar and beautiful hills of palm tree forests shading orchids and bromeliads of vivid colours. On the southern side of the peninsula, hotels and small upmarket tourist resorts have been developed over the years but they merge tastefully into the surrounding environment. The largest town in the area is Santa Barbara de Samana and there is one very good reason to go there if your vacation is between mid January and mid March.

At that time of the year, Samana bay is the natural calving and mating grounds for three to five thousand humpback whales. Boats from Santa Barbara take tourists out into the bay for sightings of these magnificent animals at close quarters. From a boat it is possible to hear the male humpback's solitary courting song and to witness displays of tail lobbing, flippering and breaching. Most of the performances are undertaken by male humpbacks, trying to impress females and vying for their attention. If you are really lucky you may even observe one "standing" on his tale momentarily, right out of the water.The whale observation boats have to go quite a long way out in the bay and can encounter some surprisingly choppy waters. A travel tip to anyone like me, who does not have a sailor's stomach, is to take a sea-sickness tablet before setting off. Another tip is to take something warm to put on if needed. We got soaked as the power boat crashed through the waves and even though the weather was fine and the Caribbean is about as warm as seawater gets, the ocean breeze made me feel quite chilly after a while. It is a wonderful experience to get close to these amazing animals and the trip to Samana Bay is one not to be missed. However, it was sometimes possible to catch sight of the whales from Eden Bay, as they passed by on their migratory passage, a few hundred metres out to sea. One day we sat in a hot tub that overlooked the ocean and watched one sending great plumes of water into the air.There are many other places worth visiting in this part of the Dominican Republic. The northern mountain ranges present the more adventurous tourist with activities that include mountain bike trails, hiking, and rubber rafting on the Rio Yaque del Norte. For people who enjoy more extreme sporting activities there is cascading. This involves climbing to the top of waterfalls and abseiling down through the cascade!Personally, the magnet of Eden proved too strong to allow me to spend any more time away from the resort. Days of basking in the tropical sun, playing water volley ball, snorkelling in crystal clear waters, or enjoying one of the many beach games organised by the Eden Bay staff, were followed by balmy evenings of dance, dining and drinking. Sometimes it makes me feel a little guilty that we saw so little of the rest of the Dominican Republic but we were by no means alone in this respect. We made many new friends during our stay in Eden Bay and all them found it as difficult as we did to leave the resort.

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