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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    Puerto Plata Sees a Economic Renaissance with New Investments

    Once the first and foremost tourist destination of the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic, the province of Puerto Plata had seen a rise and fall like no other location in the DR. Now, with a new elected president in office, and after 20 years of being the underdog of the tourism industry, this old city and its beach resort towns are slowly seeing a rebirth that is sure to bring it back to its past splendor and status as the first Spanish settlement of the New World ( Christopher Columbus, October 12th, 1492 ) now with a much modern twist.

    Carnival Cruises will hub its vessels from Maimon Bay, Puerto Plata

    The new Cruise Ship Hub in the Caribbean

    Puerto Plata`s road to recovery began with the announcement by Carnival Cruise Lines, of a new cruise ship port to be built in the Maimon Bay, that promises to bring half a million tourists in its first year of operation, set to begin on late 2014. The positive economic impact on the region will be significant, as many travelers that can`t  board from Miami will use the local POP airport to come board from here; use local transportation and more important, the local produce that will supply a large number of vessels traveling through this new hub.

    The Wider Highway

    President Danilo Medina has promised to begin work on the Santiago- Puerto Plata highway to make it wider and better, a crucial aspect of the plan to draw more visitors to the North Coast ( Santiago`s STI airport is a major hub in the Central Cibao region ). Local representatives and business people have tried to persuade past presidents unsuccessfully and now it seems that finally Medina agreed to include it in the country`s annual budget.

    Local Representative Jose Paliza pushed the agenda on the highway

    The new Riviera Azul

    A group of investors recently inaugurated a new resort in Playa Dorada, called Riviera Azul. President Danilo Medina led the inauguration of the first phase of the project, as part of government policy to support the country's tourism development. The complex will consist of three stages with a total of 180 apartments and a total investment of about 100 million, with approximate 44.000 meters of land, 350 meters beach and several green areas, swimming pools, tennis courts , basketball and other sports. This first stage is the delivery of two buildings of three stories each , with a total of 75 apartments of one, two and three rooms with sea view, pool or golf course from all units, all built with top quality.

    President Medina led the opening of the Riviera Azul

    Tourist Development Program will boost investment to Puerto Plata`s municipalities

    President Danilo Medina submitted a draft to the senate, amending the Law for the Promotion of Tourism to, among other objectives , grant exemptions for investments in existing and future structures in the tourism sector to benefit from the 100% exemption from import duties and other charges applicable to machinery, equipment , materials and property. The head of state means that the project aims to bring tax incentives established by Law 158-01 to levels that allow constant development of the tourism sector and attract investment from local businesses, foreign and multinational.

    This will result in a direct boost of support for new investments in Sosua, Cabarete, Costambar, Cofresi and other important locations of the North Coast. These regions are influential in the development of housing projects, and are already a known villa and condo rental destination for North Americans and Europeans.

    The large Supermarket Chains

    La Sirena, one of the largest supermarket chains in the Dominican Republic, set foot in Puerto Plata 2 years ago and now has started construction of their flagship Super Pola in Sosua. Housing developments in this beach town keeps growing despite the world`s economy, and projects like Casa Linda and Hispaniola ( mid range priced homes ) keep growing each year, adding new and more modern vacation villas. It is this market of foreign-owned luxury homes that attract big players like the Ramos Group, owner of the Super Pola and La Sirena franchises.

    The new Super Pola will bring a new level of service to Sosua

    Reorganization of Sosua Beach

    A jewel that stands apart in the universe of beaches in the North coast, Sosua beach has often been criticized for its excessive number of informal vendors and shanty stores, half of which are not in good condition, or closed. The Tourism director for the North Coast announced a plan to build a plaza and reorganize the beach to make it better for visitors. Rumor has it that the land between the road and the beach in Sosua will see a large development resort, long overdue due to its high value potential.

    Sosua beach will be reorganized to make it better for visitors

    "On the beach of Sosua there are 242 vendors, and the same number of modules or cubicles will be built for relocation", said Mr. Lorenzo Sancasani. To add: "With the construction of the square we seek to unclutter the beach of Sosua, improve quality of life and the vendors themselves." Meanwhile the mayor of the Municipality of Sosua, Ilana Newman, favored the construction of the Plaza of the Seller by the Ministry of Tourism, and understand that the project works for the benefit of the beach vendors and the community.

    New Flights for newly remodeled POP Airport

    The provincial director of tourism for the North, Lorenzo Sancassani, reported that he`s in talks with Caravelle, a major European tour operator that could bring 2 new flights to Puerto Plata. He said he has traveled to Brazil and Argentina in search of new flights and connections with tour operators, "and the interest is more active, there is enough interest in Puerto Plata". Mr. Sancassani reported that the start with Caravelle in early next year could bring 600,000 tourists to that destination, which will increase to about two million when the new Cruise ship port opens at the end of 2014.

