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

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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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    Top Six Tours When Traveling To Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

    THE TOP SIX: Tours. The Dominican Republic offers a wide selection of activities and tours for visitors, and this is the reason why more than 2.7 million visitors visit the island each year. Some of the tours are water sports, such as sailing, fishing, diving, kite surfing, jet skis and even paddle surfing. Other tours are geared towards eco friendly activities such as trekking, dirt buggies, mountain climbing, cave exploration and zip lining. Most of these tours are found in the North coast of the island, in the regions of Puerto Plata and Cabrera, that includes Sosua and Cabarete.


    Our top ten list starts at number 1, Fishing in Puerto Plata. Fishing is done in every coastal town of the Dominican Republic, east, south or North. Some say that the best fishing areas are around Puerto Plata, because of the Atlantic Ocean.

    The variety of fishing game in the area also influences its good ratings: Dorado (Mahi Mahi), Yellow Fin Tuna, Red Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Grouper, Tarpon, Bone Fish, and Permit are available all year round. December until April is the main season for Dorado and Wahoo. November to January is the prime time for Sailfish. Blue Marlin and Sailfish are available from October until February. Boats depart from Playa Dorada, Sosua and the Ocean World Marina in Cofresi. Julie II is a famous fishing boat we recommend, docked in Sosua beach.

    Number 2 in our top ten is zip lining, which draws people from both local and international cities. There`s 2 major zip lines in the area, one is Yasika Adventures and the other one is the Monkey Jungle in Sosua. Yasika is located in the tourist highway that connects Sosua and Santiago, and is highly recommended. The Monkey Jungle now offers one week lodging in a very exotic setting of lush natural surroundings, and lots of monkeys.

    Our number 3 requires a PADI certification, because diving in Sosua is a serious business. There`s a large variety of walls, rocks and caves to explore, such as the Three Rocks, which are three giant coral heads that span for 45 meters (150 ft.), hosting an incredible mix of tropical fish and plant life. Paradise Reef offers beginners a chance to explore the inner ocean at a maximum depth of 12 m/ 40 ft. along a colorful reef wall. The Canyon (max. depth 18 m/ 60 ft.) is a reef wall that has split, forming an underwater avenue ideal for a relaxed, colorful cruise. The wall begins at 4 m/12 ft and is full of spectacular sponge life. A lot of other spots such as La Puntilla, Airport Wall, Pyramids and the airport wall are also of great interest to new divers and certified ones. Northern Coast Diving is one of the top providers of diving in the Sosua area.

    Number 4 in the list requires a life vest and a good camera with telephoto lens, so you can catch close ups of the whales in Samana. These large cetaceans visit the island each year in March, to breed and give birth to their offspring in warmer waters. Many travel agencies offer all-inclusive trips for those who want a close look at the big humpback ( Megaptera novaengliae ), and to their delight the whales play, sing and jump allowing tourists to snap pictures and film videos. Three of the tour operators that offer whale watching tours in Samana are Whale Samana and Colonial Tours.

    Our number 5 goes to Ocean World, the marine park in Cofresi that has become a sensation since its opening in March 2004. Centrally located in the Caribbean on the North Shore of the Dominican Republic, just three miles west of Puerto Plata, Ocean World Adventure Park Marina & Casino is an extraordinary entertainment complex dedicated to offering visitors a once in a lifetime experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere in the world. Guests of Ocean World Adventure Park have the opportunity to touch, pet and feed dolphins, sea lions, sharks, stingrays, exotic tropical birds, meet tigers, walk through a tropical rain forest and much more.

    The top 6 tour in the North coast brings the visitor to an adventurous land of back roads, farms, river crossings and much more. It`s called the Outback Safari. Oversized trucks fitted with seats and protective metal frames carry visitors to see native Dominicans in the country side, cooking, farming, and sharing daily life. The outback safari offers a Visit a typical Dominican home, meet the family that lives there & enjoy a drink of freshly made coffee with them. Beverages, food and cultural guidance is provided throughout the tours, a very enriching experience.

