Playa Las Ballenas is one of the best beaches in Las Terrenas

Dominican Republic, Journal

The northern coast in the Dominican Republic got famous for its many beautiful beaches. In contrast to the southern side of the island, the north has lower temperatures to offer and more wind to cool down and do some water sport activities. Additionally, you’ll find fewer algae and finer-grained sand at the beaches. I was happy, spending time at one particular beach and would like to recommend it to every interested traveler. Read in this article, why Playa Las Ballenas is the best beach in Las Terrenas and worth a visit.


Approximate reading time: 5 minutes


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Where is Playa Las Ballenas?

Located in the Northern part of the Samaná Peninsula in the Dominican Republic, Playa Las Ballenas is a must-visit in Las Terrenas. Flanked with many apart hotels and vacation homes, Playa Las Ballenas can be easily found in the northwest area of Las Terrenas. It’s one of the most visited beaches in Las Terrenas.



Aufgrund seiner guten und zentralen Lage würde man erwarten, dass dieser Strand von vielen Touristen überrannt wird. Überraschenderweise habe ich ganz andere Erfahrungen machen dürfen. Dieser Strand ist nicht vermüllt und in einem viel besseren und sauberen Zustand, als ich erwartet hätte. Wann immer ich dort war, hatte ich fast den ganzen Strand für mich:


Playa Las Ballenas - Las Terrenas
Las Ballenas in the Dominican Republic

Las Terrenas is one of the most visited areas in the Dominican Republic. Maybe I was just lucky to have had the right timing for my visits. But what about the name Playa Las Ballenas? Why is this beach called Playa Las Ballenas?

Why is this beach called Las Ballenas ?

Named Las Ballenas because of three rocky stones in the distance that resemble humpback whales, this spacious, wide white sand stretch with a shallow, calm sea sits right in the heart of Las Terrenas’s small town.

www.godominicanrepublic.com

The name ‘Las Ballenas’ is therefore a welcoming hint to one of the most popular tourist excursions that can be done in the Dominican Republic: Whale watching. A ‘ballena’ is the direct translation of ‘whale’ in Spanish. Every year from November to March, you can enjoy the whale watching season in the Dominican Republic. Giant humpback whales come every year to the bay of Samaná to give birth to their calves and breed them.


© barcelo.com

Whale watching is not an exclusive feature of this beach and can be done from other beaches in the Dominican Republic, too. But the idea to observe whales from this beach was an easy and remarkable transition. Naming a whole beach after its whales creates curiosity and make people want to visit it.

But the reason I like Playa Ballenas so much is not because of the many features I mentioned above.

What else is special about Playa Las Ballenas?

Walking a few miles without crowds of people and observing beautiful sunsets is what made me fall in love with this beach. I enjoyed some days there during the off-season and was never disappointed. It must be more crowded during high seasons. But in months like April till June (except Easter holidays) and from September till December (except the Christmas holidays), it’s worth a visit.



In my Instagram profile, I call myself a sunset hunter. Sunsets have a very relaxing and soothing effect on me. It’s like the farewell of a hot and sunny Caribbean day and turns into a warm and starry night. But the last hour of sunlight before it sets is a marvelous one.



If you enjoy sunsets the same way I do, you’ll collect some valuable memories at Playa Las Ballenas in Las Terrenas. Not sure, why this beach charmed me more than others on the island. But Playa Las Ballenas had the most fascinating sunsets I’ve seen so far in the Dominican Republic.


The Caribbean beauty of Playa Las Ballenas

Playa Las Ballenas is a very clean and peaceful beach in the Dominican Republic with the typical Caribbean flair. Picturesque sunsets invite travelers to observe the beautiful colors of sunsets and sunrises.

Whoever has a talent for photography or videography can let off steam at Playa Las Ballenas and the many soft lighting conditions and color changes that can be enjoyed by a loved one. Few visitors can find out more about the entire beach boulevard.

For me, Playa Las Ballenas is one of the most beautiful beaches in Las Terrenas and Samaná.

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It’s worth planning at least one evening there. With a bit of luck, you’ll capture the same photos and videos I did. I always had memorable evenings at Playa Las Ballenas. Lost in thought I observed the last orange and pink hues of the daylight.

I would consider Las Ballenas as the best beach in Las Terrenas and one of my favorites in Samaná. Maybe even on the whole northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Soon, I’ll report more about the marvelous beaches in the Dominican Republic.


Playa Las Ballenas - Las Terrenas

But this article should give every reader a good impression of what to expect from Caribbean sunsets in the Dominican Republic. You should also check out another article I wrote before about a Caribbean sunset. One of the most important resources in the Dominican Republic are the infinite sunsets.


Playa Los Patos

Sunset at Playa Los Patos in the Dominican Republic

Los Patos is one of the most visited beaches in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. I had the opportunity to visit this beach to see a breathtaking sunset. Luckily, I could take some nice photos and videos before it got dark at Las Patos in the Dominican Republic.

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Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (2)

Playa Minitas – A clean and neat beach in Casa de Campo

Dominican Republic, English

Beaches in the Dominican Republic are beautiful. Whenever I think about beaches from an illustrated travel catalog, photos could be taken from the Dominican Republic. One beach I remember in particular. Playa Minitas – A clean and neat beach in Casa de Campo. Read my short story about a beautiful beach in the oldest resort of the Dominican Republic. Maybe you need some Caribbean inspiration for your next vacation?


Approximate reading time: 2 minutes


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Where is Playa Minitas?

Playa Minitas is not a public beach. It is located inside of the prestigious Casa de Campo in La Romana. Casa de Campo was by the way the first resort in the Caribbean and exists now for almost 50 years.



To be able to access it you need to have permission to enter. That makes the beach very private in comparison with many other beaches in the Dominican Republic. The advantages of private beaches like Playa Minitas are obvious:

  • Not everyone can enter the premises
  • These beaches are equipped with lifeguards and security
  • Fewer noises, no beach vendors, better sanitary facilities

But the best thing I would consider is the neatness of Playa Minitas. In comparison to many other beaches in the Dominican Republic, you won’t find any plastic garbage there. Whenever I visited public beaches, there were far too many careless people leaving their trash behind.



Of course, a prestigious resort like Casa de Campo can’t afford any flaws and deficiencies on their premises. The beach was very clean and organized. I loved their dedication to supporting a clean environment!

Whoever doesn’t like sand between the toes has a great alternative. A few yards away from the shore is a swimming pool. Great for people who don’t like salt water and don’t like to be amid the waves.


Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (10)
A good and close-by alternative: The swimming pool at Playa Minitas.


As I wrote before, this beach was one of the greatest I saw in the Dominican Republic. It was quiet there, not too many people around, and simply that kind of beach you would expect from an illustrated catalog. A real paradise!



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From my perspective, it would be the perfect beach for families with little kids. The shoreside at Playa Minitas was very shallow and the moving waters can’t be even considered as waves. I always saw some lifeguards observing the coasts. Kids would be super safe there and have a great time.

So did I. Why can’t be all beaches like Playa Minitas in Casa de Campo?


Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (4)

Playa Minitas – Ein Strand wie aus dem Urlaubskatalog

Dominican Republic, English

Strände in der Dominikanischen Republik sind wunderschön. Wann immer ich an Strände aus einem illustrierten Urlaubskatalog denke, könnten die Fotos in der Dominikanischen Republik gemacht werden. Es gibt einen Strand, an den ich mich besonders gerne erinnere. Playa Minitas, ein Strand wie aus dem Urlaubskatalog. Lies in diesem Artikel über einen wunderschönen Strand im ältesten Resort der Dominikanischen Republik. Vielleicht suchst Du nach karibischer Inspiration für Deinen nächsten Urlaub?


Ungefähre Lesezeit: 2 Minuten


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Wo ist Playa Minitas?

Playa Minitas ist kein öffentlicher Strand. Er befindet sich im prestigeträchtigen Resort von Casa de Campo in La Romana. Casa de Campo war übrigens das erste Resort in der Dominikanischen Republik (und der gesamten Karibik) und existiert seit fast 50 Jahren.



Um Playa Minitas und das gesamte Resort von Casa de Campo betreten zu dürfen brauchst Du eine Genehmigung. Das macht diesen Strand natürlich nochmal etwas exklusiver und besonders. Die Vorteile von Playa Minitas als Privatstrand und Teil von Casa de Campo liegen natürlich auf der Hand:

  • Nicht jeder kann diesen Strand betreten
  • Der Strandabschnitt ist mit Rettungsschwimmern und zusätzlichen Sicherheitskräften ausgestattet
  • Weniger Lärm, keine Strandverkäufer, bessere sanitäre Anlagen

Aber der für mich offensichtlichste Vorzug von Playa Minitas ist die Ordentlichkeit von Playa Minitas. Im Vergleich zu vielen anderen Stränden in der Dominikanischen Republik findest Du dort keinen wild entsorgten Plastikmüll. Immer wenn ich öffentliche Strände in der Dom Rep besucht habe, ließen viel zu viele sorglose Menschen viel zu viel Müll zurück.



Of course, a prestigious resort like Casa de Campo can’t afford any flaws and deficiencies on their premises. The beach was very clean and organized. I loved their dedication to supporting a clean environment!

Wer Sand zwischen den Zehen nicht mag, kann auf eine gute Alternative zurückgreifen. Ein paar Meter vom Ufer entfernt befindet sich ein Pool. Großartig für alle Leute, die kein Salzwasser mögen und lieber ihre Bahnen ziehen.


Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (10)
Der Swimming Pool am Minitas Beach Club & Restaurant


Wie ich bereits zuvor schrieb, war dieser Strand einer der angenehmsten, die ich in der Dominikanischen Republik gesehen habe. Es war ruhig dort, wenig lärmende Leute und einfach diese Art Strand, wie man ihn in einem illustrierten Katalog erwarten würde. Ein echtes Paradies!



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Aus meiner Sicht wäre es der perfekte Strand für Familien mit kleinen Kindern. Die Küste am Playa Minitas war sehr flach und das sich leicht bewegende Wasser könnte ich nicht mal als Wellen bezeichnen. Ich habe immer einige Rettungsschwimmer gesehen, die die Küsten beobachtet haben. Kinder wären dort super sicher und hätten eine tolle Zeit.

Die hatte ich aber auch. Warum können nicht alle Strände wie Playa Minitas im Casa de Campo sein?


Mirador del Atlántico in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (4)

A great ocean view at Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas

Dominican Republic, English

There aren’t many spacious and secure viewing platforms in the Dominican Republic. But one of them definitely is worth a stop. Very close to Las Terrenas is one of my favorite spots to have a quick lunch break. I frequently stopped there when I was driving uphill or downhill to Las Terrenas. Read this article and find out more about a great ocean view at ‘Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas’ and how to get there.


Approximate reading time: 4 minutes


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Not many good viewing platforms in the DR

Usually, people just stop in the Dominican Republic with their vehicles mindlessly at the side of a highway to have a break and take some photos. There aren’t many good viewing platforms to observe the surrounding nature. Most of the time, these observation decks are far too close to the highways and a little dangerous to stop by.

Another challenge is the limited parking spaces. Whenever a lot of people were stopping by with their cars, trucks, or motorcycles, it could get crowded on these few free platforms. Traffic scenarios in the Dominican Republic aren’t safe by nature, but curious people compound these complicated situations. Especially, when there’s only one possibility per lane to stop by and vehicles from both directions try to drive there.

I did several Road Trips in the Dominican Republic and was always delighted about the feeling of freedom I had. Driving in the Dominican Republic was always a joy – If that was far away from the highly crowded tourist areas and bigger cities. These traffic situations were always horrible. But driving along the highways, coasts, and mountains between the cities was always something special and enjoyable.

Where is Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas?

If you are doing a Road Trip in the Dominican Republic and are driving from or to Las Terrenas, there is one spot you should stop and enjoy the view. Very close to Playa Cosón on Highway 133 (Boulevard Turístico del Atlántico) you can find on Google Maps ‘Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas’.



This alone is a great reference because most of the interesting and helpful landmarks aren’t publicly available or communicated by Dominicans. A lot of times, obtaining information about the places like these are somehow secret and concealed. Many foreigners doing road trips in the DR would usually cross these places without taking notice of them. In this case, you can plan a little stop there because you can locate it on Google Maps.

Latitude: 19° 17′ 29.898″ N

Longitude 69° 36′ 42.18″ W

What can I expect from Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas?

The observation platform is only on one side of the highway. If you are leaving Las Terrenas and/or Playa Cosón, it would be on your side and easier and safer to reach. But if you are driving to Las Terrenas or Playa Cosón, you need to cross the other lane to reach the platform. You should consider that.


Mirador del Atlántico in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (4)
View from the Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas to Playa Cosón

I described it a bit earlier – It could get challenging and dangerous if vehicles from both sides decide to drive there. Many times, speeding limits in the Dominican Republic are known but neither accepted nor tolerated. This observation platform is behind (or before: depending on your driving direction) a curve at the mountainside. Could be a bit challenging.

