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The city is not generally visited by many foreigners, meaning that Nagua is more or less unaffected by tourism. As such, it shows the more authentic side of Dominican life away from the luxury hotel complexes of other areas. It is largely an administrative town of the María Trinidad Sánchez province and it depends mostly on agriculture, principally rice, bananas, pineapples and cacao. María Trinidad Sánchez herself has a statue in the central park of Nagua. The town is also quite industrial, so is not as picturesque as other towns along the northern eastern coast.
There is a beach within easy reach of the hotels in the town, but they are not as secluded as the beaches away from the major towns. Towards the south, the Playa de los Gringos is more popular than the beach to the north, Playa Boba. This beach stretches for 7km but has rough seas which are better for surfing than for swimming.
One of the scenic routes to drive along is the fastest road to Santo Domingo. The road leaves Nagua to San Francisco de Macorís and the Cibao Valley. It extends through farmland and some tiny villages. You can take Metro or Caribe tours along this route and discover some of the Dominican Republic's heartland.
About 20km north of Nagua is the small beach and town of Playa La Entrada. It's worth going to see the mouth of the river, where there's a small rocky island. If you head south down the beach, you will get to the Lost Village, a village that was left in ruins by a hurricane. Back in the town the Parador Restaurant will sell you tickets to swim in a freshwater sinkhole behind the building if you want to cool down.
Further north from La Entrada, the sea becomes calmer again. Playa Diamante is a beautiful beach cove sheltered from the Atlantic by a rocky outcrop. Here the waters are clear, the sand is white and it is perfect for swimming.
In Nagua itself there are plenty of dining out options since it's a large town. Not only can you sample Dominican specialities but there are international food places as well, such as Mexican and Italian restaurants. Another bonus is the nightlife, which in Nagua centres around two nightclubs, Menci's and Yana Cona, both near to the park.
Since Nagua is not over populated by foreign visitors, staying here is a complete immersion experience in the Dominican culture. It will offer a great chance to meet and mix with the locals at night spots, cafes and at the beach. Further north you can visit the area around Cabrera and further south the peninsular of Samaná. Although not such a picturesque town, it's a great place to see what life is like and travel around.