    Other tours in the North Coast worth visiting are the Damajagua falls, caves of El Choco, the kite surfing and board surfing beach in Cabarete, and ever present golf courses in Playa Grande and Playa Dorada. Horseback riding in the beach is a must to some, so don`t miss it. Villa rental clients in Sosua or Cabarete can call Golden Treasures Concierge Services and get more information and booking services.


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    Long Term Rental Homes and Villas in Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Sosua and Cofresi

    Getting a long term rental is becoming a top priority for many local and foreigners who find their home in the North coast of the Dominican Republic. Since we work with a large number of properties and constantly get new listings for long term rentals, we will be posting the updates in this blog, twitter and Google Plus. Some of the homes have 4 bedrooms, and most 3 or 2. Sosua has the most homes for long term rental with fewers bedrooms, since it is more a vacation destination. 95% of rentals for long term require that renters pay power costs, and some will include pool cleaning and security watchmen. Since this post is of a dynamic nature, we will update it as much as we need to.


    This is a lovely home for long term rent in Cabarete. Set in one of the nicest beachfront gated communities of Cabarete, this beautiful 4,304 sq. ft. 4- bedroom, 3.5 bathroom 2 level house stands in a privileged spot surrounded by green gardens:

    The long term rental rate is US$2,500.00 per month but it can be negotiated, never be afraid to ask or make an offer. We`ve seen many owners who refused to lower rates but also others that will consider a good tenant that will take good care of the property. Status: Available from February 5th, 2012.

    This ocean view, mountain top villa can also be rented in Puerto Plata:

    It has 5 air conditioned bedrooms, four bathrooms ( three ensuite ),  a fully stocked gourmet kitchen with three wine fridges, a cigar humidor, ice cream machine and first class appliances. The villa has many more features that will appeal to the most demanding of travelers, such as the disco area with true disco lighting effects, a TIKI hut with a pool table, a 28-meter infinity pool overlooking the horizon, private bar, back up power generator and private security. Long term rental for such a villa ranges between US$4,500-5,000 per month +utilities depending on lenght of rental. Status: available starting January 15th, 2012.

     Another ocean view vista rental in Puerto Plata ( Cofresi ):

    Magnificent, very private retreat for rent long term It has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms,  swimming pool with cascading tanning pool, terrace, patio, balcony and studio room. Cofresi beach can be reached in less than 5 minutes, can even be walked to. This villa can be rented long term for about $4,000.00 per month, plus utilities. Status: available starting February 1st, 2012.

     Vintage Style Country Villa for rent  in Puerto Plata close to Playa Dorada:

    Featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, master suite as a mezzanine with ensuite bathroom and a panoramic verandah in the second level. Swimming pool and BBQ grill in the right side complement the Orchid garden in the front, with ornamental country-like wooden fences and bamboo trees in the left perimeter wall. This house is set in a quiet area, excellent for nature lovers. Rents for US$1750.00 per month. Status: available starting January 10th, 2012.

    3 bedroom villa for rent in Sosua:

    This house is set on a gated community near the best schools of Sosua, close to a church and less than a 5 minute drive to the beach in Sosua. With 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, mahogany wood in the doors, kitchen , closets and cabinets. Sliding European windows, Spanish floor tiles, 32mt swimming pool, window frame moldings, 3,000 gls cistern, parking space, and high ceilings. This house rents for US$1300.00 per month and includes gardening and security. Status: Available starting January 8th, 2012 ( unfurnished ).

     Beautiful house in Puerto Plata, for long term rental only:

    This house for rent has 3 1/2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, living room, dining area, full kitchen with mahogany wood, terrace, patio, laundry area and swimming pool in the back of the house with a tree-shaded area for sitting and barbecuing. This house rents for about US$1500.00 plus power usage. Status: Available starting January 15th, 2012.