Don’t expect any shopping possibilities or sanitary facilities at Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas. There isn’t any restaurant, shop, toilet, etc. It’s a viewpoint in its natural state and barely modified by humans. Definitely not a capitalized service area.



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If you want to have an extensive lunch break or powder your nose, you’d better look for another place. In any other event, bringing your snack and enjoying the view is more than a good idea at Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas.

How is the view from Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas?

On the floor, you can find a rock. If you climb it carefully up, you have an even better view throughout the landscape. From there, you can look across the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Convince yourself and take a look at my video:



If the view is clear and not foggy, you can even look to your Northwest down to Playa Cosón. If you’re lucky, there isn’t any vehicle driving or stopping. You can enjoy the view and listen to bird calls. Almost full silence. I need to highlight on this occasion, that full silence is something rare in the Dominican Republic. Usually, people conglomerate everywhere and are quite noisy.



Take advantage of this extremely rare case and enjoy the view at Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas. It’s worth it!



Mirador del Atlántico in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (4)

Ein wunderschöner Aussichtspunkt am Mirador del Atlántico in Las Terrenas

Dominican Republic, English

In der Dominikanischen Republik gibt es nicht viele groß angelegte und sichere Aussichtsplattformen. Aber eine von ihnen ist definitiv einen Stopp wert. Ganz in der Nähe von Las Terrenas ist einer meiner Lieblingsorte für eine kurze Mittagspause. Ich hielt dort häufig an, wenn ich bergauf oder bergab nach Las Terrenas fuhr. Lies diesen Artikel und erfahre mehr über einen wunderschönen Aussichtspunkt am ‘Mirador del Atlántico’ in Las Terrenas und wie Du dorthin findest.


Ungefähre Lesezeit: 5 Minuten


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Kaum gute und sichere Aussichtspunkte

Normalerweise halten die Leute in der Dominikanischen Republik mit ihren Fahrzeugen gedankenlos an jeder Autobahn an der Seite an, um eine Pause einzulegen und ein paar Fotos zu machen. Es gibt nicht viele gute Aussichtspunkte, um die umliegende Natur in Ruhe zu beobachten. Meistens sind diese Aussichtsplattformen viel zu nahe an den Autobahnen gebaut und ein wenig gefährlich.

Eine weitere Herausforderung sind die begrenzten Parkmöglichkeiten. Immer wenn viele Leute mit ihren Autos, Lastwagen oder Motorrädern vorbeibrettern, kann es auf diesen wenigen und klein gestalteten Plattformen schon mal etwas gemütlich werden. Verkehrsszenarien in der Dominikanischen Republik sind von Natur aus nicht sicher und sehr herausfordernd. Neugierige und gedankenlose Autofahrer verschärfen diese Situation noch weiter. Insbesondere, wenn die Aussichtspunkte nur auf einer Straßenseite sind und von beiden Verkehrsrichtungen angesteuert werden können.

Ich habe mehrere Rundreisen in der Dominikanischen Republik gemacht und war immer begeistert von dem Gefühl der Freiheit, das ich während der Fahrt hatte. In der Dominikanischen Republik fahren zu dürfen war immer eine Freude – wenn es weit weg von den überfüllten Touristengebieten und größeren Städten war. Die Verkehrssituationen dort sind allerdings ein echter Graus und waren immer nervenaufreibend. Aber das Fahren entlang der Autobahnen, Küsten und Berge fernab der Städte war immer etwas Besonderes für mich.

Wo ist der Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas?

‘Mirador’ bedeutet auf Spanisch ‘Ausguck’ oder Aussichtspunkt. Dieser spezielle Aussichtspunkt beschreibt also, dass er mit Blick auf den Atlantik und der Orientierung halber nahe Las Terrenas gelegen ist.

Wenn Du eine Rundreise in der Dominikanischen Republik unternimmst und von oder nach Las Terrenas fährst, solltest Du genau dort anhalten. Es gibt kaum einen Ort auf der Insel, an dem sich die Aussicht besser genießen lässt. Ganz in der Nähe von Playa Cosón auf dem Highway 133 (Boulevard Turístico del Atlántico) findest Du auf Google Maps den “Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas”.



Das allein ist eine gute Referenz, da die meisten interessanten und hilfreichen Aussichtspunkte von Dominikanern nicht öffentlich zugänglich sind oder kommuniziert werden. Oft wird es irgendwie geheim gehalten und verborgen, dass sich Informationen über solche Orte ausreichend verbreiten. Viele Ausländer, die in der Dominikanischen Republik ihre Rundreisen machen, durchqueren diese Orte normalerweise, ohne es irgendwie zu bemerken oder darauf hingewiesen zu werden. In diesem Fall kannst Du dort einen kleinen Zwischenstopp einplanen, da Du ihn leicht auf Google Maps finden kannst.

Breitengrad: 19° 17′ 29.898″ N
Längengrad: 69° 36′ 42.18″ W

Was kann ich von Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas erwarten?

Die Aussichtsplattform befindet sich nur auf einer Seite der Autobahn. Wenn Du Las Terrenas und / oder Playa Cosón auf dem Highway 133 verlässt, ist sie auf Deiner Fahrtseite und leichter und sicherer zu erreichen. Wenn Du jedoch aus Richtung Santo Domingo oder Puerto Plata auf die Halbinsel Samaná in Richtung Las Terrenas und / oder Playa Cosón fährst, musst Du die Gegenfahrbahn überqueren, um die Plattform zu erreichen. Das solltest Du berücksichtigen und Dir merken.


Mirador del Atlántico in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (4)
Blick vom Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas nach Playa Cosón

Ich habe es zu Beginn in diesem Artikel schon beschrieben – es könnte herausfordernd und gefährlich werden, wenn Fahrzeuge von beiden Seiten zum Aussichtspunkt fahren wollen. Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen in der Dominikanischen Republik sind zwar allgemein bekannt, werden aber weder akzeptiert noch befolgt. Diese Aussichtsplattform befindet sich je nach individueller Fahrtrichtung vor oder hinter hinter einer Kurve am Berghang. Könnte ein bisschen herausfordernd sein.

Erwarten Sie keine Einkaufsmöglichkeiten oder sanitären Einrichtungen am Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas. Es gibt kein Restaurant, Geschäft, keine Toilette, usw. Es ist ein reiner Aussichtspunkt in seinem natürlichen Zustand und nicht wirtschaftlich erschlossen worden.



Wenn Du eine ausgedehnte Mittagspause einlegen oder mal gepflegt austreten möchtest, suchst Du besser nach einem anderen Ort. In jenem anderen Fall ist es eine gute Idee, zum Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas Deinen eigenen Snack und ein Getränk mitzubringen und die Aussicht zu genießen.

Wie ist die Aussicht vom Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas?

Auf dem Boden befindet sich ein großer Fels vor der Brüstung. Wenn Du vorsichtig nach oben kletterst, hast Du eine noch bessere Sicht auf die umliegende Landschaft. Von dort aus kannst Du über die Nordküste der Dominikanischen Republik schauen. Überzeug Dich selbst und schau Dir mein Video an:



Wenn die Sicht klar und nicht neblig ist, kannst Du sogar nach Nordwesten bis zum Playa Cosón schauen. Wenn Du Glück hast wie ich oben im Video, fährt kein Fahrzeug vorbei oder hält an. Du kannst die Aussicht in Ruhe genießen und den Vogelstimmen lauschen. Eine nahezu ungetrübte Stille. Ich muss bei dieser Gelegenheit hervorheben, dass völlige Stille in der Dominikanischen Republik etwas sehr Seltenes ist. Normalerweise findest Du in der Dominikanischen Republik überall Menschen und es wird ziemlich schnell ziemlich laut.



Koste also diesen äußerst seltenen Fall aus und genieß die Aussicht auf den Mirador del Atlántico Las Terrenas. Ein kurzer Stopp dort lohnt sich sehr!



Malecón, Cabrera, María Trinidad Sánchez, Dominican Republic (1)

Wellenbrecher am Malecón in Cabrera

Dominican Republic, German

Eine einfache Fahrtpause während eines Road Trips in der Dominikanischen Republik erwies sich für mich als lohnenswerte Inspiration. Ich war im Norden der DomRep mit dem Auto unterwegs und fuhr durch Cabrera. Glücklicherweise machte ein Naturschauspiel meine Pause angenehmer. Lies meine kurze Geschichte über das Erlebnis, wie ich zum Wellenbrecher am Malecón in Cabrera wurde.


Ungefähre Lesezeit: 4 Minuten


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Wo liegt Cabrera?

Cabrera ist eine der kleineren Städte in der Dominikanischen Republik. Das karibische Kleinstädtchen liegt in der Provinz María Trinidad Sánchez. Ideal an der Nordküste der Insel zwischen Puerto Plata und der Halbinsel Samaná gelegen.



Ich habe einige Recherchen durchgeführt und konnte nicht viele Informationen über Cabrera finden. Das ist aber ziemlich normal in der Dominikanischen Republik, Informationen über Reiseziele außerhalb der touristischen Gegenden sind ziemlich schwer zu finden. Also mache ich mal wieder Pionierarbeit und schreibe über ein ungewöhnliches Reiseziel. Scheinbar hat das vor mir noch kein Blogger und Vlogger versucht.

Cabrera scheint kein echtes Tourismusziel für internationale Reisende zu sein. Zwar gibt es mit Playa Caletón einen beliebten Strand, aber dieses Reiseziel liegt etwas südlich von Cabrera außerhalb der Stadt. Cabrera scheint eher für den Transit und kurze Pausen geeignet zu sein. Genau das habe ich getan, um während einer Fahrt entlang der Nordküste der Dominikanischen Republik eine Pause einzulegen. Zum Glück war das für mich die richtige Entscheidung.



Wo ist der Malecón von Cabrera?

Ich fuhr von Las Terrenas nach Cabarete. Cabrera ist genau in der Mitte und war die perfekte Stadt für einen Zwischenstopp, um die Beine zu vertreten und eine Lunchpause einzulegen. Was ich nicht wusste, war die kleine Überraschung, die mich während meiner Pause erwartete. Es war eine wahre Freude, am Malecón vorbeizufahren und die haushohe Wellen zu beobachten.

Meine Fotos und Videos von diesem kurzweiligen Erlebnis stammen von den Klippen im nördlichsten Teil des Malecón in Cabrera. Genau an der scharfen Kurve der Straße mit dem Namen ‘Duarte’. Die GPS-Koordinaten des Malecón in Cabrera findest Du hier:

Breitengrad: 19 ° 38’49.1 “N.
Längengrad: 69 ° 54’11.5 “W.

Starker Wellengang in Cabrera

Inmitten dieser Wellen nahm ich an den Klippen mehrere Videos von der Klippe auf. Vielleicht war es mein Glückstag – Diese Wellen erwiesen sich als besonders kraftvoll und beeindruckend. Zumindest empfand ich die meterhohen Wellen als sehr besonders. Die Gischt peitschte das aufgespülte Salzwasser weit über die Klippen hinweg. Ich konnte bereits einige Wassertropfen vom Meer aus spüren, die etwa 30 bis 40 Meter von den Klippen entfernt auf dem Weg zur Aussichtsplattform niederregneten. Ziemlich mächtig also.

Zumindest habe ich den Eindruck, dass ich während meines 30-minütigen Aufenthalts am Malecón von Cabrera einige gute Aufnahmen gemacht habe. Ich habe versucht, ein Video zu machen, um einen dieser Wellenbrecher aufzuzeichnen. Schau Dir das Video an und sag mir, was Du davon hältst:



Ich wurde wegen der aufbrausenden Gischt ziemlich nass und spürte den salzigen Geschmack des Ozeans zwischen meinen Lippen. In Kombination mit der sengenden Mittagssonne in der Karibik war es eine echte Herausforderung für Haut und Kleidung. Aber ich war froh, einige großartige Momente an den Klippen verbracht zu haben. Den Meerblick zu genießen war sehr beruhigend und entspannend. Besonders bei einer solchen Aussicht:



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Diese Klippen wurden aufgrund der Dünung und des Salzgehalts des Meeres seit Tausenden von Jahren stetig geformt. Ich fühlte mich sehr willkommen, am Malecón von Cabrera noch ein wenig zu verweilen und einige Zeit zu genießen. Eine maritime Inspiration für Reisende und all jene, die einfach nur mal neugierigerweise vorbeischauen möchten. Ich kann allen Reisenden mit dem Auto sehr empfehlen, einen Zwischenstopp am Malecón von Cabrera einzuplanen. Und wenn es nur für 10 Minuten ist.



Aber Du solltest besser Sonnencreme auftragen und auch Ersatzkleidung bereit halten. An der Küste von Cabrera kann es ziemlich nass und salzig werden. Trotzdem lohnt es sich, den Malecón von Cabrera zu besuchen, um ein paar Wellen zu brechen.

