Another Dominicana trip ahead! We are going to dance bachata and merengue with the best local instructors, we will party, swim in the warm sea and relax at the beach. We can also drink rum and eat dark chocolate! Another project with Salsa Libre (www.salsalibre.pl) - amazing salsa school from Warsaw!
We fly to the Dominican Republic, the country of bachata, merengue, palm trees and magnificent beaches! We land in the evening, take our luggage after the passport control and go to the hotel. We will be staying in the heart of Santo Domingo, in Zona Colonial, that is the Old Town.
We wake up early due to the time change – our watches will be put back by six hours. And that is good, because we will be able to enjoy the warmth and sun in the middle of Polish winter. Then we set off to conquer the Dominican capital – Santo Domingo. Charming Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone) is the Old Town, which was founded just after Columbus arrived in America. The Dominicans are very proud that it was the first overseas settlement with city rights given to it by Spanish rulers. We will take a walk down the America's oldest street, Calle Las Damas, where once the ladies of the court walked rustling their dresses. They came with Maria Toledo, the wife of Diego - the governor, who was Christopher Columbus’s son.
We will see Alcazar de Colon, where this couple lived, located on the banks of the Ozama River. Graceful stone arcades overlook the vast Spain Square. We will check if the slender Reloj del Sol (sundial) still works well… We will enter the National Pantheon, where dark-skinned handsome men watch the guard of honor in uniforms reminiscent of Napoleonic times. We will also visit the majestic cathedral, the oldest in both Americas, built in the early sixteenth century. It is even called Catedral Primada de America, to emphasize that it was the first one. When entering the cathedral you have to wear appropriate clothing, shorts are out of question. Next to it, in the Parque Colon, Christopher Columbus is pointing out the only right direction from above, the Dominicans are enjoying the domino game, and a bootblack is working hard, bringing the shoes to shine.
We will also enter the most delicious museum – the Museum of Chocolate. From the very beginning we can not resist tasting: cocoa beans, dark chocolate, cocoa tea - yes, that is not a mistake! We can try to make our very own chocolate bar. Is it an easy task? You will see for yourselves!
In the afternoon we will have our first dance lesson with world famous Dominican instructors. They will teach us the traditional Dominican bachata and merengue, which is considered a national dance. We will dance… on the roof, on the terrace with a wide view of the city. At night we go to the hottest parties in the city. Will we get to the famous Hangar or end up in Bar Parada 77? Everything depends on us!
We could continue relaxing under the palm, but it is worth going on a cruise to the popular island of Saona. A day of splashing, drinking rum (included in the price!), watching fish and catamaran dances will be remembered for a long time! We will bathe in a clear sea on a sandbank called piscina natural i.e. a natural pool. We can even take a photo with a starfish, but due to nature protection – one should not pull it out of the water. Such starfish can move surprisingly fast. We will eat a fish in the shade of a palm tree and have a great time coming back to the port. A full day trip costs around USD 90, but it is worth it!
In the evening it is time for a party and Saturday night fever! We will see how the locals enjoy themselves. First we will familiarize ourselves with the local phenomenon, called colmado. This is a corner shop, a bit like our night one - a liquor store, stocked with a variety of alcohols, drinks and snacks. But that is not all: colmado works as a place to meet, talk about life, play dominoes, and of course dance. Whoever wants to dance, dances!
Another local attraction is a car wash. Yes, that is, of course a place where you can wash your car. But here every place is good for dancing and when clean cars leave (or sometimes even before that), we start dancing. Because actually - why not? Saturday nights are developing dynamically and spontaneously, so it is difficult to say where exactly we will end the party.
After the Saturday night fever we have to sleep off so we will start the day a little later. And then exploring Santo Domingo continues. We will look into the Museum of Laminar - a blue mineral that only occurs in the Dominican Republic. It is called a stone of spiritual development, which helps to find the right life path, and in the sphere of feelings - our other half. We will get to know the aromas of the best Dominican cigars sold in a shop at a reputable factory and taste coffee from local plantations. More dance lessons with Dominican instructors.
