Published: September 14th 2012
September 14th 2012
Honeymoon in the Dominican
Locals in the Dominican Republic love to take your picture! whether it's on the beach, in the jungle or walking through the local villages...you better be prepared!
It was two months before we made the journey to the Caribbean on our honeymoon. We were going to the island of the Dominican Republic. More specifically Santa Bárbara de Samaná, or for short 'Samana' located on the coast. This area is surrounded by jungle terrain, mountain ranges and soft white sandy beaches. The lapping turquoise water and vast amounts of palm trees are considered the best in the world. It's known to be the perfect honeymoon destination. So if you're looking for peace and quiet then this is the place for you!
Important note: Samana is one tourist area in the DR where credit cards are not as readily accepted. It is best to bring cash.
When we stepped off the plane, the air was so hot and humid with a heavy moisture hanging and smell of salt. Instantly we were sweating and couldn't wait to dive into the sea just to cool off! Likewise, we ended up spending everyday swimming at our private beautiful beach morning and night, and in the three swimming pools at our resort. We were also given bountiful cocktails...Pina Coladas, rum and coke, Daiquirí...but be warned. Here they will load the drink with
Samana, Dominican Republic
Samana and it's white soft sandy beaches
90% alcohol and 10% soft drink, so it is quite horrendous, more like a shot then a cocktail.
Important Note: Don't drink any water, ice, or eat salads. We got very bad poisoning from the water.
Our resort offered several excursions. One excursion we decided on was 'The Los Haitises National Park Preserve'. This excursion show cases a very beautiful, untouched, lush Rain-Forest area. Our tour consisted of a scenic boat ride across the bay to the Nature Preserve/Bird Sanctuary area or islands, which contain hundred of exotic birds. Many species of birds use this protected area to raise their young, safe from humans and other predators.
However, the tour didn't just stop with the beautiful birds. In this area are several mysterious caves. These caves are where you'll find the ancient drawings and sculpting on the walls from some of the original Taino Indians that were wiped out by the Spanish during Christopher Columbus time. The caves on this tour alone are worth seeing because they are very large and carry a very unique history. But to get to these massive caves the boat passes through jungle of mangrove trees. These trees are unique because they
Beautiful beaches and scenery
The Grand Paradise Resort in Samana, Dominican Republic
grow over the water sprouting tree roots everywhere.
Eventually our excursion ended with a stop at Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island) for a typical Dominican buffet lunch under a palm thatched house. We drank from a coconut, which was surprisingly sweet. Coconuts are known to be natural laxatives! The food was okay (Dominican is a very poor area, so don't expect 5 star quality food!). We spent the rest of the day relaxing along the crystal blue waters of this island paradise and swimming over hundreds of tropical fish, including the bright yellow star fish! It was AMAZING!! The sand however, was very very hot. Plus, locals are always trying to sell you things here, "Massage, you want massage?...hair braiding, come on, have hair braided." After a while this becomes very annoying!
Important note: Bring lots of $1 dollar bills with you as tips for the locals. They are very poor.
Our second excursion was horseback riding to the beautiful waterfall of El Limon. This was my husbands first time horseback riding, and by far the most scariest ride we have ever been on!
The ride will take you through mountains and jungle. The crazy looking trail
Los Haitises National Park. This area is known as having one of the most important rainforests and mangrove reserves in the entire Caribbean, complete with massive caves. The cave contain ancient paintings dating back from Christopher Columbus time.
comes with a couple of very steep inclines, that you take to get in and out. Leaning back when going downhill and leaning forward when going up is very important on the horse. This will test your balance and bravery to the limit! The trail is well worth seeing though, and you will pass coco trees, banana trees and various other fruits, such as lemons. Once we arrived at the precipice of the waterfalls we dismounted and took to foot down a steep mountainside that lasted 300 yards. It is worth it though. Once down we arrived at the base of the spectacular El Limon Waterfalls. We were extremely hot and sweaty and the ice cold fresh water was so welcoming.
The horseback ride lasts for around 30 min to get into the falls and about 30 min to get back out.
Overall, Samana is a destination for nature lovers and adventurers. Green, green mountains, long beaches, solitude, lively little towns in between and turquoise waters. We found it a romantic destination. Apparently you can watch whales here in January. There are also a lot of turtles lurking in the lagoons that are quite friendly and will eat bread from your hands!