7 gute Beispiele fĂŒr alternativen Tourismus in der Dominikanischen Republik

German, Journal

Geht es um die Urlaubsplanung fĂŒr das nĂ€chste Jahr, landet die Dominikanische Republik vielleicht sogar auf der Liste fĂŒr die engere Auswahl. Ein kleines karibisches Inselchen mit Palmen und kilometerlangen StrĂ€nden. Ist es nicht auch jenes Land, in dem all die All-Inklusiv-Reisen nach Punta Cana angeboten werden? Ich möchte gerne 7 Beispiele fĂŒr alternativen Tourismus in der Dominikanischen Republik zeigen, um mal ein paar spannende Gegenkonzepte zum allseits bekannten Massentourismus zu portrĂ€tieren. Vielleicht findest Du dann auch heraus, wieso das Dominikanische Tourismusministerium sein Land mit “Alles wovon Sie trĂ€umen” vermarktet.


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UngefÀhre Lesezeit: 12 Minuten

Wir alle vermuten in einem Land wie der Dominikanischen Republik eine Menge Sonnenschein, StrĂ€nde und ungebremste Lebensfreude. Diese pauschale Vorstellung ĂŒber die Dominikanische Republik kann ich aus eigener Erfahrung nur bestĂ€tigen. Jedoch gehört auch der Massentourismus und Pauschalurlaube in den All-Inclusive-Resorts in Punta zum stetigen Charakter dieses Landes. In diesem Sinne bietet die Dominikanische Republik also die typisch karibischen Merkmale wie Musik, Tanz, Rum, Zigarren und tropische FrĂŒchte allen Besuchern an.

Gibt es aber darĂŒber hinaus nicht vielleicht noch ein bisschen mehr zu entdecken?

Die Dominikanische Republik ist ein Paradies fĂŒr Individualreisende und alternativen Tourismus

Den Urlaub in einem hermetisch abgeriegelten All-Inclusive-Resort mag nicht unbedingt die erste Wahl fĂŒr Individualreisende sein. WĂ€hrend meiner Zeit in der Dominikanischen Republik habe ich nur zwei Mal ein verlĂ€ngertes Wochenende in Punta Cana verbracht und hatte schnell genug vom ‘Tourismus von der Stange’ gesehen.

FĂŒr mich persönlich wirken die Reisen in ein All-Inclusive-Resort immer wie betreutes Urlauben in einer kĂŒnstlichen Umgebung mit festen FĂŒtterungszeiten. Viel eher interessieren mich Abenteuer, authentische Reiseerfahrungen und rund Erlebnisse um Kultur, Speise und Musik. Ein gewisses Überangebot an Service und nur eine Zimmernummer in einem Hotel zu reprĂ€sentieren gefĂ€llt mir nicht, bzw. brauche ich nicht fĂŒr meinen Urlaub.

DarĂŒber hinaus macht diese Urlaubsform nur faul, trĂ€ge und ĂŒbergewichtig. Den ganzen Tag irgendwo rumhĂ€ngen lĂ€sst mich nur noch unproduktiver werden. Die wenigen Bewegungen und Schritte in einem All-Inclusive-Hotel und die pausenlose Völlerei und der liebe Alkohol sorgt nur fĂŒr eine Menge Übergewicht und EnttĂ€uschung beim Gang auf die Waage nach dem RĂŒckflug. Maximal gibt’s noch nen Sonnenbrand oder Made-in-China Souvenirs als ordinĂ€re Urlaubserinnerung obendrauf. Alles nicht so wirklich mein Fall, ich strebe viel mehr nach individuellen Erlebnissen.


Die ‘andere Dominikanische Republik’ befindet sich weit entfernt von den All-Inklusive-Resorts in Punta Cana: SattgrĂŒne Landschaften und tropische Faune grĂŒĂŸt auf diesem Bild aus Tubagua.

Kann denn das bevölkerungsreichste Land der Karibik all jenen Reisenden mit dem Anspruch auf individuelle Erlebnisse ĂŒberhaupt gerecht werden? Gibt es vielleicht noch andere Formen des Tourismus, anstatt den typischen Gringo-Tourismus? Gibt es noch andere Zielgruppen als Familien mit Kindern, frisch vermĂ€hlte Ehepaare und golfende Senioren, die in der Dominikanischen Republik eine tolle Zeit verbringen können?

