I went to the Dominican Republic the beginning of December but I have been so busy traveling in between that I’ve only now had the moment to sit down and write about my surreal experience in the DR. I didn’t know what to expect prior to arriving there and honestly, I didn’t have high expectations. I knew it was going to be an adventure but I didn’t realize just how memorable the entire trip would be. I had only ever heard of oceanfront all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic and while that’s not a bad thing, sometimes it’s nice to stray away from the popular and try something unique, a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience that a kid (and adult!) only dreams of. The Dominican Treehouse Village sits perched in the province of Samaná, a rural town away from the chaos of Santo Domingo. This province is in the countryside of the DR and is quite safe and best of all, it holds numerous adventures waiting to be found. So without further ado, here are my 10 Reasons to Choose a Treehouse over a Resort in the Dominican Republic and specifically, the Dominican Treehouse Village (p.s. be sure to watch the video on their front page for a glimpse into your future vacation there).
If you love delicious food…Leo is an excellent cook and he’ll have countless breakfast foods for you in the morning including a delicious oatmeal type dish, various egg dishes and pancakes or waffles depending on the mornings. Fresh fruits is always available for breakfast as well. Dinners are fantastic with a rotating menu. My favorites were the chicken on skewers and the bean and squash soups.
If you are a Swiss Family Robinson fan…Only at the Dominican Treehouse Village can you feel like you’ve stepped into the Swiss Family Robinson story because the whole treehouse village is amazing with all of its connecting bridges and steps. These treehouse are perfect for those that may not love heights (most are not too high up) but there are a handful of treehouses available for those who love living on the edge. You can see just how high up they are in the photos below. The Dominican Treehouse Village offers an all-inclusive rate where you can help yourself to a delicious breakfast every morning and a tantalizing dinner every evening. The staff is amazing – you’ll meet Leo and his staff of talented cooks and Brittany and Kristina, the managers, among lots of others.
If you love quads….quads aka ATVs are awesome wherever you go but they are extra special in the DR. Your tour will take you throughout Samaná from rural villages in the countryside to small bustling villages to overlooks featuring turquoise waters and vivid green palm trees. Your destination? Playa Rincón. The road is fairly straight and people are respectful (though you still need to use caution as you’re driving on a main road) and the destination is exquisite expanses of white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. And while Playa Rincón is heaven on earth, the true gem lies in the crystal clear river that’s hidden in the palms.
If you’ve dreamed of horseback riding to a giant waterfall…the ride through the jungle is fun. You’ll have your own guide who will lead your horse throughout the jungle and ensures you don’t fall to the ground. This ride ends in El Limón, a beautiful waterfall with surprisingly warm water. Watch for locals who cliff jump off the right!
If you want to make friends…The Dominican Treehouse Village is not only a great place for a vacation with friends (you each get your own space aka treehouse but have plenty of time and space to come together for endless food and fun) but it’s also fantastic for making friends. The dining hall is set up family style with long dining tables and a welcoming spirit and since everyone hangs out here after dinner, you have plenty of time to chat whether it’s with the staff or visitors or the local pup.
If you love jumping off rope swings…I didn’t at first but the rope swing a mere few steps away from the treehouses emboldened me. The water was quite welcoming and I loved the challenge and adventure of climbing up to the tree, snaking my way around the trunk and working my legs onto the bar to jump off. It was exhilarating! It took me an embarrassingly long 5 minutes to actually sit on the bar (I had trouble balancing myself) but once I did, it was easy. You’ll want to make sure you plan at least an hour or two here because once you jump off once, you’ll want a repeat!
If you want to relax and get unplugged…the treehouses are in the middle of the jungle. There isn’t AC, you sleep in an open treehouse with the sounds of the jungle carrying in the wind and well, sometimes there’s no wi-fi. But that’s why you’re here. You want to be unplugged, away from it all and that’s why the Dominican Treehouse Village is perfect for you. You get to do all the fun adventures and come back to an amazing meal, new friends and your bed sitting under the stars. It’s one experience you’ll never forget.
If you’ve always wanted to ride the longest zipline in the Caribbean…like the rope swing adventure, the zipline was also near the treehouse village. It did take a little of physical exercise to get to the top (walking up 3 huge hills) but once at the top, it was all downhill from there (pun intended). There are 12 stations for this zipline and each one opens up to wide views of the mountains and valley below. I loved that it wasn’t a short activity but actually quite long allowing you to fully enjoy the ride and views. Be sure to zipline upside down at least once!
If you want to bike to the beach…I love beaches with an adventure and it doesn’t get better than the 10 minute bike ride from the treehouse village to the local beach. You’ll pass adorable kids with smiling faces, cute pups and colorful houses. It’s an easy, short ride that even those who don’t love exercise will enjoy. Make your way to the left and keep walking until you reach the huge boulders. Your feet may curse you but if you can make it up, you’ll get some pretty awesome shots!
If you crave Coco Locos…after your zipline adventure (which if you haven’t figured out is an absolute must), you’ll be greeted at the bottom by a Dominican gentleman selling fresh coconuts and pineapples for $5 each. If you choose the coconut (my favorite), he’ll chop the top, add some coconut cream and rum and turn it into a deliciously refreshing drink for you.