PARAÍSO, sandwiched between San Rafael and Los Patos, is the “big town” along this stretch where locals go for fiestas and weekend nightlife, and it’s also where you’ll need to go for ATMspharmacies and phone centres. But it still doesn’t boast much in the way of hotels and its restaurants are typical comedores. It does have a long strand of superb sandy beach that can get brutally hot at mid day due to the lack of shade. Along the western end of the strand stands the Hotel Paraíso (243-1080), a decent enough place to stay for the night, with a/c or fan, cable TV and a local-seafood restaurant. Alternately, you’ll also find tasty Dominican fare at Paola, Highway 44 at Nouel, with daily specials for RD$100 – and there are over a dozen different comedores and street vendors within town offering pulled beef and pork, fried chicarrones and the like. When you’re ready to head out of town, you’ll find that guaguas meet at the corner of Nouel and Enriquillo, departing every 20min or so east and west along the highway.

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