Dominican Republic

January 14, 2017

Paradise in Caribbean Sea surrounded by Atlantic Ocean, an island shared with Republic of Haiti.

Dominic Republic is the second largest country in Caribbean region, with a population around 10 million.
If you are in need of a vacation with white sand beaches, turquoise blue sea, wild nature, waterfalls, lakes and mountains, merengue music and dance; Dominican the right choice.
You can either choose to spend your time in luxury holiday resorts or explore small places and nature.

Dominican Republic_Beach_Coconut trees
Dominican Republic_Beach_Coconut trees

The coldest season is between November and April, and the hottest season is between May and October. August is the hottest month. June to September, can be hurricanes.
From December until February, the nights are cooler, you need a jacket.

Top activities, places and taste;

Bahia de Samana: Whale watching
Cabarete: Surfing (kite-surf) and night life
Sosua: Snorkelling and scuba diving
Punta Cana: White sand beaches and luxury hotels
Festivals: Merengue (late October)
Drink: local rum and cola, coco loca (with coconut), pinacolada and mamajuana

Capital city is Santo Domingo, mentioned as very crowded and chaotic. We chose not to visit Santo Domingo, instead we spent our time around Samana, Cabarete, Sosua and Puerta Plata.
There are different options to get from one place to another: 1.small motorcycles 2.guaguas (shared minibuses) 3.Bus 4.Taxi

Direct flights to Puerto Plata from Sweden.

Puerta Plata

This is a tourist zone with long beaches and resort hotels.
From the airport, you can either book the bus from your hotel or take a taxi.
It takes 20 minutes to drive to Playa Dorada, where the resort hotels are located. USD is accepted everywhere, taxi costs 35 USD, around 1600 Dominican peso.
I do not prefer resort hotel travels, therefore this place was just a relaxing hotel for a few days before we start to explore the island. (I would not recommend the Celiusma hotel, it is not so clean and fresh and is not worth the price). The sea was wavy in all days.

The city of Puerto Plata has an oceanfront boulevard. The building date back to the 1600s. If you are interested, there is amber museum.
There was a festival during our visit, the festival is every Sunday starting at 14:00.
Everyone dances well in this country:) The music is rhythmic mix from African and Caribbean origins. They socialise with music and dance.
And people are living very colourful (dresses, homes, cars)

Cable car tours: located at the top of Mountain Isabel, offers a panoramic view, a statue of Christ and botanical gardens. Admission fee: 200 peso per person

_Holiday_Photography_Travel_Karayipler_Dominik Cumhuriyeti_Tropik ada
Dominican Republic_Puerta Plata_Festival


One of best beach is Sosua, prefect for snorkelling and diving.You will have natural shadow, lie down under the trees on the beach. There are plenty of small bars, restaurants in the beach side.
Good sea food, fish and lobster.
Evenings are lively here, we enjoyed Kumba bar.

Casa Marina Beach Resort, is located next to Sosua beach. Gold sand beach and nice sea. We had a pinacolada in the hotel bar to refresh. The cocktails in this island are delicious.
Piergiorgio Hotel, a romantic decorated hotel on the rocks.

Dominican Republic_Sosua_Hotel Piergiorgio
Dominican Republic_Sosua_Hotel Piergiorgio

Day time surfing, night time clubbing. Popular destination for kite-surfers.
Hotel: Sanssouci Apart Hotels
Live music at Lazy Dog bar in the beach.

Samana – Las Terrenas

Samana is the best protected, least touristic area. The national park “Los Haitises” is also located here.

We chose to drive by taxi, 3,5 hours driving from Playa Dorada to Las Terranas, costed 7000 peso. This is the easiest and quickest option, especially your vacation time is short.

Dominican Republic_driving to Samana
Dominican Republic_driving to Samana
Dominican Republic_driving to Samana
Dominican Republic_driving to Samana

Our hotel is Hotel Playa Caribe, small, clean, nice located in the sea side. Much better than the first place.
Sunset is great here, we had our dinner in the hotel, they have tables in the beach, offers fresh fish.

Dominican Republic_Fish
Dominican Republic_Fish
Dominican Republic_Fishing Boats
Dominican Republic_Fishing Boats

Nice fishing cottages, and nice bars in town. (we liked Replay)

Dominican Republic_Las Terrenas_Beach cafe
Dominican Republic_Las Terrenas_Beach cafe
Dominican girl
Dominican girl
Dominican girl
Dominican girl

27 February: Independence Day; celebrations everywhere.
The Dominican Independence War gave the Dominican Republic autonomy from Haiti on February 27, 1844.

One day, we rented a car and drove to Los Galeras and Samana.
Best activity during the entire trip is the whale watching at Samana. During January through early April, humpback whales return to this area each year to mate and give birth. More than 1500 whales visit the bay every year.
With a small boat from Los Galeros, we headed towards Cayo Levantodo island. (The trip costed 1750 peso per person)
The boat was small, waves were huge, the whales were gigantic:)
A father, mother and baby whales: 30 minutes show with their tales.

Dominican Republic_Samana_Whale watching
Dominican Republic_Samana_Whale watching
Dominican Republic_Samana_Whale watching boat
Dominican Republic_Samana_Whale watching boat

The boat took us Cayo Levantodo island, paradise beach.

Dominican Republic_Cayo Levantodojpg
Dominican Republic_Cayo Levantodo
Dominican Republic_Cayo Levantodo
Dominican Republic_Cayo Levantodo
Dominican Republic_Cayo Levantodo_sea shells

Another day, we booked a day trip with ATV to the mountains. (Cost 3000 peso per person with a private guide)
On the way, we passed though coffee and cacao plantation and harvest. Here, we tried mamajuana the first time: it is a type of wood, put in a bottle with an addition of rum and wine. Locals believe this drink is curing illnesses.
A typical tourist interest is the cigar store.
The main attraction to have the horse and ride through a challenging path to a waterfall takes 30 minutes.

Locals pull the horses uphill, whole day, very challenging and difficult activity compared to their age. They are very friendly and are very happy with a big smile.
Here, the nature is wild, and there are also coconut, pineapple, banana and mamajuana trees.
The waterfall is called: Salto El Limon with a height of 50 meters, Some people jump from the top of the waterfall. Due to heavy rain, the water was muddy and braun.

Domincan Republic_Salto El Limon waterfall

I recommend to spend less time at Punta Plata and more time in Samana area. I had the best days of the vacation here in Las Terrenas and this area is more photographic.
Some price indications;

Beer 100 peso
Sun chairs 100 peso
Small hotels 350 peso per night
Rental car: 3000 peso per day
Bensin: 20 lt: 2500 peso