The south of the Dominican Republic is a far cry from the tourist plagued northern and eastern shores and the money of the big hotel chains. The road from Barahona down the coast runs parallel to the beach uninterrupted for more than 200km arching up and down the lush dramatic landscape that crests the sky blue Caribbean ocean. Small villages of colourful houses that spread the various valleys lead to empty beaches frequented only by fishermen and which on weekends come alive with Dominicans of all ages dancing to the hip swaying sounds of merrengue and cooking fresh fish on open fires. The most popular of these being the stunning San Rafael with its fresh water natural swimming pools. It is these soul wrenchingly picturesque shores with their small coconut bark thatch huts that make this part of the island the most attractive.
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