TRAVEL DIARY IN WEST USA AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (DIY) FROM 30/06 TO 18/07 2014
Do-it-yourself on the road trip in the West USA-Dominican Republic studied for months in the smallest details and with flights booked 4 months before departure (by Silvio and Anna).
In the USA we visit three states: Nevada, Arizona and Utah, in the Dominican Republic we visit the provinces of Santo Domingo and Saman ?.
flight (Lufthansa-Condor) Naples - Frankfurt-Las Vegas (15 h 45 min) departing at dawn from Naples and arriving at around 13 in Las Vegas after a stopover in Frankfurt. A good flight smoothly and with little turbulence.
We land at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas at approximately 13pm. After entry controls and after collecting your bags, we head to the Hertz car rental site
In about ten minutes we reach our hotel, where we will stay two nights, the New York-New York, a splendid Hotel inspired by the old New York, with a facade dominated by the historic skyscrapers of New York and by replicas of some New York attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, New York Bay, Brooklin Bridge and other monuments. In addition, the famous roller coaster runs along the walls of the hotel, ie? an adrenal roller coaster that runs around the entire perimeter of the hotel. After check in, we literally sink into the over-sized beds of the room, resting for a few hours.
Upon awakening we proceed to explore the hotel admiring the views with the perfectly reconstructed facades of the buildings of old New York. We then go out on the Strip, the main street of Las Vegas, and through elevated pedestrian junctions we reach the nearby hotels, located in the initial stretch of the Strip, such as the Excalibur Hotel & Casin ?, a castle hotel with towers with colored roofs with a medieval setting , the Luxor Hotel & Casin? with its pyramid and laser light beam with setting on ancient Egypt. We return to the Strip and after a nice walk we reach Paris Las Vegas, located in front of the famous fountains of the Hotel Bellagio. The Paris Las Vegas? a? hotel and casino? which is inspired by the city? Paris.
It features reproductions of some famous Parisian attractions such as the sparkling Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Opera Garnier and the Louvre. Unfortunately we are unable to eat, without reservations and after 21 pm, in the characteristic restaurants of the hotel, the Eiffel Restaurant located on a magnificent panoramic terrace overlooking the fountains of Bellagio, and Le Village, reproducing an Alsatian village. We still manage to eat something in a diner nearby? of the beautiful Ferris wheel? High Roller ?, why? Las Vegas will be also the city? who never sleeps, but if you don't get organized in restaurants by 21pm, especially in hotels, you can hardly eat.
We go back to the hotel exhausted
After an excellent breakfast at the New York-New York, we head to the Strip where we immediately notice the contrast between the suffocating heat of the outside and the cool climate of the hotels. divert the pi? it is possible to travel along the Strip inside the hotels.
We reach in about 20 minutes on foot the Bellagio Luxury Resort & Casino, a splendid hotel modeled on the style of the houses and landscape of Lake Como (Bellagio is in fact a town on Lake Como) whose main attraction? represented by the fountain show (15-20 every 30 min, 20-24 every 15 min). In fact, the hotel overlooks an artificial lake with dozens of fountains with water games and thousands of lights, which to the rhythm of music create magnificent choreographies with water columns up to 76 meters high. The interior of the Bellagio with the casino, the restaurants and the botanical garden are also extremely elegant and pleasant to visit.
After the Bellagio we head to the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casin?, An immense and sumptuous hotel with finishes, monuments, columns and statues reminiscent of ancient Rome. The hotel houses several restaurants and eateries, a shopping mall, a spa, several swimming pools, rooms and the ever-present casino.
After the visit we return to the Strip, we pass two other famous hotels, Flamingo Hotel & Casino and Harrah? S Hotel Casin?, Before reaching The VenetianResort.
The Venetian Resort inspired by the Venice lagoon, and? a huge hotel complex with an area in front of the entrance where the Campanile of San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, the Doge's Palace, the lagoon and the canals are faithfully reproduced. The canals, crossed by gondolas very similar to the lagoon ones, continue inside the structure branching out among the Venetian-style buildings hosting restaurants, bars, shopping centers, shops, casinos, museums, etc. in a fantastic atmosphere and at the same time strange with a fake sky illuminated by day. We spend a few hours walking in the Venetian, where the opportunities to take pictures or spend something are truly endless, and eat something at the Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, with cozy tables overlooking a canal, but with expensive and barely edible food.
