News on Dominican Republic Life, Tourism and Real Estate

a blog on Dominican Republic news, attractions, villa rentals and real estate in the North coast towns of Sosua, Cabarete and Puerto Plata

The Dominican Republic Blog

The first 100 blog posts were published between June and August 2011 but due to a technical issue we had to republish them with a new url - links in external sites had to be replaced.

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    Some Lessons in Architecture - Ocean View House in Cabarete

    Cabarete, a beach town that enjoys constant good weather all year long in the Northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is facing constant growth in the real estate market, and with it a new wave of architectural styles and designs never seen before in the island. Affecting design these days is the concern of buyers towards the investment security.

    Recently, because of the last episodes of Tsunamis hitting Asia and Japan, several people have contacted us about buying  houses  with  ocean   view  but set in cliffs or high land, some suggesting that they`re a bit afraid of a possible Tsunami striking the coast. In a country like the Dominican Republic this would be a very rare event, which we hope never happens.

    A very particular listing for sale  in   Cabarete , Dominican Republic is the featured home Ref SPC0825, which is an excellent example of the types of homes concerned buyers would love, to save on extra expenses and the high budgets of buying an oceanfront home. We won`t mention Tsunamis because in its long history, the Dominican Republic has enjoyed peace of mind in regards to those natural events. This 313 m2  ocean   view  home was built on a 400 square meter lot, and has 2 levels plus a lower basement level built conveniently with the sloping land.The builder and designer of the villa has built some of the best projects in the North coast, and this home shows its quality and resistance when seen up close on location.

    This new ocean view villa in  Cabarete  is for sale by Golden Treasures Real Estate, with a price tag of US$395,000.00, click here for the listing.

    This  house  has a contemporary design with sleek lines and lots of glass windows and doors to allow the panoramic  views  of the  ocean , about 180 degrees, and the cool Caribbean breeze of the North Dominican Republic ( the Atlantic  Ocean  ). The main floor is the street level one, which has three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and the stairway to the second floor where a large living room has an elegant wall of fine wood collage that accents the polished cement flooring that goes throughout the  house . A floor to ceiling wall of glass doors access the swimming pool area where an elevated pool offers striking  views  of the nearby beach, mostly awe inspiring  views  of the surrounding  ocean . The  house  has a total of 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms all of which have prime design closets.

    A small bathroom next to the pool area shows stylish finish materials, and a winding stair leads up to the roof terrace that holds a wooden pergola and transparent glass fencing around the roof for protection. This roof terrace or solarium is a perfect place to party, have family and friends for BBQ time or just sit and relax watching sunrises and sundowns. The bathrooms are very classy, built with fine wood and imported stone, a symphony of black white with gray rock finish. This property sits just 15 minutes from the international POP airport in Puerto Plata, and under a 10 minute drive to Sosua and its magnificent beaches.

    The villa in  Cabarete  is pretty close to some of the best beaches, within walking distance as an added convenience.

    This villa is a classic example that when building a  house , it is best to spend some extra to make sure the soil is evaluated and the elevation analyzed , specially when you build next to an empty lot that`s lower than the land you`re building on. This because we`ve seen some homes for sale in Puerto Plata and other areas where the neighbor digs a foundation too close to the perimeter wall base of the next door ( back ) home, and then the neighbor`s home starts to crack due to the effect of a weakened ground base. This would never happen if the base is solid rock, but most of the homes nearer to mountains such as the Isabel de Torres must be monitored for second row constructions if you buy over an empty lot, to make sure you keep an eye on how close they dig their foundation in relation to your perimeter.

    The land on this  house  was worked on at a good distance from the neighbor`s boundaries and the extra strenght columns supporting the  house  and swimming pool are visibly built with high construction standards. A dramatic scenery is the every day treat for the future owners of the villa, because it offers almost 300 degree  views  at the top terrace in the roof, accessed through the winding stairs. This is the first of four  ocean   view  homes to be built on a piece of land that`s to become a small private community close to the beach and just 5 minutes away from  Cabarete `s main town center.

    180-Degree ocean views from the elevated ground of the house

    The  ocean   views  of the  house  are impressive, and the road that leads to the beach which is just a few minutes away on foot.

