Michelle Peralta's Secret Caribbean Paradise
The Brooklyn-based visual artist takes us on a tour of the world (and her favorite beach town).
Michelle Peralta is somebody I feel very lucky to be friends with. She’s a visual artist (cool!), a film producer (interesting!), and a pilates instructor (hot!). Her work is almost entirely inspired by her world travels and the connections she makes with the people and nature she encounters while on the road. “I’ve met nearly all of my closest friends (and some of my greatest loves) in my travels,” she says. (Michelle and I met in Brooklyn BUT it was while we were dreaming up a travel guide together, so I’ll count it.) “It helps me feel connected to humanity as a whole to have bits of my heart scattered around the world.”
And part of her heart is definitely in the Dominican Republic, which is where her film De Lo Mio takes place.
Below, Michelle shares her travel tips and secrets with us—including a guide to her favorite Dominican beach town.
What websites do you use to plan a trip?
Instagram for inspiration, and maybe T&L or CN Traveler for recommendations if I’m traveling with my parents (because their tastes are more refined than mine).
Favorite travel hack?
Vacuum seal bags. I try to pack as efficiently as possible, but having outerwear options is essential, especially if I’m traveling somewhere cold – I’m a lover of chunky knits and don’t like having to decide which sweater to take on my adventures!
What’s one thing you always make time for when traveling?
People watching. Either sitting at a café or walking in a park, I like to just quietly observe the local community and try and take in all the sights and sounds.
Any travel experiences you WON’T do?
Hop-on, hop-off tours. Absolutely non-negotiable, no ma’am.
What’s the one thing that’s always in your carry-on?
My Nikon F6, 35 mm film, and 2-3 books which I may or may not read during the course of my trip.
What’s the one thing you never go on a trip without?
Samarin, which I like to describe as the Swedish version of Alka-seltzer. It comes in little pre-dosed sachets, doesn’t taste gross, and works really quickly. I’m an adventurous eater and I like spicy food, which has me constantly belly-aching, so this is my regular lifesaver.
What’s the best thing you watched on the plane recently?
I watched the movie C’MON C’MON (directed by Mike Mills) on a flight not too long ago, and it was touching and beautiful. Lots of little teary-eyed moments for me throughout.
Zurich or Keflavik.
Most luxurious trip you’ve ever been on?
India. My best friend and I were there for a wedding in Jaipur (which in itself was extremely glam and all of the guests attending were treated like royalty), and afterwards we went to this incredible glamping experience in Jaisalmer. It was pure luxury and blissful isolation in the middle of the desert, and I never wanted to leave.
Least luxurious trip you’ve ever been on?
Traveling to Havana, Cuba. It was raw and really beautiful, and far from the spoon-fed guided tours I’ve heard that American visitors often experience there.
What’s the most surprisingly delicious food you’ve tried?
A sandwich from this spot in Copenhagen called Kebabistan. My first time there was as a late-night drunk food stop after an earlier multi-course fancy dinner, and the sandwich blew me away more than any of the Michelin- starred food I had eaten hours earlier. Since then I’ve literally forced a layover in Copenhagen so that I can get one of these sandwiches again.
Any crazy drinking stories from your travels?
I spent about a month in Romania during a music-festival-filled summer in my youth, and at one point my group ran out of booze, so we ended up crossing the border into Bulgaria to get cheap and easily accessible hooch.
Where’s your favorite beach?
Playa Bonita, Las Terrenas Dominican Republic.
Do you have a favorite warm-weather winter destination?
The motherland (Dominican Republic)!
Where’s the best place to visit in the summer?
The Amalfi Coast.
Where do you like to spend the holidays?
In Long Island at my parent’s home, or traveling around the UK. It just feels extra Christmassy and cheery there during that time of year, more than anywhere else I’ve been.
Is there anywhere that you like to visit over and over again?
What destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Are there any places that you’re eager to return to?
The Scottish Highlands! Or Portugal, specifically the village of Monsaraz.
Want all the travel secrets and recommendations in one place? Follow the Alibi Guide to the World on Google Maps.
The Alibi Guide to Las Terrenas
Michelle Peralta takes us along on her yearly pilgrimage to the best-kept secret in the Caribbean
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial