Dominican Cana lilyI was working on one of my client websites today, a florist in California and got to thinking this might be a good post for my DR site. During my years in the Dominican Republic we’ve bought flowers from the local florists many times. We’ve decorated a wedding reception, bought flowers and at times flower arrangements for the annual memorial of Jesus Death, hospital visits and yes you can buy your wife anniversary flowers here.

Now granted you can often find some pretty cool flowers growing wild on the side of the road (my wife usually get her ferns for arrangements that way), however most of us guys would rather walking into a shop and let someone else work out the arrangement for us. So here is what I’ve found over the years.

First it seems most towns will have a flower shop. I’ve found them in several of the small towns like Fantino, Altamira and Imbert. (more…)

Even the animals have to work here in the Dominican Republic. Here is a video of our security camera cleaner hard at work.

Notice the attention to detail, first clean off the cobwebs and dirt with a wet nose and finally buff the lens with a paw and then off to the next camera!

Altamira gas station Petronan

Altamira gas station Petronan

Once you get to Altamira you are going to want to know how to get around. In Altamira you will find two bus stops for the local public transportation or Guaguas. Both of them are right next to Altamira’s only gasoline station, Petronan (la Bomba). While these are main bus stops where they always stop, you can catch a gugua anywhere along the highway by flagging it down when it goes past.

The main Guagua that services the carretera Navarete (the highway) between Navarete and Puerto Plata is Javilla Tours. You will also find public cars along the route but most people end up using the Guagua. Starting from Altamira you should end up paying 65 pesos to get to Puerto Plato or to Santiago, 40 pesos to get to Navarete and 50 pesos to get to the assembly hall in Via Gonzalas.

You can also use this same Guagua to head down the street to the Kingdom Hall in La Piedra for 20 pesos, but casually it is easier to use one of the Moto Conchos (motorcycle public transportation) for about 25 pesos. Javilla Tours runs from about 6 in the morning to about 8pm. Most days you can expect to see a guagua every 20 minutes or so. If you see a Javilla Tours bus pass you with out stopping don’t panic! There is also an express from Puerto Plata to Santiago that does not stop. The buses look about the same but if they don’t honk (asking you if you need a ride), they are likely the express bus.

Parada de Santiago

Altamira bus stop to santiago

Altamira bus stop to santiago

Directly across the street from the Petroman gasoline station  is the bus stop for Santiago. Sometimes there will be a moto concho there to take you into town but more likely you will have to walk down the street towards town about a block to the other bus stop where most of the Motoconchos hang out.

The motoconchos will take you almost any where in Altamira for 25 pesos. If you put two passengers on the bike they will charge for two people or 50 pesos.

There are a couple places to sit while you wait, under the overhang are some bench seats, and under the tree are some plastic stadium seats. The buses do get crowded at times to it is a good idea to stand and get in line when the bus comes. They will never turn you down from getting in but, if there are no more seats left you will end up standing in the isle.  Depending on the driver the ride can get a little crazy so it is best to be able to sit if you can.

When riding the bus you the cobrador (person that takes the money) will help you with any luggage you may have. Often they put bags under the seats up in front so you don’t have to carry them down the isle. Be prepared for teh bus to take off while you are still trying to get to a seat.

The cobrador will seldom take money when you first get into the bus. (more…)

Altamira de Puerto Plata

Entrance of Altamira

Planning of visiting Altamira soon? Likely you are reading this site to find out about your new destination! Quite a few people have been visiting here so I thought I’d give you an idea on what you are going to find. There is a Kingdom Hall, a bank, and several small supermarkets so you are likely to find what you need to make your stay comfortable. There are no Motels or Hotels here but there are people that occasionally rent out places for short term visitors.

For this post I will give you a quick overview of Altamira, but as I write more pages I will link off of this page to other sections like the businesses you will find here, transportation etc.

Altamira de Puerto Plata

First let’s be sure you have the right location. There are several Altamiras in the Dominican Republic. I will be writing today about the one in the Puerto Plata province. It is located on the main highway about halfway between Puerto Plata and Santiago. That makes it about 20 minutes from the Assembly hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Via Gonzales .

ATMs and Banks

There is one bank and two ATMs in Altamira. The first ATM is at the bank right in the middle of town and the other is at the gas station at the El Jamo side of town (closest to Santiago). The one at the gas station is a Banco de Reservas ATM. The ATM at the bank will only let you take out a maximum of 3 mil (aprox. $65) per withdraw if you are using a foreign atm card.

The People of Altamira

As in most smaller towns in the Dominican republic, the people in Altamira are (more…)

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