Hot Spots in the Dominican Republic
During my most recent moments in the Dominican Republic, I have spent much of the time on the balcony of my room - basking in continuous sunlight, sipping my tea slower than usual, breathing chemtrail-free air, talking with my aunt about plants and their healing offerings, writing, reading, not doing, being.
The Dominican Republic is one of my absolute favorite places in the world. Rich with plants in every home, mango trees on every corner, and a sense of connectivity between all the fibers of being, I feel very at home in this place outside of my own body. This most recent journey has enabled me to connect more deeply with the people whom I love the most - cousins, aunts, uncles, my grandparents, and some dear friends. Making most of my communal voyages by feet, I spent much of the time traveling from the balcony at my aunt's house to the porch gating my grandpa's old cottage. The decision had been made that I would use this time to go deeper into my roots and listen to the stories of times before my birth so as to get a clearer picture of the soil in which I was planted. Still, with all this being the case, I took moments to venture through the barrios and enjoy communion with local spots for pleasurable activity. My first stop was at one of my favorite eateries in town - PAPAUPA VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT.
Located in the heart of the capital, Santo Domingo, Papaupa is a spot I always make a point of going to whenever I visit DR. Offering hearty options for the meat-eater and plant-based foodie alike, this restaurant offers both vegetarian and vegan options that are sure to awaken your senses and remind you of well-known Caribbean dishes - vegan patties made out of plantains, fries made with batata, and jugo de cereza y guayaba - to name a few. A tropical oasis, hidden in a semi-quiet corner in the city, Papaupa never ever disappoints. Every time I find myself in this space, I make sure I eat extra slow and savor every bite. We hope you feel inspired to perhaps treat yourself to a tropical vacation at some point and visit this location.
As if the paradise of the island isn't enough to enchant, Dominicans have been blessed with the DR. RAFAEL MA. MOSCOSO NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN. A garden named after a Dominican botanist who catalogued the flora of the island of Hispaniola. Featuring a japanese garden, a pavilion of medicinal plants, palms, succulents, ferns, and even a butterfly garden, this location is the site for much photography and relaxation. I spent about 8 hours here during my last trip, injoying time and space with plants I did not even know existed. El Jardin Botanico is one of the places we will be frequenting during our trip to DR in October. Check out the Gold Water University's "Campo Medicine" offering for more information.
Limestone. Turtles. Fish. Water. Caves. Bats. This is the organic makeup of a site I have visited countless times and even had a house next to at one point. LOS TRES OJOS (The Three Eyes) is a highly frequented attraction. An open-air cave in Santo Domingo, the idea of bats may spook some away from ever visiting, but I promise that if you do, you will not regret it. The creation of this site was "accidental" - that is to say it was not thoroughly intended by man though it was intended by nature. Los Tres Ojos came about as a result of tectonic fractures when underground caves collapsed. Ultimately and naturally, these caves filled with water. A deeply mysterious location, these lakes are filled with a rich history - Tainos were the first to inhabit the cave, performing ceremony and ritual and communing in depth with the spirits. When you visit The Three Eyes, you will voyage through the cave in a boat held in route by ropes. A very raw experience, I personally wouldn't leave the island without first visiting Los Tres Ojos. It's like stepping into a parallel universe filled with more water and friendly creatures.