Bahia Maimon Travel Guide

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Bahia Maimon Travel Guide

Bahia Maimon Local History

The earliest known inhabitants of the Dominican Republic reached the island around 2600 BC, using dugout canoes that allowed them to ride the current from South America throughout the Antilles. This society's complex hierarchical structure allowed for specialization in fishing, worship, art and farming. They were called the Taino (friendly people), and an estimated 400,000 of them lived on Hispaniola when Christopher Columbus first set foot on this island.

Columbus named the island Hispaniola ('Little Spain') and returned with a thousand colonists the following year. It was the Taino who were set to work to build this vision, but within six years of Columbus' arrival they had been thoroughly decimated by cruel working conditions and European diseases. Though some independent communities survived in hard-to-reach areas of the island, much of the original culture was lost. The slave rebellion in Haiti was initially supported by the Spaniards, but their politicking backfired when revolutionary leader Toussaint L'Ouverture invaded the eastern part of Hispaniola, took Santo Domingo and freed the island's 40,000 slaves.

Toussaint was eventually driven back to the formerly French territories, and Haiti declared independence in 1804. A nascent Dominican nationalist movement formed during the occupation and beat the Haitians back to the eastern side of the island in 1844. The leader of this important revolution was Juan Pablo Duarte, now hailed as the father of the Dominican Republic. The poorly armed Dominican population fought Spanish troops so well that on March 3, 1865, the queen of Spain annulled all claims to the island. The DR has been fully independent ever since.

Bahia Maimon Attractions

Bahia Maimon Shopping

Joyeria Michelle - An option in the jewelry area, are the original medallions found on the Concepcion, a Spanish treasure ship which sank in 1641. The coins are mounted on gold and silver and sold as fine jewelry either with a chain or as a brooch. These can be purchased at Joyeria Michelle, with stores at Torre Alessandra on Abraham Lincoln.

The owner, Norma de Vargas, is probably the country's foremost expert on diamonds. The jewelry store sells coins salvaged from the wreck of the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion that have been set in gold with an emerald or sapphire cabouchon encrusted in the center, to be worn on a gold chain, or attached to a string of pearls. The designs come from their own workshops and thus vary from the others generally available. Located in the Hotel Jaragua. Tel: 809/542-6509.

Other Souvenirs - Other souvenirs or "treasures" of the D.R. that you may consider taking back with you, are the Dominican coffee, rum, music, prepared food items and cigars. These items can be purchased in any large Dominican supermarkets, such as the Nacional, Pola, Bravo, La Cadena, Carrefour supermarkets.

Bahia Maimon Activities

El Choco National Park/Laguna Cabarete y Goleta - This lush and diverse protected area was named a national monument in 1992. The park is comprised of pasture land, a lagoon, and jungle area that contains lush tropical plants, exotic birds, fresh water springs and solution caves (caves dissolved out of solid rock by acidic waters, usually due to their time under the water table).
The park's entrance is located 2 km from Cabarete, on the North Coast, and can be visited for an hour or two, or for the entire day. Due to the maze of unmarked paths and lush vegetation, its recommended that you visit the park with a Tour Operator or Park guide, who can not only guide you through, but also provide you with information about the area.

Islabon Jungle River Tour - Islabon is located 5 km east of Cabarete. This tour allows kids to explore the river area by boat and also walk through jungle trails to a mini zoo that includes iguanas, snakes, turtles, ravens and North American crocodiles.

Bahia Maimon Parks & Gardens

El Choco National Park (Cabarete) - This lush and diverse 77 square kilometers of protected area was named a national monument. The park has unique geological formations to the DR, called the 'Caribbean Karst', as well as 862 species of flora, 12 species of bats, and 36 species of birds. The park is comprised of pasture land, a lagoon, and a jungle area that contains the many lush tropical plants, exotic birds, caves and fresh water springs.

Columbus Water Park (Sosua) - This waterslide park is the biggest in the Caribbean. The park has a good number of different types (levels) of slides, as well as swimming pools, restaurants, bars and shops. Occasionally on weekends they also provide live musical performances by internationally popular singers/bands. The park can get quite busy on the weekends in the summer with the local population.

Carretera Touristica Route (between Sosua and Puerto Plata) - This scenic drive, about half-way between Sosua and Puerto Plata, you will turn off south on a road that takes you into the interior of the country, towards the city of Santiago. If you want to rent a car or bike, you will find this an interesting route for a drive to see other parts of the country. Along the road Dominican vendors sell their particular specialties, which include fresh cheese, meat, fruit, flowers, and hand made furniture. The route has incredible views of the hills and countryside of the area, as well as the Atlantic Ocean in some spots, very far below. There are a few places you can stop along the way for a refreshing drink or a bite to eat, to enjoy the view.