    Lovely home with swimming pool in Sosua:

    featuring 3 well appointed bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, swimming pool, covered terrace and laundry area. Furnished, This house has many extras such as power generator, electric backup inverter, alarm system, air conditioning, cable TV, satellite TV, and Internet. Rental is US$1600.00 x month plus power bill and cleaning. Status: Available starting January 10th, 2012.

    Elegant house for rent in Puerto Plata

    This home has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms; The house has the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom including Jacuzzi and walk in closet in the second level, and two other bedrooms that share a J&J bathroom. Rental is US$1,350.00 per month plus utilities. Call 829-477-2038 for long term rentals as these in the North coast of Dominican Republic. Status: Available starting January 12th, 2012 partially furnished.

    3 bedroom home in Puerto Plata:

    This house is located in a gated community of Puerto Plata with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms ( 1 ensuite ), living room, dining room, ample kitchen in mahogany wood and black granite countertop. A very quiet neighborhoood with paved streets, gated entrance, security and good neighbors. Just a 3 minute drive to the main highway. This house rents for US$1200.00 plus electrical, non furnished. Status: Available starting December 28th, 2011.

    4 Bedroom Rental in gated community of Sosua:

    This long term rental offers 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms Dominican Republic villa rental in Sosua, set on two floors with ocean view. Upstairs; two bedrooms (queen size bed) with A/C, 1 bathroom, dining-living room, full equipped kitchen, TV cable and Internet wireless. Nice terrace overlooking the swimming pool. Downstairs; two bedrooms (queen size bed) with A/C, 2 bathrooms with sitting area at the entrance. Rents for long term at US$2350.00 per month + power. Status: Available starting January 10th, 2012.

    The Ultimate Caribbean Beach villa: between Sosua and Cabarete:

    Set right on the beach, this rental can be a long term home, rates range from $5500-6000 plus utilities. It is fully furnished with 5 bedrooms, 7 1/2 bathrooms, entertainment center with wide screen TV, a fine gourmet kitchen, BBQ, DVD/VCR, Stereo player and wireless DSL. Gated community with guarded entrance, good neighbors.

    NOTICE: the listings shown here are actual short term and real estate for sale properties in the Dominican Republic, so when you click the links you`ll see daily rates and sale prices.Contact us for further details regarding long term rentals for any of these and other properties. Call Edward Rivas at 809-377-2038 / 829-477-2038.


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    American Airlines will increase its flights to the Dominican Republic

    American Airlines announced that it will increase to 25 its daily flights from the United States to the Dominican Republic’s major international airports.

    From Miami to Punta Cana International Airport, situated on the country’s easternmost region, American Airlines will increase to three its daily flights between both airports.  It will also add a second flight from New York to this important eastern region airport. American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines, will add a third flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Between the La Romana and San Juan, Puerto Rico airports, the carrier will increase flights from two per week to two per day. In the country’s middle section, specifically at the Santiago International Airport, there will be two daily flights to and from Miami and one to San Juan.  The airline also announced that aircraft maker Boeing delivered the first Boeing Sky Interior model 737-800, so passengers will take advantage of all the new features of flying with AA.

    From Las Americas International Airport, situated outside Santo Domingo, the capital city, American Eagle will offer four daily flights to San Juan and one to Haiti. All together, American Airlines will offer three thousand seats daily to passengers traveling between the United States and the Dominican Republic. The airline also offers flights from Puerto Rico and New York to Puerto Plata`s Gregorio Luperon International Airport ( POP ), which serves the areas of Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Cabrera, Costambar and Cofresi.