We continue along the Strip, we cross The Volcano with its beautiful show of flames which is part of the Hotel-Casin? The Mirage, the Treasure Island Hotel & Casin? inspired by the theme of pirates, up to the Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower which has a structure in the shape of a tower 350 meters high (the highest in the United States) from whose terrace you can? enjoy a spectacular panoramic view over the city. Also at the top of the tower are some? Extreme? Attractions. with rides that allow you to remain suspended in the void and that impress just looking. Exhausted, we return to the New York-New York area by taxi. We eat a great salmon steak with grilled vegetables and chips at the Outback Steakhouse on the Strip.
After breakfast we leave Las Vegas in Nevada to head southeast to Sedona in Arizona.
The wide road runs along an arid, rocky landscape adorned with hills with little vegetation. We make a short stop at Willow Beach Scenic View, along road 93, where can you? admire a spectacular panorama of the arid and rocky hills cut by the meandering path of the Colorado River. In the vicinity? of Flagstaff the landscape becomes less arid, more? rich in vegetation, until it becomes wooded, coloring itself with infinite pines and evergreen firs. The stretch of road from Flagstaff to Sedona (AZ 89A)? one of the most scenic roads? beautiful throughout the West Coast, unwinding in a real coniferous forest between mountains and rocks more and more? reds (Coconino National Forest). Along the road ? easy to spot deer.
Sedona? an extremely charming small town, located between the counties of Yavapai and Coconino, surrounded by canyons and mountains of red rock and verdant woods. Sedona also hovers a mystical climate due to the alleged ancestral energy vortices underlying its rocky structures that interacting with the s? interior would facilitate meditation, prayer and healing. We reach our accommodation on a hill: the Sky Ranch Lodge. The structure surrounded by nature, has terraces with spectacular views over the red rock landscapes of Sedona. The main structure and the bungalows are covered with wood and equipped with every comfort, surrounded by terraces, balconies, large spaces, trees, streams with wooden bridges, wooden platforms and swimming pools. A few meters from the Lodge on the left we walk to another viewpoint, the Sedona Airport Overlook. We take the car back in the direction of Sedona and after just one kilometer we park the car in the small space on the right (Airport Mesa) where magnificent routes on earth and red rocks begin, leading to panoramic points of extreme beauty, such as the Sedona Trail View Point. Do we see a storm with strong activity approaching among the majestic red rocks? electric that gives even more? energy, mystery and beauty to the place.
After a few hours, under a sporadic drizzle, we reach the central area of Sedona, where you can take pleasant walks among shops full of stones and spiritual objects, and country-style restaurants. We stop for a drink at the panoramic tables at the back of Sinagua Plaza and after ap? at the good Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits where we eat a good meal of meat, salad and chips. At the exit we marvel at a double rainbow that envelops the sky. In the evening we visit the Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village, a beautiful reconstruction of a Mexican village full of art galleries, craft shops, restaurants, cafes where we spend, exhausted, the last moments of the day
Early in the morning after informing the reception for a delayed check out of a few hours, we aim for Jerome, a small abandoned town (ghost-town) with buildings, sidewalks and old streets, perched on the hills of the Prescott National Forest and far away. about 40min (43km) from Sedona. We take a short visit with a leisurely stroll including breakfast to the picturesque Mile High Grill. We return to Sedona for the excursion to Bell Rock (48 min? 48 km). The Bell Rock? a gigantic fiery red monolith surrounded by other majestic rock structures of red sandstone, which stands in an extended semi-desert area on a sparse bush, and from whose base there are paths that reach different levels of altitude. The scenery of the landscapes along the walk? just wonderful. C ?? a paid parking lot at the base of the Bell Rock from which a red dirt path starts that goes through cacti, bushes and trees, before starting to climb. Indispensable are a hat, sunglasses and water. The duration of the excursion can? vary from a couple of hours (recommended in summer for high temperatures) to the whole day.
