- Travel across the
Dominican Republic from the Caribbean Sea, through the interior highlands,
to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Stay in Santo Domingo's
historic Colonial Zone.
- Meet the Dominican
Republic's finest artists through personalized workshops and performances
in folkloric and modern genres.
- Tour the most important
Dominican Cultural Museums and colorful Public Markets.
- Explore indigenous
art in Pomier Caves Anthropological Reserve.
- Experience Carnaval
in La Vega, considered the most elaborate of all Carnavals.
- Tour and stay in
Santiago de los Caballeros, the birthplace of Merengue and Bachata.
- Visit a Sustainable
Coffee Growing community in the beautiful Central Highlands.
with the Tremblay family at Jardin de Ninos (The Children's Garden).
- Enjoy a day long
Catamaran Sail along the beaches of the north coast
- Choose from optional
excursions including an exploration of El Choco National Park, or Dominican
daily life in the unique city of Puerto Plata.
- Enjoy free time
on the beaches of beautiful Cabarete.
- Explore the Islabon
and Yasica Rivers by boat to a Remote Bonfire Dinner on the Beach.
- Taste the Unique
and Authentic flavors of Dominican cuisine in both premier restaurants
and humble cafes.
- Choose to continue
the experience with an Optional Extend-Your-Vacation program for a little
extra Rest & Relaxation.
- Most Meals and
some Cocktail events included.
- All Ground Transportation
Day 1: Friday,
February 2, 2006
- Arrival to Santo
Domingo Las Americas Airport (SDQ)
- Airport transfer
to Colonial Zone (.75 hour)
- Hotel Check-in
- Orientation &
in Santo Domingo.
Day 2: Saturday,
February 3, 2007
in the hotel
Tour through the Zona Colonial, designated
a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Rather than list dates and
events, our guides prefer to recreate the past and bring life to the
old ruins by means of story telling, anecdotes and legends. From Las
Atarazanas, the shipyard, to the Count's Gate at the Fortaleza de la
Concepción, our tour will visit the most important historical
points of interest, including the First Cathedral, Casa de Colón,
the Museum of the Royal House, Calle de las Damas, Chapel of Remedies,
Residence of Governor Nicolas Ovando, National Pantheon, Fortaleza del
Ozama, the ruins of the Franciscan Monastery and the Hospital of San
Nicolás de Bari.
at Saint Amad, authentic Dominican
with Edis Sanchez. Edis Sanchez, nationally
respected as both musician, and teacher, is founder and director of
"Drumayor", an institution dedicated to the investigation
and diffusion of the traditions and diversity of Dominican culture through
music. His wife Joana is renown throughout the Caribbean as a folkloric
dance performer and instructor. Edis and Joana begin our performance-lecture
series of the week, introducing us to traditional Afro-Caribbean music
and folkloric dance genres of Hispaniola.
at Meson de la Cava 50 meters below the ground in a rehabiliated
by the Ballet Folklorico de USAD and dancing at Guacara Taina.
Our experience of Dominican dance continues as we observe the beauty
of movement and tradition as the Dance Troop from the Autonomous University
of Santo Domingo performs in costume, the foundations of modern Dominican
dance. We may put on our own dancing shoes after the performance when
the spacious dance floors are open to everyone at the only discoteca
in a cave!
in Santo Domingo
Day 3: Sunday,
February 4, 2007
- Breakfast at hotel
Caves Anthropological Reserve Briefing
- Transfer to Pomier,
San Cristobal (1 hour)
of Pomier Caves Anthropological Reserve
which is located about an hour's drive west of Santo Domingo on the
outskirts of San Cristobal is the only region in the country specifically
designated for the protection of a subterranean ecosystem and it is
the single most important pre-Columbian site in the Caribbean. With
more than 6000 recorded pictographs and around 500 petroglyphs pertaining
to several distinct indigenous populations, the Cuevas de Pomier are,
in terms of anthropological importance, for the Caribbean what the Pyramids
of Giza are for Egypt and the Altamira and Lascaux Caves are for Europe.
