Let’s be real, there’s no better way to explore a country than going on a road trip, right? Embarking on a road trip is all about welcoming randomness. That makes a journey even more adventurous! There are many advantages such as that you see more places just from driving from one place to the other and you can stop and explore whenever your instincts point you towards something intriguing. Road trips allow me to learn more about myself and the world around me; they allow my mind to wander while on the open road. From the 7th to the 21st of September we went on a road trip along the north coast of the Dominican Republic and it was an unbelievably amazing experience!
Much like “The Big Trip”, we didn’t have any specific plan on where to go or what to do. We just followed the road taking in all that this country has to offer. We covered a total of 1700 km. Please see the map below of all the places we explored.
First things first, the Dominican Republic is not really a low budget travel destination. I struggled to stretch my budget during my time here. The places we stayed at in all of our stops were on average 800 DOP (R230) pppn. Sounds cheap? Well, not when your goal is to travel for a year! The cheaper the better, that’s how backpacking goes. During this time we had most of our meals at restaurants which was roughly 1000 DOP (R290) a day BUT I soon discovered Empanadas, which helped me save!
An Empanada is folded dough over a stuffing which is fried or baked each at a cost of only 25 DOP (R7).
Between Punta Rucia and Sosúa we stopped at the following places:
La Isabela was one of the first European settlements in the Americas, it is where Christopher Columbus first settled when he landed in the Dominican Republic. At a cost of 100 DOP (R29) pp, we spent an hour exploring the ruins and learning about the history of the country. The best thing about this experience was that we were the only ones on the premises at the time.
None of the buildings are still standing but their foundations remain. In the image above you can see the graveyard of how they buried the dead.
Laguna El Dudú
I’ve always wanted to swim in a Lagoon! The cold turquoise fresh water and fish made this a very satisfying experience!
Sosúa is a resort town located in the Puerto Plata Province. It’s a relatively small and walkable town, known for its beach, offshore coral reef and tropical fish.
After a full day of driving and sightseeing, we arrived in Sosúa at about 5pm and enjoyed a relaxing evening.
On the 8th of September we drove for 3 hours from Sosúa to Las Terrenas which is also a resort town situated in Samaná Province and spent the next 3 nights here.
Shortly after our arrival, we met Molly who was also staying at the accommodation we had booked. For supper she recommended a B&B which has an all-you-can-eat buffet. The food was home-made and we literally ate as much as we could, to a point that we could not move!
“Coconut tree heaven” is what I have decided to name this picturesque town because honestly, it’s just that. I spent most of my time here exploring the various beaches and just admiring the lush nature around me.
From 11 to 14 September we explored Las Galeras where we went on a hike to a secluded beach.
Not only does the Dominican Republic have scenic coastal towns but it also has beautiful mountain towns. From 14 to 16 September we took a break from the warm coastal temperatures and explored Jarabacoa.
It definitely is fitting that “Jarabacoa” means “place of waters”. This town offers beautiful landscapes and is ideal for outdoor activities.
From 16 to 22 September, we stayed in Caberete. With strong winds and big waves, not only is this town a kite surfers dream but it’s a great center for water sports in general.
I decided to start a freediving course with Frederik since he is an instructor. Freediving is extremely challenging but I hope to push myself and comfortably practice and enjoy this sport soon.
It’s honestly so crazy how a country I did not plan to ever visit is now possibly my favourite country in the world (I can’t decide between the Dominican Republic and the Philippines)!
Thank you to my travel buddies (Frederik, Jascha and Polyanna) for making this experience what is was! I am so happy I had this chance to get to know you better!
Gracias por los recuerdos, Dominican Republic!
Where to next?
Frederik and I are currently in Mexico, we arrived in Cancún on the 23rd of September. I’ll be writing about our time so far in my next blog post, so stay tuned!
Thank you for reading!