I’m back with my final Dominican Republic press trip recap: the adventures! This post is insanely long, so grab a cup of tea and settle in for awhile. 🙂 Also, if you missed my first two recaps, check those out first: Running in the Dominican Republic (<—also includes our hotel details) and Dominican Republic Trip: The Food! I’m writing this post while watching the snow fall outside in DC, and extremely jealous of myself from a few days ago…
When I first got the email about this press trip last month, I was really excited about the itinerary because it was full of ALL the adventure. Right up my alley! I’m happiest while busy and active, as you guys have probably gathered by now, and love anything involving a physical challenge and the great outdoors combined. 🙂
I had no idea the Dominican Republic was such a great outdoorsy/adventure trip spot! A lot of the adventures we got into were similar to those that Matt and I did on our honeymoon in Costa Rica back in 2012. If you’re looking to have a fun outdoorsy honeymoon that also involves some nice beach time, definitely look into the DR!
Anyway – here is what we got into. We were quite busy, in a good way! 🙂
Learning to Surf
On our first full day in the Dominican Republic, we went to check out Master of the Ocean, which is an annual water sports competition that was going on last week, featuring surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and stand up paddle boarding.
We got to get in on the action by taking a surfing lesson from 321Takeoff!
Ready to go with our sweet foam boards! 😉
I’ve only surfed once before, in Australia back in 2003 while studying abroad in college. I remembered it being hard but fun!
Woohoo – stood up on the first try!!
We had a BLAST. Having foam boards and guys pushing us so we caught the waves more easily probably had something to do with it, but I stood up almost every time, and even rode a few in all the way! I think I’ll be ready to compete in Master of the Ocean next year… 😉
Our instructor showing off – mad skills:
The whole crew, including our instructor who should probably quit his surfing gig and take up modeling instead. On the left with us are Annie and AJ, our PR hosts for this trip. They were awesome – we had such a great group! (Missing from this photo is Taralynn, who unfortunately had to join us a day late due to a flight cancellation!)
The Extreme Hotel
On Saturday, we spent the day enjoying the adventurous offerings at the Extreme Hotel, which is a small eco-friendly adventure/fitness-focused hotel in Cabarete. I was in love with this place!
The whole hotel is powered by solar (Lu, I thought of you!) and they grow a lot of their own food, too. They are also starting to grow food to give to underprivileged locals – amazing. This is moringa; the leaves are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and minerals. We tried some – it was kind of peppery and peanut-y. Interesting!
The Extreme Hotel is also super affordable ($59/night base price; fitness stuff is additional and there are various package options) and boasts yoga, CrossFit, kite surfing, a health-focused restaurant (and bar), and even a trapeze/circus school! I totally want to go back to the DR just to stay at this place! The rooms are apparently no frills, but who cares since you’re outside all day, anyway? 🙂
We started our morning with the trapeze! I’ve done trapeze before (remember when I did a trapeze class here in DC a couple years ago?) and absolutely love it, so I was pumped.
Talk about an adrenaline rush – we were all shaking when we hopped off!
Next up – a CrossFit class at onsite Rogue Fitness Cabarete! How cool is this open air gym/hut?
The workout was legit! It took us 30 minutes to complete and we were all quite sweaty by the end of it. Whew!!
Sarah posted a cool video of the workout over on her YouTube channel – check it out! It actually starts with footage of me jumping off a cliff into the water on our canyoning trip (more details on that in a sec). 🙂
Working on our inversion skills after class:
The whole crew with our instructor, Zach, who is, as you can tell, in terrible shape.
Monkey Jungle: Zip Lining + Monkey Encounter
On Sunday, we headed to Monkey Jungle for zip lining and a monkey encounter. Monkey Jungle is located on a small dirt road out in the middle of nowhere, and one of their main purposes is to use the money they raise from tourists to fund a free on-site dental and medical clinic (complete with a pharmacy) for underprivileged locals. Amazing, right?
It’s also a 280 acre working farm! There are 7 lip lines on the property as well as the monkey jungle. I have gone zip lining a few times now and always enjoy it; the weather was beautiful and the views were lovely, too!
They let us go upside down on the last one. I was clearly all over it!
One of the last zip lines was actually straight down and part free fall into a cave! I’d never done a zip line like this before – so cool!
After zip lining, we had our monkey encounter!
For all my bravery with adrenaline sports, I was TERRIFIED of the monkeys – Gina has a hilarious video on her phone that I was taking of her with the monkeys; halfway through the camera goes crazy and you hear me SCREAM and say “I’m freaking out!!!” – lol! A monkey had leapt onto my back during the video!
After a little while I finally got brave enough to take the plate of fruit so some of them would come over to me. They were actually quite soft and gentle, but I was still pretty nervous. 😉
Iguana Mama Canyoning Excursion
Our final adventure of the press trip, on Monday, was a canyoning excursion with Iguana Mama! They bill their eco-excursions as “nature’s amusement park” – I would agree!
The excursion we did was called Magic Mushroom because one of the waterfalls we rappelled down has a rock that looks just like a mushroom. Neat!
Matt and I did a similar excursion in Costa Rica on our honeymoon – LOVE canyoning/waterfall rappelling.
This trip also involved cliff jumps of up to 25 feet down into pools, and some water and regular hiking. What a blast!
And now, here ends the longest post ever.
Another HUGE thank you to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism and to Annie and AJ from their PR agency for having us on this trip and covering all our expenses. I’ll never forget our amazing adventures together. 🙂 Until next time, ladies! I miss you all and the DR already!