I just got back from a BEAUTIFUL trip to the Dominican Republic with my mom and 8 month old baby! Couldn’t wait to share the details!
I had travelled to the DR over 10 years ago in an all inclusive resort with my family and one of my best friends and her family. We had just turned 18, it was sunny we were allowed to have some rhum… it was the best
All inclusive now feel less appealing … I really wanted to VISIT the country… and it did not disappoint (even with a small baby!)
I was lucky enough to have a contact who lives there who recommended places and guided me in the planning of this trip. I was also inspired by this blog article to construct our itinerary
Arrival (February 16) : Puerto Plata Airport (Gregorio Luperon). Unfortunately our flight landed at 8:30 PM so we rented our car directly at the airport and drove 15 KM to Sosua (my big stress of the trip!)
Sosua (February 17) : We didn’t really visit the town since we got in after dark. I wouldn’t recommend our “hotel”, the guy had closed up shop and went to bed (although we had warned him in advance we would get in a bit late)… a very nice neighbour helped us out !
We left the next morning, quick stop by the ocean on the side of the road … our first glimpse of the ocean!
Playa Grande : We LOVED IT! we were there on a sunday so it was pretty busy (locals and toursits). What we loved is that you can pretty much sit wherever you want and waiters can brings food /drinks to you!
Cabrera (2 nights February 18 – 19 ): Lovely little coastal town
We had rented here which was beautiful
We ate both nights at “Entre Amigos” DELICIOUS walking distance Italian restaurant (And Elliot slept in the baby carrier)
We spent a morning at Playa Diamante which we regretted, disappointed by the beach itself and an overpriced breakfast… we headed back to playa Grande for the afternoon
Road to Playa Rincon (February 19 ) : The road is pretty long but beautiful, I wasn’t too used to riding with scooters everywhere so I drove pretty slow… On the road Nagua and surroundings was worth the stop (Playa Bojolo)
Samana didn’t charm us, touristy and not very pretty around the port
Playa Rincon (February 19-25) : the beach was THE reason we drove all this was…. and IT WAS WORTH IT!!
We stayed a few KMs away in an ecolodge (about 10 min car drive)
The ecolodge was great! An immense tropical ground, a pool and lovely local meals at night. They adapted all our meals to our vegan diet which I really appreciated
I didn’t get a chance to visit the “agriculture” par of the grounds but I know it’s possible. They organise permaculture certificates and are very involved.
Buuutt.. it IS an ecolodge so the small cabins are very dark (to preserve the cool) and you share it with roommate (huge spider in our shower, tarantula over the bathroom door… but also fireflies and butterflies) for pictures of the shower spider see here:
Return (February 25) : We drove all the back from Playa Rincon to the airport for our flight at 9:35 PM (leaving Rincon around 10 AM)
We left early to stop for a lunch break at Nagua and one last look at the ocean in Cabarete before heading home
What I would have liked to do:
- Laguna Dudu / Laguna Grigri : Didn’t get a chance to stop (Elliot was sleeping)
- Las Terrenas and Las Galeras : Too much road for our little one… next time!
- We rented a compact SUV at the airport, when we brought it back the guy said it would be cheaper to rent it in Sosua but that it was possible to take it and leave it at the airport to avoid the 130$ US airport tax!…. to try!
- I did not regret the SUV. Although the roads are pretty ok, there were times I was happy to have a 4×4!
- Don’t drive at night if you can avoid it!
- I bought a local SIM card in Sosua… for 20$US I had 500 GB internet, facebook et whatsapp unlimited and local calls
- We drank bottled water and ate what locals were eating…. hard to eat vegetarian (and vegan) but I managed … fries are always a good bet!
Organisation for 8 month old baby
Elliot was absolutely fantastic during the trip! He’s a naturally observant baby so as soon as his surroundings changes he enters “inspector Elliot” mode!
Cars aren’t really his thing but by trying to organise traveling around his naps and always having some bread around (he LOVED local “pan de coco”) and having time for breaks when necessary, overall things went pretty smoothly
We brought our own carseat on the plane
He ate at the table with is (I bought a little “mini monkey” type chair) that adapts to different normal chairs. When we went out later he would sleep on me in the carrier.
He’s used to “baby led weaning” so he loves eating at the table with us. We usually try to give him some of what we’re having (with reduced / no salt) but we made some exceptions at the ecolodge, he was just TOO happy to eat local food and new fruits!
I had brought his usualy morning cereal (I mixed it with fresh breast milk lol) and about 20 “squeezy” type purees in case I could’t find anythingJ
For the beach we had this little tent to protect him from the sun and wind… did not regret this!! (found it second hand on facebook marketplace)
I answered some questions (in french) in my instastory But don’t hesitate if you have any!