After the Bell Rock we reach in 5 minutes, along the beautiful AZ 179, Cathedral Rock, a complex of red rocks formed by two twin spiers and a central bridge that resemble a cathedral as a whole. We admire it for a few moments, but we are tired and very late and we do not undertake any trail. We retrieve our bags and strength by stopping to eat at a diner along the way, and then proceed north towards the Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim). In the afternoon, along the way we have planned a last stop of a couple of hours at Slide Rock State Park (admission car $ 20, hours 8-19). The peculiarity? of the park derives essentially from the beauty of the red rock canyon carved by the Oak Creek River which can be reached through paths and where you can? eventually wet. The surrounding scenery? dominated by majestic red rocks and a dense forest. Although in a hurry we can see the essentials of the Park, then we continue our march to the south entrance that leads to the Grand Canyon Village (car admission $ 25, 24 hours). We reach the Yavapai Lodge at sunset, a structure surrounded by nature, located 1 km from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, equipped with comfortable rooms with large windows overlooking the woods and a discreet restaurant. We arrange the suitcases and catapult ourselves anxiously outside towards the Canyon. But the sight of that wonder blocks the breath, calms the soul, confuses the sight, tightens the mouth.
That immense gorge of millions of years of erosion of the Colorado River and its tributaries,? of indescribable beauty and leaves us amazed, silent and immobile for a few minutes. We walk at sunset on the fenced path along the canyon, equipped with very interesting explanatory signs, until the darkness surprises us, forcing us to work hard to reach and recognize our accommodation. After an American dinner without infamy and without praise, exhausted by fatigue, we go to bed.
After breakfast, we dedicate most of the day, with the help of the free shuttles, to visiting the main observation points of the Grand Canyon. There are three shuttle lines: orange, red and blue.
The Orange Route (KaibabRoute) connects the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to 50 scenic viewpoints Mather, Yaki and Yavapai (beautiful), Pipe Creek Vista, South Kaibab in about a 5-minute ride.
The 12 km long Red Route (Hermit Road), explores in 75 minutes on the run, the largest region in the world. western South Rim with 9 viewpoints: Trail view Overlook, Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, Mohave Point, The Abyss, Monument Creek, Pima Point, Hermits Rest. Not to be missed are Hopi, Maricopa, Pima, The Abyss.
The Blue Route connects the main points of the Grand Canyon Village.
There is another scenic route, accessible only by car, the 40 km long Desert View Drive, which connects the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to the Desert View Watchtower with 6 viewpoints: Navajo Point, Lipan Point, Moran Point, Grandview Point, Yaki Point , Pipe Creek Point. We used this road to reach, at the end of the visit, the east exit of the park. convenient to proceed north
The planned stops of the day are in order: Powell Dam, Antelope Canyon Lower, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, road to Goulding's Lodge in Monument Valley.
After an excellent breakfast at the hotel, we make a short stop at the Glen Canyon Dam with the Dam Bridge and the spectacular course of the Colorado River. We proceed to the Antelope Canyon which is 12 km (15 min) from Page. L? Antelope Canyon (Upper, Lower, X)? a slot canyon, a deep and narrow fissure in the rock with vertiginous and undulating red walls created by the erosion of wind and water, located in a desert area of red-apricot sand. The light, which enters from above according to the angle of the sun's rays, gives the sandstone a splendid tonality. chromatic with shades and shades ranging from yellow, to orange, to pink, to purple, which make it one of the most? striking and photographed US parks. The park has an opening hours in summer from 8 to 17 with a cost of about $ 35 each including taxes and permits, and? run by the Navajo Indians
Monument Valley National Park (admission car $ 20, summer time: 6-20) famous throughout the world as an icon of the American Far West, currently managed by the Navajo Indians. We proceed along the Valley Drive, a dirt road of red sand that winds between mesas, monoliths, pinnacles up to the red rock conformations. famous and features shaped by millions of years of erosion. Along the way you can admire: East and West Mitten Buttes, Merrick Buttes, Elephant Butte, The Three Sisters, Totem Pole, Artist? S Point, John Ford? S Point, Sentinel Mesa, Mitchell Mesa, Rain God Mesa, Spearhead Mesa, Thunderbird Mesa. The amazing desert views interrupted by these majestic rocks, views and magazines in more? films, give unique emotions.
