In the years we’ve been here Husband and I have done many things: we’ve spent many days relaxing in Juan Dolio, a few long weekends in the young vibey beach town of Cabarete, a week vacation in serene Las Terrenas, a yoga retreat weekend in Las Galleras, and lived like millionaires in La Romana. We’ve visited the mountains of Jarabacoa twice, eaten at some lovely restaurants, discovered hidden gems, explored the Colonial Zone, played a lot of volleyball and frequented some colmados (ok we’ve done a lot of colmados).
Whew! Just saying it makes me feel good about all of the things we’ve done but having been first time parents and then second time parents within our first two years abroad has certainly hindered many of things that we would like to do on this island.
Most people think of Punta Cana when they think Dominican Republic and the all inclusive hotels that the east part of the island offers tourists. We haven’t visited Punta Cana yet and while I wouldn’t mind sipping free daiquiris all day one day, I should add it wouldn’t make our top 3 list of the things to see and do before we leave this place. Apparently, it wouldn’t even make our top 8. There’s so much more to see here…
1. Climb Pico Duarte – the highest mountain range in the whole Caribbean. The senior class takes a weekend climb trip here every year – it’s the only reason I would even attempt it. If rich 18 year olds who have drivers could do it…
2. Bahia de las Aguilas – Southwestern coast of near the southernmost part of the border of Haiti and considered by many one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
|By Swatigsood via Wikimedia Commons|
3. 27 Waterfalls (27 Charcos) – Mother Nature’s handy work at its best. On the Northern Coast, 27 awesome pools etched out of limestone. Check out their website here. This one is one I’d love to take pictures of Husband doing. Not for me but seems totally cool.
4. Whale watching in the Samana Peninsula – from Decmeber to March the whales hang around to mate and have their calves.
5. Barahona – the biggest city in the Southwest, it’s part mountain range, part desert, part coastline and some of the pretties beaches I’ve seen (in pictures of course)
6. Los Tres Ojos – an open air limestone cave located in the Mirador del Este park in Santo Domingo.
7. Visit the Mirabal Museo, the house of the Mirabal Sisters. – Known as “las mariposas,” the sisters became inspirational leaders to the resistance against Dominican Republic’s dictator Trujillo. After an effort to silence the Mirabal sisters did not work by imprisoning their husbands, soldiers ambushed their car one evening, clubbing them to death and then covering up their murders to look like a car accident. The public did not believe this story of an “accident.” Many believe this to be the turning point of Trujillo’s demise. You could also read their story in the book titled “In the Time of the Butterflies.”