DATES OF STAY: 02/16/2013-03/09/2013.
OF INTEREST: The Cordillera Central (mountain range) is worth a visit and cheap public transportation makes it easy. It has the moniker of the “Dominican Alps”. Pico Duarte, the highest mountain range in North America east of the Mississippi, is here along with numerous waterfalls. All are available for visits with the help of local guides. Hiring a local guide is compulsory almost everywhere, but it’s cheap, protects natural resources, and provides desperately-needed employment for the locals. Vegetations quickly switches between tropical rainforest and conifer forest.
Santo Domingo, the capital, is full of history for the history buffs. In the Colonial Zone you can tour the Columbus Palace, the tomb of Columbus, the first cathedral & hospital in the New World, and numerous old churches and military buildings. Most date back to the early 16th century. There are many great open-air cafes and restaurants with a very European feeling. Public transportation is also easy here, and driving is not recommended.
I kept my boat at Marina Zar Par (www.marinazarpar.com) near Boca Chica. This is an outstanding marina with good facilities and 24-hour security, and I felt very safe leaving my boat for extended periods of time (not recommended while anchoring in the DR). Boca Chica is the Dominican party capital of the south coast and a popular spot for tourists. This means that it’s very loud and crowded, but there is a wide range of resort hotels, bars, and restaurants to provide a taste of civilization after a long period of cruising in the boonies. A lot of Italian ex-pats have opened great restaurants here.
Boca Chica also has some great diving. Robert Sherlock at Treasure Divers (www.treasure-divers.net) operates a clean and professional dive shop with many dive sites nearby and instruction in all PADI courses. They’ve been voted the Best Dive Shop in the Caribbean and one of the top 20 dive shops in the world. You can view my photos of diving with Treasure Divers HERE.
February 20th, 2013
I don't have any good photos to share in this post, but standby for a report on the Haitian island of Ile A Vache. I'm just about done going through those photos. I've finally arrived in the Dominican Republic after leaving the Bahamas nearly two weeks ago, and plan on staying here for two or thre...Read More->