Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Plan Your 2013 Weekend Travel

Rotating holidays and official holidays that fall on Monday or Friday will create six long weekends in the Dominican Republic next year. Four of them will be four-day stretches (Friday through Monday), and two will be Friday to Sunday vacation periods or three-day breaks. This is good to know in advance because these are dates when reservations are more likely to be necessary, and beach and mountain resort areas will have more than their regular share of visitors. The other advantage is that big-ticket shows and entertainment events are laid on for the domestic market in many tourist areas during these dates. It is also a time when there is likely to be company on what are usually secluded beaches. Take note that with more than 60,000 hotel rooms in the DR, vacancies will usually be available even for travelers making last minute bookings. The peak travel times, though, are Easter, Christmas and New Year holidays.
The long weekends in 2013 are:
18, 19, 20, 21 January. Our Lady of Altagracia Long Weekend. Dominicans may take off from Friday, 18 January, extending the holidays for a weekend dedicated to the family.
28, 29, 30, 31 March. Easter Long Weekend. Dominicans will take off from Thursday, 28 March as school is called off from the previous Monday.
26, 27, 28, 29 April. Labor Day Long Weekend. Dominicans are likely to take off from Friday.
30, 31 May, 1, 2 June. Corpus Christi Long Weekend.
16, 17, 18 August. Restoration Day Long Weekend. This marks the Restoration Day holiday that marks the end of school vacation period.
2, 3, 4 November. Constitution Day Long Weekend. Mercedes Day will be celebrated on a Monday creating the long weekend.
For more on holidays in the Dominican Republic, see

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plentiful Plaintains

I thought the Dominican Republic had the exclusive on the fried plaintains, but I'm seeing them prepared all over the caribbean. One of my favorite dishes I must learn to prepare.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ramon

It is something inexplicable to see how things in the cosmos align and cause strange or unexpected things to happen. I was thinking about Santo Domingo the other day when it crossed my mind that Ramon had a birthday today. The next day while I was on the internet I came across these old pics of Ramon I had never seen. So, in honor of his birthday today I am posting them here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hector Camacho Brain Dead

Sad news to report out of Puerto Rico. According to Yahoo! News the famed boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho is brain dead following a shooting.

AP-Hector ''Macho'' Camacho is clinically brain dead, doctors said Thursday, though they said family members were disagreeing on whether to take him off life support.
Dr. Ernesto Torres said doctors have finished performing all medical tests on Camacho, who was shot in the face Tuesday night.
''We have done everything we could,'' said Torres, who is the director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan. ''We have to tell the people of Puerto Rico and the entire world that Macho Camacho has died, he is brain dead.''
He said at a news conference that the family expects to say by Friday if Camacho should remain on life support.
Torres said Camacho's father has already indicated that he wants the boxer taken off life support and his organs donated, but one of his sisters opposes the idea.
''This is a very difficult moment,'' he said.
Ismael Leandry, a longtime friend and former manager, told reporters that Camacho's mother also is wavering on taking her son off life support and would like more time with him. He said the family is waiting for Camacho's oldest son to arrive Thursday night before having a family reunion and making a decision.
''Let's remember him as a good man,'' Leandry said. ''He was a good father, a good son.''

UPDATE Nov. 24, 2012- Hector went into cardiac arrest earlier this morning and was taken off life support. R.I.P. Champ!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Curious About Curacao

There are several languages spoken on this island of diverse cultures. It seems to be a hip metropolis as well as a relaxing beach destination. Anyone ever visited there?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Obama's New State?

On the heels of President Obama's re-election  comes this interesting news out of Puerto Rico. Will there soon be a 51st state?

A slim majority of Puerto Ricans sought to change their ties with the United States and become the 51st U.S. state in a non-binding referendum that would require final approval from Congress.
The two-part referendum asked whether the island wanted to change its 114-year relationship with the United States. Nearly 54 percent, or 922,374 people, sought to change it, while 46 percent, or 786,749 people, favored the status quo. Ninety-six percent of 1,643 precincts were reporting as of early Wednesday.
The second question asked voters to choose from three options, with statehood by far the favorite, garnering 61 percent. Sovereign free association, which would have allowed for more autonomy, received 33 percent, while independence got 5 percent.
President Barack Obama earlier expressed support for the referendum and pledged to respect the will of the people in the event of a clear majority.
It is unclear whether U.S. Congress will debate the referendum results or if Obama will consider the results to be a clear enough majority.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

No Reservations in D.R.

Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Season 9, Episode 9 was filmed in the Dominican Republic. In his show prepared for The Travel Channel, Bourdain tells it as he sees it. The show aired on Monday, 29 October and included visits to traditional 50-year old 24/7 sandwich place Barra Payan in Santo Domingo, at Daniel's in Playa Rincon, Samana, to Boca Chica, and to El Cabito in Las Galeras. Bourdain also ate salami street breakfast and roasted pork. His conclusion was that you visit "for the beach, the food, the people and the food!"

