Monday, March 2, 2015

Hey I'm Going to The Dominican Republic

*Every once in a while I'll get an e-mail from a friend, like hey I'm going to (Paris, Puerto Rico, NYC ect.) what do you recommend, so I think I'm going to try to turn these e-mails into some sort of organized list of suggestions/ideas for their trip...and yours too, so here is another installment in the...
Some things to know...
I should probably check out Santo Domingo, Samana, or Puerto Plata (I’ve only heard that Punta Cana is the Cancun of DR so I’m good on that) before writing this as I’ve only ever been to Cabarete a tiny little town on the north side of the island just east of Puerto Plata. BUT I spent a whole week there so clearly I’m an expert on all things Dominican Republic, so let’s get started.
Where to Stay
Santo Dominigo, and in particular the Zona Colonial is next on my list, and the amount of time I’ve wasted trolling Air B&B looking at adorable apartment rentals with an ocean view is embarrassing. I’m sure you could pick any of those places and have the best vacay ever, but for our very first trip we chose Cabarete for the surfing…and since neither my husband nor I had ever even seen a surfboard in person we settled on Swell Surf Camp. You can read all the glowing reviews on their site, and on Facebook but I just have to add that staying here really made our trip a unique experience. Amazing communal, traditional, Dominican meals, surf instructors who felt like buddies, the best pool ever, and meeting guests from all over the world was so so fun.
What to Do
With a morning surf lesson, then breakfast, then an afternoon surf lesson, then dinner around 8 at the main table; it may sound like there isn’t enough time in the day to do much else…but we still felt like the days were never ending (in a good way) full of lounging around the pool with drinks, walking into town, shopping, and the most important…enjoying a never ending luxurious lunch on the beach.
Kite Beach is the main beach in Cabarete, and like the name suggests it’s one of the top beaches in the world for kite boarding. It’s incredibly entertaining to kill a few hours watching the pros get serious air, and the newbies lose their boards and control of their kites. It’s also great for swimming too but just head to the east end OR watch out.  Cabarete is a small completely walkable town (although if you like’ there are TONS of scooter taxis offering rides for just a few pesos) Everything seems to center around the beach, including the night life which gets started around 10 when tables are cleared to make room for DJs and dancing and of course the drinks just keep flowing…with sunrise surf sessions I can’t say I’m an expert in the nightlife.

Eat Drink and Be Merry
there are tons of options for eating lunch or dinner right on the beach, you can pretty much just start at one end and walk down looking at the menus and seeing the specials. Mojito Bar at happy hour (which seems to run from 10am-10pm) will get you 2 mojotos for about $4 usd, and the food is cheap and excellent, all fresh ingredients super vegetarian friendly and huge portions plus you can't beat the view.  You may also pass by Gorditos Fresh Mex and Yamazato Sosua which are both in the same strip mall off the main road and write them off as weird strip mall fast food, but that would be a huge mistake.  Gorditos has the most MOST delicious baja style mahi mahi fish tacos that I've ever eaten, and the sushi at Yamazato is pretty fantastic. Did I already say cheap? Seriously food and drinks in DR are cheap cheap cheap.

While most in the service industry speak English, the official language is SPANISH so please memorize the following: 
Hola and say it every time you walk into a place, Gracias when you leave or you know...just to say thanks, and lo siento and no one will ever be rude to you
busco-I'm looking for
yo quería-I would like
cuánto cuesta- how much does it cost 

and it might not be a bad idea to read up on Sanky Pankys
feliz viaje, have an awesome time!! 

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