The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is known to travelers mainly for its large hotels and peaceful seaside resorts. The majority of tourists go there especially in “all-inclusive package” and unfortunately miss a rich and lively culture. A trip to the Dominican Republic in a backpack and out of hotels all-inclusive is it possible? Absolutely! Rum, Creole cuisine, Latin music, fresh fish, guaguas, pico pollo, beaches … This country has much more to offer than its superb hotels, trust me!

 

Backpacking In The Dominican Republic

My adventure actually began in Punta Cana, where I landed, but then I quickly headed to the beaches of Las Terrenas and Las Galeras, therefore I did not get the chance to explore Punta Cana this time around but hoping that I will the next time I am in the Dominican Republic

In Las Terenas, not only is the place full of mouth dropping beaches, but you cannot also miss the little cabanas-restaurants on the beach where you can enjoy any fish of your choice. Also, from the village, it is quite simple to rent a scooter (or otherwise find a driver) in order to explore your surroundings and get a better idea of where you are situated. When renting a scooter I simply had to provide my name; Nadine Gourkow, and they were able to rent the vehicle for me. The procedure was pretty straight forward.  There are many things to be done in Las Terenas, but here are a few of my suggestions:

  • A stroll to playa Bonita to surf on some waves as well as enjoying a beach much less crowded.
  • Hiking to see the waterfalls El Limon.

 

Other locations

In Las Galeras, the beaches are in the spotlight and if you are lucky and the waters are calm, you can practice diving. This was unfortunately not the case when I went there and so I had to just explore the shores of the area is the beaches and Madame Fronton. I chose to go by boat to save time and I must admit that I found the trip quite difficult. The small boat was braving huge waves and several times I had the impression that we were flying instead of floating when the boat fell after having managed to pass a wave. It was not easy! Frankly, I believe that if there had been children on board, they would never have been able to stand, and I found everything at the edge to be dangerous.

Subsequently, I went through the capital, Santo Domingo, which very surprisingly I enjoyed very much. I am usually not a city fan, but I must say that the colonial area did impress me very much. In addition, I went to visit the museum of rum and listened to jazz outdoors in the evening sun.

 

Haitian Culture

For a glimpse of Haitian culture, do not miss the Haitian market close to the border where we were kindly invited to cross to see the village Anse-à-Pitre just across the line. “No matter if you do not have your passport, you’ll be able to go anyway” I was told. Obviously, in terms of good plan I already saw better and I thought that Haiti would be for another time.

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