Accommodations, Food, and Tours
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
El Paraíso Tours (tel. 809/320-7606, www.cayoparaiso.com) offers very basic rooms (US$35) that are situated across from the tour operation of the same name. El Paraíso Tours works in conjunction with north coast hotels, which makes it a practiced excursion operation. Independent travelers arriving in Punta Rucia can reserve a spot on a boat to Cayo Arena just one day in advance.
A speedboat adventure (US$40) will take you to the sandbar for snorkeling and through mangroves to see a completely different environment, including lunch and snacks. But the luxurious VIP yacht tour is the crème de la crème. Cruising along the coast like a movie star on the Sir Francis Drake ship, you’ll visit La Isabela, share a snack of oysters and champagne, go for a swim at Punta Rucia with lunch served on the beach, then head out to Cayo Arena for an afternoon of snorkeling and return through the mangroves, all for US$170.
Villa Nadine (Punta Rucia, U.S. tel. 215/850-4155, D.R. tel. 809/757-2252, www.villanadine.com, US$100–250 per night) is by far the nicest place to stay in Punta Rucia. This villa is yards from the beach, with beautiful landscaping. The expansive master suite on the top floor is the way to spend your vacation. Wake up with your queen-size bed directly across from a huge verandah view of the Atlantic Ocean. It has a unique circular bathroom and shower and private dressing area; otherwise, the room is open. Sit and enjoy cocktails on the rooftop deck at sunset or in the Jacuzzi.
In the gourmet kitchen, owners will prepare meals for you that will be served on another balcony that overlooks the beach. Excursions can be arranged with Villa Nadine, like horseback riding (US$70), a visit to Monte Cristi and the Haitian market in Dajabón (US$70), or scuba diving (two dives US$80) in the unspoiled waters of the Parque Nacional Monte Cristi.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition