I had recently decided that I wanted to explore the Island of the Dominican Republic but I had also decided that as much as I like backpacking I also like my creature comforts and as I am getting older the thoughts of staying in the wild with no shower is not as appealing as it once used to be but none the less I still like to travel so I had decided to explore the wonderful Island of the Dominican Republic but staying in the All Inclusive resorts as I went.. This turned out to be a pretty good option as if you look around you can get a room in an All Inclusive resort for as little as 50 Euro per room and all your food, drink and hot showers.
My first stop was Santo Domingo the capital of Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo has a rich and complex history primarily due its occupation by Spain, Haiti and the US over the past few hundred years as well as its ethnic variety Germans, Italians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Chinese and many others. A small fact I that I learnt was that Chinese immigrants are the second fastest growing immigrant group in the Dominican Republic.
I checked into my hotel and after the warnings of not to leave the complex which I took no notice of I decided to head out and explore the historic area of Zona Colonial I managed to grab a taxi and was dropped in the main area called Calle El Conde, which is a pedestrian area with many stores, restaurants, and hotels.
Zona Colonial was one of the first European settlements in the New World and from the old Spanish colonial capital. It was founded by Bartolome Columbus in1496 after the fatal failure of La Isabella and actually ruled by Christopher Columbus from 1498. Then Nicolas de Ovando and started the construction of the monumental stone building of Zona Colonial. Zona Colonial has many of the New World’s first institutions such as the first cathedral, university, monastery and hospital, all by the Catholic Church. Many of the stone buildings built in the 1500s are still standing and some have been nicely restored which was really interesting.
After a couple hours I headed for the sea, and took a walk along the Malecon back towards my hotel. The Malecon is the cities famous boardwalk. It took me quite some time walking along the Malecon from Zona Colonial, with not much to see except a rocky shore line. Once back I enjoyed my all Inclusive buffet and took full advantage of the free booze and entertainment.
From there I headed to Boca Chica in what is known as a Guagua, which is a public minivan, which costs next to nothing. I arrived in Boca Chica, checked in then headed for the beach which was lovely it is ridged in by some coral a couple of hundred metres from the shore which creates a lagoon which is waist deep with very calm and clear blue water.
I then headed back to Santa Domingo to get a bus to Monte Cristi. I arrived in Monti Cristi and whilst there I took a bus to Dajabon the border market, I crossed the border with Haiti had a walk around and then back into the Dominican it was an awesome day out.
Monte Cristi had some of the most amazing beaches that I have ever seen. I took a motorcycle taxi, to a place called Moro which was breathtaking especially at sunset, there was also lots of waves for some serious body surfing. At La Playita beach the water was so tranquil there were no waves what so ever and was nice and secluded.
I then headed to Bonao which is in the centre of the country so no beaches but some of the most amazing scenery I have seen. I decided to do a hike around the mountains and settled on the three day trek to Pico Duarte which is the highest mountain in the Dominican and also included a visit to Charco Bonito which is a gorgeous waterfall where you can swim and jump of the rocks. The trek was amazing and it was fun camping at the different stops but the highlight was watching the sunrise at the summit of the mountain early in the morning.
After recovering from the trek and the blisters etc it was on to Puerto Plata a very touristy but the beaches in Puerto are lovely but there’s not too much to do but I was content with sunbathing for a few days.
I explored the beaches of Sosua and Cabarete which are awesome. Cabarete is wavy and gets really windy. The world kiting surfing champions have been held there so when you walk along the beach, the air is full of kites, especially at the point known as ‘Kite Beach’. Loads of people doing crazy stunts, jumping in the air, and holding the kite with one hand. The beach is mainly dominated by the kite surfers and you couldn’t really swim incase you got hit by one.
My last stop before heading back to the capital was Punt Cana which is simply stunning here you will find beautiful white sandy beaches. From here to finish my trip I took a trip to Saona Island which was made famous from the advert for the Cadburys chocolate Bounty which was as anyone can imagine a tropical island to look like, amazing !!! it is somewhere I will never forget.
I spend a few days in Punta Cana before heading back to Santo Domingo before my flight to LA where I was going to spend a few days and then back to London.
So who says you can’t travel the Dominican and not stay in the all inclusive resorts I had a great time and the people were really friendly and helped me get around with no problem at all.
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