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10 things you might not know about Cassava (Yuca)

By Heather Lincoln

Have you ever thought about how cool cassava is? Widely grown throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, this popular root vegetable is a staple in the Dominican diet. The Dominican Republic’s tropical climate makes an excellent environment for its growth and because of cassava’s versatility and tolerance, it has been revered since the Taino, Carib, and Arawak population.

Here are 10 things you might not know about cassava:

  1. Cassava can take up to 18 months to harvest and needs 8+ months of warm weather to grow. It does best in full sunlight.
  2. Cassava is able to tolerate drought and grow in poor soil, and naturally resists pests and plant disease.
  3. It can be stored for two years in the ground without rotting!
  4. Cassava is known by many names including yuca, manioc, mandioca, yucca root, casabe, and tapioca.
  5. People with dietary constraints will appreciate that cassava is gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free.
  6. The ways to make cassava are numerous— boil, bake, steam, grill, fry or mash it, as well as add it to stews!
  7. There are two varieties of cassava – sweet and bitter. Bitter cassava is processed into breads, pastries and cakes.
  8. Cassava is high in calories and carbohydrates.
  9. The American Cancer Society warns that people with a latex rubber allergy might be more susceptible to an allergy to cassava.
  10. Cassava should never be eaten raw — it contain traces of cyanide that can be deadly! The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is helping to breed cassavas with less cyanide.

When properly prepared, cassava poses no problems to your health. It needs to be soaked, dried, and cooked. Because of its long life-cycle and easy agriculture, cassava can act as a source to help prevent hunger in impoverished communities. Delicious in many forms, it’s often eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s no wonder why we find so many ways to enjoy it!

Source: Casa de Campo Living

June 29, 2017

30-06-17
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What’s New in Punta Cana’s Gastronomic Sector?

Punta Cana’s gastronomic sector continues to grow and enriched with new and diverse restaurants.

New offers include steakhouses, seafood restaurants, as well as a variety of Mexican, Asian fusion, avant-garde, Spanish, Peruvian, Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine. The following are some of the region’s finest restaurants:

Lorenzillos

In Downtown Punta Cana, overlooking an artificial lake, the restaurant features special tanks with live lobsters. Its excellent menu features excellent seafood and traditional Dominican dishes. The restaurant also offers guests some 4,000 bottles of wines, with more than 200 labels from all over the world, two independent terraces, three bars and a main dining area. Opens at 1:00 p.m. daily.

Antonio Steak House

The restaurant is known for its excellent imported meats. Conveniently located at the “Plaza Brisas,” AvenidaEspaña, in Bavaro.

Yao Restaurant Asiatico

Excellent fusion of Asian-Dominican dishes, situated on Avenida Barcelo.

Fusion, Sense & Flavors

Situated in Sanctuary Town, the restaurant has successfully brought together popular dishes from various cultures. Its modern ambiance goes perfectly with its very modern menu.

Rincón de Paco

This is one of the newest restaurants in Sanctuary Town. It is a traditional Spanish tavern, with a menu featuring excellent Spanish dishes and tapas. Its grilled meats platter has become a favorite.

Blue Grill + Bar

The restaurant successfully brings together Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. Its spectacular view of the sea is the perfect complement to the restaurant’s fine menu, inspired by the Robatayaki y Nikkei culinary traditions. It also features a fine cigar salon, for total relaxation. The restaurant is situated at the Eden Roc Hotel in Cap Cana.

The Grill

The menu specializes in Mediterranean dishes. It offers guests a spectacular view of the La Cana golf course and the majestic Caribbean Sea. Its delicious and fresh salads are all made with vegetables grown in the Puntacana Foundation’s organic gardens.

La Cava Kitchen & Bar

The restaurant’s menu brings together excellent dishes and fine drinks.It also features one of the most popular bars in the region. GaleriasPuntacana, Puntacana Village.