Vielleicht kannst Du eines Tages Deine eigenen Wellen dort brechen.


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Malecón, Cabrera, María Trinidad Sánchez, Dominican Republic (8)

A wave-breaking experience at the Malecón in Cabrera

Dominican Republic, English

A simple stop during a road trip in the Dominican Republic turned out to be funny and inspiring moments. I was on the road and stopped by at the Malecón in Cabrera. Luckily, a spectacle of nature made a break more pleasant. Read my story about a wave-breaking experience at the Malecón in Cabrera.

Approximate reading time: 4 minutes


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Where can I find Cabrera?

Cabrera is one of the smaller cities in the Dominican Republic. Located in María Trinidad Sánchez province on the North Coast of the island, it is between Puerto Plata and the Peninsula Samaná. I did some desk research and couldn’t obtain a lot of information about Cabrera from the traveler’s perspective. Seems like, there’s either not a lot to do and visit. Or not frequently visited by people who like to write about it.



Cabrera doesn’t seem to be a real tourism destination for international travelers. It seems to be more for transit and stopping by. That’s exactly what I did to have a break during a drive along the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. Luckily, that was for me the right decision.



Where is the Malecón in Cabrera?

I was driving from Las Terrenas and heading towards Cabarete. Cabrera is exactly in the middle and was the perfect city for a stop to stretch legs and have a lunch break. What I didn’t know was the little enhancement that awaited me during my break. It was a real joy to stop by at the Malecón and observe the waves as high as a house.

The photos and videos I took were from the cliffs at the most northern part of Duarte street and the Malécon in Cabrera. You can find the GPS coordinates of the Malecón in Cabrera here:

Latitude: 19°38’49.1″N
Longitude: 69°54’11.5″W

Powerful waves at the Malecón de Cabrera

Amid these waves, I took several videos from the cliff. Maybe it was my lucky day – These waves turned out to be powerful and impressive. The sea spray lashed the wuthering saltwater on the ground. I could feel some water drops from the ocean some 70 – 80 ft. away from the cliffs. Quite powerful.

At least I’m under the impression, that I made some good recordings during my 30-minute stay at the Malecón of Cabrera. I tried to make a video to capture a wave-breaker. Take a look and check it out:



I got pretty wet because of the sea spray and felt the salty taste of the ocean between my lips. In combination with the scorching sun during noon, it was a real challenge for my skin and clothing. But I was happy to have spent some great moments at the cliffs. Enjoying the ocean view was very calming and relaxing. Especially with a view like that:



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These cliffs were shaped for thousands of years because of the swell and salinity of the sea. I felt very invited to linger over the Malecón of Cabrera and pass some time. A maritime inspiration for travelers and those who just want to come and stop by. I can definitely recommend to plan a stop at the Malecón of Cabrera.



But you should better put on sunscreen and have some spare clothes with. It can get pretty wet and salty at the coast of Cabrera. Nevertheless, it’s worth it to visit the Malecón of Cabrera for your own wave-breaking experience.

Maybe you can try to catch your own wave one day.


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5 reasons to live in the colonial zone of Santo Domingo (April 2021 UPDATE)

5 reasons to live/leave this city, Dominican Republic, English, Insider Report

Santo Domingo is the biggest city in the entire Caribbean and the capital of the Dominican Republic. From an expat point of view, it might be not as attractive to live there as to visit it for a weekend. If you are a foreigner and work in tourism, hospitality, or real estate, probably Punta Cana or Las Terrenas might be your main place of residence in the Dominican Republic. However, there are still a lot of other expats living in Santo Domingo. In addition to that, many foreigners tend to move to the Colonial Zone. I want to help you have a better overview of 5 reasons to live in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone.


Approximate reading time: 15 minutes

(Last update: April 10, 2021)


I lived the expat life in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo for almost one and a half years. This article isn’t by default an homage. You should see it more as a little guide for foreigners who are looking for first-hand information. Whenever you plan, consider, or might even daydream to move to the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo – Here you can find some useful information in this article.


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My intention for this article was to give some insights and guidance about the Colonial Zone you might not find elsewhere. There are plenty of websites regarding tourism, hospitality, or sightseeing in the Colonial Zone. But living there for longer? Not much useful information to be found. I would like to close that gap.

During the difficult times of Covid-19, I moved away from the Colonial Zone. When I left the Colonial Zone, there wasn’t much public life possible as you would expect it from a Caribbean city. Due to restrictions, lockdown, and strict controls, it didn’t matter to me in which neighborhood I lived. Because I could neither enjoy nor benefit from all these arguments that would usually convince someone to move there permanently. Thus, I moved to Piantini to a more central neighborhood. It was at the same time a bit more upscale, green and quiet than the Colonial Zone.


Carnaval 2020 en la Zona Colonial en Santo Domingo (1)
Calle El Conde

My article should be therefore a reference to ‘the normal’ Colonial Zone. Not a Colonial Zone during any political interventions because of a global pandemic. Just a regular Colonial Zone before and after Covid-19. Let’s hope, that things go back to this ‘normal’ I was writing about before on my website.

Are you interested in a broader overview of the expat life in Santo Domingo as a whole city? I would like to recommend you a related article that I wrote before any Covid incidents. With the same structure and 5 good reasons to live in Santo Domingo and 5 reasons to leave it again.


5 good reasons to live in Santo Domingo (04/2021 Update)

The Dominican Republic is a magnificent tourism destination in the Caribbean. Many holidays begin in the capital of Santo Domingo and its Colonial Zone to welcome the visitor with a historical flair. But what about living in Santo Domingo? What are good reasons to live in the Dominican capital?

Read in this article, what life in the oldest city on the American continent really means for a foreigner.


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But this article now is kind of a special edition and focuses on the Colonial Zone with all its interesting facets and peculiarities. It’s more a comparison amongst the different neighborhoods of Santo Domingo. Please follow the link below and get a thorough glimpse about the ‘Zona Colonial’ how Dominicans would call it.

Please let me know in the comment section if you liked the article and what you think about it. You can also send me an eMail to contact@traphil.com and ask your questions in a bit more private manner. I’ll respond to it as quickly as I can.

Click HERE to read 5 reasons to live in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo

5 gute Gründe NICHT nach Santo Domingo auszuwandern (April 2021 UPDATE)

5 reasons to live/leave this city, Dominican Republic, German, Insider Report

Die Dominikanische Republik ist ein bezauberndes Urlaubsziel in der Karibik. Viele Urlaube beginnen in der Dominikanischen Hauptstadt Santo Domingo. Die berühmte koloniale Altstadt heißt mit einem historischen Flair ihre Besucher willkommen. Aber kann man überhaupt in solch einer außergewöhnlichen Stadt (gut) leben? Ich rate jedem interessierten Abenteurer und Auswanderer, es sich wirklich zweimal zu überlegen. Santo Domingo ist wahrlich nichts für schwache Nerven und verlangt eine Menge von einem ab. In diesem Artikel findest Du 5 gute Gründe NICHT nach Santo Domingo auszuwandern.

Vielleicht hast Du schon den vorigen Artikel gelesen, in dem ich über 5 gute Gründe für Santo Domingo geschrieben habe. Dies ist quasi der Gegenentwurf dazu und behandelt Gegenargumente über das Auswandererleben in Santo Domingo. Lies in diesem Artikel, was das tägliche Leben in der ältesten Stadt auf dem amerikanischen Kontinent wirklich für einen Expat bedeutet. Und ob es für Dich ebenfalls in Frage kommen kann. Oder Du vielleicht eine andere Stadt bevorzugen solltest. Ich beantworte alle diese Fragen.

  • Kann man als Ausländer in der Hauptstadt der Dominikanischen Republik gut leben?
  • Welche Gründe gibt es, Santo Domingo vielleicht lieber zu meiden?
  • Warum solltest Du vielleicht doch eher andere Städte in Lateinamerika bevorzugen?
  • Wie ist das Leben in Santo Domingo, wenn man auswandert?
  • Was sind die größten Probleme und Herausforderungen, wenn Du in Santo Domingo leben möchtest?

Ungefähre Lesezeit: 20 Minuten

(Letztes Update: 10. April 2021)


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Ich glaube, dass es der richtige Moment ist, um Santo Domingo als würdigen Lebensmittelpunkt für Auswanderer und Interessenten zu prüfen. Falls Du nach Nachteilen über das Leben in Santo Domingo nachforschst, wirst Du in diesem Artikel die Antworten dazu finden. Es gibt immer eine Menge Artikel, die ein beliebtes Reiseziel für Urlauber oder Auswanderer ausschmücken und um jeden Preis weiterempfehlen. Recht wenige Artikel zeigen allerdings die Kehrseite und bieten ungeschönte Wahrheiten, die schwerer zu finden sind.

Ich habe mehr als 1,5 Jahre in Santo Domingo gewohnt. Und ich denke, dass ich ein paar wertvolle Eindrücke über das tägliche Leben in der Dominikanischen Hauptstadt aus der Perspektive eines Auswanderers gewinnen konnte. Deshalb freue ich mich, wenn ich mit Dir diese Eindrücke teilen kann!

Zuvor habe ich habe bereits in Quito (Equador), Lima (Peru) und Asunción (Paraguay) gelebt und ähnliche authentische Erfahrungsberichte über das Leben als Auswanderer in den lateinamerikanischen Hauptstädten verfasst. Falls Dich diese Quervergleiche auch interessieren, schau Dir meine Artikel (in englischer Sprache) an. Mit lateinamerikanischen Hauptstädten hab ich’s also irgendwie 🙂

Das gleiche Konzept möchte ich nun über Santo Domingo realisieren und einen ähnlichen Ratgeber verfassen. Diesmal sogar noch ausführlicher.

Ich habe diesen Artikel aus meinen eigenen Beobachtungen und Erlebnissen niedergeschrieben. Alle von mir genannten Argumente basieren Рso sie denn nicht gesondert gekennzeichnet wurden Рaus meiner eigenen Erfahrung und die Photos und Videos sind mein eigenes Copyright. Du wirst den Inhalt dieses Erfahrungsberichtes auf keiner anderen Seite finden k̦nnen, es sei denn er wurde verlinkt oder ganz dreist kopiert.


Ceviche at D'Luis Parrillada in Santo Domingo
Dominikanisches Ceviche am Malecon in Santo Domingo

Ich war sogar sehr überrascht, dass sich bisher kein anderer Blogger dieses Thema rund um den Ratgeber für Auswanderer in Santo Domingo gründlich behandelt hat. Santo Domingo ist eine große und internationale Stadt, in der sehr viele Auswanderer wohnen.

Was ich allerdings schon mal vorweg nehmen kann: Nicht alles ist Gold, was in der Karibik glänzt. Auch das Leben in Santo Domingo kann mit einigen Enttäuschungen und Entbehrungen verbunden sein. Daher solltest Du bestens gewappnet sein und Dir so viel wie möglich über dieses Thema anlesen.

Lass mich am Ende des Artikels wissen, ob Dir der kleine Ratgeber gefallen hat und Du viele wertvolle Eindrücke aus meinen Beobachtungen und Informationen mitnehmen konntest. Alternativ kannst Du mir auch eine eMail an contact@traphil.com schreiben und alle Deine individuellen Fragen mir dort stellen.

Viel Spaß beim Artikel und hoffentlich wirst du finden, was Du über den wichtigen Schritt nach Santo Domingo auszuwandern gesucht hast.

Nächste Seite: Die schlimmste Verkehrssituation in Lateinamerika

5 good reasons to NOT live in Santo Domingo (April 2021 UPDATE)

5 reasons to live/leave this city, Dominican Republic, English, Insider Report

Living in the Caribbean must be a dream and full of coconut palms, beautiful beaches and sunshine. Why not living in the Dominican Republic? Santo Domingo is the city with the biggest population in the Caribbean and the capital of the Dominican Republic. Wouldn’t it be a thing to move there to realize your Caribbean dream? Not at all, I would say. There are some very good arguments, why it’s not a good idea to live in Santo Domingo. Would you like to find out more? Read this article with 5 good reasons to NOT live in Santo Domingo.

Welcome back! You successfully clicked your way through and came here from the previous article in which I wrote about 5 good reasons to move to Santo Domingo. In any event, you are curious why it might be a better idea to avoid living in Santo Domingo. There are always tons of positive articles that encourage you why you should go, live, move to, visit, etc. somewhere. But only a few focuses the reverse of the medal to show you some honest counter-arguments. That’s why you are here – You would like to find out more about possible objections, disadvantages and reasons to not live in Santo Domingo.


Approximate reading time: 20 minutes

(Last Update: April 10, 2021)


Read in this article, what life in the oldest city on the American continent really means for a foreigner. And if you should consider to better look for a different city to realize your Caribbean dream.


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Maybe there are some things you might not find in other How-to-Guides that rather want to sell you a candy story. Moving abroad into a strange culture is a big project that involves the danger of making the wrong decision. Not always are expectations met after moving with your whole kit and caboodle to the Dominican Republic.

