Scenes from the Dominican Republic’s Northern Coast

With more detailed descriptions of the press trip coming this week, I wanted to post some scenes from our 5 days on the Dominican Republic’s Northern Coast. Occupying nearly two-thirds of the island of Hispanola in the Caribbean, the Dominican is best known for its beautiful beaches, tasty rum and quality cigars. Growing up in Montreal, the most affordable spring break trips were to Punta Cana in the Dominican and as a result most travelers remained woefully uninformed about the other attractions that the country has to offer. This press trip appealed to me for that reason: it was a perfect opportunity to read up on the tangled history of Hispanola as a whole, and to try some of the adventure activities that the North Coast is known for.

One of the most dramatic things to happen on the trip occurred in Los Haitises National Park — photo below. Andrea, another woman on the press trip, jumped off our boat and into the beautiful waters of the national park. Unfortunately she scraped her leg against a screw on the boat as she leapt off of it, tearing through skin almost to the bone and surprising herself in the process. Luckily I had sutures and antibiotic cream and a robust first aid kit with me — there is a REASON I recommend it heavily on my World Travel Resources page! — and was able to help her fix it up until we got to the hospital.

Cue us all in the bus on the long drive back to the bigger city, me asking another person on the trip to hold Andrea’s leg together so that I could suture it up and then wrap it in gauze to tide her over.

The bad news is that she couldn’t partake in the rappelling we did the next day. The GOOD news is that she was fine, and the doctor patched her right up, quickly. The even better news is that it was the basis of a friendship, one that I have no doubt years later will still be in place.

Often it’s not just the places we see or the things we eat that make things memorable, but the crazy stories from the people we’ve met along the way. We all know this already; it’s human nature. But even on an organized trip things can go awry, and I am happy I was there to help when they did!

(Now no one makes fun of me for having a first aid kit, I  will tell you that!)

A sampling of the pictures from our trip to the Dominican Republic’s north coast:

Simple and beautiful: view of El Portillo beach on the Samana Peninsula, taken from the Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo.

A delicious lobster dinner at the Sea Horse Ranch in Cabarete.

One of many beautiful caves to explore in Los Haitises National Park

The rolling hills of the Samana Peninsula on the way to Salta El Limon.

View of Salta El Limon, cascading falls near Samana.

Bottle of rum, sandy and sea-soaked on Cabarete Beach.

Samana Peninsula and its curving bay from my room at the Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa.

A group of happy travel bloggers in Cabarete, post 27-falls adventure trip with Iguana Mama


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