Cave Number One has 590 pictographs; more than are found in all other
locations in the Minor Antilles put together. We spend the morning exploring
this cave which provides insights into the Pre-Columbian origins of
humans in the Caribbean with Dominican environmental activist, journalist
and Espeleogrupo Santo Domingo President, Domingo Abreu.
lunch at the National Park office
- Transfer to La
Celebrations and Parades in La Vega.
Carnaval is one of the most extravagant and outrageous festivals in
the Dominican Republic. Since 1844, pre-Lenten celebrations have combined
with Dominican Independence Day celebrations (February 27), making Carnaval
twice as important in the Dominican Republic as it is in other countries
where it is celebrated. The first documented carnival in the Americas
took place in La Vega in February of 1520. Today, the city of La Vega
(relocated a few miles away from the original site after an earthquake
in 1564) has the reputation of having the most colorful, most authentic
carnaval in the entire country. Veganos celebrate carnaval every Sunday
afternoon throughout the entire month of February. For the past 100
years it's been the fierce Diablo Cojuelo-literally the Limping Devil-so
called because he used to limp, pretending he was too lame to catch
anyone. The Diablos Cojuelos are costumed in brilliantly colored satin
and taffeta, and their masks are true works of art: huge papier mache
creations of snarling medieval devil faces, complete with goat-like
beards and huge teeth. Beware the snap and crack of the Diablos Cojuelos'
vejigas, dried cow bladders filled with air! They say getting hit brings
to Santiago (1 hour)
- Dinner in Alta
Vista Restaurant on the sixth floor of our hotel with an amazing view
of the City
Day 4: Monday,
February 5, 2007
- Breakfast in the
- Transfer to San
Jose de Las Matas (1.5 hours)
with Ricardo Torribio on Bachata and Music from the Mountains.
Ricardo Torribio is one of the Dominican's most important young artists
having won first place in the distinguished Leon Jimenez Paint Contest
in 1996 among other honors. His principle medium is paint on large canvas,
and his work served as the backdrop at the 2005 Dominican Republic Jazz
Festival. It seems a strange way to start out a description of a workshop
leader, but Ricardo is also an accomplished poet and singer. The man
knows music because he feels it
the same way he feels art and is
able to produce it. Ricardo will serve as more of a workshop coordinator
than leader as he bridges us to music and life in the remote countryside
of the Central Mountain range: the birthplace of Bachata. Ricardo's
studio and home are located in the mountain town of San Jose de Las
Matas where he offers art and music classes to the backcountry poor.
He also has a music and dance group, "La Parcelita" with whom
he occasionally performs. We will gather at Ricardo's home for a unique
and intimate glimpse of his life and the music and art he loves.
- Transfer to Los
Motones, Plan Sierra (15 minutes)
- Lunch at Los Motones
straight from the organic gardens
Agricultural Tour and Workshop-Jam at Los Montones.
Plan Sierra's facility at Los Montones, funded in part by the Kellogg
Foundation, serves as an agricultural training camp for poor backcountry
farmers. Farmers are instructed in sustainable and organic farming methods.
Los Montones is truly a place where nature and humanity have found peace.
Ricardo Torribio and friends will join us for lunch and be available
to share music and stories throughout the afternoon.
to Santiago (1.5 hours)
- Dinner at El Tablon
at the central Monument area
and Live Jazz Jam at 27 Tablas. The
secret is out. Once a sporadic, underground venue for Latin Fusion Jazz,
the popularity of the music and free-spirited atmosphere of 27 Tablas
have made it a regular Monday evening event known throughout the Dominican
5: Tuesday, February 6, 2007
- Late breakfast
in the hotel
tour and presentation at the Leon Jimenez Cultural Center.
