The true beauty of the central North Coast is not in its dramatic, dark green backdrops of the Septentrional's karstic formations with their coral escarpments, nor in the tropical variety of its 22 climactic zones, nor even in the brilliant flamboyant-lined stretch of road between Rio San Juan and Cabrera chasing the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Arguably so, it is not in the fact that our home base in the fishing community, turn sport town, of Cabarete is located here, either. No. The essence of the North Coast's beauty is in the unique balance that has been found between comfortable tourist amenities and unobstructed access to the gracious and enthusiastic Dominican way of life. The North Coast accommodates very few monstrous resorts with their towering walls and Disneyland-like facades. Those that do exist for the most part are politely located within 20 miles of each other. Please don't get me wrong. All-inclusive resorts play an important and necessary role for many large events, family vacations, and curious, but timid travelers. Simply stated, the North Coast is a melting pot where we, Dominicans and one-week visitors alike, shop at the same stores, eat at the same restaurants, and share the same view of the sapphire horizon from the shade of a coconut palm.