The Best

Rincon de Paco
The Grill
Lorenzillos

Source: Access DR

June 13, 2017

13-06-17
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Adventures in Samana

The Province of Samana, on the country’s northeast region, offers visitors much more than its beautiful white-sand beaches. Its spectacular natural resources and the friendly attitude of its citizens, has turned the region into a fascinating tourism destination.
Its mountains and rivers offer excellent possibilities to visitors looking for adventure tourism. Other possibilities are horseback riding, hiking and ziplining, just to mention a few. By far, the Province of Samana offers tourists a wide range of fun activities, such as:

Samana 4×4:

This is a unique experience for the more adventurous visitor. The offer consists of traveling to some of the province’s most beautiful destinations on board safari-like vehicles that will take the guests through beautiful mountains, valleys and local villages. This is an excellent option for those who also want to meet and interact with the local communities, and enjoy snacks consisting of native fruits, fresh coconut milk or a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee and/or hot cocoa.

“Los Haitises” National Park:

Situated in Samana Bay, this rainforest is situated along the southern part of the Bay of Samana. The area is one of the country’s top nature reserves, where visitors can visit caves where the Tainos – the original inhabitants of the island – painted symbolic drawings that have lasted through the ages. The reserve is also known for the incredible number of birds that live or migrate through the area.

Las Galeras:

This old fishing village is situated next to the Bay of Rincon. Well organized tours include hiking and camping.

Limon Waterfall:

The 40-meter waterfall can be reached with the help of special guides, either on foot or on horseback.

Scuba Diving:

The area is also known for excellent scuba diving possibilities due to the beautiful coral reefs found along the north coast of the Bay.

Source: Access DR

May 20, 2017

20-05-17
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Bayahibe’s Butterfly Park

Situated a very short distance from the eastern region city of La Romana – 1.5 hours east of Santo Domingo and 30 minutes west of Punta Cana – the Butterfly Park is found along the banks of the Chavon River. This beautiful area was used for location scenes in the movies “Apocalypse Now” and “Rambo II.” Surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, the Butterfly Park is the largest in the Caribbean.

A few steps from the region’s main highway tour members will board a wooden barge will transport the tour members to the town known as “Gato.” The crossing is done with the sounds of typical merengue music, the national rhythm of the Dominican Republic. Once across, guests are transported to Caribbean VIP Tours, a very special place because it is home to the largest butterfly park in the country’s eastern region.

During the last two years tourists from Germany, Holland and Italy have participated in special tours that have taken them to areas where they can become familiar with the beautiful landscape of the Dominican Republic. The guided tours start off with a walk through a path lined with wild flowers and lush vegetation. Native birds are also a popular sight in these tours. At the butterfly park, tour guides will give guests a full explanation of the cycle of life of a butterfly.

This is truly a magical and unforgettable place to experience, surrounded by hundreds of colorful butterflies that flutter all around.

In the park, it is common to see the impressive black and yellow Tiger Butterfly settle quietly on the shoulder of one of the visitors. During the tour, guides will provide all the information necessary on the importance of these noble insects in the local environment. For more information, please visit: www.tanamabayahibe.com.

Source: Access DR

May 17, 2017

17-05-17
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Villa Pajon is an eco-lodge mountain resort situated in the very heart of the Dominican Republic

Villa Pajon is an eco-lodge mountain resort situated in the very heart of the Dominican Republic’s central mountain range, the tallest in the Caribbean region.

The seven-cabin resort is located some 2,000 meters above sea level. Surrounded by an extensive pine forest, the temperature in the region during the winter months can drop to 32 F. (0 C.). All cabins are equipped with fireplaces.

Villa Pajon is a rustic mountain setting that will delight nature lovers, as well as mountain hikers and bird watchers. Touring the local mountains during the day will provide guests with plenty of stories to tell around the fire place during the cool evenings.

What is Villa Pajon?

