I enjoyed my recent upgrade on AAdvantage to Platinum Pro Status
gave me Sapphire Status for One World as well en route to Punta Cana
Airport from Sacramento.
I took this picture of the coastline of Hispaniola, the island which
Dominican Republic shares with Haiti as we were entering Dominican air
A local Dominican band greeted us at Punta Cana International
Airport. The airport is privately owned.
I am standing underneath a thatched roof walkway near the rental car
center in Punta Cana here.
We rented a Suzuki Ciaz to get around the island.
I tried the most amazing rum ever in the Dominican Republic.
Brugal Leyenda was AMAZING! I could not taste the alcohol at
first, but it hit me soon after!
We found a really good restaurant near the airport for lunch.
Their coconut flanw as just amazing! They made a mean cup of
espresso too for me!
Our drive along the toll road from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo
out with rural scenery. Not sure if this was sugar cane or not.
As we approached Santo Domingo, it became more "3rd World Ghetto."
We found a local coconut vendor on the street in Santo Domingo before
we got to our hotel. We stopped him to get some fresh coconut
We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Santo Domingo which is the tallest
building in the city. It is also the safest building according to
many Americans who were staying there too with us.
Here is a good view of Santo Domingo from our suite at the
The Carribean is in the background.
I am enjoying a rum and Coke at the Embassy Suites Happy Hour.
For dinner, we went to Patagonia Grill, which is an Argentine
Steakhouse. The food was AMAZING! I had an Argentine style
grass fed tenderloin cooked medium rare with fried plantains and
This is the oldest cathedral in the new world. It was built in
This is the entrance to the oldest fortress in the New World as
well. It is called Ozama Fort.
This fort is where many Spanish explorers like Hernando Cortez and
Francisco Pizzaro sailed from to conquer the Aztecs of Mexico and the
Incas of Peru.
It was amazing to see how they built this fort back then. One
see the coral that was used too.
The Ozama River flows into the Caribbean Sea near the fort too.
The street signs were pretty cool in Santo Domingo.
This is was Diego Colon's house. He was Christopher Columbus'
son. Colon was the first Vice Roy of New Spain also.
These are the scepters of the Vice Roy of New Spain.
I like to try the local sodas too when I travel.
We enjoyed a nice Peruvian lunch when we went to see the old Spanish
colonial buildings in Zona Colonial.
I am enjoying some more Brugal
Leyenda rum on the Embassy Suites Pool
After we left Santo Domingo, we headed to our beach resort in Punta
Cana. This was the beautiful beach by our resort.
The pool area was nice at our resort.
I am playing with my 4K underwater camera in the pool.
We rented a three bedroom condo/suite at the Blue Beach Luxury Resort
in Punta Cana.
I loved the long balcony with the ceiling fans above.
This was the best pina colada ever! I had them make it with
that Brugal Leyenda rum too! The fresh juices just made this
drink so delicious too! I enjoyed this with my lunch as I took in
the views of the ocean.
We went on a snorkeling adventure from the Bavaro area beaches too.
I am ready to hit that warm water for some snorkeling!
My underwater 4K camera took great video and pictures! These
fish are called Sergeant Majors. They are common to this part of
The water was really clear!
I am taking a selfie underneath the water.
We went to a natural pool after our snorkeling adventure. This
was a shallow sand bar area where one can just swim and float around.
The crew got in the water with rum, Coke, and ice to make drinks as
we floated around the water.
I had a few drinks while taking in the views.
Ahoy! I have your rum. Shiver My Timbers! I hope
there are no real pirates in there. LOL.
The Bavaro area beaches were so beautiful!
The dinner at the resort was Mexican
themed on our last night at the resort. This was the dessert!
A few of my friends wanted to check out La
Republica Dominicana, or the Dominican Republic in 2018. Since I
had so much vacation, I decided to join them for a fun trip to this
tropical paradise. Moreover, American Airlines recently upgraded
me to Platinum Pro Status, and I had almost 100,000 AAdvantage miles to
use up. The trip to Punta Cana took a while as I had to go to
Phoenix before taking a red eye to Boston Logan Airport. From
Boston, I had a straight shot down to Punta Cana. After arriving
in Punta Cana, we got our rental car and found a great spot for lunch
near the airport. The food was amazing, and I tried the best rum
ever! The Brugal Leyenda rum is a local rum that is rarely found
outside of the Dominican Republic. After having some great
coconut flan to finish off our lunch, we departed for the capital city
of Santo Domingo.
After arriving in Santo Domingo, we stopped a local
street vendor to get some fresh coconut water. Afterwards, we
checked into our suite at the Embassy Suites. The Embassy Suites
is the tallest building in Santo Domingo. It is also the safest
building in the city according to many Americans who were staying there
as well. That night, we had a delicious dinner at Patagonia
Grill, which is an Argentine Steakhouse. The waiter paired a
great Argentine Malbec with my grass fed tenderloin. Actually, I
have to admit that I did not have a bad meal in the Dominican
Republic. The food was amazing! However, a lot of people do
not speak English so I had to use Google Translate whenever possible to
get my orders into the wait staff. LOL. I remember I wanted
mushrooms with steak so I looked it up on Google Translate.
"Hongos" is the Spanish word for mushroom, but I pronounced it with the
"H." In Spanish, the "H" is silent so the guy must have been like
what the crap is this guy talking about. LOL. Also, my
French tends to come out when I am in Spanish speaking country since
that was my foreign language from college and high school.
The next day, we toured the Zona Colonial with a
local guide. The Zona Colonial has the oldest cathedral and fort
in the New World. Santo Domingo was the capital of New
Spain. The Vice Roy of New Spain also lived here. We saw
the first Vice Roy's house too. The Vice Roy, Diego Colon, was
Christopher Columbus' son. Colon is Spanish for Columbus.
After our walking tour, we had a great lunch at Machu Picchu. The
Peruvian food was great! That night, we decided to check out a
Hooter's in Santo Domingo.
We headed back to Punta Cana the next day.
Since there was three of us, we got a three bedroom condo/suite at the
Blue Beach Luxury Resort in Punta Cana. This relatively new
resort was really nice. They had a private beach too. We
enjoyed dinner at that restaurant by the airport where I had that
amazing rum. I did buy a bottle of that rum to bring back home.
The next morning, I enjoyed a massage on the
beach. The crisp ocean breezes coupled together with the sounds
of the ocean were a great compliment to my full body massage. We
had a snorkeling adventure planned for the afternoon. This trip
took us out to do some snorkeling in the Atlantic Ocean before serving
us some rum. Afterwards, we went to a natural pool in the ocean
to float around and drink more rum! We ended our day with a great
dinner at the resort. The multi course dinner started out with a
tequila flavored welcome drink. I enjoyed just chilling on our
huge balcony with the dual ceiling fans in the evening after dinner.