Your tour will begin from Puerto Plata. Your local guide will take you, via picturesque small roads and charming towns, through the lush Cordillera Septentrional mountain range. As we drive, the beautiful landscape will take your breath away as you watch rural farms, cacao plantations and lush forest pass you by.
Merengue is still a popular dance in the Dominican Republic, which is where it originated from and we think there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the local culture and get yourself acquainted with the locals than discovering this dance for yourself.
Your dance experience will start at the home of a local family who have been playing merengue music for generations (their grandparents helped create the dance!). The traditional instruments of merengue music are the tambora drums and the accordion. Luckily the island’s premier accordion player happens to be part of the family so we’ll talk to him about all things accordion, then we’ll visit his brother’s workshop where the best tambora drums in the country are lovingly made. Have a go at playing them yourself as you learn how they are made and get into the rhythms of the dance.
After toe-tapping to the Latin beats, it’s time to put your new musical knowledge to the test and dance with us! We’ll start with a demonstration and then there will be time for you to practice and benefit from the guidance of an experienced local dancer. All this exertion will make you thirsty so you’ll be served a very special hot pick-me-up drink of local rum and chocolate. The locals love this concoction to get them fired up at party/fiesta time!
After a morning of dancing, we’re going to spend the afternoon relaxing, the Dominican way! Our next stop is an organic cocoa farm where we will learn about growing the best organic cocoa in the country. We’ll take a walk around the plantation and discuss the way in which the farm is sustainably managed. There will also be an opportunity to try out the yagua (part of the palm leaf) slides which help you zoom down the hill.
A delicious Dominican style lunch awaits you after our walk made by the family that own the cocoa farm. As we eat some of the country’s most popular dishes, made from fresh local ingredients, you’ll have a chance to chat with the farm owners and find out about life here on the island.
If you weren’t feeling relaxed enough, your tour will end with an unforgettable chocospa facial, using the finest mud and coca from the plantation to make up an organic face mask that promises to revitalise and moisturise your skin. It’s chocolicious! If you are feeling adventurous you’re also welcome to enjoy the river with a refreshing dip.
We’ll drop you back off in the centre of Puerto Plata but before you go don’t forget to ask your expert local guide for tips on what else to see, do and eat in the city and beyond.