It was all a dream
I don’t even know where to begin. This country was beautiful, and many of it stems from its culture to its people.
I met a lot of fun friends on this trip, and the people in it were just as memorable as my experience there.
The first night was a blur, my friends and I walked around our resort and visited all of the bars and restaurants. We had a prepaid meal plan, which included unlimited drinks and food.
Our resort was right next to a Playa Cofresi, which was infused with hundreds of bunk bed cabanas and east coast beachgoers. The green banana smoothie is a must here.
On our first day, we visited a monkey jungle near Puerto Plata and learned about spider monkeys. For an extra $50 USD you can go zip lining. A few of us went zip lining and had to jump in a 60 ft hole, and afterwards, you have to climb out of the hole yourself. Our guides were a diverse mix of Haitians and Mid West volunteers who enjoyed hydrating us in authentic Dominican Republic beer. We had an amazing time.
On our third day, we visited Sousa beach. It was a little beach town an hour north of our resort. We met a friendly taxi driver named Michael who was the highlight of our trip. He gave us the “low down” on what the Dominican Republic life was like. He even shared with us his personal life and his struggles of being a taxi driver.
Sousa beach was a typical Latin Beach town with a nice mix of night life and street food. My friends and I tanned and swam in the brightest blue water I’ve ever seen! I even had my first experience of being fed to on the beach, by a local who was selling lemon flavor shrimps, he was so insistent on feeding me and kept putting hot sauce on my shrimps, it was hard to say no.
On our last day, we visited Cayo Arena aka paradise island. It was such a magical place. It was a tiny patch of sand in the middle of a coral reef and about 30-50 people were on it. The little sand patch island had tiki bars. Our taxi driver Michal was making drinks for us. We went snorkeling and saw the beautiful coral reefs; I saw so many fishes it was hard for me to count all of them. It was unforgettable moment.
Towards the end of our evening, our taxi driver Michael invited us to his home to meet his mother, his two kids, and the mother of his children. We came over and brought DR beer. His mother was so sweet. She made us the most authentic Dominican Republic food, that included BBQ meat melting of its bone and tender steak that tasted like candy. She paired it with basil potatoes and garlic bread. It was a nice home cook meal. I felt like I was home even though I was thousands of miles away from it.
When nighttime arrived, Michael took us in his car and drove us around the city and took us to a couple of nightclubs. Later, he dropped us off for our last goodbye and we exchanged WhatsApp numbers.
My trip to the Dominican Republic was unforgettable, I took many memorable photos and felt a strong sense of community for the people who lived there. I highly recommend visiting the Dominican Republic and soaking in its culture, food, and people. The people of DR are what makes Dominican Republic feel so raw and real.
What to pack
- swim wear
- tank tops
- dress (for nightlife)
- walking shoes
- waterproof camera gear
I packed fairly light, and I made sure that I had enough room for souvenirs! I bought lots of Dominican Republican rum chocolate back home. It was the best decision ever.