Seeking to develop the collective creativity through the investigation,
protection and exhibition of artistic and cultural works, the Cultural
Center is quickly on its way to becoming the single most important institution
means in the Caribbean. Housing not only the winning works of the Eduardo
Leon Jimenez Art Contest since 1964, the Center is the Dominican Republic's
premier facility dedicated to cultural anthropology and history with
modern multimedia and interactive exhibits. The Cultural Center is hailed
as containing the best of the Nation's five national museums under one
- Transfer to Septentrional
Mountains (1.5 hours)
Property Tour and Lunch at Jardin de Ninos
Since her arrival to the Dominican Republic from Quebec in 1982 Paulina
Tremblay has adopted 27 Dominican and Haitian children. As if raising
an immense family as a single woman in the Dominican backcountry was
not enough, Paulina has also founded two schools. Her schools, Jardin
de Niños in Los Brazos, and Escuela La Libertad in Sabaneta de
Yásica, are unique in that they cater to the needs of poor children
in the local rural area. These children would otherwise be unable to
receive an education for a lack of funds to cover the required school
uniform and textbooks. Once a successful businesswoman, Paulina spent
her savings on the purchase of land for her family home and her public
schools and now lives solely by donations and fundraising efforts. She
is very active in her community and assists local needy families by
passing along donations of food, furniture, clothing, and mosquito nets.
She has also opened a small second hand store that offers quality goods
at a low price. Jardin de Niños is not an orphanage; it is a
home. An invitation to stay at Jardin de Niños is a privilege,
an honor and an experience that is not soon forgotten.
to Cabarete (20 minutes)
- Free time to relax
and explore Cabarete Beach
hour on the Yasica River followed by Remote Beach Bonfire Dinner
A short distance from the Laguna Cabarete & Goleta park office,
on the banks of the Islabon River, Wilson Zapeta has a small ranch of
wildlife in temporary captivity. Here we have the opportunity to see
some of the Dominican Republic's more elusive wilderness creatures,
such as the Carey Turtle, Boa Serpent, Tarantula, Rhinoceros Iguana,
North American Crocodile, Turkey Vulture, Sparrow Hawk, and Mongoose.
From there we board a boat for a leisurely float down the Islabon and
Yasica Rivers to their mouth at the Atlantic Ocean. Your dinner this
evening is served on the beach, amongst the sand dunes and a roaring
Day 6: Wednesday,
February 7, 2007
- Breakfast in the
- OPTION: National
Park Hike & Caves of BUMBA
Join us on a true walking-adventure into the past in discovery of the
real Dominican Republic. Following red-earth paths walked by the Arawak
Indians winding through small Dominican communities and tropical rain
forest we hike up to our own hidden spot for a fresh fruit snack and
an incredible view of the 8 kilometer long Cabarete lagoon. Enjoy authentic,
locally grown Dominican coffee while learning about the 36 species of
birds and 862 species of plants thriving around you. Formed as long
as 25 million years ago in the Miocene Period, the ancient rock formations
are unique to the North Coast
of the DR and hold many secrets for us to explore. Subterranean rivers
and caves abound throughout the park home to plants and animals that
have become completely accustomed to life in the dark. Venture with
us down into the mysterious Caves of BUMBA for a cool swim in truly
pristine water and glimpses into prehistory. 12 of the 18 species of
bats found in the DR are living within the boundaries of the park, and,
if we are lucky, we might catch a few sleeping!
OPTION: Half Day City Tour of Puerto Plata.
Known as the "Girlfriend of the Atlantic", Puerto Plata is
a City lost in time. Join us we explore behind the scenes of the North
Coast's resort industry to discover what is really Dominican. In addition
to visiting a school and strolling thorough
the Central Park appreciating the post-Colonial architecture, we'll
have an opportunity to shop, eat, and maybe even share a grande (big
beer) where the Dominican's do. If there is time, we'll stop by the
Brugal Rum Factory to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
and Latin Dance Lessons. Tony Dancer
joins us for happy hour on the beach with a few of his friends to show
us the basics of Merrengue, Bachata and Salsa.
at Marabu with the music of Roberto Santana. Beachside under
the big top of Marabu's oceanside dining tent, we enjoy the music of
local keyboardist and Dominican Republic Jazz Festival performer, Roberto
7: Thursday, February 8, 2007
Catamaran Day Sail with Snorkeling and Live Music Performance.