You want to be sure before you make a big step and assure you about the natural or artificial problems and challenges a new city has to face. I lived for about 1.5 years in Santo Domingo and before in other capital cities in Latin America. Thus I can comprehend all the doubts and hopes any foreigner has before moving to the Dominican Republic.


Carnaval 2020 en la Zona Colonial en Santo Domingo (7)
Weird snapshot, isn’t it? But also Santo Domingo has its own carnival.

And here I am. I would like to give you some more insights about Santo Domingo and share with you my first-hand insights. Not everything is shiny and perfect and Santo Domingo is also far away from that. Please continue reading this article to find out more about 5 good reasons why to not move to Santo Domingo.

Please let me know in the comment section if you liked the article and what you think about it. You can also send me an eMail to contact@traphil.com and ask your questions in a bit more private manner. I’ll respond to it as quickly as I can.


Next page: Worst traffic situation in Latin America

Ceviche in the Dominican Republic – How does it taste?

Dominican Republic, English, Foooooood

Ceviche is a well-known dish from Peru. It is particularly popular for its sour, fresh taste and the piquant spices. The Peruvian national dish, ceviche, has become a real export hit and has made it into various kitchens around the world. The Dominican Republic also offers its own variations of ceviche. Is it worth trying the Dominican ceviche and giving the version from the Dominican Republic a chance? How does ceviche taste in the Dominican Republic?


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Approximate reading time: 15 minutes


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Ceviche is a traditional and famous Peruvian dish

Whenever I am asked about my favorite food, I easily start pondering. As a proven food connoisseur and well-known gourmet with a penchant for gluttony, my abundance of culinary experience and my repertoire of internationally consumed dishes exceed the sheer number of gastronomic imaginations.

There is a lot that I like and almost nothing that I don’t like. Grandma always said, beaming with pride, that I was a good eater. But if I had to choose between any dishes, then I would rather name a simple dish that …

  • is prepared freshly
  • has a penchant for savory elements
  • contains healthy elements
  • and fills pleasantly my stomach

My choice would be ceviche. A traditional Peruvian dish from the coastal regions of the Andean state in South America.


Ceviche Peruano with Camote und Choclo

I had the privilege to live in the Peruvian capital of Lima for about a year and was able to consume some gastronomic masterpieces. Most of the time, when I quickly scanned the menu, I realized that my choice had already been made before I entered the restaurant. Anyone who has ever had the chance to try an originally prepared ceviche in Peru will be able to understand my words.

However, it is best not to eat ceviche alone. The marinated fish bite can be enjoyed better in company. Fortunately, there were several nice people during my time in Peru who were happy to share this meal with me.


Ceviche from all over the world

As with most traditions, recipes and culinary preparations are passed on over generations, evolve, and spread geographically. Without any real possibility of patenting food, it’s difficult to ascertain who prepared or cooked the very first delicacy of a dish before everyone else. While there has been a bitter struggle between Chile and Peru for hundreds of years for the pioneering claim of ceviche, this dish has spread globally and has been adopted and adapted by many other gastronomic kitchens.

From Mexico to the Philippines and Hawaii to the Caribbean, it is now possible to enjoy ceviche in similar variations and with typical national influences. Perhaps under a different name, with different side dishes, or made with different focus. The principle of marinating raw fish or seafood in various spices with lime juice has been a real trend and a cultural export hit for many years.

I also wrote an article a few years ago after trying the versions from Ecuador and Chile for the Peruvian cross-check. I recommend the following article as additional literature for all of you food-interested readers:


Yummy Ceviche: Chilean, Ecuadorian or Peruvian style?

The South American cuisine has many things to offer for hungry stomachs, but the most tasty South American fish-dish is Ceviche. It has also regionally different names like Cebiche or Seviche. Although they wrote Ceviche with an S, it reads like a love letter to their own food. I had the luck to try so far the Peruvian, Chilean and Ecuadorian version of Ceviche. The Mexican one I didn’t try so far. But I would like to share and compare the other three ones I tried.

The non-Peruvian experiences with its most famous national dish were rarely satisfactory. Expectations that ceviche would be at the same taste level as in Peruvian restaurants were too high. The disappointment when the Ecuadorians served me some kind of ceviche soup or the Mexicans with their outrageous audacity to stuff ceviche into a taco was too confusing and disillusioning for me.

I have therefore decided – of course purely out of pride and to protect my sensitive palate – not to try any ceviche outside of Peru. Or would you prefer a US pizza with dry salami and a burnt cheese crust instead of an original Italian master pizza from the oven?


Usually, ceviche is served with many tasty and decorative side dishes.

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Isolating yourself completely from the ceviche, however, created some dreary absence. Although the palate is well protected from weak plagiarism from all over the world, the longing for the delicious dish always flamed latently in me. And sooner or later that culinary yearning had to be satisfied at some point.

Now ceviche has made it as well to the Dominican Republic. Whenever I eat ‘Ceviche Dominicano’ on a menu here on this chaotic island, some lustful stimuli conquered the taste buds of my tongue. The mouth began to become watery and immediately demanded that the dish be ordered.

Hence, I couldn’t resist and gave the Dominican ceviche a chance. Or two, or three. Or maybe even more chances than ‘just a try’. At least several times to be sure and each time with different results. I would like to share my experience report with you about ceviche from the Dominican Republic.

On the following pages, I describe with a few photos and texts what I was able to experience in the Dominican restaurants when I was served ceviche. To get a taste bit by bit, I recommend clicking on the next page.

Next page: Dominican Ceviche Fusion from Limao

Caño Hondo – Un parque acuático natural en República Dominicana

Dominican Republic, Español

Me gusta el agua y las actividades acuáticas. Pero prefiero agua dulce a agua salada. Hay una construcción hermosa muy cerca de Sabana de la Mar en el sur de la Bahía de Samaná en la República Dominicana. Se llama Paraíso Caño Hondo y tiene entregas muy atractivas para descubrir. Especialmente el parque acuático natural abre muchas actividades divertidas para el visitante. Allí me lo he pasado muy bien y me sorprendió lo amplio y detallado a la vez que se construyó Paraíso Caño Hondo.


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Tiempo de lectura aproximado: 9 minutos

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¿Dónde está Caño Hondo?

Caño Hondo se encuentra dentro del parque nacional más grande de la República Dominicana, ‘Parque Los Haitises’. Es un hotel ecológico construido con un gran parque acuático natural.



Está a aproximadamente 9 kilómetros (5,5 millas) de la siguiente ciudad más grande llamada Sabana de la Mar. Eso tomará más o menos 30 minutos.



¿30 minutos por esa pequeña distancia? Sí, a mí también me sorprendió que haya tardado tanto en llegar a Paraíso Caño Hondo. Las malas condiciones de la carretera podrían explicar la razón. Será mejor que vayas allí con un SUV o un Jeep, o bien con una moto estable.

Página siguiente: La diferencia entre Paraíso Caño Hondo y Altos de Caño Hondo

7 great examples of alternative tourism in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic, English

When it comes to the next vacation planning, the Dominican Republic maybe is part of the shortlist. A small island somewhere in the Caribbean with palm trees and mile-long beaches. Isn’t that the country where also all the All-Inclusive-Resorts in Punta Cana are located? I would like to show 7 examples of alternative tourism in the Dominican Republic to make you aware of all the possibilities of the country. Maybe you’ll find out, why the Ministry of Tourism communicates its country as ‘The Dominican Republic has it all’.


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Approximate reading time: 12 minutes

We all expect the Dominican Republic to be a country with a lot of sunshine, beaches and people with a laid-back mentality. I cannot deny this standard imagination of the Dominican Republic, because this type of All-Inclusive-Tourism is a steady characteristic for their national tourism. In that sense, your imagination of a colorful Caribbean country with music, dance, rum, and tropical birds, and exotic fruits is what the country can offer to every visitor.

The Dominican Republic is a pure paradise for alternative travelers

Spending vacations in a hermetically sealed all-inclusive resort might not be the preference for everyone. I was during all my time only twice for a couple of nights in Punta Cana and had soon enough from ‘tourism off the rack’ and impersonalized servicing.

For me, this type of tourism always seems a bit like a supervised vacation in artificial surroundings with organized feeding times. I am more the adventurous type of traveler and don’t really need to have this oversupply of service. It just makes you feel idle and unproductive. The few movements every day only makes you gain weight and sunburn as a souvenir.


The ‘other Dominican Republic’ far away from the All-Inclusive-Resorts in Punta Cana: Lush and green landscape in Tubagua

But the most populous country in the Caribbean has much more to offer than the typical gringo vacations for honeymooners and senior golfers. For me, that’s always the main reason to get curious. What does a tourism destination have to offer apart from the expectable factors?

And the Dominican Republic has many interesting ways for individual tourists who are curious to explore beyond the mass consumption society. Maybe you’ll be surprised about all the thrilling opportunities for an ambitious traveler that the Dominican Republic can fulfill.

Next page:
1 – Bird watching in the Dominican Republic

How to drive safe in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic, English, Reiseberichte, Reiseplanung

After analyzing the Dominican traffic from the theoretical perspective in my last article, I would now like to look at the practical side of it. Because it is much more exciting to take part in it than the road conditions and the dangers of daily traffic. With a few first hand recommendations, it is much more relaxed to drive in the most dangerous traffic country in Latin America. What is the safest way to get around the streets of the Dominican Republic? When should I use a rental car? And how do I have to consider when planning a road trip?


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From the perspective of an individual traveler, I find the Dominican Republic a very interesting destination to discover. I’ve already written an extensive article about this in the past. There are so many odd and impressive reasons for your next vacation adventure in the Dominican Republic.


With all the scattered travel destinations, you’ll might ask yourself at some point how to move across the island in the fastest and most safely manner.


Overloaded truck in the Dominican Republic
Only walking is cheaper


If you are a curious adventurer as well as I am, traveling by car is the best option for you.

What if I want to drive a car in the Dominican Republic myself?

I would recommend any adventurous traveler to spend as much time as possible outside of the big cities like Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata. It is not only much more pleasant and smooth to drive in the areas far away from the urban concrete jungles. You will also be amazed at the biodiversity and different microclimatic zones of the Caribbean.


Is it dangerous to drive in the Dominican Republic?
This is also the Dominican Republic – mountainous routes and green landscapes


Of course, the lead-footed adventurer itches a little. Drive towards a Caribbean sunset on a tropical island. There is a lot to discover in the Dominican Republic and the fastest way to do that is with a ride. Driving is fun.

After fathoming in the previous article why the Dominican Republic is not necessarily the safest place for road users, I can still give some tips for safe driving in the Dominican Republic.


Carnaval 2020 en la Zona Colonial en Santo Domingo (12)
Even the smallest vehicles curve through the narrow streets of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo


The most important lesson is to adapt to the flow of traffic and to take over a little bit of the chaotic Dominican style.

On the other hand, that does not mean that you should cross red lights without hesitating like Dominicans or ruthlessly pushing other road users away or also honk non-stop while driving. However, if you cannot change your usual driving style from home, then you are more likely to be the foreign body in the chaotic Dominican system than the other way around.

Don’t try to change a running chaotic system, rather adapt to it. They never learned how to respect other people on the streets or traffic rules. And why should that be suddenly now your responsibility to teach them how to do it right? The best and safest way for you would be to go with the chaotic flow and accept how it is.

If possible, keep the greatest possible distance from other vehicles. Of course, this is not always doable without any problems. Dominicans like to use two lanes or slow down other road users without batting an eyelid.

You will be able to understand my advice with the greatest possible safety distance, if a motorcyclist without wearing helmet or protective wear comes towards you from the opposite lane as a wrong-way driver because he keeps looking at his mobile phone while driving


On this random snapshot, two motorcycle drive wrong way

If you want to be on the Dominican roads, you need a thick-skinned and be equipped with deaf ears. Everywhere in your surrounding it honks, squeaks and rumbles nonstop in Dominican traffic. You will see and experience things that you could not even have imagined in your wildest nightmares. Not for the faint of heart and people with a lack of concentration. Without your full attention while driving the car, those accidents happen quite unexpectedly.

Is my driver’s license valid in the Dominican Republic?

Perhaps another crucial question arises when planning your vacation to the Dominican Republic. Can I drive in the Dominican Republic with my driver’s license?


Yes it is valid, but only for the duration of your legal stay–i.e. your 30-day tourist card or visa term.

Dominican Ministry of Tourism


Good news: All driver’s licenses seem to be valid in the Dominican Republic! Nothing holds you back to do a road trip in the Dominican Republic. Important: Take the original driver’s license with your photo with you when you are going to rent a car. The rental car providers will not accept a copy.

What if you accidentally left your driver’s license at home?


In addition, more than 300,000 people drive without a license. This is due to the fact that a high proportion of them are illegal foreigners who do not have the necessary documents to get a driver’s license.