Bahia Maimon Beaches

Playa Grande (Cabrera) - Voted as one of the 10 best beaches in the world by Conde Nast travel magazine, this long stretch of white sand and clear turquoise waters is edged on each side by spectacular cliffs. This is the beach for relaxing while you take in the beauty of the area, or on days when the surf is up, catching a wave or two body surfing or body boarding. A row of very small Dominican shacks (restaurants) are located there for your food and beverage business, serving an array of fresh seafood and typical Dominican cuisine. They will also bring your food right to your chair on the beach.

Dudu Lagoon and Blue Lagoon (Cabrera) - Not far east of Cabrera visitors will find these freshwater lagoon phenomenon, offering the visitor a unique experiences. They offer fantastically clear freshwater pools. The Blue Lagoon appears so clean that is shimmers a shade of blue. It is in the shape of a crater reminding of the famous cenotes of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. You can jump into either one of them for a refreshing swim. The surroundings are truly beautiful. Some dive operation use the Dudu Lagoon for first classic cave scuba-diving.

Gri Gri Lagoon (Rio San Juan) - The Gri Gri Lagoon area offers boat trips through its winding waters where mangrove forests make a canopy over most of your journey. During this trip travelers will see caves that are unique to this area of the country, like the 'cave of the swallows'. And you can take advantage of swimming in 'La Piscina', a crystal clear ocean cove where the lagoon ends.

Bahia Maimon Restaurants and Bars

In the Dominican Republic, the national dish consists of chicken or beef, Creole style, served with rice and beans (beans are prepared with herbs, garlic and vegetables) and fried plantain. It is the most popular dish in the country. Snacks, such as burgers, empanadas (savoury patties), frituras (fritters) and pastelitos (meat-filled parcels), a are very popular, and as the Dominicans love to eat outside and you will find that snack stalls even provide deck chairs. Dominican desserts are often incredibly sweet, sugary concoctions made with the best of the island's fantastic fruits.

Local rum is the favourite drink, and can be found in all the cocktails prepared in the hotels. They come as white (blanco) rums, but these can be pretty harsh, so do try the mellower golden (dorado) or aged (anejo) rums. The Dominican beer, Presidente, is the finest lager beer in the Caribbean, best served at near freezing temperature. Other beers include Quisqueya (an old name for the country) and Bohemia.

Bahia Maimon Restaurants

Eating Out - Most Dominican Republic hotels offer 'all-inclusive' packages, which tends to limit eating out options. In common with many Dominican resorts, Bahia Maimon offers only a small selection of cafes and restaurants. The local specialties include creole dishes, sanchoco (meat stew) and mondongo (tripe stew), seafood, bastidas (fruit and milk punch).

Bahia Maimon Bars & Clubs

AMHSA Paradise Beach Casino - has the most appealing design of Puerto Plata's three casinos. It is decorated in shades of hot pink, with a soaring ceiling and lots of mahogany trim and louvers. Open daily 7pm to 4am. Tel: 809/586-3663.

Allegro's Jack Tar Village - The village has a casino as well as a disco, a European-style restaurant, and five bars. These facilities are only for guests of the hotel. It is built in Spanish-Mediterranean-colonial style with a terra-cotta roof. Located at Playa Dorada. Tel: 809/320-3800.

Bahia Maimon children's activities

El Choco National Park/Laguna Cabarete y Goleta - This lush and diverse protected area was named a national monument in 1992. The park is comprised of pasture land, a lagoon, and jungle area that contains lush tropical plants, exotic birds, fresh water springs and solution caves (caves dissolved out of solid rock by acidic waters, usually due to their time under the water table).
The park's entrance is located 2 km from Cabarete, on the North Coast, and can be visited for an hour or two, or for the entire day. Due to the maze of unmarked paths and lush vegetation, its recommended that you visit the park with a Tour Operator or Park guide, who can not only guide you through, but also provide you with information about the area.

Islabon Jungle River Tour - Islabon is located 5 km east of Cabarete. This tour allows kids to explore the river area by boat and also walk through jungle trails to a mini zoo that includes iguanas, snakes, turtles, ravens and North American crocodiles.

Bahia Maimon Tours

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