After about 2/3 hours of excursion we return by car, on US-163, towards Moab. In the evening we reach the Rustic Inn in Moab, the classic American motel with basic rooms, ample parking, picnic area and a beautiful swimming pool. We spend the evening walking in the central area of Moab full of shops, bars and restaurants. We eat a decent pizza at the local Pizza Hut before returning to the motel.
We decide to have breakfast at the Red Cliff Lodge, 30 minutes and 27 km from Moab, we are also surprised by the quality? and quantity? buffet breakfast that will make us skip lunch.
On the way back we park the car in one of the lay-bys along the UT-128 and follow one of the paths through the vegetation that takes us to a very suggestive area of rapids of the Colorado River. Then we head to Dead Horse Point State Park 40 min and 53 km from Moab (car admission $ 20, opening hours 6-20), part of the Canyonlands area. From the parking lot you have to walk a few hundred meters through the so-called Dead Horse Point Trail to reach the main natural terrace of the site from which you can observe the splendid glimpse of the green bend of the Colorado River, in the immense amphitheater of canyons and brown-red rocks of Canyolands, recently cut more? of a dirt path, the Potash Road, an off road road that leads to the interior of Canyolands.
After visiting the whole area, we return by car to reach another pearl dreamed of from home: Goblin Valley State Park, about 2 h (180 km) from Dead Horse Point State Park, heading west, in the same direction as ours. final destination. The way to reach it? first the US-191 and I-70, then turn left after Green River on another Scenic Road the UT-24 which in the stretch up to the Goblin Valley cuts through a very flat desert environment. Goblin Valley State Park (car admission $ 15, opening hours 6-22pm)? a desert valley, with extraterrestrial features, characterized by thousands of pinnacles and red-vermilion rock formations with the most? bizarre that usually resemble ghosts, mushrooms, gnomes, houses. There are also monumental rock structures such as Molly? S Castle, Theree Sisters and other massifs that feature a distinctive greenish-gray color at the top. The valley ? divided into three parts and you can take several trails (Entrada Canyon Trail, Carmel Canyon Trail, Curtis Benchtrail), but we preferred to walk aimlessly inside.
After a couple of hours of walking, we resume the UT-24 which extends to the town of Torrey. The endless landscapes with the colorful rocky mountains that meet are wonderful and often force us to stop to take photos, especially in the section where the UT-24 crosses the Capitol Reef National Park. UT-24? essentially the main road of this interesting park, on which there are a series of viewpoints with majestic rock formations in layered colors (the Castle, Sunset Point, Panorama Point, Mummy Cliff, Chimney Rock, Twin Rocks, Behunin Cabin, l? orchards area, the visitor center, the start of some trails (Reef Scenic Drive, Grand Wash Trailhead, Hickman Bridge Trailhead) The continuation from the east of UT-24, is the Scenic Road UT-12, which is a so beautiful that we forget we have been behind the wheel for hours. We cross the Dixie National Forest. The landscape changes becoming rich in woods with deer easily visible and spectacular views. Not to be missed are the mountain viewpoints Homestead Overlook and Larb Hollow Overlook. After the town of Boulders we stop to admire other viewpoints such as the Calf Creek Viewpoint and the Boynton Overlook. Then we enter the area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument which offers and sensational views of green woods framed by creamy white and red rocky mountains. To remember the viewpoint The Blues / Powell Point Vista. IS? dark, at the height of the tiny town of Cannonville, where we stop in the only grocery store still open to buy something to eat for the evening, we turn south on Kodachrome Road and after about 11 km we reach the Kodachrome Basic State Park (entrance car $ 8).
Our accommodation? the Red Stone Cabins and Camper Store located inside the park. These are cozy terraced wooden chalets, with small terrace, barbecue and parking, completely isolated and surrounded by nature. A couple of New Yorkers from the adjoining chalet knocks on us and offers us a tray with some welcome snacks. Americans, mostly? suspicious, asphyxiated by an often inhuman way of life, imposed by high finance and multinationals, at times they return to a human dimension surprising with simple gestures. A distant storm with lightning and thunder, seen from the terrace of the accommodation, isolated in nature and in complete darkness, makes the last moments of the day unforgettable.