Dominican Today


According to official statements from the Dominican authorities, more than 300,000 people drive in the Dominican Republic without a license. That is almost 3% of the entire (!) Dominican population, disregarding e.g. too young, too old, disabled people, etc. However, it is not recommended to take the risk and drive in the Dominican Republic without a license. So don’t be an illegal foreigner and drive in the Dominican Republic with a driver’s license 😊

Incidentally, the further you move away from the cities, the more pleasant and safe the journey becomes. This is of course due to the reduced volume of traffic outside of the conurbations. It goes without saying that fewer accidents happen where there are fewer people driving cars and motorcycles.

Beware of all kinds of animals

We remember the quote from the Dominican Ministry of Tourism, which I also used to cite in my last article:

That being said, driving in the DR is known to be nerve-wracking; you must drive defensively and keep an eye out constantly for other drivers, motorbikes, pedestrians, cows, and other potential road companions and intruders.

Dominican Ministry of Tourism

And of course such a kind warning needs to be investigated a little more. The further you move away from the cities towards nature, the more you have to pay attention to fauna and flora “and other potential road companions and intruders” in traffic. It is certainly safer to move in road traffic where fewer Dominicans are up to mischief. However, that does not mean that it is completely benign.



Agricultural areas are less exotic but at least as animalistic. Watch out for herds of goats, sheep and cows and drive past them as slowly as possible:


A couple of goats are walking in the middle of the street

Wild critters can affect your driving skills even in the most remote places.


But if you want to take this opportunity to travel to these very remote places with all animal-like road users, then it only will be possible by rental car.

Rent a car in the Dominican Republic

For trips that last several days or entire round trips, I recommend using a rental car. Traveling quickly and individually, stopping everywhere to take photos and planning a route on your own: Renting a car in the Dominican Republic has many undeniable advantages for the traveler.

By the way: In November 2019 I made terrible experiences with the Auto Europe, which thwarted my travel plans and then betrayed and stole more than 1,000 dollar from me.


Auto Europe Erfahrung
I made very bad experiences with Auto Europe. Watch out! These tricksters breach both agreements and contracts and leave you as a customer alone in a foreign country without a car.


It is best to rent the car directly from the car rental company in your home country to avoid all those online brokers like Auto Europe. For possible legal skirmishes and annoyances in the aftermath, I also recommend signing a contract with the car rental company in your home country and paying in advance. This is not only the shortest and most convenient way, but also the safest way to plan your individual vacation in the Dominican Republic.

I was able to experience firsthand that it is better not to save on rental cars by these intermediates. Well-known providers such as Europcar or Sixt promise both better service and higher availability of their own fleet. Cheap providers like Interrent or car brokers like Auto Europe act unreliably and sometimes criminally when renting a car. Then it’s better to bite the bullet and spend a dollar or two more on a reliable and available rental car.

What can a driver expect in the Dominican Republic?

Driving through the Dominican Republic by rental car may not be everyone’s dream of a vacation in the Caribbean. It is the adventurous alternative to all-inclusive vacations in Punta Cana, where you spend your entire vacation in one place. The real and authentic Dominican Republic beckons outside the area around Punta Cana.

Only few rules and the typically chaotic Dominican mentality in traffic gives a latently unsafe and dangerous feeling. If you want to drive a car in the Dominican Republic by yourself, you should at least have practiced it beforehand in other countries during a vacation trip. Driving a car in the Dominican Republic is the Champions League of tests of courage and as demanding as the final level of a video game in ‘Hard Mode’.

The further your planned round trip leads away from the overpopulated cities in the Dominican Republic, the smoother and more carefree your journey feels. Not to forget the reduced potential for danger and fewer accidents outside of urban areas. Especially in the southwest of the Dominican Republic, deserted highways with no traffic are waiting to be driven by you:




This feeling of freedom and light-heartedness is extremely rare. Where else do you get the opportunity to be able to drive many miles completely alone on the highway in the middle of the day? Round trips in the Dominican Republic not only provide the opportunity to plan the vacation independently according to your own interests. Realizing and rewarding yourself with a road trip in the Caribbean is the real reason for every adventurous individual traveler.

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How are the road conditions in the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic, English

Every adventurous and curious individual tourist will sooner or later come to a crucial issue when planning a vacation: Should I go on a round trip in a rental car? Driving around an unknown country on your own for several days or weeks? Is the whole preparation, organization and implementation really worth it or far too complicated and error-prone for relaxing vacations? With a series of articles I would like to help all interested travelers from my own experience with my knowledge.


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Approximate reading time: 8 minutes

The first article is about one of the most crucial topics. In all of our imaginations, we would expect the road conditions in a developing country like the Dominican Republic are challenging to drive.

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Is it safe to drive in the Dominican Republic?

We would probably all assume that the road conditions in the Dominican Republic are in bad condition and dangerous to drive. A road trip on the streets of the Caribbean dream island is far too risky and wanders over hill and dale. Fortunately, these assumptions are only true in exceptional cases.

The road conditions in the Dominican Republic are relatively good for a Latin American developing country. In recent years, many new highways have been added to the national transport network. Even if this is more interesting for travel planning, it not only shortens distances but also saves fuel costs. As a consequence, you can get to your desired destination across the island much faster, cheaper and safer.

Of course, there are also dangerous moments when you are driving a car in the Dominican Republic. However, this risk is usually less due to the nature of the road itself. Rather, the Dominican people are the ones to blame for a lot of traffic accidents. But that should not be the topic of this article and rather be addressed in another article.

How are the road conditions like in the Dominican cities?

Driving in the cities is relatively chaotic and disorganized. This is especially true for large metropolitan areas such as Santo Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata. Not only the street alignments in these cities lead very often to confusion, but also motorway accesses and an unbalanced ratio of traffic signs create confusion for all traffic participants. Just the typical Dominican and Latin American daily chaos.

Apart from the often questionable behavior of Dominicans in traffic …


If you are traveling in the big Dominican cities, then you have to expect all possible scenarios as a driver when the traffic lights are red.

… the Dominican cities are hardly worth a serious visit either. The older the districts, the narrower, more winding and more complicated the scenarios that occur in daily Dominican traffic. You should only do this to yourself if you really want to invest a lot of patience and time in your holidays. Otherwise, you will lose valuable vacation time on street corners like this one in the historic Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo:


Just one of the examples of the daily traffic chaos in Santo Domingo

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But if we are honest, these cities should only be visited briefly for the cultural and historical highlights or avoided completely for your road trip in the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican cities, as in almost all major Latin American cities, you’d find yourself quickly in hopeless traffic chaos …


Rush hour traffic at 6pm in Santo Domingo (filmed from the rooftops of Agora Mall)


… and you wouldn’t be able to see the really beautiful and authentic landscapes of the country either. And they are worth visiting!

What are the road conditions like in the Dominican countryside?

However, the further you get distant from big cities and touristy areas around Punta Cana and Samaná, the more challenging the road conditions become. But this can be also observed in several other examples worldwide. It probably happens in every country that the road conditions outside the metropolitan areas deteriorate and become a challenge for the driver.


  • Way to Salto Yanigua
  • Traffic sign to Salto Yanigua
  • Presa de Valdesia
  • You need a motorized vehicle to go to Salto Yanigua
  • Street to Laguna Redonda, Dominican Republic
  • Carretera Constanza - Guayabal

Driving in the countryside is relaxing and problem-free due to less traffic, you should focus more on other things. Potholes are increasing, the nocturnal street lighting is virtually non-existent and some animal encounters can happen at any time. Be aware of these numerous occasions.



In addition to these exotic creatures, there are also enough examples of farm animals that can also cross your path while driving. Or even go with you in the same direction. Sounds strange, but it has happened to me often enough myself.


It is not uncommon to come across a bunch of cows on a roadway. This video was recorded on the streets of Pedernales on the way to Eco del Mar.

Wild critters can affect road conditions even in the most remote places.


Overall, it can be said that the road conditions in the Dominican Republic are relatively good. Almost all major road networks are sealed and paved and stable enough. It is anywhere possible to stop and take short breaks, shoot some photos, visit small sights or try many local specialties and exotic fruits of street vendors along the roadside.

Or simply step on the pace on a deserted street:



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Even if the road signs are missing on the surface in the most remote areas, they are hardly needed for normal driving. The streets are wide enough to accommodate multiple lanes. The fact that a bit was saved on the street painting is not a direct disadvantage for the driver.

I’ve always had a lot of fun exploring the country by car. As often as I have the opportunity, I travel through the Dominican Republic to the most remote corners to discover new and exciting travel destinations and the Caribbean nature. Until today, there has not been an accident in which I was involved. And I’ve already driven several thousand kilometers in the Dominican Republic. However, that does not mean that the road conditions in the Dominican Republic are consistently good and that the car can be steered completely safely.

The further you move away from the big cities and road networks, the higher the chance of actually going off-road. In bad weather conditions, THAT is a real challenge for a normal driver and should be enjoyed with caution. But even here, even in the most remote mountain villages, nothing happened to me on muddy stone paths. For example, here on the way back from Playa Bergantin in Puerto Plata:


Playa Bergantin in Puerto Plata. Where the paths are not paved, it can be exhausting to drive.


Suddenly, the rain was coming down in sheets. The roads were unpaved and the deep potholes on this path were quickly filled with water. In addition to the restricted view, it was also difficult to follow the path and not to lose the vehicle because of aquaplaning.

Heavy rains in the Dominican Republic are seasonal and not uncommon. Nevertheless, they can cause certain damage to the roads here and there and make the journey difficult. This must be taken into account when planning your trip.

Doing round trips in the Dominican Republic on your own is therefore very recommendable from my point of view and a nice adventure. Discovering the Caribbean with your own eyes from a completely different perspective is just the thing for adventurers, nature lovers and all other curious travelers who do not want to spend their time in the all-inclusive resorts of Punta Cana.

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República Dominicana 🇩🇴

Presa de Valdesia – Artificial but beautiful

Dominican Republic, English, Journal

Approximate reading time: 5 minutes

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The first trip after a few months of travel standstill was more a coincidental accident than a real travel goal. Presa de Valdesia is a beautiful reservoir dam in the Peravia Region of the Dominican Republic. But I actually wanted to visit another destination. Still, I made some great pictures of the artificial dam this day and would like to share them gladly with you.


Presa de Valdesia
Dog-O says ‘Hell-O’

It was quiet for the last weeks, even months. The Corona pandemic paralyzed many countries and made also the Dominican Republic a very difficult country for adventurous travelers. Public transfers and bus companies were suspended for months. It was nearly impossible to explore the domestic travel destinations without an own car before the curfew in the evenings. Luckily, these strict regulations were loosened and traveling was made possible again.

The first trip after a few months of travel standstill was more an accident than a real plan. I actually wanted to visit ‘Las Yayitas’ which is a famous local waterfall. It is located up in the north of Baní, but unfortunately the GPS signal got lost in the mountains. Without a reliable internet connection, I couldn’t use Google Maps and also its installed Offline Maps function didn’t want to work when needed. Of course one of these Murphys Law situations, when everything came together. Instead of taking the turn to the left, I went right without being right.



‘Las Yayitas’ waterfalls were never discovered that day, but luckily the forced compromise wasn’t bad either. By accident, I discovered an artificial reservoir dam called ‘Presa de Valdesia’. It has its name from its eponymous village Valdesia. In the middle of the Dominican highlands, there were a few scattered communities, some farms and only few busy people. Maybe that’s the reason for lack of a GPS signal in these areas. Time ticks simply slower in these areas and people are more disconnected from other communities.

Although Presa de Valdesia is like every other reservoir dam an artificial body of water, it has definitely its charm. Even from far distances, it is easily visible and offers some beautiful photos. In my opinion, the following photos from far distances are better and more beautiful than the close shots.



But the way to Presa de Valdesia is challenging. Like many other hidden or fairly known tourism destinations in the Dominican Republic, a sturdy SUV is needed to access this difficult territory. The difficult road conditions will leave every clean car dirty and filthy:



Several accesses exist around the body of water. I ended up at the furthest east point of the dam. But before getting there, there was a march of 15 minutes needed to reach finally the destination.


Presa de Valdesia
The way to Presa de Valdesia is during noon challenging because of its high temperatures

But also from the shoreside, the surrounding nature was green and beautiful to see:



On the shoreside, there was as well an old fishermen’s house. Looked like not in the best condition as the little fishing boat next to it. I couldn’t say, if it was still in operation, but there wasn’t anyone working close to it. It gave still a pretty imagination ad added value to Presa de Valdesa.

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But not only the body of water was worth to take picture. The hilly area around Presa de Valdesa looked also quite thrilling:



For a pure accident and unwanted travel experience, I shot quite good photos with my camera. I can’t wait to repeat the drive to the same area to reach the desired destination of the Las Yayitas waterfalls. But this time with a functioning GPS signal or at least the Offline Maps. Or these beautiful types of travel accidents would happen again. Can’t be too bad, if the result is similar.