The cabins are surrounded by approximately 130,000 acres of dense forest that will provide guests with excellent possibilities for bird watching, mountain cycling, hiking and horseback riding.

The local forest is home to many native birds. Trained guides will help identify the native species, as well as the birds that are passing through the region during their annual migration process. During the summer, the fields are blooming with daisies and hydrangeas, as well as many other native and wild flowers.

Villa Pajon is the Perfect Destination for National and International Visitors

Villa Pajon was conceived for all visitors, but especially for the nature lover. There is an organic garden for those who want to spend some quiet time outdoors; plenty of open spaces for children to play and explore; and mountain trails for hikers and cyclists.

It is the perfect destination to become familiar with the natural wonders of the Dominican Republic, especially its forests and mountain regions. Evenings are also quiet: sitting around the fireplace, drinking wine, listening to music and the sound of silence.

Villa Pajon is located some 15 kilometers outside the mountain town of Constanza, situated some 1200 meters above sea level. Getting to the project is easy.

Once you reach Constanza’s main square, just ask anyone for directions.
For information, please visit: www.villapajon.do/esp/

Source: Access DR

May 2, 2017

02-05-17
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Ocean Village Deluxe Hotel Opens in Sosua, on the Country’s North Coast

Sosua, a once quiet fishing village situated in the country’s beautiful north coast, now features a brand new hotel with 29 villas and luxury apartments. The complex is situated at the Sosua Ocean Village complex.

The 10-acre facility is situated some 20 minutes from Puerto Plata’s international airport, and features 10 luxury villas overlooking the ocean, an additional 13 villas surrounded by lush gardens and private swimming pools, and six apartments in a castle-style building.

The hotel offers free wi-fi, tropical terraces, dry cleaning facilities, a fully equipped kitchen, TV in all rooms, and a modern gymnasium, sports facilities, and two restaurants, and an Oceanside boulevard.

There is also an aqua park for children, and a playground.

For more information: www.sosuaoceanvillage.com.

Source: Access DR

Apr 15, 2017

15-04-17
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Protected area visitation fees increased

Ministry of Environment announced increases to the cost of visiting protected areas. The Ministry says that the permanent maintenance of these areas requires costly investment in staff and infrastructure. The Ministry says the increase in the fees will help give better service and reduce the impact of the visits on some fragile areas. The Ministry says that some areas such as Catalina Island, Saona Island (Parque Nacional Cotubanamá/Del Este) and Cayo Arena are suffering from intense visitation.

Nevertheless, the Ministry says that school and university student visitations will be exempt from the charges in order to promote the conservation of these areas.

The Ministry explained that some areas, such as in the case of Duarte Peak and the Limon Waterfall, require measures to control visits to the present levels to preserve the areas from environmental degradation.
The Ministry says that the rate increases will not apply to tour operators who can show proof of having paid in advance for the visits.

Among the fees for Dominicans/residents and tourists are:
Catalina Island, Saona Island and Cayo Arena (RD$100, RD$500)
La Caleta (RD$100, RD$400)
Los Tres Ojos (RD$200, RD$300)
Parque Nacional Armando Bermudez / Pico Duarte (RD$200, RD$300)
Parque Nacional Cotubanamá/ Del Este (RD$200, RD$500)
Parque Nacional Lago Enriquillo / Isla Cabritos (RD$200, RD$300)
Parque Nacional Submarino Montecristi [which includes Cayo Arena] (RD$200, RD$500)
Monumento Natural Isla Catalina (RD$300, RD$500)
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Laguna Cabral y Rincón (RD$200, RD$300)
Rufugio de Vida Silvestre Lagunas Redonda y Limon (RD$200, RD$300)
Parque Nacional Los Haitises (RD$200, RD$300)
Parque Nacional El Morro (RD$200, RD$300).

Source: DR1, Acento

Apr 8, 2017

08-04-17
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Most Popular Punta Cana Hotels, According to Trip Advisor

Since 2014 the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bávaro heads the list of the most popular hotels in Punta Cana, according to the international travel website TripAdvisor.

