I enjoyed being in Santo Domingo this time of year. I have visited at various times of Spring and have been there in December. I must say that October was quite nice! There were no events, no holiday travelers, no crowds. Wherever we went to party there were no more than about 10 tourists. The discos were still full of patrons though, the locals do love to party!
Bar Friends was the only establishment where the numbers were sparse. I guess the buggies were not there in large numbers due to the lack of tourists. That suited me just fine. The only issue with that is the way the buggies swarm the few tourists that are present. Because it is considered the "off season" they all vye for your attention and your dollars. This is a time when one can get highly discounted rates for services.
JayDee's Disco Bar continues to be packed on Friday and Saturday nights. The Dominican gays, the buggarones and tourists keep the place jumping. They are no longer open on Sundays.
CHA, the new kid on the block, is the place to go if you want to party with the "club kids." It is a mostly young crowd that likes the high energy scene similar to clubs in New York or South Beach. Conspicuously absent is the presense of the buggies. We attempted to go on Sunday after we closed Bar Friends. The taxi driver got lost because Bolivar Avenue evidently splits and he went the wrong way. By the time we got there it was 15 minutes till closing. We sat there on the Malecon to relax and talk, when all of a sudden the doors swung open and this massive throng of people came pouring out. The few masculine guys I saw appeared to be the dancers. It was interesting to see the kids hang around, laughing and talking, rather than split the scene so quickly as they do at other clubs.
After we left CHA we decided to check out Duarte Park, since we were told that people congregate there after the clubs close. Not a soul. I reminded myself that Sunday is usually a much quieter day in Santo Domingo. People do the Malecon Libre or the beach during the day and by evening the streets are empty. So we'll have to check out Duarte Park on our next visit.
Overall, the clubs are hot!! Some changes have been made in scheduling and hours of operation due to the new liquor laws. However, a good time can still be had. If you're a night owl you will have to be more creative since things close earlier during the week. CHA has now been given permission to remain open until 3AM on the weekend.