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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    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

    http://www.goldenkeymanagement.com/puerto-plata-real-estate.htm

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    The villa that deconstructed the real estate market in the Dominican Republic

    Investing in the Dominican Republic takes some time spent on a computer searching Google and other search engines for information on the best real estate listings, and in the case of higher income bracket individuals, that includes beach and ocean front properties. Most people call or email realtors inquiring for a beach front villa or house meeting certain criteria and price; just to realize the truth: there are fewer and fewer ocean front homes available in the island, because nice vistas usually carry a high price tag. Beach land is costly, though as in any other market there`s always hidden gems to discover.

    One such listing that might influence the market is a villa built 10 minutes away from Cabarete that seems to be flawless in terms of amenities. Its main building has a custom design facade of old Spanish style with subtle strokes of a more modern architecture. Its 5 bedrooms include 2 in the second floor with amazing vistas of the ocean, and the beach just beyond the fence. Tall cathedral wooden ceilings grace the mezzanine connecting the villa in the second level, with glass windows bringing in the ocean views. The living room below has plenty of space for fine furnishings, and the luxury kitchen in white painted wood and black counter tops perfectly match the tropical decoration in the house.

    The villa has a nice classic design, with a bar and swimming pool standing between the main house and the beach, which also has breathtaking ocean views.

    This two story beach home with Victorian-era accents has wraparound verandas and a nice portico that acts like a carport to enter the house right on top of the drive way. A small house for the guard is really a maid`s quarters but is being used as the guard`s quarters. The garage facing it by the main powered gate entrance can accommodate cars both sides, though the other side facing the beach was built to store a boat, since there`s a boat access from the beach to that area. Very few properties can get access to a boat slip in the whole North coast. From any side of the main villa there`s a expanse of green grass area, with the swimming pool standing in front of the beach, by the villa and a large building destined for a private gym with sauna and work out machines. This can be used to add 2 rooms to the house, which already has 5 plus the other 3 in the guest house.

    The bar with thatched roofing next to the mangroves ( there`s a natural mangrove next door that partially edges into the boundaries of the land ) is fantastic for open parties and family gatherings. Geese, turtles and other small animals have inhabited these mangroves, which are protected by law and make the usage of the beachfront land next to the use impossible - noone can block the side view to the expanse of beach - simply too good but true.

    The property has a drive way that ends in a parking veranda attached to the rear of the main house. The kitchen seen here in white, and an ocean view bedroom.

    Buying the same villa in Sosua, Puerto Plata or Cabarete`s main communities nearer to kite beach would cost around US$1.6 mm or higher, and maintenance would be also far more expensive. Beach houses in Sosua and nearby tourist areas are considered expensive because there`s just a few with beach front or ocean view land. Kilometers of beach await the new owners of the villa, and it means paying US$485k for the villa and 2,575 m2 of land or close to one million dollars for the entire walled property with its guest house and other buildings ( over 900 m2 of construction ).

    For those who really want it all, there`s even more land available in the back of the house, around 6,000 extra meters that would probably be cool if the plan was to create bungalows for a surf camp or a beach hotel concept. In any case, this can be called the flawless beach villa away from everything and yet close enough to make it worth owning. Golden Treasures Real Estate can sell this property as a fractional ownership between two or more people, to split the purchase costs, usage and maintenance. Since the market is shaking due to the world economic crisis, this property is expected to sell sooner than most. See more of this Cabarete villa for sale, click here.

    Cabarete is one of the nicest places in the Dominican Republic, world famous for its active water sports life.

    CABARETE LUXURY VILLAS FOR SALE ON THE BEACH

        809-377-2038 / 829-477-2038

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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.

    THESE TWO ARE GREAT OCEANFRONT VILLAS FOR RENT IN SOSUA, IN THE LUXURY LISTINGS.

    CLICK THE SOSUA MAP TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE

    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.

    THESE ARE SOME OF THE VILLAS IN LOCATION A OF THE MAP ABOVE.

    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.

    THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF LUXURY OCEAN FRONT AND BEACH VILLAS IS FOUND IN LOCATIONS F, H AND J.  - CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER SIZE

    VILLA SPC0661 HAS AMAZING VISTAS OF THE MOUNTAINS, JUST MINUTES AWAY FROM ALL THE BEACHES.

    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.

    SOSUA BEACH, NUMBER 1 IN THE MAP

    WATERFRONT BEACH, NUMBER 2 ON THE MAP

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    Carnival Cruise Lines will Invest U.S.$ 65mm in Puerto Plata`s new cruise ship terminal

    Carnival Corporation announced the construction of a modern cruise ship terminal in the community of Maimon, Puerto Plata, at a cost of $65 million and will generate about $ 30 million in the first year of operation. The announcement was made by Giora Israel, senior vice president of this world leader in cruise ship tours,  in a ceremony which was led by Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia.  The tourism executive described the work as a high-impact tourism project for the province, which will be ready to receive two ships simultaneously for at least four thousand passengers and crew of one thousand, and will begin construction on October of 2011 and be completed by 2013. The terminal at Bahía de Maimón will be equipped to dock two 4,000-plus-passenger, 1,000-crew cruiseships simultaneously. Although it will be built and operated by Carnival, other cruiselines will be able to dock at the new facilities.

