During a recent visit to the Dominican Republic on a destination wedding fam trip, our group was treated to a half day tour by Outback Adventures Safari. This excursion was AMAZING. Our guide Angel was not only extremely informative, but had a great sense of humor and kept us laughing the entire day. The knowledge that he shared with us about the Dominican Republic’s culture and way of living was very interesting. The driver, Leonardo (DiCaprio, as Angel joked) was a true professional and an expert at navigating the winding primitive roads and mountain villages. His expertise was definitely evident when driving up to the Outback Safari Ranch.
Bottled water, soft drinks, beer and rum are included and free flowing throughout the excursion 😉
Driving through the small towns along the way to the Outback Adventures ranch on the mountain, we got a glimpse of local businesses and life in this area of the island. Angel shared a wealth of information about everything from Dominican history and daily life to politics and the education system on the island.
We first drove by one of the local schools (we were on an abbreviated version of the tour, the full day version you will actually stop and go in to meet the children and teacher and are welcome to bring school supplies to donate if you wish). It was June and the children in class that day were attending summer school (because they had not reached the required level of achievement during the regular school year).
After visiting the school, we stopped at a local family’s house where they showed us how they make coffee and chocolate. Chappy, his wife and 2 children share a small but amazingly pristine home, with a large detached kitchen.
Chappy had all types of fruits and vegetables growing right in his yard, such as pineapple, potatoes and bananas, and he was busy spreading out cocoa beans to dry in the sun when we arrived. With a little translation help from Angel, Chappy explained how he grows, harvests and roasts coffee and also the process of turning the cacao beans into chocolate.
They had several pets, my favorite was this cute crow who was a bit shy as I took his picture. 😉
Back on the safari vehicle, we continued up the mountain to the Outback Adventures ranch where we had incredible views from every angle. There were iguanas, peacocks, chickens other creatures, and we were treated to a very interesting cigar rolling demonstration (tobacco is an important crop on the island). Also included in the tour was an incredible lunch of chicken grilled on open air bbq pits, potato and pasta salads and a variety of fruit.
After the tour they took us to Macao beach. The water there is so beautiful and the views are picture perfect (yes I took this picture, it should be on a postcard!)…
I would do this tour again in a heartbeat! Next time though, it will be the full day tour 🙂