Situated in the country’s eastern region, the 260-suite hotel features six top-quality restaurants, three bars, swimming pools, as well as a gymnasium and spa.

The following hotels are also included on this prestigious list:

Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana
Tortuga Bay, Puntacana Resort & Club
Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Now Onyx Punta Cana
Now Larimar Punta Cana
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Now Garden Punta Cana

Source: Access DR

Mar 31, 2017

31-03-17
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Puerto Plata: The Oldest Tourist City in the Caribbean

Founded in 1502, the north coast city of Puerto Plata was the second settlement founded by Christopher Columbus on the island currently shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  The first settlement was “La Isabela,” founded in 1492.

Today, the city invites its many visitors to stroll through its oceanside streets, enjoy the city’s beautiful Victorian-style homes or to sit and enjoy the city’s picturesque central plaza.

The city also offers an attractive array of national and international restaurants nightclubs, and the exclusive Playa Dorada, Costa Dorada and Costambar resorts.

Puerto Plata’s Oceanside Drive

The city’s iconic oceanside drive, also known as the “Malecon,” is one of the country’s most beautiful avenues.

It is a favorite spot for Dominicans and international visitors to walk, jog, rides bicycles or simply sit alongside the avenue to enjoy the spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean.

At one end of the boulevard is the historic San Felipe Fortress, a colonial building that is now a popular museum that features the military weapons used in the country during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Amber Museum

The museum, situated in a beautiful Victorian-style home, features the world’s most important amber collection.

Some of the amber pieces on exhibit feature fossils that are some 30 million years old.  One of the museum’s most famous pieces is the amber rock featured in the film “Jurassic Park.”

Address: Duarte Street #61, Puerto Plata.

General Gregorio Luperon Museum

This is the original home of national hero General Luperon.  In 1861, the Dominican Republic was once again annexed by Spain. General Luperon was the military leader that defeated the Spanish authorities in 1865

Address: 12 de Julio Street #54

E-mail: museogregorioluperon@claro.net.do.

“Damajagua Falls”

The 27 Damajagua natural waterfalls is one of the north coast’s most important tourist attractions.  National and international visitors continuously visit this nature preserve, which features more than two dozen natural waterfalls in a six square kilometer area.

For more information, visit:  www.saltosdamajagua.com.

Puerto Plata’s Cable Cars

One of the city’s most iconic attraction are the cable cars that transport visitors to the city’s “Isabel de Torres” mountain.  Once on top of the hill, visitors will enjoy the most beautiful and breathtaking view of the city and ocean.

More information available: www.telefericopuertoplata.com.

Ocean World

If swimming with the dolphins is your wish, then Ocean World is your destination. The water park also features other important attractions, such as wild bird exhibits, aquarium and other exotic animals.  The park is also open in the evenings, featuring aquatic sports, casino, restaurants, disco, and its very popular Bravissimo cabaret spectacle

Source: Access DR

Mar 28, 2017

28-03-17
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Punta Cana Airport Receives Prestigious Quality Award

Punta Cana’s international airport was recently issued the “Best Airport in Latin America & Caribbean” award.  This award is issued by the Airports Council International (ACI) to the airports that annually handle between five to 15 million passengers.

The Airport Quality of Service Awards 2016 (ASQ) is a global program that surveys passengers traveling through international airports on their scheduled travel day.  The idea is to obtain their opinions on 34 key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security check, restrooms, shops and restaurants   Some 600,000 individual surveys, in 41 languages and in 84 countries, are carried out by ASQ.   Each airport is given the same survey with the goal of creating an industry database that will allow airports to compare their situation with other airports in the world.

The ASQ Awards are delivered to those airports that have been rated the best by their customers.

Source: Access DR

Mar 23, 2017

23-03-17
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Last updated July 26, 2017 at 5:28 PM
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