Last January, A and I went to Puerto Rico for two weeks. Afterward, she declared the trip to be just what she needed after the stress of the holidays. I told her that as long as we were dating, I’d take her to the Caribbean every January. So here we are, another January, and another trip to the bluest water. This time, we are headed to the Dominican Republic.

Most American tourists head to Punta Cana, or one of the other beach resort areas in the country. As for me? I’m a sucker for seeing the true workings of a country, so I rented an apartment right in the bustling capital of Santo Domingo, albeit one with a Caribbean view from the flat itself. I want to know what life is like for Dominicans, not for American tourists, and I am excited to do just that.

In all, I’ll be in the country for just over two weeks, all of it in Santo Domingo, though of course I’ll venture outside the city to some more pristine beaches as day trips. (The beaches within the city are not known for cleanliness, although the sea views from the apartment will help offset that.) But the real purpose will be to see life in the capital.

So what is planned? Well, first off will be exploration of the old colonial city, one founded by Christopher Columbus, and home to his son. I’ve allocated two full days for that, but it might take a bit more to see it fully.

Other aspects of the city and country I’ll be exploring – and writing about for you all – will include merengue (the popular Caribbean/Latin dance was invented here), rum and cigars, the city’s Chinatown, and a cool looking cavern within the city itself. In addition, I very much want to write about baseball in the Dominican Republic, but as of this writing (a month before the trip), that looks like a question mark as tickets for the Dominican League finals seem to only be sold in person.

With or without the baseball story, I am excited to bring you all a look at the “real” Dominican Republic, and I hope that these story ideas are ones that interest you. As always, while the content will be delayed, probably by at least a month or two, you can follow along for daily photos on my Instagram.

And assuming A and I remain together, suggestions for next year’s Caribbean January would be helpful!

Below is a map of the Dominican Republic. The flag marks Santo Domingo.

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