    For visits on this villa for sale in Cabarete  contact Edward Rivas at 809-377-2038 / 829-477-2038 or send an email by visiting the contact page for Golden Treasures Real Estate:


    ©MMXI all rights reserved Edward Rivas for Golden Treasures Real Estate.

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    A Mansion like no other - Luxury House in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

    In the  Dominican   Republic , most people associate mansions and large homes to Sosua, Cabarete or Cabrera, because a lot of luxury villas and homes are built in those towns of the North coast. Puerto Plata also has some nice surprises, in places like Bayardo, Jardines del Atlantico and Torre Alta. One such magnificent home draws attention due to its splendor and comfort, a truly desirable piece of  Dominican  real estate. Being a beach and ocean front town in a Caribbean island and just 2 hours flight time from the United States, Puerto Plata is a natural choice for foreign and local investors.

    This 4 suites/ 5 bathrooms deluxe residence was built on a 1800 square meter piece of land, around 19,375 square feet of land taking a full block in a top class residential community. The living space amounts to 800 m2 ( 8,611.19 sq. ft.) of prime, top quality construction with imported materials from all over the world, just see the photos. A large garden holds an ample gazebo with lounge furniture and a beautiful swimming pool with outdoor jacuzzi. Inside this mansion, the portico at the entrance leads to a reception area with living room and family room, all furnished with world class luxury furnishings imported from Asia and Africa. American sculptures are set against marble floors and stained glass windows tower up against the stair walls to the second level where a terrace stands outside of the den and TV area.

    Two kitchens, cold and hot are right next to the laundry room, and three suites are located in the main floor below. The grand master suite takes over the second floor with a massive amount of square feet that includes 2 walk in closets and a Jacuzzi next to the twin vanities for him and her. This definitely is one of the nicest luxury homes for sale in Puerto Plata, and might make it to the North coast rating list. The house is kept in pristine condition by the owner, and can be used as a second home or retirement house in this caribbean island.

    This mansion home is listed for sale at the price of US$1,350,000.00 which makes it cheaper than many similar villas or houses of its kind in the  Dominican   Republic . Fully equipped with back up power generator, alarm, CCTV camera system, perimeter wall and dog kennel, as expected for a house with so much luxury in it. Feel free to contact Edward Rivas at 809-377-2038 / 829-477-2038 for more information if you are looking for a property around this price. Golden Treasures Real Estate has a large selection of houses and villas in Puerto Plata, you can browse the selection online at

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    An overview on location of villas in Sosua and Cabarete

    Having a great vacation in the Dominican Republic might involve renting a private villa or condo for the conveniences it offers. Most travelers contact us requesting beach villas in Sosua and while there`s a lot of villas advertised as beach villas for rent or sale, the reality is that most of the rental ones are not really on the beach, except for a few ultra luxury properties set on the ocean front or in neighboring residential communities. Over 95% of the most demanded villa rentals in Sosua are set on gated communities as seen in the map below showing the main beaches numbered 1 to 6; to keep private villas as such, we`ll classify the villa locations from A to J:

    Location A has the most villas below US$300.00 per day, a 20 min. walk or a 3 min. drive in a car, includes free daily shuttle 5 times per day to Sosua and Cabarete beach. Location B has some small villas too, mostly booked up.  The C has the SPC0575 /SPC0576 which is a top rental for groups, within walking distance to town and can offer a total of 7 bedrooms or rented as a 2, 5, 6 or 4 bedroom villa ( configured with 2 attached villas or 1 ). D has two oceanfront listings: spc0255  and spc0429 which could be available at a deal on low season.



    Location E has some condos and villas for rent, best if a rental car is at hand.  F has some of the finest villa rentals in Sosua, starting around US$850.00 per night and much higher for beach front properties. The I has luxury beachfront condos for a low deal, starting around US$145.00 per night, code SPC0591 and frequently used for bachelor parties because it`s a private area within walking distance to town and there`s good availability most of the year.


    All the villas we list are certified to be good as a vacation rental, and testimonials attest our dedication for quality. If we ever face an issue with a villa not being up to our standards, we place it in a special list pending re-certification once the issues are corrected. Airport transfers are available for all the rental guests, the current cost is US$30.00 for a van that fits around 10 people.

