Once again, I am behind on my posts. I am going to attempt to remedy that soon — I promise! I am still adjusting to my new location, career, and lifestyle. I have been enjoying every minute of it and have been taking advantage of the travel perks. I recently went to the Dominican Republic for a few days off (including my birthday!).
A friend had once recommended a place called “27 Charcos,” or 27 waterfalls, to me, so I did my research and decided to try it out. My airline flies into several airports in the DR, so I found that the better flight for me and my friend was into Santiago, about an hour from Puerto Plata, where our hotel was located. The flight from Miami wasn’t so bad, and we rented a car from Dollar online, but when we arrived, there was no representative there, so we ended up using another company. Word of advice: do not rent from Dollar if you find yourself in Santiago! There were several complaints from locals about them. We used Europcar. Another tip: be sure to have $10 in cash per person when traveling to the DR as there is an entrance fee into the country. There is an ATM right outside of the airport if you find yourself stuck though!
After getting on the road kind of late, we made our way to our place in Puerto Plata, an all-inclusive called Be Live Grand Marien. I had a nice discount and the place was beautiful. It is on the beach and includes several pools and restaurants.
When traveling in Puerto Plata, or the DR in general, I noticed that they do not advertise their tourist spots very well. We had a hard time trying to find things to do, even though there were plenty. Having a car to explore definitely helped. We spent the first day on the beach and then drove east toward Navarrete. We found (again very poorly-advertised) a small ecological park along our way and decided to stop. They offered nature/cave tours for about $20 a person. I would highly recommend it! The tour guides were wonderful and the caves were astonishing. We even got to swim in one of them.
We relaxed a bit for the rest of the day and then headed for the waterfalls on the following day. Along our way, we stopped by a historic site along the Malecon (road along the beach). A quick stop, but it had some nice views.
We had a hard time finding the best route to the waterfalls and had to stop to ask for directions several times. Even though they are advertised as “27 Charcos,” the entrance sign reads “Rio de Damajagua.” The cost is surprisingly cheap. There is an option to do 7, 12, or 27 waterfalls. We had planned to do all 27, but it wasn’t the best time of the year to do all of them since there was not enough water, so we decided on the 12. The cost was around 350 DR pesos per person for 12 waterfalls, or about $8. I’m still shocked at how affordable the tour was. It took around 2 hours with a guide and photographer. Do NOT miss this if you find yourself in that area! The experience was much different than I imagined. It is not simply a tour to look at waterfalls, but rather is interactive and allows you to jump, slide, and swim through small waterfalls. I would bring a waterproof camera or something like a Go Pro if you have one. You are not allowed (well not advised) to take any items with you during the tour because you will be completed immersed in water for a good portion of the trip. If you do not have a waterproof camera, or you are like me and do not trust the disposable ones, they sell a video/photo combo for around $40. I decided to go ahead and purchase that.
On our last day, we drove back to Santiago and explored there a bit. This was a not a very exciting place for tourists, but it was neat to drive around and see the city.
There are not many hotels within the city, but we were able to find one for about $25 for the night, just to crash before our flight the next morning.
Though it was a quick trip, we were able to include a lot during our time there!