Puerto Plata, the country’s most important north coast city, is now providing a unique travel experience to national and international visitors in the area through its Community Tourism project.
The project consists of organized outings to excellent local beaches and hotels, as well as to various cultural and non-conventional social events. Some 15 local communities are currently participating in the project.
The ACCESSDR team participated in three of these innovative tours.
Puerto Plata’s “community tourism” project brings visitors up close and personal with many local communities through its people, culture, history and natural environment.
The project was launched by the Municipal Units for Community Heritage, with the support of public and private institutions.
Some 15 local communities are participating in the project, such as: Altamira, Guanico, Imbert, Los Hidalgos, Luperon, San Felipe, Sosua, Villa Isabela and Villa Montellano. The ACCESSDR team participated in three program activities.
Dominican Baseball Culture
The Bartolo Colon Baseball Stadium is situated in the north coast municipality of Altamira, in the community of Cupey.
The tour provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience what community baseball is all about, and provides plenty of colorful information into the history of the game of baseball, its beginnings in the country, and everything there is to know about Dominican baseball culture.
Plenty of information is provided on the historical aspects of the game, and its many variations outside the country.
The tour guide will also provide information on Major League Baseball pitcher Bartolo Colon, his humble origins in his hometown of “El Cupey,” and his road to becoming the baseball star he is today.
Visitors will then live the experience of actually playing a baseball game in the stadium with the children of the community. The tour ends with the sale of local products. (Tour Duration: One hour. Monday to Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more information, please write to: Experienciabeisbol.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cocoa Secrets Discovered in a Family Farm
At Hacienda Cufa, situated in the “La Mariposa de Guanico” community on the country’s north coast, visitors will be able to become familiar and enjoy the entire cocoa-making process.
The tour, certified as a “Dominican Treasure,” is a family-run farm that grows, cultivates and processes organic cocoa. Through the tour visitors will learn all about the process of planting, harvesting, fermenting, drying, roasting and grinding the cocoa seeds. The final phase is the actual manufacturing process of many cocoa-based products.
At the last track of the tour, visitors will see the end of the cocoa process and will also enjoy the beautiful melodies sung by the farmers during the process.
Finally, everyone on the tour is invited to the family farm to enjoy a heartwarming cup of fresh-ground chocolate. Visitors may also purchase original products from the farm. The tour also includes chocolate therapy and chocolate facial treatments.
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Duration: 50-80 minutes.
“Rincon Caliente” (The Hot Corner): Birthplace of the Merengue
The north coast village of “Rincon Caliente” is the birthplace of the Dominican national dance known as the “merengue.” Through the tour the visitors will become familiar with the typical instruments used to play the “merengue:” the calabash, the drum and accordion.
The tour begins by receiving the visitors with a warm “merengue” welcome. Tour guides will provide all the necessary information on the instruments, the origins of the rhythm, some of its most prominent exponents, as well as other important details.
One of the tour’s most humorous moments is when participants are asked to test their musical talents by playing one of the typical instruments used, such as the accordion of the drums.
At the end, all will participate in the popular merengue dance, followed by refreshing popular drinks. Original arts and crafts made by the community will be available for purchase at the end of the tour.
Duration: One hour.
Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Please contact tour organizers for reservations at:
By Yamirys Liriano
Photo courtesy: www.unencuentroconmipaisrd.com