    POP airport serves the entire North Coast of the Dominican Republic

    The Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia announced that in the coming months there will be an increase in flights from Europe , Miami and Puerto Rico to Puerto Plata as part of its efforts to increase arrivals to the North. He said that beginning in June Air Europa will include an additional weekly flight from Madrid to Puerto Plata on an aircraft with a capacity to transport 300 passengers. He added that similar actions will be taken by other airlines from Miami and Puerto Rico, as part of the steps to follow so that the province of Puerto Plata returns as one of the main destinations of the country.


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    A Cabarete Classic Villa Opens to investors and renters alike

    Cabarete is known for its wide selection of towering apartment buildings bordering its windy bay, where most of its travelers find lodging or retirement living. Private villas are scarce near the bay, and while there`s a few clusters of small villas in the kite beach area ( Bahia de Arena, Nanny`s Beach Houses, Olas De Oro ) those are mostly small scale units and almost always booked up because demand is higher than supply.

    Almost all of the large scale, high end luxury rentals of Cabarete are found in gated communities, like Perla Marina, Sea Horse Ranch, Hideaway Beach, Playa Laguna and Lomas Mironas ( in reality, the best ones are in the second and third option ). It`s rare to find a large, luxury rental villa close to the bay and the night life, because most of the prime land is reserved for buildings.  In late December 2012, a classic beach front house was introduced to the rental and real estate market, opening a new door to those seeking to rent or buy a villa close to the heart of Cabarete:   as a rental   for sale

    Once just a family beach house rarely used by its owners, it has now been opened to bidders who can afford its daily rental rate of US$550/night, providing 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms ( the 5th is closed ) and promising great family vacations, wedding venue celebrations by the beach and even corporate retreat and meetings. The sale price is a generous US$1.3 million, low by any standards for a property of more than 600 square meters of construction (over 6,480 sq ft ).

    The house is built on three floors, offering 2 bedrooms in the first level, 2 on the second and a large master suite with a long balcony in the upper level. A set of panoramic windows grace the living room with fine vistas of the ocean, and a modern European kitchen sets the tone to entertain guests and family. The outdoor gazebo attached to the exterior pool side towers on top of the pool terrace and includes a brick BBQ grill and patio furniture. This property has many fine features, and the beach front swimming pool almost next to the golden sand beach is just one of the best.

    The villa was "rediscovered" by Golden Treasures Luxury Rentals, and restored to bring back its grandeur and make it available for its customers. Contact us for more information on booking and visiting this fantastic beach villa in Cabarete.



    Useful resources on travel to the North Coast:

    Puerto Plata Travel Guide

    Dominican Republic Travel Guide

    Sosua Villa Rentals

    Cabarete Villa Rentals

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    Cruise Ship Visit Opens a New Age in Puerto Plata

    The arrival in the early hours of Thursday, of the "New World" Cruise ship at the city harbor, with 223 passengers, opened a new age for tourism in Puerto Plata. The ship arrived when the clock marked 7:30 am in the morning, as planned by the authorities of the Ministry of Tourism and the Dominican Port Authority, who awaited in this city to welcome this cruise ship coming from Miami, United States.

    To say that the ship caused widespread admiration among the people of Puerto Plata is an understatement, because many cried "the cruise ships are back", in reminiscence of the 80`s when Puerto Plata was the top cruise port destination in the Dominican Republic. Others, however, welcomed the presence of these cruise tourists, executives from the company that brought it to this area, the crew and officers of the liner. The "The World" cruise ship is registered in the Bahamas (Nassau), is a boutique-style boat captained by Dag H. Saevik, Senior Captain, and Antonino Cardillo, Hotel Manager, where they travel with 223 passengers, plus crew staff and other workers.

    The visitors were received by officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Dominican Port Authority, government officials, hoteliers, tour operators, and other representatives of institutions linked to this activity, which welcomed these cruisers.

    The cruise ship "The World" is a world-class private yacht with 165 privately owned condos and suites.

    The last cruise ship to visit Puerto Plata was seen in 1986, so this visit is considered to have a strong impact on tourism for the North coast. Carnival Cruises is set to build a new hub port for cruise liners in Maimon, Puerto Plata that will start operations in 2014. Local authorities highlighted the importance of this visit, including port Administrator Juan Musa, who noted that tourists loved the natural beauty of Puerto Plata and its importance as a landmark and historical first in the Americas.

    Puerto Plata was Taino land when Christopher Columbus first came to American back in 1492. It was the first of many landmarks related to the discovery of the new world, including the first Spanish settlement in the Americas. Recently, the Dominican Republic was featured as Best of the Caribbean 2012 by Caribbean Travel and Leisure. Another cruise line ( Royal Caribbean ) was in talks with President Danilo Medina about construction of a larger port in Samana.


