Monday, March 18, 2013

Natura Cabana, DR

A friend of ours recommended the Natura Cabana property in the Dominican Republic, when we were talking about how hard it is to find really non-commercial properties, that are easy to fly into. This completely fit the ticket. We landed into Puerto Plata, after a very quick (3 hours and nonstop) Jet Blue flight from JFK. A taxi that the hotel had booked was waiting for us, and within a half an hour we were walking into our beautiful bungalow. It was a three bedroom, since that was what was available, and they charge just by the person--which was $90 per person, and $40 per child, and includes breakfast. The bungalow was really well appointed, the beds comfortable enough, and the bathroom lovely, although the water pressure was non-existent, and there was no way we were going to take a bath, since it would have taken hours to fill up. Never mind, there was a pool (although not heated, Clara didn't mind), and the Caribbean right in front. I was able to sit in the hammock on the front porch, while Clara played on the wooden swingset out front, right next to the very cute treehouse. The beach was beautiful, with lovely little purple and pink shells, and although the water was rough in spots, it didn't have a strong undertow. The food was really good, and very homemade, with its only drawback being that it took a long time to come out. In fact, our friend who sent us there told us that we should order, then come back 45 minutes later. Since we knew that going in, it wasn't a problem. We would order dinner, then grab a couple of mojitos for us and pineapple juice for Clara, head to the beach, and swing on the silk rope swing. We didn't do any yoga when we were there (it's known for it), and we didn't do any surfing in the nearby Cabarete Beach...but we did do a drive to Sosua, 10 minutes away, which is a very raw and not touristy spot, which has a lot of fish shacks, bars, and stalls selling a little bit of everything you'd expect—but the one thing to look out for and bring back—are the amber necklaces. If you need a long weekend getaway, this is a good option, and if you want a longer time away, I'd pair it with a stay at La Catalina, about another 40 minutes further up the coast.

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