For many, the Dominican Republic means cloudless sky and sparkling sun, chocolate tan and lots of rum, cigars and endless fun on the beach. А delights for the eyes, for the stomach and for the soul, and times of complete relaxation.
The fact is that the tropical paradise attracts both adventurous souls and connoisseurs of tranquility. Before you start wondering which type you are – stop, no need to do that. Even if you fall for the two types of people, the valid question remains: “Can I enjoy the Dominican in two such different ways?” it was also important to us because we needed both relaxation and rest, as well as interesting and challenging things to do.
That’s how we started our journey to the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, more specifically the part that belongs to the Dominican Republic. We did not waste time in wonder. We did everything that appeared on our way, and we did not miss a day on the beach or at the reefs. Vitamin D should be collected, after all, no matter if you are an adventurer or on holiday…
Relax and chill
If you think Dominican beaches are just a place for those who love tranquility, here’s a little bit of news from the Dominican Republic – you can get into many adventures on the beach. In Sosua, besides sunbathing, drinking sweet cocktails (base on rum, of course) and tapping your feet in hot bachata and merengue rhythms, you can also take the active role of looking for a soulmate (or a card player) on the beach. What happens if you’ve had too many cocktails and enter the jacuzzi without bathing the others? Or if you invite anyone to a dance under a palm tree? The Atlantic Ocean offers not only snorkeling and swimming but also adventurous water sports such as diving and all sorts of surfing.
As I mentioned the ocean, the shore and the beach, the shallows and the reefs with thousands of colorful fish are not everything. If you get on a small motorboat and travel 20-30 minutes from Punta Russia, you reach a divine creation. It stands like this – in the middle of the ocean. A pile of sand, brave enough to stand in the middle of the mighty water cosmos, in the center of nowhere. A small sandy island (unpretentiously called “Paradise Island”) that calls all seekers of solitude. The boat leaves us with a small group of people. We can not believe how everyone will have their own ten-square-meters of sparkling sand with a view of the distance and the harsh mountains of Hispaniola. After setting up fresh coconut, everyone marks and seizes their piece of tranquility. We are sitting on the first and only row towards Dominican’s best views. Good luck to the boatman, who will have to take us (the addicted) back from paradise into reality.
Boring, says the adventurer in me. I send her to immediately immerse herself in the crystal waters around the island, to enjoy the excitement of spotting various fish, generously fed by other divers. And if she is a real adventurer, only 5 meters farther from the shallow, you can suddenly fall into the underwater abyss. The place where the reckless sand ends its attempt to rise above the water. Where the wild jungle of the real ocean depths and their fearsome and fearless inhabitants began. Good luck, adventurer, and take the big bottle of oxygen! You will not want to get out of this underwater kingdom!
When I think about transportation, I can’t help but mention a few extreme modes of transport on the island. For the motorboat, I still have the mixed feelings. While we were winding through the sharp turns of mangrove forests in the water, the adventurers were fascinated by all the animals in the green corridors. The connoisseurs of tranquility were split between shouting and asking the captain to be careful, and the joy of adrenaline rising with each turn at a frenzied speed. The first were filming videos that everyone would envy. The second were baptized and thanked God when we left the water tunnels of trees and bushes.
Let’s move to the interior lands of Dominican Republic, let’s take a ride with direction Santiago. Dirt roads, a large and dusty off-road truck, endless fields with pineapples alternating with small villages. Each pebble under the tires shakes you, each turn opens a new view. The children in the village run after the truck and chat with its passengers in Spanish and English. The adrenaline junkies find it extremely enjoyable to shake, to throw and catch candies on the move. The calmness is thanks only to Cuba Libre (rum with coke) or Cuba Santos (rum with sprite). They soothe the pulse and make you look with a blurred, happy eye to landscapes and children smiles. Bienvenidos! Welcome to the Dominican Republic!
Where did the truck drop us? Where nature proves it can create masterpieces outside the water too. Deep inland, where the beautiful 27 waterfalls of Damajaguas are. A system of cascades that only experienced hands of several guides can help you climb. The adventurers climb a bit freezing by the cold water, with some scratches, but shining. Their artistic return is a spectacular jump from the last waterfall to a small natural pool. And do you know who expects them on a stone chair with a camera in their hand while enjoying the choir of birds, the forest, and the waterfalls?
The day is gone. The night brings culinary delights – gifts from the earth and the sea. Whether you will taste the rum in peace or you will go into crazy dances to complete exhaustion – that’s up to which of the two halves in you will prevail. The Dominican Republic is there to send you with presents for the senses – a beautiful sunset, some breeze, harmony of aromas, rhythms with a lot of history, taste from here and there, a sense of complete happiness.
Many memories, many reflections, many dreams. It will probably turn out that the Dominican Republic provokes the third personality in people. It provokes not only the adventurer and the connoisseur of tranquility. The country also fuels the philosopher in you. Is the philosopher relaxing with a cup of coffee and a cigar after an adrenaline or a peaceful day? Will the philosopher conclude that the Dominican Republic offers everyone a rich palette of vibes and experiences?
The Dominican provokes happiness in us. We believe this is one of the best places in the world to be happy. We even followed a local lady who told us about her life and how the Dominicans appreciated the moment. And what more do we need to be happy?
Have you been to the Dominican Republic? What type of traveler did it invoke in you? Which places would you recommend?