Off the Beaten Path: Punta Cana

I’m a firm believer that if your a good traveler you can find local parts in even the most touristy destinations. That was one of the reasons I opted to stay at the hostel instead of at one of Punta Cana’s ever popular all-inclusive resorts.

One of the best parts of staying at a hostel is that it gives you the opportunity to meet other travelers. I especially recommend this if you’re traveling solo, but want to meet and travel around with other travelers. In my case, I met someone who wanted to get off the beaten path just as badly as I did.

So we pooled our money, rented a tiny little car and took off for a few days to discover the mountain sides of the Dominican Republic.

IMG_8461Our plan was to drive North and head to the deserted but gorgeous Playa Limon. First let me clarify that roads and “highways” in the DR are not quite like they are in the states. For one thing, a lot of these roads don’t really have names, and if a road does by chance have a name or way to be identified, don’t bother pulling out your map and asking locals directions by using said name for the road. Locals know roads and which directions they head, they do not bother with names or identifiers of roads.

IMG_8463Basically you should be prepared to be slightly lost at all times. If you’re not comfortable with this thought I suggest you stay in Punta Cana. If you are up to the challenge of driving to a remote location, trust me, after a long trip you will be rewarded.

IMG_8514When we finally arrived at Rancho La Cueva we were please to see that our wanderings had actually taken us where we wanted to go. We had this quaint little get away nearly all to ourselves. The place is owned and run by a very entertaining Austrian man, who you can find on the front deck nearly all day conversing with guests or staff. Through a few conversations I had with him, I learned he’s owned the place for 20 years and when asked if he would ever go back to Europe he responded without missing a beat by saying, “I’m not stupid”.

IMG_8516I also should mention the restaurant at the guest house will not disappoint you at all. 

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food recommendations

Breakfast: fried eggs with mangu (mashed plantains, prepared with olive oil garlic, and diced red onions, always served with salami)

Lunch: fish soup, squid salad, and a side of fried plantains

Dinner: fried fish served with rice beans, salad and beer…aways beer.

A short walk from the guesthouse will take you down a path, and eventually to a coconut forrest where you’ll start to hear the crashing of the waves against the shore.

IMG_8469A small hill will keep the shore hidden, but you’ll know from the sound that the water is close. Over the hill an abandoned beach of silky smooth sand and turquoise blue water will hit you like a ton of bricks.

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IMG_8468Chances are you will be the only soul for miles on this beach…

Playa-Limon-Doninican-republic.jpegLeaving this place was hard, but since we our beach fill had been satisfied we were ready to see some mountains next. Of course we got lost in quite a few other places before we got to where we were headed.

IMG_8549Eventually we made it to what we came to see…

IMG_8534Of course it was worth the wait and confusion.

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Getting off the Beaten Path in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was completely worth it! find out why!

Have you ever gone off the beaten path in a really touristy location?

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  • Love hearing about your travels! This makes me so excited for Costa Rica in a few short months!

    • yay!! costa rica is on my list for sure! actually all of central america is on my list. my sister spend time in Nicaragua and LOVEDDDD it. i’ve always been so interested in the rainforest so that part of the world amazes me 🙂

  • What an adventure! I’m very much a “play it safe” kind of gal – and I doubt I would’ve explored the way you did. And wow – the sights you saw. So beautiful!

    • the sights definitely make all the trouble worth it! it made me nostalgic just to write this post, i just crave the adventure! haha 🙂

  • I love how you went exploring! 🙂 You’re definitely braver than me for going into the town but it looks like you had a wonderful time. I’m glad you were safe!

    • trust me i was definitely a tad worried at times. haha. we actually turned around at one point going down a really rickety dirt road. i have a pretty good intuition so i’ve always trusted it! great to hear from you di! i’ve been loving your pics of little charlotte. she is beautiful!

  • You have serious balls! I mean that in the best way possible hahaha I’m a total pansy and it would have taken soon much convincing to get me to do this but it definitely seems as though it was worth it! That beach looks amaaaaazing and those mountain views?! Cray.

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