    Other locations such as H and G in the map below also offer excellent beach front villa rentals, one of them is spc0873 which has 3 bedrooms and located right on the beach. The distance from these two locations is about a 6 minute drive to Sosua`s main center, same for Cabarete beach. Quite easy just to rent a car, there`s drivers available and rates as low as US$34.00 per day. Location J in the map has a magnificent mountain view villa, code spc0661. which has 4 bedrooms and takes just 7 minutes from the center of town to the villa.



    There are many good deals available, specially with the one bedroom option rental club that applies to some properties that will let you rent one or two bedrooms for a fraction of the price, letting you rent a luxury villa and just use what you need. Just make sure you ask the rental agent before if you plan to host a bachelor party, so the proper vacation villa is booked, since there`s some properties not fit for parties due to neighbor`s proximity.

    Call Golden Treasures Vacation Rentals for more information at 809-377-2038 / 829-477-2038 or email us.



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    Leatherback turtles nest on the beach in Cabarete, Puerto Plata

    Two leatherback turtles  (Dermochelys coriacea), one of the four species that nest in the island of Dominican Republic, laid eggs in two nests on the  beach in Cabarete, Puerto Plata, said the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARENA). It is expected that most of these animals come ashore to spawn. Technicians from the Coastal and Marine Resources Office inspected the  Cabarete beach and found two nests separated by a distance of 800 meters apart and 10 meters high from the tide, which had been protected with a fence of wood and rope, placed by members of the community, the Navy, Politur and Ministry of Tourism.

    Environmental technicians formed a protection committee, with all the materials needed to reinforce the perimeter of the nests as it is expected that more turtles  arrive to this beach . The committee is composed of Jose Sanchez, coast inspector of the Dominican Navy and Miguel Gómez from Military Intelligence, Lorenzo Zancazanis, Joseph A. Arias, Nelson Nivar, John Vine, Vine Celina, Christian Azar, Marino Peralta, the  Cabarete   beach  vendors Association, among others, who will be in contact with the Directorate for Protection, Monitoring and Control of Marine and Coastal Resources to monitor these  nests.

    The photo above shows the large leatherback  turtle  surrounded by a crowd  in   Cabarete , back in May 2008 and a male in open water.

    Back in May 2008 the leatherback  turtles  surprised the community of  Cabarete  by  nesting  in  the   beach , drawing media attention and soon becoming distinguished guests of the community. The leatherback  turtle  (tinglar in the Dominican Republic) is the Dermochelyidae family. In English is called Leatherback  Turtle , in French Tortue Luth. It is the largest sea  turtle  and also more specialized. The front legs, transformed into broad flippers, have a wingspan of more than 3 m to a carapace length of 2 m and a weight exceeds 500 kg. The hind legs, short and broad, reminiscent of the seals, and are attached to the short tail with a leathery expansion.

    But the most striking character of the leatherback  turtle  is its shell, which consists of small independent bone flakes, covered with a thick skin. The shell has a rubber texture, about 4 cm thick and is made up of strong connective tissue saturated with oil. The young are covered with small scales, which resemble those of many lizards, but are shed with age. They are mostly black on the back but the fins have white margins, and have lines of white scales along the back. On average, measuring about 61.3mm long and weighing 45.8 g. Leatherbacks travel much greater distances in the ocean than the other marine  turtles . It is assumed that in one year, they migrate from South America to the northeastern United States and then return to their starting point.

    The turtles  hatched in 2008 and were a sensation in Cabarete beach, the photos here show the small creatures popping out of the sand.

    The leatherback forages in cold waters, able to withstand temperatures of 6 º C - 15 ° C. It has also been recorded that this  turtle  can reach up to 1200 m below sea level and at that depth, water temperature is rarely above 5 º C, even in tropical regions. Unlike almost all living reptiles, leatherback is endothermic, maintaining a body temperature of around 25 º C. They feed mainly on pelagic invertebrates such as jellyfish and tunicates, pelagic crustaceans and juvenile fish. A kind of rear-facing spines that are in the throat, help them to swallow jellyfish. The main  nesting   beaches  are on the Pacific coast of Mexico, the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, French Guiana, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. They also spawn in smaller amounts in Veracruz, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Windward and Leeward Islands and Guyana.