Día 3: Como maneja Santo Domingo el Coronavirus en toque de queda?

Coronavirus, Dominican Republic, Español

Tiempo aproximadamente de leer: 6 minutes

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Would you like to read this article in English? Click the following link 🇺🇸

En mi último artículo, predije algunos escenarios que podrían ocurrir debido al Coronavirus en República Dominicana y las contrarrestaciones del gobierno dominicano. En su mayoria las predicciones fueron correctas e incluso sucedió cuando estaba escribiendo el último artículo. Eso fue hace casi 6 días. ¿Qué ha cambiado desde entonces? ¿Cómo cambió la vida en la ciudad? ¿O aún no hay ningún cambio visible?

¿Qué sucede en la zona colonial durante el coronavirus?

En este articulo les contaré lo que sucede en la Zona Colonial, parte más antigua de la ciudad más antigua del continente americano.

Algunas escenas de la vida típica dominicana se pueden observar directamente desde mi balcón y suele estar llena de caos en el tráfico, mucha gente corriendo por los recados en las calles, ruidos fuertes en cada esquina y autos estacionados que estrechan la calle aún más.

El siguiente video lo grabé el 8 de marzo, hace 12 días, antes que la población dominicana se enterara del Coronavirus por su gobierno o prestara más atención a este tema. Por lo general, el tráfico en la calle en la que vivo tiene el siguiente aspecto:


NORMAL


El típico caos de tráfico en Santo Domingo, pero ahora 12 días después, la situación en la misma calle y filmada desde la misma perspectiva desde el mismo balcón:


DURANTE EL CORONAVÍRUS


¿Notaste alguna diferencia? Si no, déjame resumirlo:

  • Hay menos autos estacionados en la calle.
  • Menos tráfico y menos caos.
  • Es mucho más silencioso que en el primer video.
  • El número de peatones es drásticamente más bajo que antes.
  • Desde el cuarto piso se puede escuchar al vendedor ambulante gritar mientras se para junto a la cámara.

Especialmente la escena con el vendedor ambulante no es aterradora sino desalentadora. Viene todos los días con su viejo vehículo y grita por las calles. Ofreciendo aguacates, mangos y guanábana frescas. Las frutas típicas de un país caribeño como la República Dominicana. Pero no, todo es un poco diferente.

Este hombre ahora está casi solo en la calle, nadie más está usando su espacio, apenas pasa un auto, no hay gente que lo detenga para comprar sus frutas porque no hay gente en las calles.

Página siguiente: El Parque Duarte durante el Coronavirus

Curfew, Day 3 – How is life in Santo Domingo during the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, Dominican Republic, Español

Approximate reading time: 5 minutes

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Quieres leer este articulo en Español? Haz clic aquí y siga la enlace 🇪🇸

In my last article, I predicted some scenarios that could happen due to the Coronavirus for the Dominican Republic and the counteracts from the Dominican government. I predicted mostly right. Some of my predictions and thoughts were even realized during I was writing the last article. That was now almost 6 days ago. What all has changed since then? How did life change in Santo Domingo? Or isn’t there any change at all visible?

What happens in the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo during the Coronavirus?

I can only speak for the Colonial Zone and what’s happening in the oldest part of the oldest city of the American continent. Hence, I have no clue at all what is going on in the rest of the city or the Dominican Republic. I can only report what I see myself around hear and what I take notice of. And that was almost nothing.

Some scenes of the typical Dominican life can be observed directly from my balcony. And the daily life is usually full of traffic chaos, a lot of people running for errands through the streets, loud noises at every corner and parked cars that narrow the street even more down.

The following video I recorded on March 8. That’s 12 days ago and was before the Dominican population was made aware of the Coronavirus from their government or paid a deeper attention to that topic. Usually the traffic in the street I live looks the following:



Just the typical Dominican traffic chaos in Santo Domingo. But now 12 days later, the situation on the same street and filmed from the same perspective of the same balcony:



Did you notice any difference? If not let me sum it up:

  • There are fewer cars parked on the street
  • Less traffic and the usual resulting chaos
  • It is much quieter than in the first video
  • The number of pedestrians is drastically lower than before
  • You can hear from the 4th floor the street vendor shouting as he stands next to the camera

Especially the scene with the street vendor is not scary but daunting. He comes every day with his old vehicle and yells through the streets. Offering fresh avocados, mangos, and guanabana. The typical fruits from a Caribbean country like the Dominican Republic. But no, it all is a bit different than before.

This man is now almost lonely in the street. No one else is using his space on the street. Barely a car passing by. There aren’t any people stopping him to buy his fruits. Because there aren’t people on the streets.

Next page: Parque Duarte during the Coronavirus

Das Coronavirus in der Dominikanischen Republik – Fakten, Statistiken, mögliche Effekte und realistische Szenarien

Dominican Republic, German

Ungefähre Lesezeit: 15 Minuten

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Ich bin kein Journalist und kein Virologe. Weder Mediziner, noch selber betroffen oder wirklich sattelfest informiert in Bezug auf das Corona-Virus. Was ich weiß, ist selbstverständlich nicht mehr als nur das, was andere über die aktuelle Situation wissen. Aber ich möchte ein wenig über das tägliche Leben in Santo Domingo und der Dominikanischen Republik berichten. Vielleicht interessieren sich die Leute dafür, wie die Dinge hier laufen und wie das beliebte Urlaubsziel in der Karibik mit einer solchen Situation umgeht.

Aber zuerst möchte ich China, seiner Regierung und seiner Bevölkerung für die jüngste Entwicklung danken. Sie haben das alles aufgrund Ihrer miserablen Ess- und Hygienegewohnheiten möglich gemacht. Alle unsere Leben sind potenziell betroffen und theoretisch in Gefahr, weil die Chinesen diese seltsame Art von Tier gerne verspeist und für medizinische Zwecke haben:


Did you ever heard before of a Pangoline ?!

Welche bescheuerten und perfiden Gourmet-und-Hexendoktor-Phantasien Sie auch immer für sich selbst stillen wollten: Es dreht ja jeder dadurch ziemlich durch und die Freiheit weltweit ist oder wird schrittweise eingeschränkt. Es gibt kein internationales Gericht, das China oder Chinesen für all das verantwortlich macht. Wie kann man China dafür verklagen und bestrafen?

Ich hoffe, dass die Menschen auf der ganzen Welt vielleicht minderwertige Made-in-China-Produkte zumindest für ein paar Wochen boykottieren, um zumindest ein wenig Gegenreaktion zu erzeugen und Karma zu erzwingen. Das ist damals auch beim Boykott des britischen Rindfleisches während der BSE-Vorkommnisse geschehen. Ein schwacher Trost, aber ansonsten sind keine unmittelbaren und internationalen Strafen möglich. Und ich kann auch ein paar Monate hervorragend überleben, ohne irgendwelchen neuen und nutzlosen Plastikschrott aus China zu kaufen.

Wie Dominikaner mit Problemen umgehen

Eine viel interessantere Frage war für mich, OB die Bevölkerung in der Dominikanischen Republik etwas unternimmt. Die Mentalität der Menschen auf der Karibikinsel ist eher gelassen und etwas träge. Wahrscheinlich lässt es sich am besten so beschreiben:

“Was interessieren mich die Probleme anderer Menschen? Mir geht es prima und ich habe keine Probleme. Ich genieße mein Leben und habe keine Sorgen, solange ich ausreichend versorgt bin und genügend zu essen und zu trinken habe. Gracias a Dios!

Dominikanische Lebenseinstellung

Ein gutes Beispiel wäre natürlich folgendes Video:


Ein schlafender Mann in seinem Auto mit laufendem Motor zur Kühlung der Klimaanlage

Diese nachlässige und vielleicht ignorante Haltung gegenüber anderen (und letztlich auch sich selbst) wird natürlich in extremen Situationen auf die Probe gestellt. Situationen werden für einen Menschen extrem, wenn sie außergewöhnlich und unvorhergesehen sind und wenn es keine Erfahrungswerte gibt, von denen profitiert werden kann. Noch komplizierter und heikler ist es, wenn diese extremen Situationen zu einem kollektiven Problem werden.

Die Dominikanische Republik hat jedoch tatsächlich ziemlich viel Glück, wenn es um Extremsituationen oder Naturkatastrophen geht. Das große Erdbeben war 2011 im benachbarten Haiti und betraf die Dominikanische Republik nur in geringfügigen Fällen. Alle Arten von karibischen Tornados treffen regelmäßig andere Länder. Das größte Land der Karibik ist politisch relativ stabil und es gibt keine Versorgungsengpässe, da die landwirtschaftlichen Bedingungen des Landes eine reiche Vielfalt an Nahrungsmitteln ermöglichen. Zumindest ist das meine eigene Wahrnehmung.

Gracias a dios!

Die Dominikanische Republik ist eher ein Nachzügler in ihrer Entscheidungsfindung

Aufgrund der geografischen und historischen Lage ist die Dominikanische Republik ein idealer Ort für den Tourismus und fungiert als Verbindungsanker und Drehkreuz in Lateinamerika. Santo Domingo (wo ich momentan lebe) gilt als wichtiger Luftverkehrsknotenpunkt auf dem amerikanischen Kontinent und verfügt über zwei internationale Flughäfen.


Santo Domingo ist buchstäblich ein Luftdrehkreuz in Lateinamerika

Und das größte Land der Karibik ist natürlich bestens vernetzt mit vielen anderen Ländern. Selbstverständlich. Schließlich ist es die perfekte Urlaubsregion und es gibt viele Reisende, die ihren karibischen Urlaubstraum einmal im Leben dort realisieren möchten.

Auf der anderen Seite hat das natürlich eine sehr hohe Abhängighkeit von anderen Ländern bewirkt. Die Dominikanische Republik wartet eher auf ein Signal und eine Reaktion des Kunden, bevor sie selbst irgendwie tätig wird.

Dieses verspätete Verhalten eines Nachzüglers lähmt und verlangsamt das Land in vielen Dingen. Natürlich nicht zu verschweigen, dass es ein permanentes Problem mit Korruption gibt. Laut World Corruption Index 2019 rangiert die Dominikanische Republik auf Platz 137 von 180 Ländern weltweit. Das ist ziemlich mies.

Politik und Bigotterie sind wichtiger als kollektive Maßnahmen zum Schutz der Bevölkerung

Alle diese Gründe spiegeln die Situation beim Umgang mit dem Coronavirus gut wider. Ineffiziente und korrupte Politiker wissen natürlich nicht wirklich, was sie in diesem Fall tun sollen. In dieser Notsituation ist es natürlich schwierig, einen Plan B zu haben, wenn Sie nicht einmal einen Plan A unfallfrei ausüben können.

Aber die Dominikanische Republik ist im Vergleich zu vielen anderen Ländern weltweit und in Lateinamerika extrem langsam und zögert, um Maßnahmen zu ergreifen. Andere Länder schließen Verkehrssysteme, sperren einige soziale Strukturen oder empfehlen sogar, soziale Aktivitäten überhaupt einzuschränken. Die Dominikanische Republik hat bisher nichts unternommen.

Warum nicht?

2020 ist ein extrem wichtiges und wegweisendes Jahr für die Dominikanische Republik. Es sind nämlich mal wieder Wahlen. Am 17. Mai finden zum Beispiel die Hauptwahlen des Landes statt. Aus diesem Grund ist es aus Sicht der amtierenden Führer der Dominikanischen Republik sehr praktisch, die Bevölkerung ruhig und kontrolliert zu halten.

In Zeiten dieser oben genannten Extremsituationen zeigen die dominikanischen Politiker einen Mangel an Entscheidungsfindung oder gar Kommunikation. Es wäre tatsächlich der perfekte Moment, um Charakter und Profil für die bevorstehenden Abstimmungen zu zeigen. Immerhin wäre es doch eine super Sache, genau dann das richtige zu tun, wenn es endlich um etwas wichtiges geht und davon auch noch an der nächsten Wahlurne zu profitieren. Es scheint mir jedoch, dass sie mehr Angst haben, etwas falsch zu machen, als eine klare Aussage zu tätigen. Die Dominikanische Bevölkerung ist relativ schlecht informiert und vorbereitet auf all das, was noch kommen wird.

Es sind aber nicht bloß die Präsidentschaftswahlen in der Dominikanischen Republik. Alle regionalen Wahlen hätten eigentlich am 16. Februar 2020 stattfinden sollen, wurden aber durch einen unfassbar lächerlichen und peinlichen Fehler im automatisierten Wahlsystem auf den 15. März verlegt.

Das ist genau heute! Millionen von Dominikanern werden sich also auf den Weg machen, um ihre Stimme für die Kommunalwahlen abzugeben. Eine ziemlich ungünstige und delikate Situation. Diese Wahlen nun aufgrund des Coronavirus erneut zu verschieben würde nur noch mehr Unruhe und Proteste in der Bevölkerung auslösen.

