Beyond the idleness

  Dominican Republic - January 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I don't know which end to start this new ticket. We've been made to do so much in so few days! This press trip aims to highlight other activities than pure "idleness" in the Dominican Republic.

Excursion to Saona Island


The proof: while we arrived on Thursday evening, it was only on Monday evening that I finally managed to swim in the turquoise Dominican waters that you can see on the tourist brochures!

Monday, therefore: excursion of pure relaxation to the island of Saona, in the south of the country. With a crossing on a huge 28-metre catamaran, reserved just for our small group of eight... Great luxury.


A well-deserved parenthesis, however, after all the "sporting" emotions that have been inflicted on us.

The light aircraft

Starting by flying over the country in an "airplane", a kind of minibus with wings and a propeller, to reach the Samana peninsula in the north and leave. The Dominican Republic seen from the sky is a fantastic spectacle.
"See the pictures: Caribbean colors
"See the video: Me gustan los airplanees


As a result, those of us who were afraid of flying are now either healed or even more terrified than before!

Admire the control tower of the tiny Portillo Airport in the north, in Samana ...


Ride in ... quad

After being sent in the air, Friday place to the wild quad equipped ... Yes, yes, the quad, it is this big noisy thing between the bike and the 4 × 4, which behaves like a motorcycle for children and that goes everywhere. Even the most cautious of us loved it.


We crisscrossed heaps of super quiet beaches (well, before and after our visit) around Las Terrenas. Samana is really a beautiful area.

I highly recommend the experience. Quad riding is confusing at first, especially when you are used to "normal" bikes, but in the end it's quite fun...


This walk was especially the opportunity to get out of these tourist enclaves that are the resorts "todo incluido" where we stay, and to see a little bit the "real people". The good thing is that we can easily stop along the way.

To make a refreshing stop near a Rio where the Dominicans comes to bathe the weekend with family or between friends. To take a look at the hard-core baseball games that take place in the slick sports fields. To rave about like all urban people in front of horses, cows, pigs seen in the fields or on the road. Or even to take pictures with children, who love to admire on the screen of the camera ...




Los Haitises Park and Limón Waterfall

The next day, Saturday, we had a speedboat excursion in the morning to the Los Haïtises National Park: a scenery of limestone cliffs, full of caves and mangrove swamps, reminiscent of the Thai Andaman coast near Krabi and Phi Phi.

In the afternoon, climb through the jungle and mud on horseback to the fabulous El Limón waterfall. Perhaps the most beautiful of all our walks!

The bathing is fresh and spectacular. And it's quite difficult to get near the waterspouts while swimming. We must fight against the current and the force of the spray that takes your breath away.



Everywhere, great hospitality, very warm. It's worth it to move away from the beaches.

Yes, life is hard ... It is between 25 and 30 ° C depending on the time of day. We do not have to worry about anything, everything is organized well. And I am delighted with the excursions we have concocted.

So I would have the bad grace to complain... But here's the thing: next to that, there is the accommodation in "todo incluido" or "all-inclusive" or "all-inclusive" as you like. As beautiful as the resorts and hotels are, this kind of formula is really not my thing.

I will tell you in a next post, very subjective, my vision of the pangs and the joys of these exotic golden cages for Westerners in need of sunshine ...

  Dominican Republic - January 2009

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  1. Oh rage oh despair ... If we had exposed the program before departure, I would have swung you out the window to take your place. Your story is, how to say, very tempting and the organizers seem to have decarcated to embellish your ride. Coooooooooooool. Go take advantage of your last days and we will drink together your rum full of sun. Biz 8)

  2. Thank you for these photos, these stories, it feels good !!!!!!!
    For the plane, it's almost the same I took in Thailand except that ours took off and landed on the water, I keep a great memory !!!!!
    Otherwise, well, it makes you want to spend a few days in the Dominican Republic ....
    Regarding the hotels, I see exactly what you mean ... me, it's the same, I hate the "todo incluido", even if I've never done ... .I guess too much .... But I think there are a lot of people, tourists who appreciate this system without charm and without surprise.Is it more economical? Maybe ... .which ... in Asia, there is nothing better and cheaper than a good Thai pad in the street ... And there, how is it?
    I kiss you very hard! Have a good last day there, and I think you're "free" so enjoy these last hours of heat.... Here, it's a little bit warmed up...but hey...it's still cold...too cold!!!!!! 😥

  3. @ Ceucidit: My duck is not the organizer of this trip ... And such an opportunity to leave is quite exceptional!

    @ Funny World: I enjoy! Besides, there, I think I'll go to taste one last time the water and the sun before packing everything for the check-out ... Bouh. I do not want to go home!

    @ Helen: I knew you would understand me ... It's a journey very different from the one I had nine years ago. I had to put my "little independence" to sleep. In exchange, I enjoy the comfort, very pleasant, of this formula "todo incluido". I'm not going to complain, of course, but it's just that I'm not used to being so "forced" to stay in a huge hotel, a real little town on the beach, where you stay between tourists ... I think all the flight + hotel packages of tour operators are actually interesting. Lots of people simply want, for the holidays, to be pampered on a beach where there is all the comfort, to have nothing to worry about, what I can understand. Otherwise, here too, there are small restaurants outside, but we have not seen much.

    @ Martial: Yes, I will complain: the sky is too blue, there is too much sun, too many beaches, too much cool things to do .... What a scandal !!!

  4. What makes me most horrified in the "all-inclusive" is to hear "Québécois". You can easily find weekly packages for less than $ 1000 for the Dominican Republic and Cuba from Montreal (I even saw deals at $ 600 in 4 stars at the beginning of the year) so necessarily, the people rush on the deals as soon as the cold comes up. When I travel, I want to be exotic, not to hear about our local stars on the beach! Even mentally preparing for this reality, it always ends up making me crazy. Because yes, I happened to opt for this really economical formula when the mercury oscillates around -25 degrees ... Between two evils, better to choose the least! But Helen is right, nothing will replace the pleasure of eating a Thai pad on the street in Thailand (sigh) ...

  5. @ Marie-Julie: I confirm, there were a lot of francophone Canadians in the hotels where we stayed ... I fully understand that we can be seduced by this type of formula, both practical and economical, but on a personal level, it would not be my choice. We stay "in between" in this type of hotel and everything is very artificial ... But I'll come back to that in a future post. That said, I do not give up my pleasure, I spent a truly fabulous week. And to be full of sunshine and warmth in the heart of winter is an incredible luxury.

  6. I went to R & D in June, and aside from idleness, I do not see what there is to do. Alas, tours offered by tour operators are overvalued and expensive, even vulgar. In addition, for privacy, you will go back to at least 30 people ... The RDc is mass tourism.
    On the other hand, the kindness of the Dominicans will enchant you, as well as the beauty of the beaches.
    Ideal for a break in the sun, but no more.

  7. Hello Gulick,

    On mass tourism, I totally agree with your point of view. As an individual, I never travel that way, usually. This time, I discovered what really means "the tourist industry" with these huge hotels surrounded by beaches full of deckchairs ...

    For the excursions that we made, I liked them very well, because I lived them in privileged: we were only our small group of eight, each time ... The great luxury, compared to the numerous groups that pile up in buses, boats, etc.

    On the other hand, I think there is a way to discover the Dominican Republic otherwise, individually, by going down to small hotels, small pensions or guesthouses, much like I did nine years ago, and by fending for oneself to visit. But this type of trip is not necessarily for everyone, nor for those who just want to "take a break in the sun" indeed.

    Finally, for the kindness of the Dominicans, I agree completely, again. But I will mention these different facets of the Dominican Republic in a future article ...