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 2018 I 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”, I didn’t have any specific plan on where to go or what to do. I just followed the road taking in all that this country has to offer. I covered a total of 1700 km. Please see the map below of all the places I 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 I had most of my 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, I spent an hour exploring the ruins and learning about the history of the country. The best thing about this experience was that I was the only one 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, I arrived in Sosúa at about 5pm and enjoyed a relaxing evening.
On the 8th of September 2018 I 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 my arrival, I 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 I literally ate as much as I could, to a point that I 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 2018 I explored Las Galeras where I 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 2018 I 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 2018 , I 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.
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)!
Gracias por los recuerdos, Dominican Republic!
Thank you for reading!