Let me lay this out front…I’ve never been to the Dominican Republic before. Quite honestly, it was probably one of the last places on my mind to visit. As far as I was concerned, it was just another island down in the Caribbean.
They have the same beaches, the same snorkeling spots, the same food…it just didn’t make sense for me to put this island on the top of my Bucket List because I didn’t think it had enough cultural differences for me to spend my hard earned money to fly all the way over there.
But as I did a little research, I found the place started growing on me. This stunning Caribbean country located just west of the beautiful beaches of Puerto Rico had an almost intoxicating mix of scenery, culture and history. The picture perfect beaches and dazzling azure waters lying lazily under swaying palm trees had an undeniable charm that seemed to get under your skin.
The history seemed surprisingly prominent as historic colonial structures stood out against the scrub dotted beaches just overlooking the variety of colorful fishing boats bobbing about in the bay.
Yes…I think the Dominican Republic is really getting to me. As a fairly big history buff, I found the cobblestone streets were lined with crumbling houses, white washed walls and restored chapels all draping with bright fragrant flowers that overlooked grazing cattle on the rolling farmlands…and they were all just sitting there waiting for the Dominican Republics mysterious, romantic & prosperous past to be dug into.
As I dug a little deeper, looking for some sort of travel deal (let’s face it…I’m always looking for a steal!) I actually found some surprisingly affordable flights making an upcoming vacation to the Dominican Republic more realistic than ever! I was surprised at how affordable it was compared to that of other similar Caribbean islands due to its diverse landscapes and great deal of activities…it would have cost about the same amount as when I visited Costa Rica actually!
I’m telling you, after about 3 days worth of research I was getting anxious to the point where I could smell the fresh ocean breeze in my face…along with that traditional mouth watering aroma of the locals cooking up some Pollo Guisado with a side of local Mama Juana (a mixture of flavored bark & herbs that have been soaking in red wine, rum & honey) to wash it down! Even their fresh tropical fruit smoothies with some rum seemed like it would hit the spot!
After all that I’ve read into and after all the people I’ve held conversations with (including some locals), I’m really looking forward to visiting such a beautiful vacation destination. The heartwarming vibe I got seemed so captivating and similar to that of the vibe in Montezuma, Costa Rica!
Let’s face it…I’ve always been one to enrich myself in a laid back & cheerful environment! But topping it all off with some great surf spots…lets just say this unique island has awakened my thoughts and put a new spin on the Caribbean culture!
Ronald Robbins is the Founder of Active Planet Travels adventure travel blog and Clicta Digital, a digital marketing agency based out of Denver, Colorado. He has found most of his professional interests in being an adventure travel blogger, photographer & bizarre food enthusiast.