    The web for the POP airport is
    Telephone Numbers:
    809-291-0000 ext. 221 and 809-586-0175
    The airport`s VIP lounge is 809-586-0107 ext. 247 and 302

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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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    Eco Friendly Tourism is growing fast in the Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic `s protected areas receive an average of 800,000 visitors each year that come to enjoy the beauty and natural scenery including beaches and mountains.  This is fueling a segment of the  Dominican  economy as never before, and prompting investments in the North and East coasts such as the  newest  ecologically friendly Monkey Park in Sosua, Puerto Plata and the two marine themed park in Cofresi ( Ocean World ) and Bavaro ( Manatí Park ).

    Built within El Choco national park, the Monkey Jungle offers zip lining adventures within a monkey sanctuary surrounded by mountains and lush green areas. The owner built this park attraction in order to finance a clinic for poor children in the area.  The first zip lining tour and the most successful in the area is Yasika Adventures, closer to Cabarete than Sosua.

    Monkey Jungle is the first of its kind in the island.

    One of the oldest eco tours in the Dominican Republic  takes some endurance to complete, and it is the highest mountain in the island, The famous Pico Duarte. Pico Duarte is the highest peak in all the Caribbean islands. It lies in the Cordillera Central range, the greatest of the  Dominican   Republic's  mountain chains. It stands at 3, 140 meters high and named after the biggest hero and forefather of the country, Juan Pablo Duarte. A trip to El Pico is an adventure most  Dominicans  love to take, partially on foot and on donkeys. There is a well-maintained system of trails leading up to the summit, with trailheads at several locations The easiest access is from the town of La Ciénega, near Jarabacoa. The trail is 23.1 km (14.4 miles) to the summit, with a total elevation change of 1,977 meters, and a shelter 5 km away from the summit.

    Other names in the ecofriendly business of the North coast are Rancho Montana and Outback Safari, which offer tours to mountainous areas of the  Dominican   Republic  crossing rivers and usually ending in a farm like compound with farm animals, horses and traditional cooking. Some of the tourists that rent Sosua villas book ecotrips in advance, showing the interest for being closer to nature when vacationing the Caribbean island of  Dominican   Republic . Real estate boomed in the North coast towns because of all the natural attractions of the area.

    Areas such as La Boca in Cabarete offer river jungle tours where visitors get to see  Dominican  birds in their natural habitat, ending the tour in a small “zoo” that holds local fauna such as the  Dominican  Hawk, local vultures, Crocodiles, iguanas, pythons and other more common local birds. Iguana Mama is one of the largest eco tours operators in Cabarete, with a very well organized structure and a wide range of options including biking, hiking, rafting, kite boarding, kayaking and a lot of other extreme tours.

    An already known and well documented eco tour takes place in Samana, at the North eastern part of the  Dominican   Republic , whale watching. This is perhaps the most rewarding experience, one that inspires respect for nature as the viewer is mesmerized by the sheer size of those wonderfully large, friendly mammals. Eco tourism seems to be growing in the  Dominican   Republic  because of the laws protecting the environment, something that most people hope will remain enforced for much longer into the future generations.  Many foreigners and locals have turned their fincas (farms) into eco sanctuaries such as Tubagua from Tim Hall, and Rancho Luisa in Veragua.

    Some of the activities at Rancho Luisa include horseback riding tours,  dominican  traditional cooking and a taste of jungle living.

    For horse riding lovers there`s a variety of choices including the classic Sea Horse Ranch, which is mainly for professional riders of very fine horses, and the more adventure type ones as Rancho Luisa and El Paraiso Del Caballo ( this one located in El Choco ).  Several other horseback riding tours are available through various agencies in Sosua, Cabarete and Puerto Plata, and can be done in the beach. One of the best ecofriendly tours that most of the time is associated with beach resorts is snorkeling and diving. Sosua holds the top place in the North coast due to its large number of diving spots, and recently there was a government plan in place that introduced man made reefs into some areas that are now full of colorful tropical fish. Having shifted its economy in the past 30 years from the previous model of sugar cane production and free zone into a tourism destination and telecommunication –based outsourcing, the  Dominican Republic now finds its true self using the best of its land.

    The humpback whales visit the island in March for over 6 months.