Und nach dieser laaaaaaangen Einleitung möchte ich mich nun endlich auf das Hauptthema dieses Artikels stürzen. Dem Coronavirus.

Nächste Seite: Fakten über das Coronavirus in der Dominikanischen Republik

Coronavirus in the Dominican Republic – Facts, statistics, possible effects and some scenarios

Dominican Republic, English

Approximate reading time: 15 minutes

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I am not a journalist, neither a virologist or really firm about the corona virus. What I know, is of course not more than just what others know about the recent situation. But I like to report a little bit about the daily life in Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic. Maybe people are interested about how things are running here and what people do.

But first I would like to thank the Chinese government for the recent development. You made all that possible because of these strange eating and hygiene habits. All of our lives are potentially affected and theoretically in danger because they like to eat this weird type of animal and made medicine out of it:


Did you ever heard before of a Pangoline ?!

Whatever crank and perfidious gourmet phantasies they were trying to satisfy for themselves, now everyone turns insane because of that and freedom worldwide is or will be limited gradually. There’s no court of justice to hold China or Chinese for all of that responsible. How to sue and penalize China for that?

Probably, people worldwide will at least boycott for a few weeks the Chinese imports and low-quality Made-in-China labelled products to create at least a little backlash. I can remember the same happenings for the UK and the British Beef industry with BSE problematic decades ago. A poor consolation, but other than that there won’t be any international penalties possible. China is a too heavy and dependent player and definitely won’t take responsibility for that. Personally, I can live for a couple of months without buying new and useless plastic junk anyways.

About the Dominican way of with dealing problems

But a more interested question was for me IF people from the Dominican Republic do something. The Dominican mentality is very distinct and laid-back. I think, it could be described as the following:

“What should I care about other people’s problems? I am doing just fine, I enjoy my life and I have no worries as long as I am sufficiently supplied and have enough to eat and to drink. Gracias a Dios!”

Dominican understanding of life

A good example might be the following video:


A guy sleeping in his car with a started engine to run his A/C

This careless and maybe ignorant attitude for others and themselves is of course be put to the test when it comes to extreme situations. Situations become extreme for an individual, when they are exceptional, unforeseen and if there are no experience values to benefit from. What is even more complicated and delicate at the same time, is when these extreme situations become a collective problem.

However, the Dominican Republic is actually quite lucky when it comes to extreme situations or natural disasters. The huge earthquake was 2011 in Haiti and affected the Dominican Republic only in minor cases. All types of Caribbean tornados regularly hit other countries. The country is politically relatively stable and there aren’t any supply shortages, because the agricultural conditions of the country allow a rich variety of food. At least that’s my own perception.

Gracias a Dios!

The Dominican Republic decides more or less like a laggard

Due to its geographic and historic situation, the Dominican Republic is an ideal spot for tourism and functions as a connection anchor in Latin America. Santo Domingo (where I live at the moment) is considered as an important air hub on the American continent and has two international airports.


Santo Domingo is literally an air hub in Latin America.

And they are connecting the biggest country of the Caribbean with many other countries. Of course. Because people from these countries are planning their vacations in the Dominican Republic.

In fact, there is an extreme high dependency on other countries because these tourism reasons. The Dominican Republic waits for the customer to show a reaction before they will themselves do actions.

This laggard type of behavior slows down a country. Not to suppress the facts with the ongoing problematic with corruption. According to the World Corruption Index 2019, the Dominican Republic ranks 137 of 180. Not a surprise, that this is quite bad scoring.

Politics and bigotry is more important than collective measures to protect the population

All these reasons reflect on the situation with the handling of the Coronavirus a well. Inefficient and corrupt politicians don’t really know what to do in this case. In this emergency situation, it’s of course difficult to have a Plan B, if you don’t even have a Plan A.

But the Dominican Republic is compared to many other countries worldwide and in Latin America extremely slow and hesitating to do some actions. Other countries shut down transport systems, lock down some social structures or even recommend to limit down social activities at all. The Dominican Republic didn’t do anything so far.

Why you want to ask?

2020 is a very important election year for the Dominican Republic. On 17th of May there will be for example the general elections of the country. It’s because of that very convenient from the perspective of the running leaders of the Dominican Republic to keep the population quiet and controlled.

In times of these aforementioned extreme situations, the Dominican politicians show a lack of decision making. It would be actually the perfect moment to show some character and profile for the upcoming votes. It seems to me, that they more scared to do something wrong than make a clear statement to prepare the population for what’s about to come.

But there aren’t only general elections in the Dominican Republic. The municipal elections were supposed to happen on February 16, but were due to an embarrassing error of the automated voting system suspended to March 15.

That’s exactly tomorrow! Millions of Dominican people will try to vote tomorrow again. Now that’s quite a delicate moment and situation. Suspending it again will cause protests and unrest. But holding the elections will spread the Coronavirus rapidly amongst the population.

And after the looooong introduction, I will gladly start now the actual topic of this article. The Coronavirus.

Next page: Facts about the Coronavirus in the Dominican Republic

Why do Rhinoceros iguana from Laguna de Oviedo like sweet cherries so much? ðŸ’

Dominican Republic, English, Uncategorized

Rhinoceros iguanas (Cyclura cornuta) are a species of lizards that is primarily found in the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I think, that these animals are very beautiful specimen and graceful beings. They don’t hunt and kill other animals, but are themselves threatened from extinction. A man-made problem, of course.

Wikipedia describes them as followed:

Although quick to flee when attacked or threatened, they will aggressively attack by biting and repeatedly striking with their thick tail if cornered.”

Wikipedia

Well, if you ‘attack’ them with fresh fruits, they might indeed start biting. That’s exactly what I did during my excursion in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic. And I never expected that an amphibious creature as the Rhinoceros iguana could be so beautiful and graceful, but at the same time also quick and competitive when it comes to cherries 🍒

But first things first. Let me first show you, where I could find Rhinoceros iguanas in the Dominican Republic.

Where can I find Rhinoceros iguana in the Dominican Republic?

You can find them in several places all over the Hispañola island. The most stable populations can be found on Isla Beata and the Jaragua National Park. That’s exactly where I have had the joy to meet these curious animals personally.

Exactly here:



‘Laguna de Oviedo’ is a lagoon with a surface of 25 km2 (9.65 mi2). It is the second largest body of water in the Dominican Republic and due to its nearly isolated terrain in the Jaragua National Park and sparse climate conditions a perfect habitat for Rhinoceros iguanas.

They are of course not living inside of the salty water. On Laguna de Oviedo, there are 24 islands of different size and vegetation.


A satellite view from Laguna de Oviedo. The islands of the lagoon can be seen better here. Rhinoceros iguanas live on these little rocky islands
Source: Wikipedia

Some of these islands offer the perfect living conditions Rhinoceros iguanas need to survive.

How do Rhinoceros iguanas get their name?

That’s a good question. Why are these animals called Rhinoceros iguanas? It doesn’t really look like they have something in common with a huge Rhinoceros from Africa.



At first glance, they appear not different to other iguanas. Wrinkled skin with a dark grey, brown and green color, a long swinging tail and flexible claw feet to move rapidly forward and climb up trees. There isn’t any obvious difference between a regular iguana and a Rhinoceros iguanas.

That’s correct and it needs a closer look to distinguish these two species from each other. It becomes quite clear when zooming into the heads of these amphibians:



The regular iguana doesn’t have on his snout anything. But on the snouts of the Rhinoceros iguanas grow and protrude these characteristic horns. That’s why they are compared with a rhinoceros, although they haven’t met each other before

Of course there are many more differences amongst the iguana species. But the horn from a Rhinoceros iguana is the most defined and special characteristic that distinguishes it from all the other iguanas.

Next page: Let’s feed the Rhinoceros iguanas

How much weighs a dream?

English, Phil O' Soph

Approximate reading time: 30 minutes

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Setting goals in life is always an ambitious project. I never seriously fought to set new goals, but on the other hand I never shied away from it. After all, I successfully mastered two courses of study and at least learned to speak three foreign languages ​​fluently. Of course, this is quite impressive and at least something to make me say, that I reached my intrapersonal targets.

But I never fulfilled these goals with a feeling of a proud achievement because I couldn’t build up any emotional level to them. Neither before reaching the goal and nor afterwards. During reaching a goal, I also perceived it as a means to an end.

  • Drivers license? Not needed to know how to navigate a car. Annoying social obligation for individual mobility. But I did my license anyhow for car and motorbike.
  • High school diploma? Was funny and joyful, but served at the end only for more qualifications.
  • Apprenticeship? Well, if I have to. Not a bad idea, but not a good or quaint one either.
  • Bachelor title? Cost a lot of time to receive at the end only a colorful certificate and nice ceremony.
  • Master title? Still a realistic goal to skim a bit of my own potential. Literally to do something off the cuff.

I have rarely been fed up or satisfied and have only quickly check marked the goal that has always been reached or sometimes even surpassed. The epigraph was always to hurry on and never rest on own success.

I even wanted to continue after my Master’s with a Doctor degree. But my former university in Spain artificially artificially extended the certification of my master’s degree in an unprecedented act of administrative chaos and professional inability. Hence, after three elapsed registration periods for a possible doctoral program at another university, I finally lost the desire to waste even more patience or time because of some dorks. Funny to mention at this point that I am still waiting for the official title after 2.5 years. Incredible!

Goals only exist to be accomplished. Nothing more. I was much more interested in intangible and immaterial dreams and abstract ideas. Having a dream in life is wonderful. You can color it imaginatively for yourself, always navigate onto it and enjoy it quietly and secretly without being affected by others.


Dudú Blue Lagoon - Stray dog
A dreaming dog at a lagoon

Nobody can take away your dreams. But goals can be. It only needs one arbitrary and unprofessional decision maker or some administrational obstacles to cross your plans. These external factors can jeopardize your idea to accomplish the goal. Perhaps this was the reason why I could always build up a higher emotional level to dreams than goals. Because what is nicer than following my individual and perspective imagination of life?

Certainly not pursuing a goal and sharing a lecture hall with 100 fellow students, only to end up holding the same documentary wipe in my hands. This is more of a collective goal developed by society to create a certain claim against others. I prefer to stay with my individual dreams in me in my own hemisphere.

Of course, there are also people who advocate the exactly opposite perspective and dismiss dreams as lies. There’s nothing wrong or right about that. But if they don’t judge me, I won’t do the same.

I have often wondered how much a dream weighs. In contrast to a goal, a dream leaves a mental fingerprint and thus has a weight somewhere. The dream has to be stamped and located in a distant place in the brain and this naturally carries weight with it. A goal, on the other hand, is only achieved or not. But it has no mental burden comparable to a dream.


A baby sleeps and has sweet dreams
A baby having very active dreams

There are two dreams that I have followed and lived. One was fulfilled and the other was not. Am I physically heavier than before because of the dream came true?

Next page: A dream that luckily didn’t come true

Carnaval Virreinal de la Ciudad Colonial en Santo Domingo 2020

Dominican Republic, Insider Report

Tiempo aproximado de lectura: 5 minutos

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Cada vez que escuches sobre el carnaval, puedes imaginar a las hermosas mujeres bailando samba en Brasil con sus coloridos trajes durante los desfiles largas. Pero el carnaval no es solo una invención brasileña exclusiva. De hecho, esta festividad tiene raíces religiosas y se celebra en muchos países católicos de todo el mundo. Y dentro de los países, incluso entre diferentes regiones geográficas o incluso ciudades, pueden ocurrir interpretaciones y variaciones muy distintas del carnaval. ¿Pero cómo se celebra el carnaval en la República Dominicana? ¿Hay carnaval en la zona colonial de Santo Domingo?

El Carnaval Dominicano es, en comparación con otros países, no un evento que ocurre durante una semana. En varias provincias de la República Dominicana, el carnaval se celebra durante todos los fines de semana de febrero consecutivos. Puedes estar seguro de que si viaja por la República Dominicana en febrero y estas interesado en ir a las ciudades dominicanas más grandes, habrá mucha rumba los fines de semana.

Lo que recordaba de mi tiempo en Perú es la diferencia entre la ciudad capital y las provincias peruanas en términos de expresiones culturales, actividades y festividades religiosas. En 2018, tuve la oportunidad de formar parte de un dudoso concepto peruano de carnaval en Lima


The peculiar Peruvian way to celebrate Carnival

What do you think, when you hear the word ‘carnival’? But apart from all the Brazilian Samba carnival we imagine, there are several other places in the world where people celebrate carnival.

Read this blog article to find out more about the peculiar Peruvian way to celebrate Carnaval. Yes, written and pronounced with an ‘a’.