After a great breakfast outdoors, we dedicate a few hours to the park which? a real hidden and colorful pearl. Pinnacles, spiers, monoliths, stratified mountains of sandstone with colors ranging from red, to yellow, to white stand out against the blue of the sky and stand on extensive golden grassy dunes interrupted by green bushes and trees. In a silent and solitary context you can do several trails more? or less long, and not tiring, along the wonderful paths.
After the visit we return by car to reach the Bryce Canyon National Park which is 37 km away (about 45 min). Bryce Canyon National Park ($ 35, 24 h)? famous for its spectacular views of canyons and amphitheaters of? hoodoos ?, multiple spiers and pinnacles of rocks sculpted by millions of years of erosion that change their color from pale pink to bright orange throughout the day. Several paths allow you to get in touch with this natural wonder by directly descending into the valleys. There is also a shuttle service running along the road that runs alongside the Bryce Amphitheater with the following stops: Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, Sunset campground, Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Campground, Sunset Point and (Sunrise Point), Bryce Canyon Lodge. We visit the same points by car and stop at Sunset Point, from where the excursion on foot for the Navajo Loop, the most? beautiful path of the Park which, through a narrow and steep gorge between red rock walls (Wall Street) and extraterrestrial views, leads to a canyon where very high fir trees make their way through the rocks close together. At this point you can? go back or continue along the Queen? s Garden Trail (4 km, 2 h) which, through fascinating rock formations and tall trees, returns to Sunset Point, from where you can? take back the car. Back in the car we visit other beautiful viewpoints of the Scenic Drive: Natural Bridge, Agua Canyon and Rainbow Point. After the visit, we leave the park, join the I-15S highway and proceed to Las Vegas.
We arrive in the late afternoon at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, whose splendid rooms, extremely luxurious but accessible, directly overlook the Strip and the Ferris wheel (High Roller). We spend the evening at Freemont Street, the most? ancient city street and beating heart of Downtown, currently secondary in importance only to the Strip. We have time to visit both the longest stretch commercial (Freemont Street Experience) is the most? ancient (East Fremont). Freemon Street Experience? easily recognizable as it is completely surmounted by a cover illuminated by millions of LEDs (Viva Vision) that fill it with lights, designs and colors along which there are casinos? (Golden Gate Casino Hotel, Golden Nuggets Hotel Casino), shops, bars, pubs, concerts, night clubs, various clubs and where the most famous characters circulate. variegated of the human race. East Fremont? pi? sober, less noisy, with vintage hotels and clubs with neon signs reminiscent of old Las Vegas. After having eaten something we return by taxi to the hotel and sleep with the automatic window curtains open where they reflect the colors of the nearby Ferris wheel (High Roller), to continue dreaming of Las Vegas even in sleep.
Early morning departure from Las Vegas, after a stopover in Miami, arrival in the afternoon in Santo Domingo and transfer by taxi from the Las Americas International Airport of Santo Domingo to the nearby seaside town of Boca Chica (10 km, 15 min) where we place the bags to the Hotel Casa Coco. We spend the last hours of daylight on the beautiful beach with typically Caribbean colors and in the evening we take a walk through the central area, which is not exciting.
After breakfast we get a taxi to Las Galeras, the pearl of the Saman peninsula. Las Galeras? a small fishing village still far from mass tourism but with all the main services, part of an area characterized by wild nature, rich in tropical forests, beautiful beaches framed by expanses of coconut palms, islets, hidden coves, natural parks, caves and waterfalls.
We settle for three nights at the Chalet Tropical Village Guest House, run by a tenacious Italian lady with an excellent all Dominican staff, who have managed to create a wonderful oasis, with an immense garden full of vegetation and palm trees, with characteristic wooden bungalows , a few steps from one of the most? beautiful and intimate of Las Galeras: the Playita which is accessed via a fascinating tropical path between palm trees, carob and frangipane.