Join us for a day of smooth downwind sailing exploring the remote coastal
areas between Maimon Bay and Luperon. "Peace and Tranquility Rule"
aboard the luxurious and spacious 24-meter Tip Top with 180m2 of roomy
deck space. Start the day off right with a refreshing welcome drink
and Caribbean rhythms soaking up the sun and magnificent landscapes
on our way to an amazing coral head for snorkeling. An authentic Dominican
feast awaits a little farther west on Cambiaso Beach. We'll have plenty
of time to explore the serene community living in isolated tropical
paradise, relax and swim before boarding the Tip Top for our final downwinder
to the Luperon Yacht Club nestled among the mangroves in the naturally-formed
harbor. Native Puerto
Plata percussionist Yoel Guzman will entertain and teach us the rhythms
of Latin music throughout the Day in the coolest, tropical music venue
- Lunch and Open
Bar on the Boat
Dinner at Otra Cosa
at Pomodoro on the beach with Live Jazz Jam
Day 8: Friday,
February 9, 2007
- Breakfast in the
- Transfer to Santo
Domingo Las American International Airport (4 hours)
- Departure. Hasta
Days 8-10: Friday,
February 9-Saturday, February 11, 2007
Don't want to go home?! Stay with us for an additional 3 days and 2
nights with breakfast included. We'll even take you to the airport when
it is finally time to go.
There is plenty more to do in the DR. Keep discovering with 4T A La
- Golf at Playa
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Day at the
- Horseback Riding
- Mountain Bike
- Scuba Diving
- Windsurf Lessons
/ Ultralite Tandem Flight
- White Water
nothing on the beach
Mercure Comercial, Santo Domingo
Nights 1 and 2
Located in the heart of the historic and picturesque Colonial Zone,
the Mercure Comercial is only two blocks from the famed "First
Cathedral" and surrounded by cafes, shops, ancient ruins, and modern
convenience. This building was completely refurbished in 2000 and is
the best starting point for a visit of all historical monuments of the
old town center. 30 km from the airport. Rooms are clean and comfortable
with a/c, cable television, telephone, room safe, and private bathrooms.
A full service bar and restaurant on located off the lobby on the Conde
Centro Plaza, Santiago de Los Caballeros
Nights 3 and 4
The Hodelpa Centro Plaza is located directly in the Center of the beautiful
City Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Whether business or pleasure,
Hodelpa Centro Plaza offers unparalleled service, comfort and the attention
to detail necessary to make your stay truly memorable. Our hotel is
fresh and cheerful, with 86 comfortable, spacious guest accommodations,
each featuring carpets, Air-Conditioner, telephone, Cable TV with remote
control, mini-bar, in-room security box, radio clock, among others.
In our "Alta Vista Restaurant, you can enjoy your food and beverages
while having a panoramic view over the city and mountains of Santiago.
Villa Taina, Cabarete
Nights 5 through 7, option to extend through Night 9
Nestled in the very heart of Cabarete, an intimate tourist destination
and windsurfers' paradise, you find Hotel Villa Taina, an exclusive,
modern hotel right on the golden beach of Cabarete Bay. Comfort rooms
are spacious and beautifully decorated with an aura that says "welcome
home!" The unit offers two queen-size beds. From the spacious balcony,
you gaze can scan a panorama of views, ranging from a marvelous ocean
view or the lush tropical garden to the coconut trees whose branches
February 2 (Friday)
- February 8 (Friday), 2007 / February 10 (Sunday), 2007
45-Day Prepay / 90-Day Prepay
20-24 pax: $1,736 / $1,583
25-29 pax: $1,543 / $1,409
30-34 pax: $1,421 / $1,299
35-39 pax: $1,337 / $1,224
40-44 pax: $1,276 / $1169
45-50 pax: $1,246 / $1,141
Add-On (Accommodations and Airport Transfer)
Participants: 45-Day Prepay / 90-Day Prepay
Min 6 pax $196 / $176
45-Day Prepay / 90-Day Prepay
$410 / $369
elements of this program are pending final confirmation.
Please refer to Terms
& Conditions for
all of the fine print like this.