Over the past weekend my son and I decided to take a bike trip and journeyed up to the North Western portion of the Dominican Republic. We decided to stop in Monte Cristi and make that our hub for looking around this portion of the DR. Monte Cristi is a sleepy little town that seems to get most of its income from the fishing industry and very little from tourism.
Monte Cristi beaches
There are a few small beaches in Monte Cristi. The larger one (Playa Juan de Balanos) is at the end of one of the main roads heading toward Mount Morro. Sitting next to the beach is one of the nicer hotels we seen in the town. This is also the area where you will find most of the fishing boats. While there were a few in the water, while we were there (November) most of the larger boats were dry docked.
The other beaches we found were small patches of sand, or in the case of one was mostly rocky. Interesting to look at but not exactly a great beach for sunning.
Monte Cristi Nightlife
I didn’t catch the name of the nightclub but if you happen to visit for the night just follow the sound of the music. There was one large dance and night club in the center of town which was surrounded by smaller bars. I normally choose to avoid these locations. If you are white, you pretty much set yourself up as a target. They don’t get a lot of tourists so as my son and I were walking down the street looking for a place to eat, as it was starting to get dark we attracted a lot of attention.
Monte Cristi Hotels
Being that Monte Cristi is more for locals than tourism it is pretty easy to find a cheap hotel. We paid 600 pesos per night for a hotel with a very small TV, no hot water (at least it didn’t seem to ever get hot) and two single beds. We were only looking for a place to spend a couple nights while we looked around so that worked out pretty well. As with most of the hotels geared toward locals, the hotel was in rather poor repair but was clean.
La Reyna Del Mar
There was one interesting “monument” on the North Side of town by one of the beaches. It is kind of a handmade tribute to the Sea called “La Reyna Del Mar.
A few hours pretty much exhausted all of the points of interest in Monte Cristi. To fill out the day we started off toward Dajabon which is at the Haiti border. On our way we stopped by the port city of Pepillo Salcedo, our hopes were being that it was a port city there might be stores were you can buy items that had been shipped in, possible at a lower price. That we found in our driving around the town there were none set aside for that. So, off to Dajabon.
While the trip was nice and we got to see a lot of the countryside this is probably not an area I will head back to in the near future. There was a god road heading out from Santiago and once we got past Navarette the streets were pretty quiet and were able to move a long at a pretty good pace only slowing down when passing through some of the larger towns like Villa Vazquez and Laguna Salada.