DOMINICAN REPUBBLIC
Infos about the trip

 

This time more than a trip I had a vacation devoted to: sun, sea and relax. The different zones I visited are quite different among them, the south with white beaches hem of palms and calm waters, the north with the forest licks up the gilded beaches directly on the sea, the peninsula of Samaną with a beautiful atmosphere and beautiful landscapes. 

 

The itinerary

 

Date

Itinerary

Transport

Time

28/02/2003

Milan-Saint Domingo

airplane

10 hours

01/03/2003

Boca Chica

 

 

02/03/2003

Boca Chica-Bayahibe

bus

3 hours

03/03/2003

Bayahibe

 

 

04/03/2003

Bayahibe

 

 

05/03/2003

Bayahibe-Sosua

bus

8 hours

06/03/2003

Sosua

 

 

07/03/2003

Sosua-Cabarete

bus

20 minutes

08/03/2003

Cabarete

 

 

09/03/2003

Cabarete-Las Terrenas

bus

4 hours

10/03/2003

Las Terrenas

 

 

11/03/2003

Las Terrenas

 

 

12/03/2003

Las Terrenas-Boca Chica

bus

6 hours

13/03/2003

Saint Domingo

 

 

14/03/2003

Boca Chica

 

 

15/03/2003

Saint Domingo-Milan

airplane

11 hours

 

Transports 
The transports network is capillary, convenient and quite efficient. 
For middle-long journeys exist two ways of connections: 

  1. Official Bus, connect the principal centers with comfortable buses and reserved seat, the main company it is the Caribe Tours;

  2. Guagua, private bus that effect both local that connections between the varied provinces, depart when they are full and they make a lot of stops along the way to load passengers; for these motives are more uncomfortable but more convenient than the official buses.

Taxi 
In the cities you can move easily and economically with the motoconchos: moto-taxi generally driven by boys in reckless way; is always necessary to agree-treat the rate even if for the tourists it is difficult to sprout the price paid by the locals (generally 10-20 pesos for a run). 

 

Climate 
In the period of my trip I found an excellent, warm and quite dry climate, in the beach generally always blows the wind that even if lifting sand also makes pleasant to sunbath. 

 

Food 
In the tourist places you can find with more facilities the international food rather of that local. 
The fish and the shellfishes are excellent and generally fresh, excellent the Lambi and the Conch big molluscs typical of the Caribbean.

 

Dangers & annoyances 
Safety not seemed me a problem, with the usual precautions you can go around safely in the evening. In the most tourist centers you are often boarded by persons that with the excuse to exchange some word after a little bit they propose varied cheats. 
Especially in the places of Boca Chica and Sosua the prostitution spreads, solo-men are literally attacked by hordes of girls creating an annoying and very sad situation. 

 

Costs 
Being a very tourist destination the costs to exception of the transports are not very convenient. Even if the $US is the money of reference the € is almost changed to good rates anywhere; the credit cards are enough diffused for payments in shops and restaurants even if increases of 3-5% are generally applied, in all the averages and big cities ATM are found for the withdrawal of cash. To buy something you can bargain a little bit. 
Average costs (1€ ~ 23 Pesos): 
lunch or dinner in the restaurant = 100-150 Pesos 
double room with bath in a guest house = 200-250 Pesos 
line bus: journey of 250 km = 215 Pesos 
journey in the city with motoconcho = 20 Pesos 

 

Excursions 
Except some exception the excursions seemed me a little interesting and above all with a very low relationship price/quality. 
In the zone of Bayahibe I done the tour to the Isla Saona, considering that I wanted to make also some dives I made the tour with a diving center, even if in some points the sea and the landscapes are really like a  postcard I remained a little satisfied. The greatest part of the tourists effects this tour in group on big catamarans where if nothing else they travel more comfortable and a good food can also be tasted even if with a high price. 
In the peninsula of Samaną I visited the most interesting places moving me with a motorbike rented to Las Terrenas, very beautiful the El Limon fall that you can reach with a journey of 40 minutes riding the mules through the forest. 

DIVES 
I done 4 dives the zone of Bayahibe, the managers of the Scubafun diving seemed me competent and available even if  I was a little bit angry because they have reloaded quite a lot the total cost (already high to my point of view) considering that I paid with credit card. 
The only dive I have liked has been that on the barrier next to the Catalinita island where we have seen some nurse sharks and of  barrier and an enormous race. 
To north I dived in the Dudus Caves, cavern submerged of sweet water similar to the Mexican cenotes, beautiful experience first for the particularity of the dive and then because our divemaster was very nice and has made us spend a very pleasant day. 

 

Lodgings 
I lodged in pensions and small hotels choosing exclusively rooms with private bath and fan. 
Almost all the lodgings have a laundry service, sometimes you can also succeeds to bargain a little bit with the cost of the rooms. 
The pensions where I have sojourned: 

Boca Chica 
Casa Pedro, tel. 523-4873: to the entry of the village, spartan rooms dipped in a beautiful tropical garden; double room with cold water 250 Pesos. 

Bayahibe 
Cabańas Trip town, tel. 833-0082: bungalow in the center of the village; triple room with cold water and fridge 300 Pesos. 

Sosua 
Hotel Central, tel. 254-4090: along the main road really above a very "animate cafe"; double room 300 Pesos. 

Cabarete 
Hotel Blue Lagoon, tel. 571-0659: along the main road in a quite calm position; triple room with fridge 400 Pesos. 

Las Terrenas 
Hotel Diny, tel. 240-6167: in front of the beach it is possible to eat in the beautiful garden under the palms 5 meters from the sea; double room with cold water 250 Pesos. 

 

LINKS

http://dr1.com/travel/index.shtml

Varied tourist infos and forum

http://www.bocachicabeach.net

Website about Boca Chica, one of the main destinations of the Italian tourists

http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/categories.cfm?catid=50

To retrieve good information about the Caribbean

http://www.debbiesdominicantravel.com/

Independent website with comments on resort, tour operator and diving center with forum 

http://dominicanrepinfo.com/index.htm

Varied tourist infos 

http://www.samana.net/sn-english.htm

Varied tourist infos about Samaną peninsula

http://www.bancentral.gov.do/tasa_cambio.html

The official exchange rates

 

 

Copyright © 2003 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.