When Patricia Thorndike de Suriel, owner of Iguana Mama, first visited Dominican Republic’s north shore in 1993, the upstate New York native immediately saw the potential for biking in the mountainous terrain. She scouted hundreds of trails from paved roads and goat paths for beginners to technical singletracks for the truly gifted. The result is a wide array of full-day and half-day jaunts for all levels of expertise. The Islabon Coast Cruise combines an easy ride along the coast with a boat trip down the Yasica River, perfect for the whole family. Or venture into the hillside like I did on the Downhill Cruise Adventure. Start at the summit of the fertile Cibao Valley and soon, you’ll be zipping through the lush countryside past coffee plantations and cabbage fields, crossing rivers where villagers wash their laundry—all the while, surrounded by the Caribbean waters in the distance. For breaks, stop at the fruit stands and sample the fresh passionfruit, sweet lemons, and guanabana. Children will come out to high-five you, but be forewarned that those jugs on the tables are not filled with lemonade. They contain gas for motorists.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, andSierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.