Long-distance relationships are hard. There’s always a time difference and spotty internet problems. There are new friends to be made and adventures to be had. And then there is just, life, that happens.
Currently, one of my best friends is serving in the Peace Corps for two years in the Dominican Republic. We haven’t gotten to talk to each other much and my letter to her should be there by Christmas (of this year, I hope), but we still care about each other and try to keep up via WhatsApp and Facebook as much as possible.
This post is dedicated to her and her (and someday your) crazy adventures in the DR. Say hi to her if you venture that way.
Flickr photo via Miles Gehm
Who doesn’t love fun in the sun? An item on many bucket lists, learning to surf, can be crossed off while touring the DR. Head to the California Surf School on Playa Bonita for a $60, one-hour lesson. Lessons are taught by expert surfing coaches and ran by Carolina Gutierrez. Classes are offered year-round. Surfs up!
Flickr photo via Brent
Waterfalls are amazing. You can easily hike to them, (naturally) cool off and snag some fantastic photos. Damajagua Falls, located near Puerto Plata, offers 27 waterfalls ready to be explored. Guides are required, but they encourage, and lead you, to fun. Plan on four hours to make it to the 27th waterfall and back.
Flickr photo via UWI Seismic Research Centre
The Boiling Lake, located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a world heritage site, is a flooded fumarole 6.5 miles east of Roseau, Dominica. Grab a guide who knows the way and launch at Laudat, the usual starting off point for locals. The eight-mile walk takes around three hours and will require a good pair of hiking boots, a camera and good friends.
Cave of Miracles
Flickr photo via Emilio del Prado
If you’re into history, the Cave of Miracles (Cuevas de las Maravillas) is perfect for you. Located in San Pedro de Macoris, and discovered in 1926, this cave system is decorated in hundreds of Taino Indian cave paintings. Opened in 2003 to the public, explorers can wander through 200 meters of footpaths that wind through the galleries in the cave. Tours are strictly controlled and take around an hour.
Flickr photo via Stan Lupo
Each year, thousands of humpback whales travel to the Peninsula de Samana to mate, give birth and get observed by boatloads of locals and tourists alike. For those looking for an even more intimate experience, week-long live-aboard excursions in the Silver Bank offer rare opportunities to snorkel alongside these magnificent creatures.
These are just a few of the wonders the Dominican Republic has to offer. I highly encourage you to go see for yourself – I know I’m going to try and see my old pal before she heads back home. Maybe I’ll beat the mail and hand deliver my next letter.