Friday, November 02, 2012

Latin Boy

                                    A hot caporiera boy to keep you company at LatinBoyz.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Bahamas Celebrate 40

The Bahamas will celebrate 40 years of independence from Great Britain next month. The countrywide theme is Forward, Upward, Onward, Together!

In recognition of the milestone they will honor Sir Sidney Poitier, who was born and raised in the Bahamas until age 15, by re-christening the Paradise Island Bridge to bear his name. Poitier is an iconic figure noted for his theatrical awards, but has also served as Bahamian ambasssdor to UNESCO and Japan.

There is an unfortunate perspective of the events from island insiders HERE.

In any case, Happy 40th Bahamas!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

JetBlue To Samana

JetBlue Airways begins its twice-weekly flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Samana's El Catey International Airport (AZS) on Wednesdays and Saturdays this coming 14 November. This is the only direct air connection between the Dominican Republic's northeastern beach and ecotourism destination and the US mainland.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Big For Boxing!

This is big news for the world of boxing and for sports in general. Thanks to Rod 2.0 for the heads-up!

Puerto Rican featherweight champion boxer Orlando Cruz has come out and become the first openly gay, active fighter in the sport's history. The 31-year-old Cruz represented Puerto Rico in the Sydney 2000 Olympics and boasts a strong professional record of 18-2-1.
Cruz said that he hopes to become a "role model" for youth, reports USA Today.
"I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself. I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vacation Planning 101

Be sure to visit the Travel Info Page for helpful tips when planning your vacation to the Dominican Republic. Click on the ads for great deals!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Miami's Dominican Jazz

The South Florida Dominican Jazz Fest is a multicolored event being held with Dominican musicians in Miami. On Friday, 19 October audiences in Miami can enjoy several genres of jazz in fusion with merengue and bachata. The event celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month in Florida. A sextet of very well known jazz musicians from New York, under the leadership of Dominican conga player Alex Diaz is coordinating the event. Diaz has played with Tito Puente, Mario Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie and many more. His format is marrying jazz and merengue in a very tasteful manner n taking jazz standards into merengue rhythms and tempos, and vice versa.

Also playing are Josean Jacobo & Tumbao, a quartet of excellent young players from the DR that plays mostly original compositions in the new genre Latin Jazz Nouveau.

The event will be streamed live on the Internet. Tickets are US$20 and US$25 at the door. Follow this event at

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


I can't believe it's been twelve years since I first visited the Dominican Republic. Me and my friends had begun planning for it before the millenium and hoped that the gods would spare us so we could make our trip.

I'm so glad we were given mercy because that first trip was so exciting and intoxicating that we continued to return year after year. The first year was spent in Juan Dolio at the Coral Costa Caribe thanks to a travel agent who didn't quite understand our needs. We made the trip work for us though with several day and night excursions into the capitol via a wonderful taxi driver who was friendly and open-minded. The following vacations we planned and booked ourselves.

There is no way to truly experience the D.R. in one trip. But once you've had a taste you will definitely want to go back for more. It's a given that the hombres are muy caliente and accomodating, but the history and culture of the island is just as fascinating. If you need a break from the nightlife there are so many sites and places to discover in Santo Domingo as well as throughout the island.

I have met some wonderful people through the years, both Dominicans and ex-pats. They have been hospitable and helpful, some are quite entertaining. There is nothing I would trade for my experiences in the Dominican Republic, even the ones that turned out to be life lessons.

It's been a few years since I last visited the island. I can't believe that either. Time flies. And even though I am planning a trip to a different caribbean destination I truly miss my beloved Santo Domingo.

Friday, August 31, 2012

More Than Enough

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Pride!

As the Olympics conclude the caribbean nations are celebrating one of their best showings ever! There were several memorable moments and great achievements. One of the leading stories from the 2012 London Olympics was the finals of the mens 400 meter run. Kirani James won the first ever medal for the island nation of Grenada, and it happens to be gold! Kirani led an all-caribbean sweep of that race, which included the silver medal going to the Dominican Republic. Felix Sanchez, also representing the DR, had an emotional gold medal win in the 400 meter hurdles after having a lack-luster showing the past few years. Usain Bolt of Jamaica proved once again that he is the fastest man alive by winning gold in both the 100 and 200 meter sprints and setting an Olympic record in the process.

Here is the overall medal count of the caribbean nations: Bahamas 1, Brazil (who hosts in 2016) 17, Columbia 8, Cuba 14, Dominican Republic 2, Grenada 1, Jamaica 12, Puerto Rico 2, Trinidad & Tobago 4.

The video clip below shows the excitement of caribbean natives living in South Florida.