    Cruise Port Layout shown by local authorities and Carnival Cruises representatives


    "This project has a future and guarantees success for Carnival Corporation in addition to an investment of $65 million there`s a guaranteed massive presence of cruise ships and passengers, as opposed to that terminal's being built by the Dominican goverment," said Tourism Minister. Javier Garcia said Carnival Corporation unites all sectors of the region working in one direction, and that according to preliminary studies in the first year would reach 250,000 cruise passengers, and the following would reach 600,000 vacationers on cruises, a number far larger than the ones received in the country today via cruise ships.

    Carnival Cruise Lines is the world`s largest ship cruise tour operator, here the Carnival Pride.

    "In its heyday Puerto Plata received 174,000 passenger cruise ship that touched its port, Carnival says the first year 250 thousand, and in the coming years, this amount may increase to 600 thousand, which means that Puerto Plata will receive more than all received across the country today, "he said. The terminal will be built in a tourist area of 50,000 square meters in the Bay of Maimon, for a period of two years, will have shops, market, park area, aquatic environment, amenities and public area, creating about 800 jobs.

    Executives of the company highlighted the qualities of the area and the beautiful surroundings, the facilities for passengers to move to the city of Puerto Plata and other parts of the region, but especially the environmental impact and respect for the International Code for Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS). The speed of the work is mainly due to the investment does not require any funding and the facilities offered by the Dominican government to investors, bringing together all sectors involved in the planning and construction of the project from the initial permit until the end will have the backing of President Leonel Fernandez.

    The Carnival Magic is the latest ship added to the fleet, now also coming to Puerto Plata.

    CONSTRUCTION AND MOTIVATION
    The study submitted by the investor plans to increase spending by cruise passengers $ 43 to $ 95 per day, assuming that the average cost is $ 97 per passenger and the terminal will have all the facilities for passengers. The terminal will be built and operated by Carnival Corporation, but other cruise lines will play Puerto Plata tourist destination. The doors were also open to investors who want to be part of the terminal in the complementary offer for visitors. Giora Israel revealed that although Puerto Plata has conditions as the target aspect was the motivation of the Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia, during the celebration of the XVII Cruise held last October in Santo Domingo.

    The news of the construction of the new cruise ship port is having a very positive impact on the beach towns of Sosua, Cabarete, Cofresi, Costambar and Puerto Plata which have seen a decline in tourism in the past few years due to low investment and efforts by the goverment. Despite all this, real estate, villa and condo rentals have kept tourists coming to the North coast because of its natural beauty and scenery. The cruise ship travel industry has highlighted this as one of the most important announcements in the industry this year.

    VIDEO: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

                    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC REAL ESTATE

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    Sosua seeks to recover its marine sanctuary

    Researcher Manuel Rodriguez urges control in coastal fishing. Starting with the results of research conducted on the North coast, marine biologist Manuel Alejandro Rodriguez has developed a program that includes the creation of governmental and voluntary teams to be responsible for mitigating short-and long-term damage to the Marine Sanctuary in Sosua, restore the environmental health and prepare for visitors.

    "Joining forces with Tourism, local environmental office and the City hall can work to make the Sanctuary a great place for contemplative diving, a real deal for the community that has proven very profitable in other countries and would have much success in Sosua," believes Rodriguez. The project have teamed Elda Cantizano from the Superior Dive Center, Sosua`s City hall, the Municipal Heritage Community Unit (UMPC), the Ministry of Environment, volunteers and soon the Peace Corps will join. Sosua is a famous area for diving and snorkeling in the North coast of the Dominican Republic, and many resort and villa rental clients take tours in the diving boats and catamarans just to enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna that lives in the reefs and diving sites around Sosua Bay and nearby areas.

    "This project aims to formally establish the first marine sanctuary in the northern coast, where fishing is strictly forbidden and also any kind of extraction or exploitation detrimental to marine ecosystems and forested area," says Rodriguez. Problems in the Sanctuary: intensive overfishing, imbalance in the ocean food chain, deforestation, soil erosion, sediment and continuous supply of land to sea, bacteria and fungi of land, increased marine algae and pathogenic organisms present in water sea, sewage extraction of marine organisms, the human contact with marine life, polluted river water inputs and rich in ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and phosphates, ocean acidification, waste, destruction of mangroves and seagrass beds.

    Photos of marine life in Sosua courteasy of Northern Coast Diving in Sosua, Dominican Republic.

    Volunteers who wish to cooperate, said Rodriguez may do so by attending reforestation projects (divers participating in underwater cleanups and coral nurseries), donating materials or funds. Since so many foreigners now live and own property in Sosua, it`s urgent to create awareness to protect the coastal marine sanctuary in order to preserve and further develop the ecologically friendly tourism that Sosua desperately needs. The participation of real estate companies, of which many have greatly benefited in Sosua, could be vital for educating new settlers into preserving nature`s valuable resources in the area.

    (+)
    URGE REGULATIONS FOR FISHING IN THE SANCTUARY
    Rodriguez says that nothing is worth the work of reforestation and recovery of marine ecosystems that are currently performed if no fishing is prohibited in the Sanctuary. "It's an outrage that is solved by placing a guard to watch.

    The whole coast is destroyed and species are critically endangered, but unless we declare the area a protected area we can never recover, "he says. In the short term, he proposes to educate the people in the conservation issues involving people in ecotourism. Excerpted from Yaniris López in Sosua, Puerto Plata.

    Sosua Diving Video:

    Related Links:

    Diving in Sosua

    Sosua Beach

    Northern Coast Diving

    Sosua Villas

    Tourists enjoying the natural beauty of Sosua beach, with catamaran sail, fishing boat and glass bottom boat in the background.

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