Ich kann schon jetzt versprechen, dass die Dominikanische Republik sehr viele Alternativen dem zu erwartenden Massentourismus anbietet. Du glaubst mir nicht? Dann lies Dir die folgenden 7 GrĂŒnde fĂŒr alternativen Tourismus in der Dominikanischen Republik durch und sei gespannt. Vielleicht wirst auch Du etwas ĂŒberrascht sein, was alles in der Dominikanischen Republik so alles möglich ist.

NĂ€chste Seite:
1 – Vogelbeobachtung in der Dominikanischen Republik

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

7 buenos ejemplos de turismo alternativo en RepĂșblica Dominicana

Dominican Republic, Español, Insider Report

Cuando se trata de la planificaciĂłn de las prĂłximas vacaciones, RepĂșblica Dominicana tal vez sea parte de la lista corta. Una pequeña isla en algĂșn lugar del Caribe con palmeras y playas de una milla de largo. ÂżNo es ese el paĂ­s donde tambiĂ©n se encuentran todos los Resorts “Todo Incluido” en Punta Cana?.

Te mostrarĂ© 7 ejemplos de turismo alternativo en RepĂșblica Dominicana para que conozcan todas las posibilidades del paĂ­s. QuizĂĄs averigĂŒes por quĂ© el Ministerio de Turismo llama a su paĂ­s como “RepĂșblica Dominicana lo tiene todo”.


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Tiempo de lectura aproximado: 12 minutos

Todos esperamos que la RepĂșblica Dominicana sea un paĂ­s con mucho sol, playas y gente con una mentalidad relajada. No puedo negar que muchos tienen esta imagen caracterĂ­stica de la RepĂșblica Dominicana, ya que gracias al Turismo “Todo Incluido”, es una imagen constante de su turismo. En ese sentido, la imagen de un paĂ­s caribeño colorido con mĂșsica, danza, ron, aves tropicales y frutas exĂłticas es lo que el paĂ­s puede ofrecer a todo visitante.

La RepĂșblica Dominicana es un paraĂ­so verdadero para viajeros alternativos

Sin embargo, pasar las vacaciones en un resort todo incluido hermĂ©ticamente cerrado, podrĂ­a no ser de la preferencia de todos. Durante este tiempo en el paĂ­s, he estado solo en dos ocasiones, por un par de noches, en Punta Cana y fue suficiente para mĂ­ del ‘turismo de masa’ y su servicio impersonalizado.

En mi opinion, el turismo todo incluido siempre me ha parecido un poco unas vacaciones supervisadas, en un entorno artificial, con horarios de alimentaciĂłn organizados.

Personalmente, prefiero el tipo de viaje de aventura y realmente no necesito tener esta sobre oferta de servicios. Simplemente, me hace sentir inactivo e improductivo. Como lo recuerdo, los pocos movimientos diarios solo te hacen ganar peso e insolarte.


La ‘otra RepĂșblica Dominicana’ lejos de los Resorts Todo Incluido en Punta Cana: Paisaje exuberante y verde en Tubagua

Pero el país mås poblado del Caribe tiene mucho mås que ofrecer que las vacaciones estereotípicas para recién casados y golfistas seniors. Para mí, esto me hace muy curioso. ¿Qué tiene que ofrecer un destino turístico ademås de lo que ya espero?

Y la RepĂșblica Dominicana tiene muchas respuestas interesantes para turistas individuales que tienen curiosidad por explorar mĂĄs allĂĄ de la oferta de consumo masivo. Tal vez te sorprendas de todas las emocionantes oportunidades para un viajero ambicioso que RepĂșblica Dominicana puede cumplir.

