Puerto Plata to Las Galeras and Back, Dominican Republic

Playa del Rincon, Samana Peninsula
Playa del Rincon, Samana Peninsula

Earlier this year, our Travel Club went to Dominican Republic (TC consists of my husband and I and three of our friends.  The five of us have done a bit of traveling together and always have so much fun together – and we might be bound by this little “time share” thing we all signed up for in Mexico five years ago…).

Looking out towards Puerto Plata at our resort in Sosua.
Looking out towards Puerto Plata from our resort in Sosua.

Anyway, we chose Dominican Republic and decided to stay in a resort in Sosua for a week then rent a car for a few days and drive out to the Samana Peninsula.  Normally our vacations involve very little down time, but as I get older, I am really getting to appreciate the art of doing nothing.  I’m okay with spending a few days getting into a routine:  Mornings at the beach and afternoons poolside, grabbing a cocktail… anytime.  Yup, we have, on occasion been that group.  That loud, hopefully not too obnoxious group.  I’m sorry.

Beach in Sosua
Beach in Sosua

 

The cable car ride up to Pico Isabel de Torres (2,621 feet), Puerto Plata
The cable car ride up to Pico Isabel de Torres (2,621 feet), Puerto Plata
At the botanic garden on Pico Isabel deTorres, Puerto Plata
At the botanic garden on Pico Isabel deTorres, Puerto Plata
Walking path in the botanic garden at the top of Pico Isabel de Torres.
Walking path in the botanic garden at the top of Pico Isabel de Torres.

Back to travel and the real adventure.  It didn’t start until we got our rental car.  It was supposed to be a van but we ended up with a sedan.  A very compact sedan.  A little cramped for the five of us but it definitely worked out for the best.  It was much easier to manuever those chaotic little streets.  In our little car, we dodged dogs, chickens, coconuts, mopeds, propane tanks, and kids, yet enjoyed every minute of it.

Driving in DR
Driving in DR
Windsurfers in Cabarete
Windsurfers in Cabarete
Art on display in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Art on display in Las Terrenas

The towns we stopped in were towns that attracted tourists, many of them with a heavy European influence.  The scenery was colorful and beautiful and the people were friendly.  But we did have glimpses of the poverty in which some Dominican’s live.  We also saw, sadly, how prevalent prostitution is – kind of first hand – as our German neighbor at a beachfront apartment in Cabarete brought a gorgeous Dominican woman back to his room for awhile.

Horseback riding to Salto del Limon (Lemon Waterfall)
Horseback riding to Salto del Limon (Lemon Waterfall)
Salto del Limon
Salto del Limon
Colorful boats in Las Galeras
Colorful boats in Las Galeras
Beach in Las Galeras
Beach in Las Galeras
Fishing boat at Playa del Rincon
Fishing boat at Playa del Rincon

We stayed in fantastic bungalows just steps from the beach and ate very well for very cheap.  We laughed and drank Presidente and spent an afternoon on a secluded beach.  We smoked cigars and swam and rode horses to a waterfall. We walked in the rain and went deep sea fishing.

An open stretch of sand at Playa del Rincon
An open stretch of sand at Playa del Rincon

But we only saw a small chunk of DR, and that’s the funny thing about travel.  The more you do it, the more you crave to see.

The road winding around Playa del Rincon (the road to the beach was drivable in our sedan, apparently it hasn't always been that way).
The road winding around Playa del Rincon (the road to the beach was drivable in our sedan, apparently it hasn’t always been that way).

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