After arranging the suitcases, following the advice of the owner Sarah, we reach the Playita beach on the beach, a tiny? Restaurant? Dominican family with a couple of tables (at Isabel's), where we eat excellent rice, fresh grilled fish, fried bananas and beer. The day ? very cloudy, but we still spend a few hours relaxing between the beach and the sea; then we go back to the Chalet to get ready for the evening. Within a radius of 700 meters from the Chalet there are supermarkets and several bar-restaurants mainly managed by French, Italians and Dominicans. We spend the evening walking around the quiet village, having dinner at the good El Pescador restaurant based on fish.
sunny day, after an excellent breakfast of your choice, we are accompanied by a kind Dominican, after bargaining, to Playa Rincon (avoid taxis due to the exaggerated costs), 20 km and about 30 minutes from Las Galeras. Playa Rincon? one of the most? beautiful and unspoiled beaches of the Caribbean, still far from mass tourism, characterized by beautiful bays of fine white sand, thousands of coconut palms and a sea with blue and green shades.
On the east side of the beach, corresponding to the first bay you meet, there are some good restaurants with tables on the beach, where you can? eat and drink (fish, chicken, rice, vegetables, fruit, juices, soft drinks, water) with excellent value for money. Once you arrive, the owners of these establishments recommend that you leave your backpack with money, video camera and camera at their restaurants for the chance to do so. to be robbed during the walk on the long and isolated beach, but we take it as an excuse to be forced to eat at your restaurant, and we refuse, wrongly, why? in the middle? road along the beach in the distance we see an ugly thug, very tall, thin and colored, inexplicably tinkering with an ax in his hand next to a wooden boat and constantly turning towards us. We stop petrified but eager to continue the journey up to the small delta of a small river on the west side of Playa Rincon. Luckily, a vigilante car passes through the dirt road behind the beach and, seeing the scene, stops right at the height of the man who leaves the post and disappears into the meanders of the palm forest.
We take advantage of the vigilantes to overcome the obstacle and reach the north-west side of the beach, frequented by families of Dominicans and especially by children. This area ? fantastic for the presence of a small river, the Cano Frio, which through a mangrove forest reaches the beach and flows into the sea. Its waters so? green, clear and fresh, on the white beach, between palm trees and lush vegetation, they create a heavenly corner for bathing. Beyond this area begins wild and dense forests as far as the eye can see. After swimming and relaxing, we go back and stop to eat at one of the restaurants on the beach on the east side. We spend the rest of the afternoon at Playita where we rent a canoe for kayaking, to reach, by sea, the nearby and splendid Playa Caleton.
Evening at the good Dominican restaurant Restaurante Las Galeras.
sunny day, after breakfast, we walk through the tropical path to La Playita which shows itself, in the sunlight, in all its beauty: an inlet of white beach fringed by palm trees that laps a blue-blue sea , transparent and flat. For a few euros you can rent sunbeds and straw umbrellas and even canoes for kayaks. We have lunch at the nearby La Playita Restaurant & Beach Bar, a small restaurant with an incredible view of the sea of La Playita where you can eat well at low cost.
We go back to the Chalet, rent bikes and spend the rest of the afternoon visiting Las Galeras, bringing some gifts and a few smiles to the child workers seen on the plantation, watching some remnants of the World Cup final at the Italian club La Cueva del Pirata, to visit some? galleries? of colorful oil paintings (we buy several), relaxing in Playa Grande waiting for the sunset.
Evening at the discreet La Bodeguita restaurant.
After breakfast, we spend the morning at the Playita, eating at the tables on Isabel's beach, after which? we return to the Chalet where we negotiate with a trusted driver of the owner for the transfer to Las Terrenes, with an intermediate stop at the El Lim? n waterfalls. After about 53 km we reach the site of the El Lim? N waterfall. From the entrance an adventurous path immersed in the forest, of about 2,5 km, which can be traveled on foot or with horses, leads, through indigenous plants and endemic birds, to the spectacular leap (40 meters) from the peaks of the Sierra de Seman ?, of the waterfall El Lim? N. The beauty and the roar of the waterfall, the emerald green water at its feet, the wild nature of the landscape invite you to bathe and relax.