Siguiente pĂĄgina:
1 – ObservaciĂłn de aves en la RepĂșblica Dominicana

A Canyoning trip to Charcos de los Militares and God’s swimming pool in Tubagua

Dominican Republic, English, Journal

This fluvial tourism excursion was part of the canyoning experience I had during the Easter weekend 2019 at Tubagua Eco Lodge. I already wrote an article before about the time I spent there. It was the perfect half-day excursion and a great combination of hiking, climbing and jumping inside of natural sweet water pools. Comparable to the adventure I had in Cabarete, but this time with better photos and videos. Nothing too crazy, moderate difficulty level, high fun attitude. Stay tuned and read further, if you are looking for a fun outdoor activity off the beaten track in the proximity of Puerto Plata. A canyoning trip to Charcos de los Militares and god’s swimming pool in Tubagua.

The ‘Charcos de los Militares’ in Tubagua might be a great alternative for nature and action lovers.


Approximate reading time: 6 minutes

(Last update: April 11, 2021)

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Why does this place have two different names?

‘Charco de los Militares’ comes undeniably from the soldiery vocabulary. But why do the Dominicans call this place ‘military puddle’ (Charco de los Militares)?

I couldn’t find helpful information on the website of the Dominican Ministry of Tourism, but I found luckily somewhere else an attempt to explain the name:

According to the community, the name of puddles is because at the time of the dictatorship of Rafael LeĂłnidas Trujillo, a group of soldiers took the difficult and sensitive decision of dropping out, leaving their uniforms pulled into the crystalline waters of these pools, and from this event were baptized with the name of : The puddles of the military.

Some sources name this trail also God’s swimming pool. Well, although I did this trip during the Easter holidays – what would be a good catholic explanation – I didn’t feel either resurrected, nor reborn or baptized. But very refreshed. In any event: A divine swimming pool sounds a bit more peaceful than the military connotation about the military puddle.

Anyway: This excursion is supposed to be held exclusively through the Tubagua Eco Lodge with a guide who accompanies you during the whole trip. Don’t even think about trying to hike there on your own, you will never make it without local help.

I would have never found the way to the water, neither the way back to the lodge. That’s why I was thankful for the good guidance. Although this guy walked as fast as 100m runner, we never lost track during the way. And I was always the last of the group because I took photos and videos on the way what the other members of the group didn’t do.

Where is Charcos de los Militarios in the Dominican Republic?

You can find it on the map:



The GPS coordinates from Charco de Los Militares:

Latitude: 19.6743856

Longitude: -70.5978251

But again: Without an experienced tour guide who has local knowledge, you’ll never find it on your own. That’s why you need the Tubagua Eco Lodge and their guides to access Charco de los Militares.

The hiking trail to Charcos de los Militares is a green paradise


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Every nature lover would be happy to do this excursion and walk to the ‘Charcos de los Militares’. What nature offers you is a stunning view and green paradise:



Our guide must’ve felt that our group was in a rush and we hiked, unfortunately, with a high velocity. Consequently, there wasn’t enough time to enjoy the green landscape. Only a few little videos and photos were possible. It would have been for me also okay to spend some more minutes to breathe in the pure air and enjoy the view.


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But after approximately one hour of crossing abundant vegetation through ups and downhill areas, the group arrived at the military puddle or God’s swimming pool. The landscape changed now to a rugged and mountainous zone, but still with the same vegetation.


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What you can see behind this chubby guy who blocks the view, is one of the three pools you can jump into and take a swim. Clear and cold water coming from the mountains and then accumulating to three different little or big ponds. The quantity of the pools of course depends according to rainfall and drought periods. Our guide told us, that there was at the time we arrived at a low water level.

Jumping into Gods swimming pool in Tubagua

You can climb up the rocks and jump into two of the three pools – If you dare to:



The water is crystal clear and refreshing and looks as following:



Individual tourism is quite rare in comparison to mass tourism in the Dominican Republic. The majority of tourism concentrates on Punta Cana. Hence you have in the country many opportunities to do an excursion that fly under the touristic radar. These excursions are hard to find for foreigners, but promise some unique moments you’d never experience in All-Inclusive trips.

I was warned before, that during the Easter holidays a 1/3 of the Dominican population would travel through the country as well. It was supposed to become difficult collecting unique experiences. But at Tubagua, it was surprisingly quiet on the highway, in the accommodation and during the whole excursion. No one was actually ‘in the way’ during the walk to the military puddle. We spend at least 1.5 good hours there. Until the moment, when we were about to leave at maybe 12:30am and a horde of Dominicans entered the area with music and fire for BBQ.