    The ship visited Puerto Plata this week and leaves on early Saturday morning.

    The widespread construction of luxury condos and villas in the North coast combine with existing hotels to provide thousands of rooms and lodging units to supply the demand for accommodation in the area, specially in Sosua, Cabarete, Cofresi and Cabrera.



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    Best of the Caribbean 2012: The Dominican Republic

    Being at the top of the consumer`s preference is only reached through hard work, large investments and the strong dedication of thousands of people that everyday wake up to work on one of the largest tourist markets of the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic has once again been included in the top list of best of the Caribbean, this time for 2012 by the prestigious firm Caribbean Travel and Leisure. Their Editor`s Picks rated dozens of islands that are filled with exciting activities, amazing resorts, and convenient airline travel connections. The best of the Caribbean selection for 2012 can be seen online in their website.

    No wonder why the island is featured in international magazines and reviews, The Dominican Republic has over 1,600 kilometers of beaches, varying with golden, white and creamy colored sand in the most exotic locations across the island, from East ( Punta Cana, Bavaro, La Romana, Juan Dolio ) to the North coast ( Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Cabrera, Cofresi ) to the South coast ( Barahona, Pedernales ). Many a review has been written about the wonderful locations in the island, its rich history, heritage and nice people.

    Some interesting facts on the Dominican Republic can be found in Wikipedia, citing that "The Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean's largest tourist destination, especially in Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo. The country's year-round golf courses are among the top attractions on the island. In this mountainous land is located the Caribbean's highest mountain, Pico Duarte, as is Lake Enriquillo, the Caribbean's largest lake and lowest elevation. Quisqueya, as Dominicans often call their country, has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great biological diversity. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with merengue as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport."

    The island as a favorite destination is featured in many travel sites, such as the following ones:


    Golden Treasures is proud to be the top villa rental agency in the North coast of the Dominican Republic, with a strong presence in the finest beach and ocean view communities with top class services and a wide range of deluxe villas for families, groups, bachelor parties or corporate retreats.

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    US$229 million Investment Extreme Park & Leisure Sport Resort in Dominican Republic

    With the presence of Dominican Republic president Danilo Medina and the Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, works were formally initiated for  the construction of the largest amusement park in the region, the Extreme Park & Leisure Sport Resort in Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro. With an investment of over US$229 million, the Extreme Group comes to the East of the island headed by Salvador Ballesteros, with the intention of providing the tourist area with a place of extreme experiences and unforgettable emotions. Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, has stated in this regard that "A park of this size (in a field of more than one million m2), with so many attractions that are not even found in the great traditional parks, will make Punta Cana, undoubtedly the most interesting destination in Latin America.

    Garcia also highlighted the favorable environment for private investment in the Dominican Republic and said that our country is, at this time, the largest recipient of investment in the Caribbean region. They will continue to flow, following the impulse that the government of President Medina, is being given to the tourism sector. This new park will be built a few miles from the new Coral highway, which will turn it into the main center of attractions of the country; where the public can access it from any city including the capital Santo Domingo, which greatly benefit the entire eastern area, Garcia said.

    The extreme park will be the largest amusement park investment in the Dominican Republic.

    Among the attractions in this new park: Skydiving, Wakeboard, Rafting, Canyon Rockfall Duarte, Snow & Ski, Multi Dome, Extreme Zone, Tower Adventure, Crazy Race, Surfing, Formula 1 Simulator, Karting. Leisure area, Disco, Water Park, Area Concert and a wind tunnel are part of the main features of Extrme Park & Leisure Sport Resort. But one of the most interesting and innovadoreas is that all the complex will be powered using solar power that will be provided by a large solar panel system.

    This park will have the highest safety standards for this type of infrastructure and will target family fun and both domestic and foreign public that will complement your holiday in the area of Bavaro-Punta Cana, with the largest amusement park in Latin America, said park CEO Salvador Ballesteros. In addition to all these attractions, the park will also feature an amphitheater with capacity for more than 17,000 people, that will be of great cultural impact and where you can celebrate great music and art venues. The opening of the Park is scheduled for 2014 and it will generate more than 560 direct jobs.

    The Dominican Republic includes other large amusement parks such as the world famous Ocean World Marine Park, located in Cofresi, Puerto Plata. It serves mainly for tourists visiting the North coast towns of Cabarete, Cabrera, Sosua, Costambar, Puerto Plata and Cofresi.Tourism in the Dominican Republic has a new dawn with large investments that also include major cruise ship ports by Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines. Tourists can see general information on the Dominican Republic in the travel guide.


    809-377-2038 / 829-477-2038

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