It’s amazing how I’ve only been back in Atlanta for one week, but it feels like ages ago since I was in the Dominican Republic. We took this trip with my husband’s family and visited a not-so-touristy part of the Dominican. We had a lot of family bonding time over happy hour drinks (2 for 1!) at the resort and even celebrated RG’s brother getting engaged!
We did so much on this trip and I won’t bore you with all the finite details, instead I will highlight a few things: the resort, a couple of restaurants we visited, and a Jeep Safari tour we took. Before I get into all of that here are a few random things I learned about the DR:
- There are stray dogs EVERYWHERE
- Wild horses roam the beaches
- Tourist’s pay double what locals pay for the same things at the same stores/restaurants
- Scooters operate as taxis, and it is common to see two adults with a child squeezed between them on one scooter
Now onto the resort…we stayed at Coconut Palms Resort, which also happens to be an RCI resort. So if you have a time share use it here! The resort overall was very nice. The set up was very Caribbean and made you want to kick your flip-flops off and relax. The pool was perfect temperature, so refreshing. And the bar hosted happy hour from 4-5:30pm every night. My favorite part of that was the Bahama Mamas – which consists of a pina colada with banana and grenadine…can’t beat it on a hot and humid afternoon 🙂
The food was ok here. Everyone else raved about it, so I may have just ordered wrong the few times we ate there. The first night there was a BBQ buffet, it was traditional Dominican. I was a bit weirded out by the meat, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. The next night I ordered pork medallions, probably not the best idea in a tropical country! But I can vouch for the pizza on the bar menu, that was a good order.
Fair warning, there is no air conditioning here. Overall it really wasn’t an issue, I was just glad I had my hair straightened before I made the trip. It was humid and if I hadn’t it would have been the size of a watermelon! There was a nice breeze the came through the rooms at night to make it comfortable. They did have on-site massages for only $25. I didn’t take advantage of it but everyone I met that had said the masseuse was amazing. I definitely missed out on that! The resort was also able to set up excursions and helped plan activities away from there.
Coconut Palms is between two cute Dominican towns, Sosua and Cabarete. We spent a day in each…Sosua’s beach is a little smaller and can be rocky. I would go here to buy trinkets and paintings…everything is negotiable! We rented chairs, laid on the beach and watched all the locals trying to sell us everything from “fresh shrimp” to coconuts. I’m not going to lie, it is sometimes hard to watch. There are young kids walking up and down the beach trying to sell just a few dollars worth of whatever they are carrying, and you know they need the money. Then behind us the Sosua beach is lined with tons of tents set up where you can buy hand crafted wooden figurines, oil paintings and jewelry. It is fun to walk through and negotiate on what you want…but can also be very annoying getting harassed to go into every tent/booth.
Cabarete is a younger scene and also very family friendly. The beach is lined with restaurants and bars that have tables in the sand and lounge chairs by the water. Servers will bring you drinks and food where ever you decide to plant yourself. RG and I took an afternoon and went down there by ourselves….we relaxed, drank fruity drinks and watched the wind-surfers. Someone told me that Cabarete is the wind surfing capital of the world, now I don’t know that I believe it…but there were a ton of people out there trying it. My only regret from this trip is that we didn’t get out there and do that. Cabarete is also where we found the best restaurant of our trip. I’ll do a whole post on the two restaurants I loved, they deserve more than a few sentences.
I know this post was a little all over the place, but I wanted to give you a quick overview of where we stayed and our surroundings. I couldn’t have asked for a better area to stay in. I would definitely go back – next time for hopefully longer than a week! I was able to cross off one of my bucket list adventures, but that is for the next one. I definitely drank too much and ate too much…literally, I put on five pounds on this trip!