Be whisked away from your resort to the authentic side of the country. Drive through the countryside and make a first stop to visit a local Dominican family and their plantation. Here you'll be introduced to the typical lifestyle of a Dominican and learn about the crops that they depend on economically. Your tour guide will walk you through the home and talk to some of the family members to share their culture with you. Then you'll take a guided stroll through the property, learning about the process of growing and making coffee, along with chocolate, coconut oil, various fruits, vegetables and local vegetation.
From here you visit the butterfly garden. Wander around while the delicate butterflies flutter about, and learn more about the breeding process. Next you get to see a live demonstration of chocolate making! Ask questions, try samples and definitely buy some of this delicious treat to take home with you. You also have the chance to browse the gift shop and purchase other great gifts like cigars and mamajuana.
Next you'll enter Higuey to visit the Basilica, a Roman Catholic Cathedral dedicated to Lady Altagracia, the patron saint of the Dominican Republic. Pay just $1 to enter and walk around this famous, impressive structure. From here, make way back into the countryside to enjoy a buffet style Dominican lunch overlooking gorgeous mountain scenery, if full-day option selected. With bellies full of rice, beans and meat, take a quick visit to the river to relax for a minute. Sit by the water and take advantage of the view for some great pictures!
On the way to the beach you'll visit a local school, learn about the school system and understand more about the childrens' day to day life. Your tour guide can answer questions while you take a look from outside, as they wouldn't want to interrupt. Moving from the country, head to the famous Macao Beach, giving you a well-rounded experience of this truly eclectic country. Spend almost an hour swimming in the gorgeous water and enjoy the scenery. Refreshments are available and make sure to take lots of pictures. You don't get to see this incredible aquamarine colored water just anywhere! As your cultural experience comes to an end, take time to reflect on what you learned and your new appreciation for Dominican culture.