Puerto Plata

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…)

Due to the hurricane predictions for Tropical Storm Isaac, JetBlue is allowing for a fee waver for passengers that want to make flight changes to and from Punta Cana, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Puerto Plato, and La Romana.

Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to have hurricane force winds by the time it reaches the Dominican Republic later today causing delays to flights to Dominican international Airports.

For more information on JetBlues ticket fee waver you can go to (more…)

I am finding more and more foreigners that are buying Real Estate in the Dominican Republic. While I favor renting for many reasons, many people are taking advantage of the great Real Estate prices here, coupled with the good conversion rate between the US dollar and the Dominican peso which is currently about 38 pesos to the dollar.

Buying Real Estate in the DR poses several risks that are not usually a problem in the US. I’ll be going over many of these as this post progresses. Along with the additional risks there are other things you need to consider. It basically comes down to the necessity of taking your time and investigating the property before you make a purchase.

First thing to know is if you only speak English you are very likely to end up paying more for the property than you would if you can speak the local language, Spanish. This is the same whether you are planning on renting or buying a property. Personally I like to look around a bit, than have a Dominican friend come in at a different time and ask the price. He will usually be able to get the same property for at times as little as half the price.

Power and Water

It is important to understand that the utilities here are not near as good as in most countries. The voltage at a house I have rented in the past varied from 70 volts (sometimes less) to over 150 volts. (more…)

The Miami Dolphins will be shooting their 2013 Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar in Punta Cana this year. The photo shoot will be held from May 30 to June 5 at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort. In addition to the calendar pictures, scenes will be filmed and used for several television specials.

The calendar will be unveiled in August of this year (2012) at the annual Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders swimsuit fashion show in Miami and (more…)

The 2010 national census for the Dominican Republic showed some interesting figures. One thing that probably is no real surprise to anyone who has lived here for a while is the large number of people that are moving to the larger cites like Santo Domingo, and Santiago.

Over the last few years I have seen large numbers of teenagers moving to the tourist areas like Punta Cana, and Puerto Plato in search of work at the resorts. It seems to be the dream of most of the younger ones I meet in the compos (rural and farming areas) to move to the larger cities, quite often due to the need to be able to find ways to support their aging relatives. (more…)

Carnival Cruise is taking part in part of a ground breaking of a new modern cruise terminal in Puerto Plata. The completed terminal is expected to cost $65 million in US dollars and is expected to be completed in 2014. Once completed it is estimated that the new port will bring in around 250,000 cruise passengers per year.

Carnival Cruise already stops at ports in La Romana and Santo Domingo. Puerto Plata has been suffering from (more…)

More flooding and mudslides are expected throughout the Dominican Republic as another storm passes over. Nearly all regions of the DR are expected to be affected by the storm that will be hitting the island later this afternoon. It is expected that the storm will hit harder in the Northwest, North and Northeast mountains.

April 25 Warnings

A Flash Flood warning was issued yesterday for Puerto Plata, Santiago, and Maria Tinidad Sanchez and alerts were issued for areas near Samana. (more…)

Seems that people moving to the DR like to take their favorite comfort foods and favorite restaurants with them. Head down the streets of any of the larger cities and you are sure to find McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and even some of the “Gourmet” Burger joints like TGI Fridays. One of the latest additions is the Krispy Kreme store that was opened in Santo Domingo. One store that you seem to hear a lot of requests for is Starbucks (personally I like Dominican Coffee). If you are looking for more restaurants in Santo Domingo check our Santo Domingo Restaurants page.

A year or so back it appeared that Starbucks might be opening a store in the new Agora Mall in Santo Domingo. Unfortunately from the latest bulletin from Agora Mall (Dec 2011), it looks like they are still far from completion and no word of this can be found on Starbucks website.

So what do you think? Are you going to be one of the first sipping on a Caramel Macchiato or Strawberry Smoothie if they do open a store in the Agora Mall?

On another interesting note about Starbucks, apparently in the past they have been using a red die that is made from crushed insects (cochineal). This buggy food coloring gave those lovely strawberry drinks (and other food items) that inciting color. Over the last few days it has been released that they will be phasing out this particular food coloring to be replaced by a more “vegan” friendly food coloring. So I suppose one advantage of the delay from Starbucks reaching the DR is we missed the great bug scandal.

Guess while we’re waiting we have to be satisfied with blending our own coffee and fruit smoothies using the locally grown Cafe Santo Domingo and fresh island fruit instead of Starbucks famous blends

Image complements of AA

One of the major airlines flying into the Dominican Republic announced that it will be filing for bankruptcy.

AMR American Airlines and American Eagle

AMR is the parent company for both American Airlines (AA) and American Eagle so problems affecting one of the airlines will be affecting both. AMR has stated that it has $4.1 Billion dollars in cash to pay to keep services going for the two airlines so at this time it would appear your tickets for American Airlines of American Eagle to and from the Dominican Republic will remain valid. That includes if you have frequent flyer miles under the AAdvantage program of American Airlines and OneWorld Alliance.

In the press release issued by American Airlines today it was stated that they and American Eagle “EXPECT TO CONTINUE” normal services, and flight schedules as well as make reservations, exchanges and offer refunds under its normal rules.

Thomas W. Horton, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of AMR and American Airlines, said, (more…)

The latest in a barrage of tropical storms is heading in the direction of the DR. While it already has 65 mile per hour winds it is rather disorganized and does not appear to be likely to turn into a hurricane.

It’s current direction gives the impression it will likely head well north of the DR and will only bless us with some more rain. We should be starting to feel the affects of the storm late Saturday to Sunday. Don’t cancel your beach plans for the weekend yet, Ophelia is expected to weaken over the course of the next few days.

We are planning a trip to Puerto Plata this weekend and are hoping it will die down considerably. We will be taking advantage to the $11 per night All Inclusive deal offered by CheapCaribbean.com for the Lifestyles resort. (more…)

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