Rodriguez Travelers 2008

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North Coast
Rodriguez Travelers 2008 Route Map
WARNING: Not in a zoo!
El Choco National Park Pomier Caves Anthropological Reserve

 

Rodriguez Travelers' Menu
Leader Contact at Rodriguez

Public Market in Santo DomingoTrip Highlights

  • Unparalleled Opportunities to Use & Learn Spanish!
  • Travel from Coast to Coast in the Dominican Republic!
  • See both the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in the Same Trip!
  • Explore the Historic Colonial Zone!
  • Visit the National Museum of Anthropology and the Folklore Museum!
  • Dominican Baby DonkeyExplore the Pomier Caves Anthropological Reserve!
  • Swim in a Natural Water Park!
  • Live with a Dominican Family!
  • Visit the Centro de Leon Cultural Center!
  • Shop & Practice your Spanish in Public Markets!
  • Learn How Dominicans in the Back country Live off the Land!
  • Work in the Communities in which You Travel to Help Make a Difference!
  • Unique Accommodations in the City, on the Beach and in the Mountains!
  • Explore the El Choco National Park & Visit the Caves of BUMBA!
  • Strange and wonderful Dominican plantsFarewell Bonfire Dinner!
  • All Meals Included!
  • All Ground Transportation Included!
  • Professional 4T Guide Escorting your Group at All Times!

 

 


Ruins of the Fortaleza OzamaTrip Descriptive Itinerary

Day 1
  • Arrival to Las Americas Santo Domingo Airport (SDQ)
  • Transfer to Zona Colonial (45 minutes) & hotel check-in
  • What You Need To Know Now: Orientation
  • Welcome Dinner at Meson de Luís
  • Accommodations: Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo
Ruins of the San Franciscan MonasteryDay 2
  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • Amazing Race: Historical Scavenger Hunt in the Zona ColonialWho needs a tour guide to learn?  Breaking up into teams, we seek out our own knowledge on this educational scavenger hunt through one of UNESCO’s newest World Cultural Heritage Sites.  From Las Atarazanas, the shipyard, to the Count's Gate at the Fortaleza de la Concepción, our teams Smiling: A Dominican National Past Timewill 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 searching for clues to win the BIG prize.
  • Lunch at Restaurante La Atarazana
  • Visit to Anthropological Museo del Hombre Dominicano.
    National Museum of the Dominican ManFounded in 1973, the Museo del Hombre Dominicano serves as a center for continuous anthropological, archeological, ethnographical and folkloric investigation of pre-Columbian heritage.  The Museum features excellent collections and displays of Taino, African and Carnival artifacts.
  • Dinner at Dajao
  • Accommodations: Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo
Day 3
  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • Exploration & Caving in the Reserva Anthropológica Cuevas de Pomier. The Director of Speology for National Parks, Domingo AbreuReserve, 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 Beaded Beltsprovides insights into the Pre-Columbian origins of humans in the Caribbean with Dominican environmental activist, journalist and Espeleogrupo Santo Domingo President, Domingo Abreu.
  • Swimming at El Fuente Natural Swimming Hole & Park. Cool off Dominican Style!
  • Lunch at Doña Ana’s.
  • Transfer to Santiago (3 hours).
  • Host Family Welcome Dinner
  • Accommodations: Santiago Host Family

Day 4

  • Breakfast with Host Family
  • Guided 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 towards these 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 Public Markets are an indepsensable economy in the Dominican Republicwith modern multimedia and interactive exhibits. The Cultural Center is hailed as containing the best of the Nation's five national museums under one roof.
  • Lunch with Host Family
  • Afternoon with Host Family
  • Dinner with Host Family
  • Accommodations: Santiago Host Family
Day 5 Working on the Community Center sponsored by Jardin de Ninos
  • Breakfast with Host Family
  • Visit to Hospedaje Public Market
  • Transfer to Los Brazos (2 hours)
  • Tour of Jardin de los Niños
  • Lunch at Jardin de los Niños
  • Community Service Project
  • Dinner at Jardin de los Niños
  • Accommodations: Bunkhouse at Jardin de los NiñosRiver time at Jardin de Ninos!

 

Day 6

  • Breakfast at Jardin de los Niños
  • Transfer to Cabarete (20 minutes)
  • National Park El Choco Hike & The 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 windingGettin' Dirty in the Caves of BUMBA 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! Remote La Boca Beach
  • Lunch at El Tigre
  • Free Afternoon on Cabarete Beach
  • Remote Beach Bonfire Farewell Dinner & Yásica River Exploration.
  • Accommodations: Cabarete
Day 7
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Transfer to Santo Domingo (4 hours)
  • Departure

AccommodationsHotel Mercure Comercial, Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo

 

Mercure Comercial, Colonial Zone, 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 pedestrian walkway.

Family Homestay, Santiago de los Caballeros
Nights 3 and 4

Paulina Tremblay & Jardin de NinosJardin de Niños, Los Brazos, Septentrional Mountains
Night 5

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 back country 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.
Hotel Villa Taina, Cabarete

 

Hotel Kaoba , Cabarete, North Coast
Night 6
Located in Cabarete Center, Hotel Kaoba is merely steps away from the world class windsurfing and kitebaording beaches for which the area is reknown. Hotel Kaoba offers 29 bungalows, 15 comfort rooms and 10 delux rooms, and features bar, restaurant, laundry, pool, daily made service and an internet cafe. The lush gardens of the hotel look out over Cabarete lagoon and the beautiful karst formations of the El Choco National Park.

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Most photos credited to "Open Shirt' Mike Gussak at unkmonk@hotmail.com