I was watching Insecure on HBO the other day and a character said: “…that’s why they’re called dreams, you’re not supposed to achieve them…”. It was funny in a strange kind of way. That’s definitely one way to look at it, but the only way to make your dreams reality is to achieve them.
Typically Wanderlust Wednesday features places I haven’t visited but today’s post is a bit different. It highlights a country I spent 5 weeks in, over 4 years ago, but this is not my story. It’s my friend Mofi’s. She and her friends visited the Dominican Republic; the birthplace of dance style Merengue and home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
To make the most of their time in the Caribbean, the girls packed their bags for sightseeing and a few exciting (and sometimes exhausting) activities.
City: Puerto Plata
Tour 1 – Snorkeling in Sosua
Cost $75 CAD per person
Mofi says: Book this with the local tour agency at a hotel to get a cheaper rate than the one offered by large tour companies.
On this tour, the girls were taken out and shown how to snorkel (you wear a snorkel mask as you swim around and look at sea life) in the gorgeous blue waters that make up Sosua’s beach. Snorkeling is one of those activities that’s only fun when you get it right, and it can be tricky to get right if you’re not patient. Looks like these ladies got it right.Post-ocean and fish greetings, there was time to relax on the beach and try one of The Dominican Republic’s famous adult drinks – Mamajuana [pronounced – mamawana] made up of soaked rum, honey, red wine, tree bark, and herbs. Mofi loved this enough to bring a bottle of it back with her, and I’m itching to try it! If you enjoy a good rum, the D.R is your place.
Tour 2 – 27 Waterfalls at Damajagua
Cost – $112 CAD per person
Another day, another reason to get wet. If you’re not doing that in the Caribbean, check yourself, you might be doing things wrong. Haha! The 27 Waterfalls are one of the D.R’s most popular tourist attractions and it’s easy to see why. This tour is a full day of hiking, sliding and jumping down several waterfalls – some of them terrifyingly high, others not so challenging. It’s essentially a natural waterpark!Despite how exhausting the activity can get, in the heat, the fresh cool waters at Damajagua are simply refreshing to be in.
Mofi says: This activity is high intensity. I’m terrified of heights, so if you’re like me, keep that in mind. You’ll also have more fun if you can swim, although the tour guides are accommodating and helpful if you can’t. There’s an extra charge for a photo package but it’s worth it!
At the end of the tour, a delicious lunch (included in the tour pricing) was served alongside the ever-popular drink – rum. With every tour, it was also commonplace to visit a coffee plantation run by a Dominican family, so the girls also enjoyed freshly ground and brewed coffee. In fact, rum and coffee pair quite well together!Tour 3 – Teleferico
Cost for cable car ride $~10CAD per person
For a more laid-back, non-wet activity, the girls hired a taxi to take them to ride the cable cars at Puerto Plata’s Teleferico. Their tour guide was sourced by the hotel concierge to help with the language barrier, since the girls weren’t fluent in Spanish, and the driver was only fluent in Spanish. Much to their joy, the driver didn’t take them straight to Teleferico but instead -with help from the tour guide- gave them a mini-tour of the city before driving up to the cable cars.
Mofi says: Don’t book your Teleferico tour online. It’s cheaper to hire a taxi, and if you speak and understand decent Spanish, you can skip the tour guide.
Where they stayed: Be Live Collection Marien Cost: ~800CAD per person includes flight, 7-night hotel stay, food and activities at the resort.
Type of stay: All-inclusive.
Mofi says: It’s not a super fancy place but the service was great, staff was friendly and the entertainment at the resort was amazing. I recommend the resort for young adult travelers. Keep in mind: 1) You have to pay for wifi, but I liked this because it gave me boundaries. I didn’t have to be on my phone all the time. 2) On the weekends, the resort is open to locals. This makes it at least 3x busier than usual. We didn’t mind this because we got to meet more people, but some people might.
Although I’ve visited the D.R myself, and done 2 out of these activities, those views from the teleferico are making me consider another trip.
The D.R is one of the more affordable Caribbean countries to visit and you can use Groupon to get deals on vacation packages that often include flight + hotel costs.
Have any of you visited the Dominican Republic? What did you get up to? If you haven’t, would you like to? Leave me a comment to let me know!
Huge thank you to the travelers for allowing me to use their content in this post & to Mofi for taking time out to talk with me about the trip!
If you’d like to have your trip featured as part of #WanderlustWednesday, email me at email@example.com.
keep dreaming & thank you for reading!
“Take only memories, leave only footprints” – Chief Seattle
same footprints, different sands