    VIDEO: The hatchlings going into the ocean

    The main threats facing the leatherback vary from one region to another but can be summarized in:

         -  Habitat loss, due to the marketing of tropical  beaches  (especially tourism) and industrialization.

         -  By catch by fishing nets, causing it to suffocate.

         -  Pollution caused by industry in tropical waters and heavy industry in cold waters used for migration.

         -  Human predation: In many countries, the leatherback population is threatened by uncontrolled harvesting of their eggs. This is due to various cultural beliefs in relation to eggs.
            In several countries, the leatherback  turtle  is hunted for food. For example, in the Kei Islands (southwest of New Guinea, Maluku Province of Indonesia), leatherback  turtles  are regularly hunted as a food source.

     Cabarete  beach is world famous for its windy bay that attracts Wind and Kite surfing enthusiasts all year long from all over the world. Golden Treasures Real Estate and Rentals is dedicated to promoting eco tourism and the protection of all marine species in the North coast in order to preserve this legacy for present and future generations. With the constant growth in the villa rental and real estate market of the area, it`s imperative that strict guidelines are enforced in order to protect all natural habitats for the marine species such as the Dermochelys coriacea, also called Tinglar and Laud  turtle .

    Trips from Sosua and Puerto Plata should be arranged to the  nesting  site in order to show children and adults some awereness and respect for nature. Also, people at  Cabarete   beach  must know to make silence when the hatchlings come out, so they can hear the ocean sounds and guide their first trip to the water more efficiently. It is believed that  turtles  rely on ocean sound and vibration ( some say they also use magnetic poles orientation too ) to find the way to the ocean after cracking the eggs. Also, no need to touch and cause stress to these beautiful animals.

    The Dermochelys coriacea species is the longest living and the deepest diving one of all  turtles . Click to view larger.

    SOURCES: turtles /leatherback.htm turtle


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    Reef Girls Visit Cabarete, Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic,  Cabarete  and the whole North coast gave a warm welcome to the  girls  from Miss  Reef  International, who are  visiting  the Dominican Republic for a 4 day appearance in the fantastic  Cabarete  beach.  The  Reef   girls  are part of a tradition spanning four years that includes a calendar shot in the most exotic locations of Latin America.

    Some of the  girls  will  visit  Nikki Beach  Cabarete  as part of an agenda that starts on Wednesday June 22nd, ending on June 25th, 2011. At 2:00pm they will have a press conference in Nikki Beach and next day we`ll have Ari de La Guardia from Panama, Katherine Fuenmayor from Venezuela,  Michal Lauren from the United States, Natalia Baccino from Argentina and Sunessis de Brito from Brazil in a photo session by Hege Holt, a well-known photographer of  Cabarete.

    The  Reef girls  will be present at the happy hour from 5:00pm-7:00pm and on Friday June 24th they will be giving out autographed copies of the 2011  Reef girls Calendar in a big party at Nikki Beach. On Saturday June 25th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm they will be signing autographs at the Surfea Surf Shop and later that evening they will stage a fashion show on Cabarete  beach.

    This is the first time that the Miss  Reef  International  girls   visit   Cabarete ,  according to Verona Peñalba, Marketing manager at Nikki Beach  Cabarete. “it`s the perfect combination, they represent sport, beauty, health and happiness” she said. Aliza Lao, from the marketing staff at Miss Reef, it`s always a pleasure to bring the sensuality and beauty of Miss Reef ( to the Dominican Republic ). We thank Nikki Beach for welcoming the girls and we hope this to be the first of many visits.

    Among the sponsors of the events: Presidente Beer, Amber Dune, Nikki Beach and special thanks to  Reef  International. Music by resident Dj Ro-Z and Resident Dj Dav Motta.

    Golden Treasures Real Estate and Vacation Rentals recommends Nikki Beach as one of the top restaurants for our luxury villa rental clients when  visiting   Cabarete  beach, and gives them special thanks for bringing the  Reef   girls  to the North coast. Our  Cabarete  villas for rent include beach and ocean front properties in the most prestigious locations.


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