The Dominican Republic

Annnnd somehow it's February! I realised at the weekend that last month I was a terrible blogger and only blogged three times. Oops. I'm going to try and get a bit better this month, aided a lot by the number of shoots I did in January - meaning you guys can actually see some half decent photography rather than the usual iPhone snaps...

Any way, the main reason for the lack of postings was that we took a very last minute break to the Dominican Republic for a fortnight. We'd set aside the time off but didn't book until Boxing Day. We (ok he, not me) found some amazing last minute flights on with Thomson (not sponsored, for the record) and before we knew it we were sitting on a beach sipping cold beer with sand between our toes... (when we say amazing flights, we mean £250 each - here).

We spent the first few nights in a hostel in Bavaro, 20km from the airport to get our groundings and to see in the New Year. The town was essentially built for tourism, so besides the coconuts on the beach and a few rum huts it was more "burger and chips" than "rice and peas." That said, I did eat the best quesadilla of my life at a tiny little cafe called "Kat's Corner" which I really, really recommend.

The beaches are beautiful, but the Atlantic coast makes them a little choppier... Most of the people in the area are in all inclusives and don't leave their hotels, so restaurants are quite quiet. It became clear that the more picturesque places are on the South coast of the island so we plotted a way (through two new friends armed with questionable "cigarettes" and an open top Jeep) to get down to Bayahibe on New Years Day...

After a day of travelling through the centre of the island we arrived in paradise, quite literally. Bayahibe is a quaint little fishing town which lives up to every Caribbean cliche you can imagine; bright coloured boats, sandy rum shacks and lots of local character. We knew as soon as we arrived that we'd be staying here a while. We found an apartment for a week in Dominicus (the next town down, walkable in 15 minutes from Bayahibe) at the Marina.

This was where the holiday started to come into it's own. We made several incredible local discoveries, including a tiny shack of a restaurant run by a Frenchman called Didier. The kitchen comprises of an enormous barbecue and only serves lobster and rum. It was without a doubt the best seafood I've ever eaten.

We took one day out to visit Saona, a relatively uninhabited island to the south of the Dominican Republic. You can take your pick of either a "party boat" or an old fisherman's boat to get there (you can guess which one we picked). To say it is beautiful just doesn't do it any justice. The beaches there were used for the Bounty adverts if that helps set the scene... We lay in our hammocks in between snorkelling with stingrays for most of the day, before heading back through a stretch of warm (like a bath) sea water covered in starfish. One of the most incredible days of my life.

For the last few nights we decided to treat ourselves and stayed at Tracadero. The all-white hotel and very Italian hotel is absolute bliss. When we got into our room it was so lovely we burst out laughing as we only paid $100 a night for the room. It very much has a beach club feel, anyone who has been to a Puro Beach or Blue Marlin - it's the same kind of thing but a fraction of the cost. Sipping Pina Coladas by the salt pools overlooking the sea, we felt a million miles from home... Firmly recommend the rose champagne too... ;)

To anyone looking for a complete break, I really recommend the DR. It has a reputation for being solely an all inclusive style destination, but with a little bit of planning you can have the total opposite. Book it NOW.

Find flights to Punta Cana here.


Unknown said...

Interesting...Have been to Punta Cana 8 times, always went all inclusive, never thought of doing it any other way, your post have just my view on how I should book my holiday next time. Thank u!

Michelle said...

Such beautiful photos!!


Crummy Mummy said...

Love the pics - but when I try and link to the flights it says the link is broken - can you help?

Dominican Republic Trip said...

I LOVED Dominican Republic! We went for our wedding anniversary during Christmas and New Year period. We had great time. Highly recommended place. The pictures are amazing.

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