Punta Cana to Las Terrenas to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Part Two)

Playa Rincon

If you missed Part One.

There was a heavy rain drenching the house that we were renting, inside and out.  Later that evening, I was reading to the light of my headlamp (I’m not even sure why I packed it, but so glad I did.), and every so often, I could feel a slight spray of rainwater.  And through the night, the power flickered on and off.  I could tell because the overhead light and ceiling fan would turn on intermittently.

The next morning we set out early for Playa Rincon.  I was a bit concerned about flooded roads after the massive amount of rain that was in the house that morning, but we knew it was going to be a sunny day when we saw colorful rows of laundry hanging on fences, rooftops, and even guard rails.

The road to Playa Rincon is about 5 miles south of Las Galeras.  It’s a lovely winding drive through a few small towns and fields of grazing cattle.  There is a gorgeous view of the 3 mile long crescent shaped beach from up above. Last time we visited Playa Rincon, we were able to drive our compact rental car all the way to the beach, but this time, the last 1/4 mile was completely flooded.

The road to Playa Rincon

Some enterprising young men were waiting at the top of the hill to offer rides through the puddles on the back of their motorbikes.  We opted to walk. The beach was just as gorgeous as I remembered and it was just as quiet.  We immediately walked down to one of the thatched huts and ate a delicious lunch of grilled chicken and fish, and fried plantains.  We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the beach, inspecting the shallow tide pools.






The next morning, we made our way back to Santo Domingo, first checking out a few monuments on the outskirts of the city.  We checked into our hotel, Hotel Conde de Penalba, right in the heart of the Zona Colonial. The location was perfect, and our balcony had the best view.  We set out on a walking tour of the neighborhood, and continued the next morning for a few hours before we had to head back to the airport.

Hotel Conde de Penalba
The best balcony in town? We sure enjoyed it. The view of the pedestrian only Conde Street and the cafes lining Parque Colon was pretty incredible.
The Puerta del Conde was the main entrance to the old city.
View from the Fortaleza Ozama, the Tower of Homage.  The construction of this fort began in 1502.


Calle el Conde, one of the oldest streets in Santo Domingo.
The Tower of Homage.
The Panteon Nacional was completed in 1796 and originally served as a Jesuit church, but is now a mausoleum for Dominican leaders.
The Catedral Primada de America. Construction began on this cathedral in 1514 by Diego Columbus, son of Christopher. The cathedral was never finished due to lack of funds.  Then later, completely ransacked by Francis Drake.
Looking up at the hotel from Conde Street. See Matt and Brian?


A courtyard at the Museo de la Casas Reales, built in the 16th century, served as the Supreme Court and later as the governor’s mansion.

After visiting (a very small section of) the Dominican Republic for the second time, there are places I would definitely love to see again: Cabarete, Las Galeras, and Las Terrenas for sure.  I’d like to stay in Samana as a home base and charter boats out of the Samana Bay for days trips to Parque Nacional Los Haitises and Parque Nacional del Este.  There is also so much more to see in Santo Domingo!

Want to read more?  Here are posts about driving around Baja California South and road tripping up the entire Baja Peninsula.

7 thoughts

  1. Wonderful pictures! Looks like a great trip. The plantains look so good! Yum! I’ve never seen them smashed that way. I learned how to make fried plantains cut into kind of longish strips, but I think I will try the Dominican way next time.


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