The trip was great and the house was even better. Jay and Ana were great to work with and they have a beautiful house that has everything you will need and more. We cooked everyday at the house, Jenny’s little market is right in Costambar for basic groceries and party supplies. There is Jumbo’s which is a huge store and has everything. Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend a lot of time on Costambar as we did a lot of excursions and relaxing around the awesome pool at the house. We rented a vehicle – you will need nerves of steel and eyes everywhere if you plan on driving. We still always rent cars to get around as we love exploring. The beach in Costambar looks the same as Sosua beach and Costambar looks just as good with alot less people. Sosua has lots of shops and people selling. I think we would just stay in Costambar next time. You can walk to it if you like not bad walk. There are a lot of Restaurants in Costambar – We did the Pizza/Italian Restaurant across from Rick Café in Costambar and the beach bar Restaurant for burgers. Both places were great. The excursions we found out were way cheaper if you transport yourself there. All the Excursions we did everyone in our group of 6 rated high- must do. BUGGY ADVENTURES Rancho Los Cacaos He owns hundreds of acres in the mountains $55 person for double, Monkey Jungle zip line 50, 27 Charcos( waterfalls) 20 with lunch. Went to Sosua beach for the day and truck hit our rental car when parked, MAKE SURE YOU GET A POLICE REPORT- can be a little difficult- must need to leave country. There was an awesome just opened café & bakery (Bonito's sp?) in downtown Puerto Plata (was in a strip mall with dance place on upper deck.) The house I would have to say is one of the top ones we have stayed at in the past 10 years.
Great House, pool, and location! Great Vacation! No bugs! Ok, just a few mosquitoes as you would expect, but not as bad as Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, etc.
We loved it. "We" are two couples that travel annually together.
The house is better than the pictures. The local property manager was Alba and she was like a tour guide in many ways. A great resource to quickly become acquainted to the Puerto Plata area. The house was clean and the pool was cleaned daily. Great pool lights too. Nice outside patios and verandas upon which to eat and converse. Lot's of fun!
The location proved safe and we met the two closest neighbors on each side of the house--both were long term American/Canadian residents. This house is convenient to Puerto Plata and surrounding attractions if you have a car and yet quiet if you prefer to hang out by the house pool. Costambar is a gated community and does have it's own beach a short drive from the house. The beach is really quite good and swimable,-maybe an 8- on a scale of 10. It does have about 8 beach cafes to choose from. It is not crowded. We loved the second cafe from the end of the road owned by an Austrian--big selection on the menu...including Shnitzel! And good prices. "Jenny's Market" does fair and quick currency changing and has most everything you need.
We found lots to do with our rental car. To drive in the DR, you must be a very confident driver, with guts, good reflexes, and nerves of steel. I am not kidding. The roads are narrow and the traffic congested. Stop lights and stop signs are not always obeyed until a flow of oncoming cars take claim to the right of way. You must take out all liability insurance. Really.
Must do's :
The town of Cabareta has a world class beach and beach cafes with 300 Kite Boarders and wind surfers in motion in front of you--a must do 45 minute drive. Really a spectacular experience!
Just before arriving at Cabareta is Sosua Beach-also world class beach, shops....but very crowded and commercial...and a rough town to hang out in-so just visit the beach. You probably should do these two Beaches on different days and not rush. Spanish Fort in Puerto Plata is 500 years old and a must see. Wait for an inclement weather day and you can mix in the Amber Museum 7 blocks by seven blocks away. You must drive and park. Watch out for the street drains not having grates. You could bust your axle or just get stuck. Really. Playa Dorada is world class beach 15 minutes away. Park at the "Orange Market".
The Town of Puerto Plata is safe during the day everywhere and early evening for good restaurants. We discovered a 100 year old small cafe courtyard just walking around a block north of the central plaza. We loved just driving the narrow streets of the town and seeing a different culture and lifestyle. We also got good bargains from the street/beach sellers. Cuban cigars, amber, and local jewelry! We enjoyed the Brugala rum factory ($5 a person). Good food and conversation at "Big Lee's" waterfront beach bar in town.
Read up on the town and it's history. This is the first town in the "New World". There is much more to do there that we just didn't get to. We stayed 10 days and could have stayed 3 weeks and not covered it all. This was one of our best trips. Feb 2017 Jerry Capretta 425 478 2618 Seattle, Washington, USA