Santo Domingo - The north-west of the Dominican Republic has undergone a make-over in recent years with more sand on its beaches, new hotels and less garbage along its highways.
These are just a few of the signs that the region around Puerto Plata and Sosua is becoming attractive again for foreign tourists.
About 10 years ago, the region was making headlines in the tourist trade for its rock bottom prices. Then, investment suddenly dried up, hotels fell into disrepair and beaches became gradually dirty and uninviting.
But that's a thing of the past and Puerto Plata now compares favourably with the more expensive holiday resorts at Punta Cana and Cap Can in the east.