RSSArchive for November, 2012

Festival features free percussion concert

Sara Renelik
Puerto Plata Provincial Festival
Nine municipalities in the province of Puerto Plata and 200 local institutions are preparing to showcase local culture over the weekend of 16, 17 and 18 November. During the FEPP event more than 60 new arts and crafts will be on sale, there will be bachata dancing contests and a drumming performance featuring Canadian singer and choreographer Sara Renelik and Dominican composer José Duluc, who have collaborated on a show entitled “The Power of The Tambor” that highlights the talents of 15 leading percussionists from the province.
A model of Puerto Plata province is being created in the Central Park in Puerto Plata City for the three-day event.
The event is being sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, municipal governments and the Japanese cooperation agency, JICA. They are working towards including the municipalities in the TURISOPP project with the municipalities of Imbert, Luperon, La Isabela, Altamira, Guananico, Villa Isabela, Estero Hondo, Los Hidalgos, Cerro de navas, Sosua, Villa Montellano, Maimon, San Felipe de Puerto Plata, Yasica Arriba and Pedro Garcia de Santiago, among others.
The inaugural event takes place on Tuesday, 13 November at 5:30pm at the Casa de la Cultura in Puerto Plata.

See the Calendar of Events

See Sara Renelik in this performance in Santiago May 2012

$59 million resort project heralds region’s reawakening

President Medina visits north coast flood victims

Rains displace 12,000 in northern provinces

At least people were forced from their homes, leaving more than 3000 families homeless, due to flooding caused by intense rains that pelted the northern part of the country over the past two days.
The Emergency Operations Center, or COE, said in a communique that it decreed a yellow alert in eight provinces and issued lesser warnings for two others in the face of the danger of sudden flooding.
Almost all of the displaced people are being put up in the homes of friends and relatives, the COE (the national emergency operations center) said.
The provinces under the yellow alert include Montecristi, Dajabon, Santiago Rodriguez, Valverde, Puerto Plata, Espaillat, Maria Trinidad Sanchez and Samana, while Monseñor Nouel and La Vega are under a green alert.
The COE also recommended that small boats remain in port since high seas and abnormally strong winds are being registered along the country’s entire Atlantic coast.
Authorities emphasized that the rains have not caused any known deaths, and they recommended that the public continue to follow the precautionary measures and recommendations mentioned in the periodic COE bulletins.

Tubagua Plantation Eco Lodge

Damajagua’s Joe Kennedy wins US Congress seat

Joe Kennedy III

Many Dominicans have a personal relationship with one of the winners in the November US election. Joseph Patrick Kennedy III, who spent two years in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer working on the successful Damajagua Falls sustainable community tourism project, was elected to represent Massachusetts in the US House of Representatives. A Democrat, he defeated Republican Sean Bielat 61% to 36%. Kennedy was a key volunteer in a landmark sustainable ecotourism project using his skills to work both at the grassroots and high political levels. He worked side-by-side with community members in the Damajagua Falls Guides Association to win a government concession that enabled them to directly benefit from the leading ecotourism attraction. During his two years living in the community, between 2004 and 2006, he used his business acumen and his connections to prevent the resource from being privatized. Kennedy, who is the grandson of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, came to work in Puerto Plata after graduating in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. After leaving he completed a law degree at Harvard Law School in 2009. He was an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County in Massachusetts when he decided to run for office. See the New York Times article


Police major busted at airport

PUERTO PLATA– National Police major Jose Antonio Polanco Rodríguez was charged Wednesday with helping a drug trafficking network ship narcotics to Europe and Canada, allegedly using his post as Assistant Security director at Puerto Plata International Airport. He’s accused together with other junior officers and enlistees, in the cocaine shipments for an alleged ringleader, which the National Agency (DNCD) identified as Miguel Quezada Nicasio.
– Dominican Today

Puerto Plata Region at a glance

An overview…

What can you expect on a visit to these shores?

Playa Dorada
Beaches that just don’t quit... Most of the north coast is beach and most of the beaches are unspoiled and undeveloped

View of Puerto Plata coastline from the Panoramic RouteBreathtaking countryside… More than just a strip of sand in the sea, this is the second largest island in the Caribbean with an ever changing terrain and non-stop unspoiled natural beauty.

Almost all visitors comment on how Dominicans are the friendliest people they have ever met when

Latin culture…
counterbalanced by the familiar faces and flavors of many Europeans and North Americans who have relocated

Raw nature… but you don’t have to rough it. You can be four-wheeling through jungle roads by day and, at night, be sipping sipping French wine and eating lobster in your cottons beside the beach.

Not expensive … No matter your style of travel, you encounter relatively good value. With few exceptions, dining out costs US$8-$20 and local drinks are about $3 apiece. In other island nations prices are typically 30- to 50% higher than at home; here, virtually all local services and supplies cost the same, or less, than at home.

Easy to get to… Daily flights from Miami (2 hrs), New York (3 hrs), Atlanta (2 1/2 hours) Puerto Rico (1 hr), weekly charters
from dozens of Canadian and European cities.

Backpackers… Lots of pensiones, cheap hotel rooms and inexpensive public transportation. Easy hops from place to place with something different to experience at each one.

Luxury… This destination attracts many very well heeled people who want to get away from all that. You won’t find Marriot or Sheraton but you do find some very exclusive and comfortable owner-operated small hotels and you can also rent million-dollar villas by the week. Most of the large resorts are predominantly filled with economy travelers on all-inclusive vacations; a handful are four-star. Meanwhile, you can get just about anything you want, from private car and driver to helicopters and yachts. Maxim Bungalows in Cofresi, poolside

All-inclusive resorts… There are dozens of all-inclusive beach resorts, where food, drinks, beach equipment and a long list of amenities are all part of a one-price package including airfare conveniently organized out of major European, American and Canadian cities. Lots of great deals available.

Adventure Travel… Dozens of specialty vacations are being offered by people who came as tourists and then moved
back to set up shop because they discovered that this place is great for… horseback riding in the mountains (several
excellent ranches), getting scuba diving certification (one of the least expensive places to get it), windsurfing (excellent schools for learning and all services for pros), white water rafting, whale watching (the largest Atlantic ocean gathering of humpback whales spawning January to March in Samana Bay), hiking trips (the tallest mountain in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, 10,000 ft, with guides and mules available), mountain biking (bikes and guided tours for all levels), motocross and four-wheeling (dirt bikes and jeeps for rent and you’ll find endless, unmapped backroads). There are plenty of guided day trips and excursions that make it easy to have a tropical or third world adventure and get back to the comfort of your hotel by the end of the day.

Relocating and Investing… Each year more people come and don’t leave. As one of our friends says, “my cost of living is equivalent to my tax and utilities budget back home.” People looking for a place to retire, or who simply dream of living in the Caribbean will find that there are a lot of good reasons. price and friendly people being the main ones, to consider this part of the Caribbean.

. This guide will help you find all of this and more.

Have you already booked your trip? Don’t forget to get a free copy of our Puerto Plata Hot! Regional Visitors Guide that you can download to bring with you maps, coupons and local information that you will be glad you have once you get here!