Palm Trees and Ocean Breeze




Hola a todos!

The Dominican Republic is known for it’s beaches with crystalline waters and soft brown sand. I was very fortunate enough to experience these beaches for myself. Throughout the program, on weekends that were free from any excursion as a group we would plan day trips to various beaches. This meant figuring out local transportation like Caribe Tours and Gua Guas to and from the location as well as contacting local travel agencies to plan some excursions.

The first beach that we visited was Sosua which is located in the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic. That was the first time I had stepped foot in the Atlantic Ocean and it was breathtaking. Something that I was not expecting was how hot the sand would actually be. You could not walk on the sand for too long because it would leave burn marks on your feet.

I mention this because since it is a beach town, Sosua experiences a lot of tourism which means many of the local owners that are Dominicans profit off of this, but the workers who are Haitian were exploited and had to do the work of running up and down the beach serving the tourists with no form of footwear. Although this was my first time experiencing a Caribbean beach, it was also my first time witnessing the inequalities between Dominicans and Haitians.

The second beach we went to was La Ensenada which is located in the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic as well. We did not spend a lot of time on this actual beach because our destination was to get to Cayo Arena also known as Paradise Island in Montecristi. Cayo Arena is a protected area that the government of the Dominican Republic is very strict on the protocol to safeguard the island. In La Ensenada, through the travel agency that we hired, we hopped onto a speed boat that took us to the island of Cayo Arena.

During the trip on the boat, we stopped in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and were able to hop off the boat because there was a natural occurring pool that was not shallow. An interesting thing to note is that the colors of the water change depending on how deep it is. The more shallow it is, the clearer and turquoise color it is. Were as the deeper it is, the less clear and darker blue color it is. Once we got to Cayo Arena, we were able to go snorkeling. That was my first time snorkeling and it was beautiful to see all the fish and marine life there.


The last and final beach that we went to was Las Terrenas which is located in the Samana Peninsula of the Dominican Republic. This was by far my favorite experience on a Dominican beach. It was very different than the other two beaches we had visited previously. The sand was not hot what so ever and the sand was finer than the other two, but the water was a lot saltier than the first two. I think more so what made this trip unforgettable was because our group was a lot more close to one another so we got to enjoy the beauty of Las Terrenas. One of my favorite parts was dancing Bachata on the beach with some of the local Dominicans. I did not want that day to end.

I can’t wait to see what this beautiful country of the Dominican Republic has in store.

Until next time,

Crystal Alcala