The Dominican Republic is an island nation best enjoyed slowly and with ample time to explore the amazing natural surroundings.
We, admittedly, did not have the luxury of time on this particular trip. When one of you is a teacher, trips abroad are limited to the length of a school vacation for as long as school is in session. The limited time we had to spend in the Dominican Republic was just enough to tell us that we need to return in the future to explore and learn even more!
Before arriving we studied all we could absorb on the history of the island (which the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti), the awful period of Trujillo, and the state of the country’s natural resources. We read fiction by Dominican authors, including In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, and pumped bachata through our iPods while riding the subway to work in the morning. Of course, nothing prepares you for the actual act of travel! Once we arrived, we traveled from busy Santiago, to peaceful Rio San Juan, on to the beautiful Samana area, and back again. The kindness of the people, the beauty of our surroundings, and the sound of bachata streaming from speakers left us with a lingering sense of warmth as we left a gorgeous island, headed back to the cold weather in Brooklyn.
As always, photos simply cannot do justice to our experiences but here are a few to give you an idea of what awaits you should you choose to explore the Dominican Republic for yourself.
The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country. Our favorite place, if we had to pick one, was the area around Las Galeras. Las Galeras beach is something of a small tourist area (nothing like nearby Samana!) but getting just 5 minutes away from the beach offers a look at rural, and authentic, Dominican life. Stay tuned for a complete review on our stay at La Hacienda, a hidden gem of a hostel that offers an eco-friendly stay in one of the most peaceful places we have ever been!
What else would you like to know about our stay in the Dominican Republic?
All underwater photos for this post (and some of the others) were taken with the Olympus TG-1iHS 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom. This camera is the fastest underwater camera I have ever used! Well worth it for capturing low-light or fast moving underwater images.