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…)

Map of Tropical Storm Issac 8/22/12

Map of Tropical Storm Issac 8/22/12

(8/21/12) Tropical Storm Issac is moving up through the leeward islands on a direct course to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The storm is expected to pass by Puerto Rico Thursday and start affecting the Dominican Republic Thursday evening to early Friday.

As of the 2pm AST report on wed, aug 22 the center of tropical storm Issaac is about to pass over the leeward islands with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

Isaac Reaches the Dominican Republic

We’ve started a new post with the updated information on Tropical Storm Isaac once it reached the Dominican Republic. Check Isaac hits the Dominican Republic for the latest information.

Isaac Hurricane watch as of 8/22/12

Isaac is expected to reach hurricane strength as it is passing by Puerto Rico Thursday. There is a Hurricane watch for Puerto Rico, Vieques, culebra and the US and British Virgin Islands.

There is also a hurricane watch for the entire southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Isal Saona west to Haiti including La Romana, Boca Chica and Santo Domingo.

Isaac Tropical Storm Watch

The entire north Coast of the Dominican Republic is under a Tropical Storm Watch (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…)

Hurricane Katia has been upgraded to a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. At this point Katia is traveling between the Dominican Republic / Bahamas and Burmuda. So for now there is no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

That doesn’t mean that it is having no affect on the DR though. I’ve had reports of the surf being heavy enough that it is best to avoid the beach in Las Terrenas. (more…)

Last night tropical storm Katia was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane causing concern to residents to many the Northern coastal cities of the Dominican Republic. Having just cleaned up the mess caused by Hurricane Irene many are concerned about possible temporary affects to the tourism in the area.

While it does look like Katia will be continuing to gain strength over the next few days, possible even reaching the status of major hurricane by the weekend, (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…)

Predicted path of Hurricane IreneThe national hurricane center announced in its 7am update that Irene is moving away from Puerto Rico. Over night tropical storm Irene increased in strength and was upgraded from storm to Hurricane. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at near 80 mph making it a category 1 hurricane as per Hurricane Irene Intermediate advisory # 7B at 9 am this morning.

Hurricane Irene is moving away from the North coast of Puerto Rico and is expected to reach the Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic later this afternoon to the evening. Hurrican fource winds are expected to extend out from the eye of the hurricane for 15 miles and tropical storm force winds extending about 150 miles from the eye mostly to the northwest and northeast of the center. As of 9 am Hurricane Irene is 75 miles ENE of Punta Cana moving at 14 miles per hour.

Haiti now has a hurricane watch for the north coast from Le Mole St. Nicholas east to the DR boarder. (more…)

Villa Antonia Hotel

Villa Antonia Hotel

If you are looking to go to the Dominican Republic for the beaches, which I am guessing you are, they are after all the Dominican Republic’s biggest attraction. One of the places you are likely to see on the map is Sosua. It is right next to one of the biggest airports in the country, the Puerta Plata airport.

Within about fifteen minutes after leaving the airport you can find yourself swimming in the warm tropical waters of Sasua.  With the benefits of being so close to the airport comes hefty price tag. Eating or sleeping in Sosua is where they’ll get you. If you just came from the States you see a steak for 15 bucks or a hotel room for 100 bucks, you probably think nothing of it. Sure it might be a tiny bit higher that what you would pay for in the states, but not that much.

Yep, You’re Getting Ripped

That’s just what they want  you to think. These prices are normal. But. There not. They know they can get it out of you so they do. The average Dominican doesn’t pay 100 bucks for rent a month. He pays about 15 dollars for a weeks food. He’s not going to pay those prices for things.

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