Places to Avoid

We had a fairly good size earthquake in the DR this morning. While I didn’t feel it in Fantino. It was felt from Via Gonzalas north to Puerto Plata.

Magnitude 4.3
Date-Time 22 Nov 2013 23:24:47 UTC
Location 19.719N 70.816W
Depth 13 km
• 4 km (2 mi) SSE of Imbert, Dominican Republic
• 15 km (9 mi) WSW of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
• 18 km (11 mi) NNE of Villa Bisono, Dominican Republic
• 19 km (11 mi) N of Villa Gonzalez, Dominican Republic
• 160 km (99 mi) NNW of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

If you are planning to do some Island hopping from the Dominican Republic to Antigue it might be a good idea to avoid using LIAT Airlines for now. The pilots strike is causing flights to be canceled leaving passengers stranded at the Dominican Airports. It was stated in a press release from LIAT that “Only a limited number of flights were able to operate from (more…)

It is usually a good idea to keep track of holidays in the Dominican Republic even if you don’t celebrate them. Stores are usually either closed for the whole day or don’t open up again in the afternoon. meaning you need to plan ahead. Also it can be a bit more dangerous to been on the streets during many of the holidays.

I am adding most of the holidays into my section of “places to avoid” due to safety issues. The driving in the DR on normal days can be a little crazy, and it gets much worse during holidays

Dia de la Constitution Dominicana (Constitution Day)

Usually on November 6 the Dominican Republic celebrates the that the first constitution of the DR was signed. This year it was changed to November 4.

While this isn’t as widely (or wildly) celebrated as other holidays, most of the stores, banks, and shops (more…)

(10/23/13) This is the second day of a planned strike in the Northern Section of the Dominican Republic. The strike was originally called for Castillo, Bonao and San Francisco, but this has also sparked violence in Esperanza, Hato del Yaque, and Canca la Reina, in southern Espaillat province. Several people have been shot and four are confirmed dead with two of the deaths happening due to gunfire in Santiago and Navarrete.

With the protests happening in such a widespread area it would appear that people from other cities are deciding to join in on the welgas and protests. As is always the case, when you are out and about whether in service or your daily activities it is a good idea to watch what is going on around you.

For your safety, avoid areas where people are starting to gather rapidly. This is often a sign that something is happening and people are gathering around to watch. These crowds of people can spring up quickly and if you are nearby it is best to stay away.

Places to Avoid

While San Francisco and lately Bonao frequently have protests or as they are called here Welgas, most towns and cities have them at times making it important to pay attention wherever you are. That makes choosing particular cities to avoid difficult. If you are new to the DR (more…)

We frequently have friends and relatives flying into the Dominican Republic which brings up a topic of safety. Is it safe to fly into the Dominican Republic with a nighttime arrival? Often to save money this is something we have to deal with, in general the answer is no. It is best to get a flight that arrives during daylight hours, but there are ways around this problem.

Best price Flights

The single most expensive part of your trip to the DR is likely to be your flight. It is pretty common to be able to save hundreds of dollars on your round trip ticket by adjusting your takeoff and arrival dates. Often though you can find much cheaper flights on late night arrivals. Most people don’t want to have to deal with getting a taxi to the resort or their final destination in the middle of the night. However this posses several safety issues in the Dominican Republic.

Dangers of Nighttime travel in the Dominican Republic

Unfortunately the streets are not very safe at night in the DR. The US consulate highly recommends to avoid driving at night here for good reason. Vehicles are often not (more…)

It can be pretty interesting trying to get things to work well in this country. I’ve been working with a new group and we needed to come up with Microphones and a amplifier for the meetings. While this shouldn’t be too difficult to come by it’s the little things like providing clean power that can be a real issue.

Hurricane power HP 450c PA amplifier

After working with an old stereo amp with a mic input (which barely worked) someone donated a Hurricane power HP 450c PA amplifier, sounds impressive huh? Well, the little guy actually works pretty good as long as it gets good power. Something that doesn’t happen very often out in the compos.

At times we get city power during our meetings, but more likely we are running off our generator. City power or “la Luz” is pretty hit or miss here, there is no way of predicting when we might have power or for how long. When we do get power the voltage can vary more than 40-50 volts. Unfortunatly the Hurricane 450c can only take about a 5 volt change before it starts to make popping sounds, cutting out, etc. This is pretty easy to take care of with a small 1000va voltage regulator. I’m using a Sky STDR-1000VA which does a good job as long as the voltage stays between 90 and 130, which usually is the case, but not always.

Running a generator when ever there is no street power can get a little expencive with gasoline at over $5.50 USD per gallon so (more…)

The official death toll has reached 59 with cases continuing to rise. The reports of the disease save been scattered through the Dominican Republic, with the many being reported in the Dominican Capital of Santo Domingo.

Dengue is a mosquito born disease that can be avoided with mosquito repellents, screens on window (very unpopular with most Dominicans), and if needed screens over your bed to keep you from getting bit at night (having a fan blowing on you works well too).

To try and combat the spread of this disease trucks have been driving up and down our street spraying mosquito spray into the air. So… (more…)

We just had a moderate earthquake in the Dominican Republic. A 5.1 earthquake shook the area around the Coutui, San Francisco, Fantino area this morning at around 10am with the epicenter in Las Guaranas between Angelina and Pimentel. I’ve felt 3 tremors so far this morning, one of them came with a sharp jolt in the middle of the trembling.

This is the first stronger quake I’ve felt here since the one that hit Port-au-Prince Haiti in 2010. While small quakes in the 3.1 – 3.3 range are very frequent in the Punta Cana, ahd Higuey, we don’t often fell them in the middle of the country.

That I have seen in this area there has been little or no (more…)

Lifestyles restaurant food poison

Take Care when at restaurants

OK, this one seems pretty obvious. Avoid Food Poisoning. Definitely should be high on the list of things to avoid on any vacation including your exotic vacation to the Dominican Republic. But… the question “How to Avoid Food Poisoning?” can be a little harder. This is something even the most experienced traveler can fall victim to at times as can be seen by my most recent experience.

Food Poisoning at Lifestyles Resort

If you’ve read much of my blog here you have probably heard me mention Lifestyles Resort in Puerto Plata several times. This is kind of a favorite “cheap” vacation for (more…)

Well, we’re coming up on Carnival (carnaval in Spanish) season again. While there are carnivals throughout the Dominican Republic one of the oldest and biggest is in La Vega, the largest parade is usually in Santo Domingo and Monti Cristi is know for one of the most unusual festivals. For many this is one of the highlights of the year a month of parades, colorful masks, and a overall sense of abandonment of moral restrictions. This abandonment is what makes the La Vega Carnaval a major tourist attraction but also makes this a rather dangerous time of year for foreigners.

Dangers of Carnival

If you haven’t figured it out yet I’ll state it clearly, I’m not a big fan of the Carnival month of February (more…)

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