dominicana-thefoodforgood-travel.Recently my husband and I decided to take a trip to the Dominican Republic.
We decided that we wanted to go somewhere warm to get away from the cold Calgary weather. The two of us are huge ocean and sun fans, which is why anytime we can get away to the beach, we do. Especially in the middle of the cold grey Calgary winter.
Normally, we like to travel to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico for the gorgeous blue water, great snorkeling, and amazing resorts, but in the past few years, we decided to travel to a few different countries so we could explore and compare them. Last year, we went to Cayo Coco, Cuba, and this year, we decided to travel to Sousa, Dominican Republic. We had a great vacation but found that there were some things we liked more, and some we liked less than Mexico and Cuba. Here are our experiences and what we thought of
them.

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The first day we arrived at Sousa, the weather was rainy, which was no big the deal, since it was still warm enough for us to enjoy the beach and the outdoors, but what I didn’t like was that the rain caused some crazy waves.
The second day I went into the ocean I lost my brand new sunglasses.
Although I have been in some big waves in the past, I thought that maybe I could take one picture and be ok, but unfortunately, that was not the case.
My husband and I were both looking for those sunglasses for over half an hour, and right as I almost started to cry, a girl about 20 meters from me found them and brought them to me. I was so thankful, I didn’t believe my own luck.
The next day, the waves only got bigger, and since we haven’t been in the
ocean in quite some time, and were only there for a week, I decided to risk it
all and go swimming. Let me say that I lost my bathing suit this time.
Everyone was laughing, except for me… later, an older man decided to go swimming really close to the reefs, and since the waves were so large, my husband was afraid he might drown, and came to his rescue, meanwhile, when he decided to get out of the ocean, he was tumbled by a huge wave, and nearly broke his toe.
From that point on, things went upwards.

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Paradise Island
We decided to take a day trip to a place called Paradise Island. Paradise Islands is a gorgeous tiny island in the middle of the ocean, filled with corals, and is a perfect breathing ground for fish. The trip from the hotel we stayed in was about 2 hours, but once we got there it was well worth it. The water is a beautiful crystal clear color. When we snorkeled, we saw the most amazing group of fish, we even saw a group of puffer fish, even though we didn’t have our masks with us at that point. The instructor was really good and helped us film the entire snorkeling experience. On the island, we had fruit and drinks, and hang out and tanned on the beach. Since the island is considered to be a national park, even towels were not allowed to be laid on the sand. If anyone is going to the Dominican, I highly recommend this day trip, especially if you enjoy snorkeling. After we enjoyed the day on the island, we went back on our speedboat to a local coast, where we had lunch (rice, beans, vegetables, and chicken) and then got back to the bus. After about half an hour ride, we came to a little cigar factory shop, where they also sold a drink called Mama Juana. I will include a little information about it below.
Since neither one of us is really interested in cigars, we found this stop to be cool but didn’t buy anything. The shop had some cute paintings and souvenirs, but since we don’t have a tone of space for pictures, and have bought many similar items from previous trips we didn’t actually buy anything.

We also went into the city to withdraw some money. Please keep in mind that some of the store owners can be a bit aggressive with their approach, dragging people into their stores. We met people at the resort that had a bit of a different experience, but to be safe I recommend that if you do go into the city, do not bring anything valuable with you. Keep in mind that cockfights are not uncommon there. We are against animal cruelty and did not like hearing about it and seeing signs relating to this everywhere.

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Our resort
The resort we stayed at is called Casa Marina. It is pretty much located inside of a small city, without a tone of security. We were thrilled about that, but it also didn’t really bother us, because it gave us the opportunity to go into the city without having the find transportation. If you do not like that, it might not be the resort for you. The resort itself is nice, the plants are really pretty, and the beach is quite nice. The beach is right next to a reef, so if it rains, the waves can get pretty large, although when the weather is good, the water is really calm. The rooms are ok-nothing special. If I am completely honest, the
first room we received, was completely awful. We got two twin size beds, a TV that was barely working, and a shower that did not stop dripping, even at night time. We equested one king size bed, and it took them two days and many complain until they changed us. When they did the room was much better. For one, the shower was not dripping all night. Although the light in the bathroom would not work sometimes, that didn’t really bother us as much since it was something we could actually deal with. Compared to Mexico, the service was poor. I am not one to complain about service, but with the entire time we were there, we were asked if we want a drink three times-keep in mind that this is all-inclusive. Many times when I came up to the bar, the wait was so long, despite the small number of people waiting, that I often left without even bothering to get a drink. This is something that bothered me, especially during a vacation, when I want to make every second count (Keep in mind that I can only speak about this resort, as I did not experience other ones). The shows were fun and entertaining.

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Beach PartyBeach-Party-thefoodforgood-travel.

Since we stayed there over the New Year, we were able to enjoy the New Year party on the beach. There were plenty of hats and sunglasses, a DJ with a drone that was filming the party, and at night time, we were surprised by gorgeous fireworks. These fireworks were the icing on the cake since neither one of us really expected them. Both of us really enjoyed that party. The buffet on New Year’s also included many dishes like grilled lobsters, smoked salmon, and many kinds of cheese, among many others. Overall, it was a great vacation, we really enjoyed being in a warm climate, having a few drinks and
enjoying the ocean and sun.

Mama Juana:Mama-Juana-thefoodforgood-travel.
This drink consists of rum, red wine, honey, tree bark, and herbs. According to the people there, Mama Juana has many medicinal values and can heal ailments from stomach pains to the flu. Apparently, the drink cleans the digestive system, liver, and kidneys. The ingredients vary from region to region, but some of the common herb
are following:

  • Anamú (Petiveria alliacea)
  • Anis Estrellado (Illicium verum)
  • Bohuco Pega Palo (Cissus verticillata)
  • Albahaca (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Canelilla (Cinnamodendron ekmanii)
  • Bojuco Caro (Princess Vine)
  • Marabeli (Securidaca virgata)
  • Clavo Dulce (Whole Clove)
  • Maguey (Agave spp.) leaves
  • Clavo Dulce (Whole Clove)
  • Maguey (Agave spp.) leaves
  • Timacle (Chiococca alba)The drink is consumed in a shot glass as needed. We picked up a couple of
    bottles in the airport.

 

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