Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Raw Beaches of Punta CanaIt's easy to forget you're in a resort town while roaming the raw, wild beaches of Punta Cana. Sporadic resorts dot the coastline, but choose carefully and you can easily put a mile of jungle and sand between you and your nearest neighbor.
We stayed in an older place near the end of the “resort zone” and lucky for us – our closest neighbor was Manny, the surf shop owner. We spent our days ditching the pool in favor of walking up and down the largely untouched shoreline of Punta Cana.
Never before have I seen what an ungroomed beach actually looks like: sand covered with fallen palm fronds and a dense layer of underbrush, and, at times, an unfortunate amount of plastic and debris that's washed ashore. The entire scene was beautiful, wild and a precious moment in time. Go there now before more of the world catches on.