    The data is contained in the book "Protected areas of the  Dominican   Republic , pure nature", by José Manuel Mateo Feliz and Adolfo López Belando, work done with support from the Vicini Group and the Institute of Geography and History of the Organization American States (OAS). The authors note that eco-tourism is mainly developed in protected areas, providing a space to promote full contact with nature.  Land conservation offers opportunities for recreation and observation of landscapes, birds, recreation and environmental education. Within the six categories of protected area management are the natural and cultural monuments, of which the country has 28 with an area of ​​634.94 square kilometers, according to the study of Matthew and Lee. A natural and cultural monument is an area that contains one or more natural features and / or cultural groups of outstanding or unique value for its inherent rarity, representative or aesthetic qualities or cultural significance.

    Diving in places like Sosua can be an exhilarating experience with diving sites in wrecks, reefs and caves.

    In his research, Matthew and Lee detailed 19 natural monuments. This is the Cabo Francés Viejo, Salto El Limón, Dunes in Bani, Mahogany, Catalina Island, Cabarete and Goleta, Loma Isabel de Torres, Pico Diego de Ocampo, Cumayasa River and  Wonderland  Caves, and water hole hopping Damajagua. Also he detailed the characteristics of the monuments Loma La Altagracia, Cape Samana, San Juan River Rain Forest, Caves of Anthropological Reserve Bourbon or El Pomier, Cerro de San Francisco, Los caching, Miguel Domingo Fuerte, Los Tres Ojos.

    The cordillera Central is a mountain chain that crosses the island diagonally, and it is where Pico Duarte ( El Pico ) is located. Green areas and sevral national parks nearby make it a unique eco tour.

    The monument of Cabo Frances, located in the province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez (Cabrera), is a small promontory jutting into the northern coast of the island with a linear line of 5 miles between coasts, reefs and beaches. From the top of the cliff it has a broad vision of great scenic beauty of the coastal marine area.  From the coastline, humpback whale watching is possible in the months of January to March. At the Salto El Limon in Samana the most remarkable element is a cascade or waterfall of 40 meters. It houses a large population of the endemic flora that also provides refuge for unique bird species native of the island. Water production is a vital element in this protected area, including Arroyo Chico, which is the one that feeds the waterfall, which is the emblem of the monument.

    The sand Dunes located in the province Peravia (Bani ) includes spectacular dunes, only seen in the island of  Dominican   Republic  in the Caribbean.  It also contains a number of wetlands on the coast of the bay of Las Calderas. The tour of the dunes is impressive and is facing a large-scale beach lapped by the Caribbean Sea. A lot of Flamingos are part of the local fauna. The visit to the protected area can yield interesting vies of the  dry forest that grows behind the beach and dunes, with all their associated fauna. The coastal lagoons are large areas of mangroves also of great importance for the conservation of biodiversity, for researchers and visitors who come to the protected area.

    A beautiful small piece of land, The Catalina is a small island six miles long with 500 meters sea strip. It is located in the province of La Romana. It has large sand dunes and is a nesting of several species of sea turtles.  The coastal zone includes coral reefs that form a cliff 60 meters deep. Also you can dive into the wreck of the pirate ship that is attributed to the legendary English Captain Kidd. The monument of the Cave of Wonders, in the province of San Pedro de Macoris, includes a cave with rock art, considered one of the most important in the Caribbean. This cave has important archaeological value that draws interest because of the presence of about 300 pre-Columbian paintings.

    The caves of Las Maravillas in La Romana, Dominican Republic have an impressive set of high ceilings and light reflections that might be almost unique in the world.

    In the beach towns of Sosua and Cabarete there`s El Choco National Park with its caves and the Cabarete Lagoon.

    Sosua beach in the Northern Province of Puerto Plata offers some of the best spots for tourists and locals to relax.


    Dominican Republic Real Estate and Vacation Villa Rentals

               809-377-2038 / 829-477-2038

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