We often get questions about places to visit and stay while visiting the Dominican Republic. Although we haven’t traveled the island as much as we would like, due to time and money, we have tried to visit different areas when possible. I hope to start writing about these experiences more so that others can see the beautiful sites to see here in the DR. This island truly has some breathtaking scenery!
Last year in February, the K’s, our friends, Julia and Jo, and my family went whale watching in Samana. Each year between 3-5 thousand humpback whales migrate and mate through the waters of Samana during the months of January-March. If you ever come here during those months, this is a DON’T MISS opportunity. There are several different boat tour companies available. We used Whale Samana and were very pleased. We were fortunate enough to see a momma and baby whale breach, which was very exciting. It just so happened that, during this time, Lexie was studying whales in her homeschooling. She was able to take much that she learned and actually see it in person. She loved sharing with us the things that she had learned. It was a good education for all of us.
We didn’t actually stay in Samana. We stayed about 45 minutes away in Las Terrenas. I love this community and think that it would be fun to live there someday. It seems like a quaint little beach town. There is a heavy European population so there are many restaurants from which to choose.
After searching on VRBO, I found a little casita within a short 5 minute walk to the beach. After contacting the owner directly, he offered us an amazing discount so that we could afford to stay there. It was large enough to accommodate 12 people, and also included a large den and kitchen with an outdoor living area and dining area. We also had our own private pool.
We enjoyed Las Terrenas so much that we returned this year with the K’s and Mo’s family. The little casita from the year before was not available. I did, however, find another one on VRBO –>HERE . This owner also gave us a super good deal since we were missionaries. It turned out to be PERFECT for our crew. If you ever stay in Las Terrenas and have a large group, this one is very accommodating. Each room has air conditioning and there are actually 3 separate little casitas, 2 with bedrooms and bathrooms and one with the kitchen and living room. It also has an outdoor living room and outdoor dining area, and a private pool. The manager was very helpful, and we had a lady that came to clean everyday. You can also pay extra and have your own private chef to cook your meals if you prefer. There are several grocery stores near by so we bought food and cook for ourselves. We will definitely stay here again.
Seriously, it was a little slice of paradise nestled within a 5 minute walk to the beach and about a 5 minute drive to restaurants and shopping. Not sure why it’s called the little banana though…
We tried to get a similar one this year:
We are super sad that the 2016 picture will not include the K’s as they are both returning to the states this year. However, we are excited to start new adventures with the new interns moving here when the K’s leave. The K’s can definitely not be replaced, and they are truly like family in our hearts. God is showing us how to open our hearts to welcome others into our lives though, because the fleshly part of me wants to cry and pout about them leaving.
After staying at these two place the past two years, we fell in love with the outdoor couches and living spaces. We are currently working to finish our own little outdoor space also. Although it isn’t finished, we have already gotten so much use out of it!
Las Terrenas is about 3 hours from the Santo Domingo airport, and definitely worth the extra ride time. If you are looking to get away to a place that isn’t super touristy with a taste of a local beach town, this is perfect. The beach is beautiful and not overcrowded.