Nestled in eastern Caribbean is the Dominican Republic. It is the second largest island in the Caribbean and home to about 10 million people. My first trip to DR was about a decade ago, I spent 3 months in Santo Domingo, an entire summer that I can never forget. The beauty of this Island is never ending, it’s not only the pretty scenery and pristine beaches, it is the hearts of gold that the citizens have that make the experience magical.
Many travelers and tourists will experience a bit of a culture shock when roaming through La Romana. There is alot of poverty in the Dominican Republic but never danger. Many children can be found around the city selling fruits or even cleaning shoes. Everyone wearing a huge smile, no matter how many tourists they’ve greeted thus far or how many hours they’ve walked around. It is this humility embedded in the Dominicans that gives you the best understanding of their culture. The city center is a great area to shop around for unique art, souvenirs or to satisfy your taste buds.
Oddly enough, it is hard to find Dominican food in the innner city and alot easier to find Chinese food. Yes I know, weird. If you catch a quick 5 min cab ride, you can find more options for the best Dominican food, one highly recommended restaurant near the city center is Dom Ham. Get a burger and a beer and soak in the amazing vibes. You’ll thank me later.
The beaches are undoubtedly some of the clearest and most breathtaking in the Caribbean. Playa Minitas is one of the most popular beaches on the island but is a resort beach, you must be staying at one of the resorts it’s associated with or purchase a daily pass to enter. Because it isn’t open to just anyone, the beach is spotless and worth whatever spent to get there. I am eternally grateful to the people of the Dominican Republic for helping me understand even more that life is not about money or material objects, it’s about sticking together and leading a happy life despite your circumstances because there is always someone who has it worse. This is a trip I will always hold dear to my heart.