Why: The D.R. is a hotspot for baseball, beaches and friendly people. Haiti is a developing country where tourism is not prevalent, making for an authentic travel experience on the other half of this Caribbean island.
Flights and Car Rental: Lots of flight go to Punta Cana, Santo Domingo and Puerto Prince, Haiti. I did not rent a car because I started in Punta Cana and made my way across the D.R. and into Haiti by land. If you were only in the D.R. I would think about renting a car to connect the dots.
Day 1: I arrived in Punta Cana. Stay at Macao Beach Hostel. After flying and getting to your hostel spend the afternoon checking out one of the great local beaches like Bavaro or Macao Beach. If you want to try some snorkeling, rent a mask and get out to explore the water.
Day 2: Head out to visit either Manati Park or Dolphin Island. If you really love the marine animals go to the Dolphin Island. If you prefer birds and reptiles Manati Island is for you. If you want more adventure check out a local zipline tour, or if you want more beach time hide out to the sand.
Day 3: I took a bus to the capital Santo Domingo, and connected up to Puerto Plata. Stay in Suncapdr Hostel. Go out and walk the beach and get some local grub for dinner.
Day 4: Go out with some friends from your hostel to the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua. This is a really cool spot with lots of waterfalls and pools where you can slide down into from the rocks above. Any taxi driver can take you from your hostel to the entrance.
Day 5: I bused through Santiago de los Cabelleros and over to Dajabon and the border with Haiti. Be ready for a inspection at the border and the cultural shock of arriving in the poorest country in the Americas. In Cap-Haitien stay in Ecole les Poupons. There aren’t that many budget options in Haiti and this is a good one. Go out and walk the streets of Haiti’s second biggest city and try some of the local food.
Day 6: Get a taxi, bus or motorbike out to the Citadelle Laferriere, which is just south of the city. This is clearly one of the main landmarks of Haiti. Explore the citadel in the morning. After coming back in the afternoon go out to Cormier Beach, which is just on the north end of the city.
Day 7: I ran Haiti’s 1st ever marathon this day, but I’m guessing that’s probably not going to be on your itinerary most likely! Make your way around the historical center of Cap-Haitien. Stop by Marche de Fer to see the town’s main street market. Make your way out to the beach in the afternoon and stop by Lakay if you are wanting to try the hottest food in town.
Day 8: Make your way back to the border at Dajabon and back into the D.R. I bused it down through Santiago de los Cabelleros and to the capital city of Santo Domingo. Stay at Island Life Hostel. In the evening hit the streets in Zona Colonial.
Day 9: Go visit Mercado Modelo for a feel of street life in the capital and check out Fortaleza Ozama. In the afternoon head out to Boca Chica Beach to chill out. In the evening try to check out a baseball game! Baseball is huge in the D.R. and a local game will by a highlight for any sports fan.
Day 10: Check out the Americas 1st cathedral, Catedral Santa Maria. Then go over and check out the Colombus Lighthouse and the malecon. Finally stop by Parque Colon before heading back to get your stuff and fly back home!