Isla Saona is a tiny island located off the South-Eastern end of the Dominican Republic; and not just any old island my friends, oh no! The island’s actual name used to be Adamanay, however you know what those crazy Europeans of yesteryear were like when they went around the world claiming to discover new places; they felt an overwhelming and mildly arrogant urge to give each place a special new name of their own. I say ‘claiming’ because obv in the vast majority of cases these new lands were already very much inhabited by a local bunch of people who had always been quite aware of the place they live in. In this case the indigenous folk were called Taíno, and when Christopher Columbus arrived in the late 1400s he told them and the rest of the world that actually the name of this island was Saona, in homage to his good pal Michele da Cuneo who was from Savona in Italy. Not only is it a full on stunning place, with serene white sand beaches and palm trees swaying in the breeze, nowadays it’s a government-protected Nature Reserve due to its crazy abundance of beaut nature- both on land and in the shallow blue waters that surround it. This is definitely the closest place to paradise that I have ever stepped foot on, and understandably this is a massive draw for the tourists that arrive in boats every day from the mainland.