That was the perfect moment to leave the scenery and hike back one hour to the eco lodge. This time uphill – Very exhausting!



What you should definitely bring to Charcos de los Militares:

  • Comfortable tramping boots to hike to the pools. A pair you might want to jump into the water with.
  • Sun blocker (water resistant)
  • Head covering
  • Sunglasses to look cool on photos
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Water – Although there is enough water to see, you should bring bottled water to drink
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An insect repellent was recommended to bring with as well. I didn’t apply it to my skin and was lucky to not have been bitten by insects there. Better bring insect repellent just in case.

Another top secret recommendation from me is to bring and wear water shoes or old well-worn but comfortable tennis shoes which can get wet. Putting of your tramping boots, go for a quick swim, putting them on again, walk to the next pond and repeat it several times is annoying. But walking the surface without any shoes make you look like a fool.



Better would be during the walks of the ‘Charco de los Militaros’ to put on water shoes which have a flexible sole and can become wet without any problems. Everything else might hurt your feet.

I hope, that you liked this blog article about God’s swimming pool in Tubagua – Next time I will try to remember, that it would be better to record videos in widescreen. Shame on me!


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Tubagua Eco Lodge – Built as a student retreat, became a shelter for travelers 

Journal
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I waited for my first own road trip in the Dominican Republic. More than three months. Needed first to get used to my surrounding in Santo Domingo like a cat. But after enough habituation it was time to discover and expand the own territory and look for a place far away from cities, exhausting traffic scenarios and boisterous Dominicans. Something off the usual to relax and get another impression of this beautiful island.

Tubagua Eco Lodge was the destination. Located in the north amongst Puerto Plata, Santiago and Sosua. Mountainous, green, quiet. The way to Tubagua was a pleasure: Less traffic, great natural scenery, but unfortunately on the other hand for 10 – 15 km very dusty and unpaved road conditions. I drove ‘very early’ on Thursday morning at 8am starting from Santo Domingo.

Good and typical Dominican food

I got deflected – Back to the eco lodge itself. You will arrive there and feel instantly a calm and comforting vibe from the staff and the whole amenities. Luckily I arrived at lunch time and got served a typical Dominican lunch.

Rice and beans – Essential component of every Dominican full meal đŸ„˜

But the rest of the food was as well worth to show it:

Especially the dinner had to offer quite some juicy meat:

IMG_0786

For the price (and the lack of near alternatives in the form of other restaurants) definitely worth it. Or would you prefer to cook when every other guest of the lodge is crunching their haunches for dinner? Good luck then, I definitely don’t!

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Rooms offer a 180° wide-angle view over the whole terrain

Typical eco lodges are designed of natural materials like wood, bamboo, etc. and have therefore a distinct rustic charm and unique character. Here are a few impressions to understand better how Tubagua Eco Lodge was created:

What makes the construction of this lodge special is the wide-angle view it offers to its guests. You will have a stunning view over the whole terrain from the room I had. The only thing that will disturb your relaxation are sunshine and birdsongs.

The shared bathroom area had a quite cool feature:

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The sink was made out of old buckets to meet the recycle approach – Good idea! But an even better idea was the toilet:

The frame with its semi-flexible picture is a really quaint idea for everyone who needs to pee.

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Amenities of Tubagua Eco Lodge

Be prepared, that you won’t have a TV in your room. Contrary to what hotel rooms are offering, you will not find many interesting things to do in your own room. It’s conceived to find rest in your own room and do all other activities like gaming and other interactions in the social area. This area looks like the following:

But apart from that house, there were as well several other nice and comfortable areas:

Environment around the eco lodge

What you could already see in the photos gave you a little impression about the lush and green nature. Luckily, the lodge is located in an area where you can walk some trails quite safely without a tour guide. Don’t forget to bring your tramping boots, or you need to revert after the half way, because you wear flip-flops and it becomes difficult to walk the unpaved roads.

Some neighbors have their own domestic animals:

All in all it helped me to charge my batteries and to spend a few days remote from Santo Domingo. Happy Easter!