Blogs from Dominican Republic, Central America Caribbean

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You all know by now that all-inclusive resorts are not what what I like. I prefer to go to wild places, and after one day at the beach I am completely bored! But If I have a comfortable hotel, very close the a nature's park, then this is the best of both worlds! That's exactly what I had during this week! The resort is located just beside a real nature preserve!!! Send me comments if you need more information. Highlights: 1- Night walk to look for tarantulas: we saw 15 in less than 40 minutes, not far from the hotel! 2- Guided tour to a cave, (cueva del puente). We were all alone with a park ranger. Cave is full of bats and I took lots of pictures, I identified 2 species. 3- No big reef ... read more
Bank of sardines
bat -- jamaican fruit bat
fishes under the dock


During the Thanksgiving Break this year, we made a quick 5 day trip to Dominican Republic. We flew to Santa Domingo, capital city of Dominican Republic. Air travel was short and eventless and immigration process for US citizens is simple as getting a visa costing $10/person at the air port. Drive from the airport to Santa Domingo is very beautiful along the palm tree lined shoreline of turquoise Caribbean Sea. We noticed how similar this route is to the drive from Colombo to Galle. DR even smells the same as Sri Lanka. Out of all the countries we have visited so far, we felt DR comes closest to our home country. Santa Domingo, Capital of the DR is the first European settlement in the Western hemisphere and the Old City (“the Colonial Zone”) a UNESCO World ... read more
Los Tres Ojos (1)
Los Tres Ojos blue lake
Inside Los Tres Ojos


Trip to the Dominican Republic Day One- Saturday Feb. 20th We left Rob’s folks house early in the morning to catch the flight out of Knoxville. The flight went surprisingly smooth and so did the trip through immigration and customs in the D.R. We followed a bell hop to our transfer service, Blue travel. They got us right on and soon we were on our way to the Majestic Elegance. When we got to the Majestic we were greeted with cool towels to wipe our faces with and a delicious refreshing drink. We had to wait a bit for our drink so we took the time to eat lunch and book our dive trips. We also lined up dinner at the French restaurant for Sunday night. Then we followed a bell hop to our room. Our ... read more
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My little travelblog has just reached the 200,000 hits. So let me first thank all of you who have followed our adventures over the last few years. I know I should upgrade my profile page! Fun to see that our little travelblog adventures are already 9 years old. And little change of program on my side, South Africa will be coming earlier than expected....as early as the start of 2017....can't wait for all that diving, golfing, great wine and amazing views from our terrace! So what Am I doing in Punta Cana? Let say I had some miles left, and few points to use on Starwood too, so it was less than expensive. And there is some kind of diving in Punta Cana. I also have to admit that it's always fun to click another country ... read more
Punta Cana beach....
Yes, there was not much to speak about for the diving here...
Beach at the Westin...


It is currently freezing rain outside - but I'm going to bask in the sweet Dominican sun for a few minutes while I take you back to our family vacation in October. To state the nitty gritty details - we book our DR (Dominican Republic) vacations -we've been a few times now, most recently when Greyson was 6months old- through Apple Vacations and they always do an excellent job. We book all-inclusive trips through Apple (airfare, hotel, in-country transportation, all you can drink and eat) and they take care of everything. This year we stayed at Iberostar Dominicana and we had a great experience with booking, transportation, hotel accommodations, and service - as usual. We always enjoy ourselves when we visit Punta Cana and we were anticipating how much more fun it would be this year ... read more


The taxi is a three-wheeler: two, back-to-back, metal bench seats over the rear axle, welded to the front half of a motorbike. On this we, and our baggage, travel to Las Galeras; slowly, noisily and belching black smoke on every hill. We are glad when the hour long trip to the north coast is over. Las Galeras is a small fishing village - the fish seller comes to the door every morning while we have breakfast. Fish or octopus today? It has to be fish! The octopus looks like tripe with a pink skin. And, anyway, we don't know how to cook octopus. Breakfast comes with a fresh coconut full of juice, and lots of fruit and coffee. We are staying in our own little cottage overlooking the beach. In the evening, we cook the fish ... read more
Buying sweet potatoes
Santo Domingo
Playa Playita


The coach that took us from Cap Haitian, in Haiti, across the border to Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, was the newest and shiniest vehicle we had seen in Haiti. It seemed out of place. But it is amazing what a change there can be, just driving across a border. All we did was cross a river ... well, that and be searched, photographed and fingerprinted. It is as if we drove from sub-Saharan Africa, across a river, and into Spain. Even the agriculture is different. In Haiti the farming was small scale, more like allotments and a lot of land was left unused. In the Dominican Republic there are larger farms - we see many fields of rice, bananas and tobacco. Tired after our seven hour coach journey to Santiago, we decided to eat in ... read more
Humpbacked whale
Taxi
Wild orchids


18thDec Dominican Republic – La Romana Didn’t have a cruise tour organised, just decided to catch a shuttle bus into town and maybe, if we’d done an organised tour, gone to the ‘tourist spot’ we may have had a better experience at La Romana. As it is…we do not want to come back here. We were taken into ‘town’ where a central market area was organised and was covered with stalls. However, we were so hassled by the stall owners, that we felt overwhelmed and rushed to get through to the other side. We crossed the road and looked at the church and while we were crossing back, was advised by a policeman on a motorbike passing by that John take off his gold necklace as it was likely to be pulled from his neck by ... read more
Coast of La Romana
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17thDec After a day at sea we arrived at Catalina Island (just off Dominica Republic). We arrived early in the morning and it was still dark as I watched us anchor. Gradually as the dawn broke, we could make out the island. A very low, flat island, with beautiful beaches. We watched the crew unloading tonnes of food and bbq equipment for our lunch ashore. They started as soon as it got light. I wasn’t too keen to go ashore with 2000 other passengers, and so we waited until after the mad rush and headed in around 10:00am with John and Jill. Here I was pleasantly surprised. Although there were many passengers ashore, we didn’t feel too crowded. First we went for a walk to the north of the island and then, Phil and I went ... read more
At anchor..deploying tender
Flat Catalina Island
At anchor


First time in Dominican Republic. For an animal lover like me, that's not the best spot, as many animals you found on the continent, (monkeys, anteaters, sloths, macaws, squirrels,etc..), are absent. But there are some beautiful places and people nonetheless. Stayed in Sosua. Sea was really rough: Visited the classics in Puerto Plata: cable car to Isabel de Torres mountain, (great !!), , Brugal Rhum factory, (good - the rhum and the prices...), amber museum, (a bit worn out), and the San Felipe Fortress, (okay if you never visited one in latin america before). Went to visit a friend in the mountains in the interior, (San Jose de Las Matas), real beautiful surroundings and less chaotic than coastal cities. AN inviting place! Visited the Cabarete caves, (small but tour is interesting and well led). See video ... read more
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