Our trip to Ecuador was canceled because I had tested positive on a Covid PCR test and currently you have to wait a full month after a positive result in order to enter Ecuador. So after quarantining in Jamaica we decided to go to the Dominican Republic. We flew from Montego Bay Jamaica to Miami, turned around and flew into Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Santo Domingo is a short two hour flight from Miami. We spent the night in the city and then climbed aboard an air conditioned bus for the two and a half hour ride across the island to Las Terrenas. The bus didn’t have a sign on it and there wasn’t a typical bus station. No place to even buy tickets. Ian just asked a couple locals and they pointed at the bus parked in the street. We just hoped it was going in the right direction! After driving through the city streets and making a stop the bus attendant walked down the aisle asking for 500 pesos per person. We arrived at the bus ‘station’, a grass roofed uninhabited palapa shack, and were immediately inundated with moto taxis asking more than double the amount we expected. So we walked down the street and finally found two moto taxis to take us to the beach for 100 pesos each.
We didn’t have a place booked yet and it started raining so we sat at a beach restaurant and used their wifi while we ate a late lunch. After a yummy lunch we walked to our first guest house.
The water is warm and an incredible blue color unless there has been a lot of rain. Playa Bonita is great for strolling, bar hopping, people watching and surfing if the surfs up. Playa Las Bellenas is long, mellow and tranquil, but there are beautiful bungalows and fancier homes to rent tucked in the trees and several beach restaurants.
Playa Portillo offers a long dreamy quiet beach with our favorite restaurant for cocktails and Peruvian dishes named ‘Porto’.
Further out of town is Playa El Alcon with mangroves climbing into the water and manatees (if you’re lucky, we didn’t see any).
There are plenty of things to do besides beach hopping. There’s fishing, snorkeling, surfing and shopping and we recommend a great day trip either on foot or on horseback to see El Salto Limon Waterfall. You can read my earlier blog about our experience. Kite surfing is another popular activity here.
Pack light, the most common modes of transport are guaguas (small buses packed with locals) and motorcycle taxis unless you rent an ATV or scooter. A big suitcase would be more than awkward.
Try to speak Spanish even if it’s just a few words. The Dominican’s are super warm friendly people when you try.
RELAX! Things go slower here and sometimes unexpectedly. The power was out for over an entire day, and we don’t always have running water. Just look at the gorgeous water and remember you’re on an island in the Caribbean!