We now arrive at sunset in Las Terrenas. Las Terrenas? a locality? of the Saman? peninsula, for some years very touristy, characterized by buildings in Caribbean colonial style, and by a myriad of hotels, clubs for dancing, restaurants, bars and shops as well as splendid palm beaches with crystal blue sea. The buildings of Las Terrenes however remain low and colorful giving it a characteristic and relaxed atmosphere especially in the area of the Pueblo de Los Pescadores. We settle for two nights at the Hotel La Tortuga, which presents the particularity? to have a magnificent tropical garden with a wooden bar-restaurant with outdoor tables where you can drink at any time of the day and eat, at affordable prices and in absolute relaxation, for breakfast and dinner. After arranging our things, we get ready for the evening and go out. The streets of Las Terrenas are much more? lively of Las Galeras with Caribbean music, such as Merengue and Bachata, which resonates a little? everywhere. We stop at a restaurant with tables and chairs on the beach, Casa Azul where we eat discreetly based on pizza and fish.
after breakfast, we rent a quad with which we visit every corner of Las Terrenas. We first reach the beaches more? as far west as Playa Coson, Playa Bonita, Playa Escondida and Punta Bonita;
in the afternoon we approach the center visiting Playa Las Ballenas, the central area up to Playa Punta Popy, often stopping in some handicraft and painting shop. Among all we preferred Playa Bonita, Punta Bonita and Playa Coson, that is the classic postcard beaches, with few people, white-golden sand, blue sea and endless palm trees. To eat fresh fish or sip something, I recommend the restaurants apparently more? simple, scattered sporadically on the beaches indicated, which are the best for the quality-price ratio. At the end of the day, we go back to the hotel and get ready for another evening in the center. During the evening we negotiate for a ride the next day in Santo Domingo with excellent results. We have dinner and go to sleep exhausted.
After breakfast, early in the morning, in the company of a whole and kind Dominican family, we proceed on time to Santo Domingo. We settle in the El Beaterio Casa Museo, a? Former convent of the 25th? century, located in the heart of the colonial historic center of the city, minutes drive from Las Americas International Airport. El Beaterio has a panoramic terrace, a splendid courtyard and characteristic rooms that together create a wonderful corner that refers to an ancient era both inside and outside.
We dedicate the day to visit the historic center. Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic,? a city? founded in 1946, renowned for the splendid fortified Spanish colonial area, intact and fascinating, characterized by cobbled streets and buildings dating back to the 500th century, declared a World Heritage Site. From El Beaterio we go to the nearby Calle El Conde and after crossing the white Palacio Consistorial de Santo Domingo, we find ourselves in the Parque Colon (Colombo Park), the largest square. known of the colonial area of Santo Domingo, which gives access to the splendid cathedrals Primada del Americas (Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor) and Nuestra Senora de La Encarnacion. On Calle Isabel La Catolica we can admire the Museo de la Catedral de Santo Domingo, the Arzobispado, the Church of Santa Clara. On Calle Padre Billini we visit the Museo-Casa de Tostado, Parque Billini, Parque Fray Bartolom ?, Parque Duarte, the church and convent de los Dominicos, the church of Nuestra Senora del Carmen and the capilla de la Tercera.
Let's go back towards the Ozama river to reach Calle Las Damas, along which we can admire: the Fortaleza Ozama, La casa de Hernan Cortes, the Nuestra Senora de los Remedios Church, many historic buildings often home to embassies, the Panteon National, the Casa de los Gesuitas, the Museo de las Casas Reales. Finally, we reach the pi? evocative of the colonial area: Plaza de Espana (Plaza de Armas), a wonderful square overlooked by numerous restaurants and the Alcazar de Colon, the beautiful house-museum of the slaver Don Diego Colombo, son of the most famous Christopher, dating back to the early 500s. Nearby we visit the ruins of the Monastery of San Francisco and the Santuario de Nuestra Senora de La Altagratia.
We end the day and the last Dominican evening with an outdoor dinner, based on sangria and fish, at the excellent La Aterazana restaurant, in the splendid night setting of the Plaza de Espana.
after breakfast I arrive at the airport around 10 in the morning, flight (Condor-Lufthansa) Santo-Domingo- Frankfurt-Naples overall very good with arrival in Naples around 12 on 18 July 2014.