Llamé a Lima en uno de mis artículos más antiguos “la ciudad menos peruana en Peru”, porque no hay muchas festividades interesantes de este rubro. Eso es casi lo mismo para la República Dominicana. Puedes descubrir ‘la verdadera República Dominicana’ fuera de la ciudad capital de Santo Domingo. Entonces de mi perspectiva, Santo Domingo es “la ciudad menos dominicana en la República Dominicana”. Todos tipo de festividades culturales suelen tener lugar en las provincias y otras ciudades.

Por lo tanto, me sorprendió ver que hay un carnaval en Santo Domingo y en la Zona Colonial. Realmente esperarías de la ciudad más antigua del continente americano en una ciudad estrictamente religiosa algún tipo de dedicación al carnaval. Pero el desfile que visité el 22 de febrero de 2020 en la Zona Colonial fue, de hecho, un de las primeras ediciones de este tipo.

La historia necesita ser escrita y los hábitos deben repetirse con la suficiente frecuencia antes de convertirse en tradición. Este pequeño desfile de carnaval fue uno de los primeros intentos de un evento anual que se repite. En este caso, el carnaval en la Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo fue organizado por la Mesa Redonda Panamericana del Cit Colonial y el Ministerio de Turismo de la República Dominicana y recibió el nombre de “Carnaval de Virreinato de la Ciudad Colonial”

La ciudad Primada de América, sede del primer virreinato del Nuevo Mundo, se llenará de cultura, talento y música con la escenificación de un colorido desfile de comparsas y personajes, para el deleite del público. El Carnaval Virreinal de la Ciudad Colonial busca despertar el interés por la historia, el patrimonio cultural y las tradiciones. Es organizado por la Mesa Redonda Panamericana de la Ciudad Colonial y el Clúster Turístico, con el patrocinio del Ministerio de Turismo y de Cultura. El desfile estará encabezado por el gobernador Nicolás de Ovando, la virreina María de Toledo y el virrey Diego Colón, acompañados por su corte, Bufón y una comparsa que hará homenaje a un pintor dominicano.

godominicanrepublic.com

Para mí, a primera vista, es interesante notar que aparentemente no hay ninguna conexión con la religión católica. Y eso en la República Dominicana! En cambio, me daba más la impresión de ser anunciado como un baile de máscaras histórico. Especialmente la imagen ganaba mi interés y recordó de alguna manera al antiguo carnaval tradicional de Venecia en Italia:


VICEROYALTY CARNIVAL OF THE COLONIAL CITY 2020
Copyright by MITUR

Como siempre, informaciones (válidas) son muy difícil de obtener en la República Dominicana. Esto concierne a todos los sectores, pero especialmente cuando buscas descubrir algo sobre un festival organizado. La información generalmente se difunde en este país por rumores y apenas se comunica electrónicamente. Fue incluso difícil para mí encontrar informaciones de fondo sobre ese festival. No hay ningún sitio web para leer un poco más al respecto. Simplemente no podía decir, cuál edición es. Según el Hashtag en Instagram #carnavalvirreinal, la primera imagen fue subida el 10 de marzo de 2018 por stodhohotels. Supongo que esa es la tercera edición del carnaval de virreinato de la Ciudad Colonial en Santo Domingo. Entonces es un festival muy joven!

Definitivamente tenía curiosidad acerca de cómo quieren interpretar el carnaval y si el predicado “Carnaval” fue incluso reivindicado. ¡Entonces vamos a descubrirlo!



Y el desfile es realmente divertida y dulce. Probablemente el desfile de carnaval más corto del mundo:



Estaban marchando por algunas calles de la Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo y luego terminaron en el Parque Colón, la plaza central de la ciudad donde se encuentra la primera catedral de las Américas.

Al final del convoy estaba bastante mezclado y me pareció que todos podían unirse y participar. Eso fue bastante divertido, así que decidí unirme a la gente marchando:



Muchos pequeños carruajes tirados por caballos llevaron algunas personalidades probablemente importantes por las calles de la Zona Colonial. Todos parecían muy muy felices de no tener que caminar todo el camino:



Quien podía permitirse más de un caballo de fuerza vino directamente con un vehículo motorizado para conducir:


El prestigioso Hotel Billini de la Zona Colonial llegó con su pequeño vehículo de transporte.

Aquellos que no estaban equipados con caballos o automóviles tuvieron que caminar por la Zona Colonial. Especialmente la orquesta ambulante hizo un buen ejercicio caminando todo el camino y trayendo y tocando sus instrumentos.



Como ocurre principalmente durante los eventos en la República Dominicana, puede volverse bastante desordenado e incluso caótico. Lo mismo sucedió cuando tuve que parar donde estaba parado al final del video y tuve que esperar unos minutos. Nadie avanzaba y se creó una pequeña congestión. Es por eso que decidí frenar fuera del convoy e ir detrás del escenario.


La vida como un enano gigante es difícil: simplemente necesitaba descansar después de caminar por los zancos.
Algunas mujeres felices con sus coloridos vestidos durante el carnaval de virreinato en la Plaza Colón

Otra cosa divertida fue que el show comenzó oficialmente y las cosas en el escenario ni siquiera estaban listas y aún necesitaban algo mas de preparación:



Es por eso que el sonido al principio no era de la mejor calidad y muy tranquilo. Casi no era posible escuchar lo que la mujer y el hombre decían:



Por lo poco que entendí, coronaron al nuevo rey de la República Dominicana. Y pronunció un discurso de inauguración muy divertido:



En general, debo decir que este pequeño desfile fue divertido de ver, no tenía un toque religioso y no era tan real como esperaba. Bueno, quiero decir que había carruajes tirados por caballos que transportaban algunas personas muy importantes de alto grado. Pero en comparación con el vestido de la imagen promocional, el viejo rey del año pasado parecía un poco más real que el nuevo rey:



Así es como la Zona Colonial interpretó su comprensión de un Carnaval en 2020. Espero haberles dado algunas ideas interesantes sobre la cultura del joven carnaval de Santo Domingo. Y que te haya gustado mi artículo. Si es así y te gustaría nunca perderte una actualización en el futuro, ¡suscríbete a este blog y síguela en las redes sociales!

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Viceroyalty carnival of the Colonial City in Santo Domingo 2020

Dominican Republic, English, Insider Report

Approximate reading time: 5 minutes

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Whenever you hear about carnival, you might imagine the beautiful Samba dancing women in Brazil with their colorful costumes during mile-long parades. But carnival in not only an exclusive Brazilian invention. In fact, this festivity has religious roots and is celebrated in many catholic countries all over the world. And within the countries, even amongst different geographical regions or even cities very distinct interpretations and variations of carnival can happen. But how do people celebrate carnival in the Dominican Republic? Is there carnival in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo?

The Dominican Carnival is in comparison to other countries not an event that happens for one week. In various provinces of the Dominican Republic, carnival is celebrated during all weekends in February. You can be sure, that if you are traveling through the Dominican Republic in February and are interested in going to the bigger Dominican cities, that there will be a lot of ballyhoo at the weekends.

What I remembered from my time in Peru is the difference between the capital city and the Peruvian provinces in terms of cultural expressions, activities and religious festivities. In 2018, I have had the chance to take part of a very strange dubious Peruvian concept of carnival in Lima:


The peculiar Peruvian way to celebrate Carnival

What do you think, when you hear the word ‘carnival’? But apart from all the Brazilian Samba carnival we imagine, there are several other places in the world where people celebrate carnival.

Read this blog article to find out more about the peculiar Peruvian way to celebrate Carnaval. Yes, written and pronounced with an ‘a’.

I called Lima in one of my older articles the ‘least Peruvian city’, because these type of interesting happenings were rarely. That’s almost the same for the Dominican Republic. You can discover ‘the real Dominican Republic’ out of the capital city of Santo Domingo. All sorts of cultural festivities usually take place in the provinces and other cities.

Thus, I was kind of surprised to see, that there is a carnival in Santo Domingo AND in the Colonial Zone. You would actually expect from the oldest city on the American continent in a strictly religious city some kind of dedication to carnival. But the parade I visited on February 22 in 2020 in the Zona Colonial was in fact the first edition of its kind.

History needs to be written and habits need to be repeated often enough before becoming tradition. This little carnival parade was one of the first attempts for a yearly repeating event. In this case, the carnival in the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo was organized by the Pan American Round Table of the Colonial Cit and the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic and got the name “Viceroyalty carnival of the Colonial City”. Very noble.

The First City of the Americas, home of the first Viceroyalty of the New World, will be filled with culture, talent and music with the staging of a colorful parade of troupes and characters, to the delight of the public. The Viceroyalty Carnival of the Colonial City seeks to arouse interest in history, cultural heritage and traditions. It is organized by the Pan American Round Table of the Colonial City and the Tourism Cluster, with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Governor Nicolás de Ovando, Viceroy María de Toledo and Viceroy Diego Colón, accompanied by their court, Buffoon and a troupe that will pay homage to a Dominican painter, will lead the parade. 

godominicanrepublic.com

For me on the first glance interesting to note, that apparently there is no connection at all to the Catholic religion. Instead, it gives more the impression to be announced as a historic masquerade ball. Especially the teaser picture reminded me somehow to the ancient traditional carnival from Venice in Italy:


VICEROYALTY CARNIVAL OF THE COLONIAL CITY 2020
Copyright by MITUR

As always, (valid) information are very difficult to obtain in the Dominican Republic. This concerns all sectors, but especially when you’re looking to find out something about an organized festival. Information usually spread in this country by hearsay and aren’t barely communicated electronically. It was for me even difficult to find out any background information about that festival. There isn’t any website to read a bit more about it. Simply couldn’t tell, which edition it is. According to Instagram Hastag #carnavalvirreinal the first picture was uploaded on March 10, 2018 by stodhohotels. I guess, that’s the 3rd edition of the Viceroyalty carnival of the Colonial City in Santo Domingo.

I was definitely curious about how they want to interpret carnival and if the predicate “Carnival” was even vindicated. So let’s find out!



And the parade is really sweet. Probably the shortest carnival parade of the world:



They were marching through a few streets of Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone and then ended up at Parque Colón, the central square of the city where for example the first cathedral of the is Americas is located.

At the end of the convoy it was quite mixed and it seemed to me that everyone could join and participate. That was quite fun so I decided to join the people:



Many little horse-drawn carriages carried some probably important personalties through the streets of the Zona Colonial. They all seemed to very very happy not having to walk all the way:



Who could afford more than just one horsepower came directly with a motorized vehicle to drive the way:


The prestigous Hotel Billini from the Colonial Zone came with their tiny little transportation vehicle

Those who weren’t equipped with horses or cars have had to walk through the Colonial Zone. Especially the walking orchestra did quite a good workout walking all way AND holding and playing their instruments.



As mostly during events in the Dominican Republic, it can get quite messy and maybe even chaotic. Same happened when I had to stop where I stood at the end of the video and had to wait for minutes. No one was moving forward and a little congestion was created. That’s why I decided to brake out of the convoy and go behind the stage.


Life as a giant dwarf is hard: He simply needed to take a rest after walking the streets on stilts.
Some happy women in their colorful dresses during the Viceroyalty carnival at Plaza Colón

Another funny thing was, that the show officially started and the stage wasn’t even ready and still needed some preparation:



That’s why the sound was at the beginning not the best quality and very quite. It was almost not possible to hear what the woman and the man were saying:



From the little bit I understood, they crowned the new king of the Dominican Republic. And he hold a very funny inauguration speech (in Spanish):



All in all, I must say that this tiny parade was funny to watch, had no religious touch and was not as royal as I expected. Okay, I mean there were the horse-drawn carriages transporting some very important people of high degree. But compared to the dress of the promotional picture, the old king looked a bit more royal than the new king:



That’s how the Colonial Zone interpreted their understanding of a Carnival. I hope to have given some interesting insights into the young carnival culture of Santo Domingo. And that you liked my article. If so and you would like to never miss an update in the future, please subscribe to this blog and follow it on Social Media!

Caño Hondo – A natural waterpark in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic, English

I like water and water activities. But I prefer fresh water rather than saltwater. There is a very beautiful construction very close to Sabana de la Mar in the south of Samaná Bay. It’s called Paraíso Caño Hondo and has very inviting installments to discover. Especially the natural waterpark opens up a lot of fun activities for the visitor. I have had a great time there and was surprised, how ample and detailed at the same time Paraíso Caño Hondo was constructed.


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Approximate reading time: 9 minutes

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Where is Caño Hondo?

Caño Hondo can be found inside of the biggest national park of the Dominican Republic, ‘Parque Los Haitises’. It is a constructed eco hotel with a big natural waterpark.



It’s approximately 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) away from the next bigger city called Sabana de la Mar. That will take more or less 30 minutes.



30 minutes for that little bit of distance? Yes, I was surprised as well, that it took so long to get to Paraíso Caño Hondo. Bad road conditions might explain the reason why. You better go there with a SUV or Jeep, alternatively with a stable motorbike.

Next page: The difference between Paraíso Caño Hondo and Altos de Caño Hondo