Country number: 72
When? April 2003
Who? Singles holiday
The Dominican Republic is mega resort country. I’m staying on Playa Dorada in San Felipe de Puerto Plata (usually known as Puerto Plata). The lengthy beachfront is backed by resorts and an 18-hole golf course and my hotel is in an enclave with about 12 others. There are about 100,000 hotel beds in the city altogether.
It’s a very relaxing break if you don’t want to do anything except lie on a very beautiful (but busy) beach and eat mediocre ‘international’ food. There are the standard boat trips supplying some average snorkelling , complete with the usual rum punch – and some tin pan drumming.
Finding local culture or communing with nature is a challenge. I’m 215 km from the historic capital Santa Domingo, so I’m passing on a trip there. But Puerto Plata is worth a short trip. It’s mainly a trading port, as the name implies, but it has an old colonial-era centre. This is dominated by the 16th-century Fortaleza San Felipe, a sixteenth century Spanish fortress that served as a prison and now houses historical and military artefacts. The only aerial tramway in the Caribbean, takes us up to the Pico Isabel de Torres, a 793 meter high mountain for views across the city.
The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west.
Away from the beaches there is some rugged mountainous terrain, including Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain.
The capital of the country–Santo Domingo–is the oldest city in the new world Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor” in Santo Domingo is believed to be the oldest cathedral in the Americas. It dates back to 1540.
The Dominican Republic is the only country in the world to have an image of the Holy Bible on its national flag
Merengue is a type of music and dance originating in the Dominican Republic
Sorry – I didn’t keep many images of this trip. I shall have to go back – one day -maybe! My blogs vary considerably in length but I have much more to say and show in most of my other country posts. Please have a look!
To see my photos of The Dominican Republic, visit this page.