Likely Jazz isn’t one of the first things that come to mind when you think of the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic. However for that last 17 years the Dominican Ministry of Tourism has held an annual Jazz Festival on the island.

The event will be held over 4 consecutive days from October 31, 2013 through November 3, 2013 in three separate locations along the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. The venue will be moved each day from one location to the next.

Oct 31, 2013 Dominican Jazz Festival, Puerto Plata Independence Park, Puerta Plato, Dominican Republic Puerto Plata
Nov 1, 2013 Dominican Jazz Festival, Sosua Hotel Casa Marina Amphitheater, Sosua, Dominican Republic Sosua
Nov 2, 2013 Dominican Jazz Festival, Cabarete Cabarete Beach Town Center, Cabarete, Dominican Republic Cabarete

2013 Dominican Jazz Festival

All three of these locations have a heavy tourist influence with a large number of foreign residents. If you are planning to visit the DR this would probably be an interesting time to plan your visit giving you a good reason to take a break from the beach and get to know a few of the locals!

No doubt while on a Dominican beach you are going to want some snacks and cold drinks. At many of the beaches like Boca Chica, Sosua, and others there are vendors on the beach happy to serve you while you lay there. That can get a bit expensive though. The price of a beer or food is usually 50% to 100% higher than you will pay if you walk up the street a block and buy it at a colmado. So what do you do when you go to the beach in the States? Bring a cooler of course!

Now, that can be a bit tougher when you are on a vacation and everything you bring has to be able to pack into a suitcase, but not impossible! (more…)

 Category 2 Hurricane Irene

Category 2 Hurricane Irene

As of 8:30 pm Hurricane Irene was upgraded to a category 2 hurricane and is expected to continue to strengthen possibly becoming a major hurricane on Tuesday.

Wind within the hurricane are now being sustained at 100 mph with higher gusts. These hurricane force winds now extend as far as 45 miles outward from the center of the storm.

Hurricane Irene has again slowed its pace, it is now heading west-northwest at 10mph a decrease of 3 miles per hour over the last few hours. The National Weather Service does expect this forward momentum to pick up again over night and into Tuesday.

The latest storm advisory came with no new changes in the watches and warnings. These watches and advisories are from the site (National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service).


Hurricane Irene Monday Evening

Hurricane Irene Monday Evening

Donde Esta Irene?

As of 5 pm Hurricane Irene is just north of the Dominican Republic and continuing in a West by NorthWest direction on its way to the Bahamas where it looks like she is going to head right down the middle of the islands. The center of the storm is currently about 65 miles north/ northwest of Punta Cana which seemed to be spared the worst of the hurricane as it traveled north of the city.

Hurricane Irene continues to have maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and is moving at about 13 mph.

With Irene on what seems to be on a direct path to the Bahamas the Government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the central Bahamas and a hurricane watch for the Northwestern Bahama.

Hurricane Irene isn’t finished with the DR though. Wind and rain are continuing to pick up in the central portions of the country where I am located. At this point I have no word on how hard the northern coast is being hit, but the hurricane is expected to pass along the northern coast with the possibility of sever damage to the coastal cities along it’s path. (more…)

September 2 will mark the grand opening of a new luxury resort on the North Shore of the DR.  Nikki Beach Cabarate is having grand opening events scheduled from  Thursday Sept 2 through Sunday Sept 6.

Nikki Beach is a high end beach club that started in 1996 and has received such recognition as one of the top beach clubs in the world with recognition from  “The Travel Channel’s” “World’s Most Sexiest Beach” list where they reached #1. The resort chain is expected to open 10 new locations starting in 2012.

Currently there are 11 cities in 9 countries with Nikki Beach resorts:

  • Miami Beach, Florida, USA
  • St.Tropez, France
  • Cannes, France
  • St. Barth, French West Indies
  • Marbella, Spain
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • New York, USA
  • Marrakech, Morocco
  • Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Cabarete, Dominican Republic  (new)
  • Playa Blanca, Panama

The Nikki Beach Cabarate opening is being sponsored by the huge Amber Dune Resort and Spa which is set to open in 2012.   (more…)

Windboarding in Cabarete

Windboarding in Cabarete

Located along the North Coast’s route 5, only 20 minutes from the Puerto Plata International airport, Cabarete Beach is the perfect place for a laid back, and inexpensive, vacation. Restaurants line the beach, shops run along the main street, there is kite surfing, and several inexpensive hotels.

There are many restaurants to choose from along the beach. They generally have indoor, and outdoor, seating, and several are very good. Here are a few favorites:
If you’ve gotten tired of the traditional beans and rice dishes of the region, and just want a good beer and burger, Jose O’Shay’s Irish Pub is the place for you. There is also the option of pizza, cottage pie, steaks, and a few other tasty dishes. The dishes run from $10-20 dollars U.S.

My personal favorite place to eat is Casanova because it is inexpensive (happy hour runs from 4pm-7pm and gives you everything half off), and the ambiance is lovely. The most popular things on the menu are the pizzas and pasta dishes. During happy hour, a meal with a couple of beers will cost around $13 dollars.

On the main road, across from Ocean Dream Plaza is Bayerischer Hof. This restaurant offers savory pork fillets with mushroom and onion sauce, with the option of sautéed or mashed potatoes, or noodles. There is also a good Hungarian stew, Schnitzel, steaks, and other dishes. The prices run from $11-20 dollars.

Located about mid way down the main Cabarete farrow way, Casanova is one of my favorite places to eat whenever I’m there. I actually think about the place even when I’m not in town, which is why I’m writing about it, biding my time until I can talk friends into a nice weekend or day trip.

The Look
The Middle Eastern Bohemian décor is lovely. The crème colored couches and assorted tables scattered below palm trees create a wonderful atmosphere for sitting and chilling with friends as kite boarders add splashes of color to the oceanic background scenery. And at night it is particularly striking. They hang lamps out as you sit under the stars, listen to music as it waifs over from outdoor speakers, and chat.

The Food
The Casanova the pizza is always a favorite with many in our dining group. There are several types that they offer, including a tropical ham and pineapple, vegetable, pepperoni, and meat lovers. Each one has thin crust and a fair amount of whatever toppings that are ordered with it. (more…)

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