Punta Cana, with its beaches of white sand, coconut palms, the Caribbean Sea and reefs swarming with fish: the Dominican Republic makes you dream. The country is host to nearly six million visitors a year and is now one of the favorite destinations of the French! Every year, more than 200,000 are said to go there, making it the most fashionable of long-haul destinations of the Hexagon!

Hotel-clubs and “all inclusive” resorts offer unbeatable prices at less than €1000 per person all in. Hundreds of hotel groups around Punta Cana compete with discounts and entertainments to attract ever more tourists.

Some French have fallen totally under the island’s charm and have quite simply moved there: the French community in the Dominican Republic now numbers more than 4,000! Many settle in the north on the Samana peninsula, a wilder area that has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, in particular at Las Terrenas, dubbed the French village with more than 2,000 French speakers. The vast majority works in the tourism sector. We follow the adventures of Thierry, who owns a beach bar/restaurant, Vanina, a wedding planner, and Brigitte, who will take tourists out whale-watching, not forgetting total immersion in one of the biggest “all-inclusive” hotels on the island.

December to April is the high season in the Dominican Republic. Our French expats have just a few months in which to make sufficient turnover to allow them to live out the rest of the year free of care. The early year period is especially prized by tourists, but for Thierry, Vanina and Brigitte, it’s not a vacation: it’s work!