In the old town, near the ruins of a Franciscan monasterys every Sunday there are famous concerts of Grupo Bonye. They have been organised there for years, if there is no rain, of course – when it is rainining, Dominicans stay at home. They laugh at themselves that they are ‘made of sugar’. Members of Grupo Bonye are not teenagers anymore, but they infect everyone with vigor, Energy and the sense of humour. That is why crowds of people come to their Sunday concerts. They dance, laugh, drink beer, meet friends, get to know strangers. That is the real latino atmosphere!
In the morning we go to the National Park Tres Ojos withcrystal lakes of intense turquoise color and four caves. They are not big, but very picturesque – that is where scenes of ‘Jurassic Park’ were shot. You can swim a raft on one of the lakes. Good, comfortable shoes are a must – there will be a lot of walking! On our way we will see Faro Colon, a controversial, and to be honest, very ugly monument devoted to Columbus.
Then we visit poorer districts of Santo Domingo, but from a bird's eye view! Teleferico, which is a gondola lift over the city, allows you to watch the backyards, where children play and women hang the laundry. The lift impresses with its modernity.
We will take a look at the baseball field where children eagerly train. Do you know that Dominicans seem to be created foro this sport? The best players in the US come from the Dominican Republic! We will also see the presidential palace from the outside and take a walk along Malecon – an elegant seaside promenade.
We go to the beautiful Samana Peninsula, famous for its lush, exotic nature and charming wild beaches. We will start with relaxing on the white sand of Playa Coson, under palm trees and in turquoise water - this is exactly the place we dream about, thinking about an exotic vacation! Those interested can try surfing – it is a great place for the first steps on the waves.
Then we will go to the town of Las Terrenas, located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, at several known beaches. One of them, Punta Poppy, is ideal for kitesurfing. That is where competitions take place and where schools and equipment rentals are located. The town is also famous for its varied nightlife, several clubs, where you can dance, are open every day, or actually every night, including the most famous - La Bodega. We will stay near the centre and the beach, so everything will be close.
In the afternoon we will have lessons at the newly opened dance school, with enthusiastic instructors. And in the evening we set off to explore dance spots!
Maybe the most beautiful waterfall in the Dominican Republic, Salto El Limon, is not Niagara, but it is almost 50 meters high and lies in beautiful natural surroundings near Las Terrenas, so we can go there on a trip. We will reach the waterfall on horseback (safe option, i.e. horses are led by guides), but you can walk if you prefer, you just have to be prepared for going through the water and mud. Under the waterfall we can swim in crystal clear water and on the shore – dance bachata! A trip with dinner and transport costs around USD 45, it lasts half a day. You can also stay in Las Terrenas and enjoy the beach.
In the afternoon we have another dance class, and in the evening we are planning to go to the atmospheric Patio Tropical place known among the locals. There, it is good practice to order "rum service", that is, we get rum, ice and soda. We have fun and dance with Dominicans!
A day for lying on the beach,swimming and long walks along the seashore… There will be time to explore the shops and shopping for souvenirs, too. Another dance lessons and fun in the evening!
Time for sunbathing under the palm again! We can also explore the waters of Samana Bay and Los Haitises National Park. Boating among rocky islands (reminding of Thai or Vietnamese), covered with lush greenery is one of the most beautiful trips we can go on! Among the mangrove forests we will listen to the sounds of nature and see pelicans in their natural environment. We will also enter the cave where the Tain Indians lived. All indigenous people of the island, unfortunately, ended their lives shortly after Europeans arrived on the island. Landscapes may seem familiar to us - yes, it was where ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ were filmed! A full day trip costs around 70 USD. Then another dance lessons and parties - a farewell to the Samana peninsula!
We go to the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. There we will see another face of the country, i.e. the beaches most liked by Dominicans. We will live at one of them, in an all inclusive resort. We will eat, drink, sunbathe and enjoy life! In the evening we will go to a disco party where we will be able to compare our dance level with other tourists.
Finally, we can sleep at will and enjoy sweet laziness - a day at the beach during winter holidays will do us good. We charge our internal batteries with the Caribbean sun, we can sail on the sea by catamaran or watch fish under water. In the evening, dancing and partying in the Dominican Republic for the last time!
In the morning time for relax and packing. Then we go to the airport and fly towards Europe.
Arrival to Poland.
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