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Thread: Playa Palenque....(from Santo Domingo)

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    Default Playa Palenque....(from Santo Domingo)

    After a recent trip to the island of Nevis and an excellent ‘beach shack’ meal there on Pinneys Beach of grilled Mahi Mahi (Dorado) fillet with salad and sides, I was motivated on my return To DR to ‘go do that” and eat seafood on the beach Dominican style yet again. I have fond memories of excellent simply prepared fresh seafood by locals on many beaches throughout the country.

    Now that I reside in the city, I wanted to try somewhere close but different to where I had visited before. And these days my interest lies to the west of the city.

    Our DR1 Super Moderator, AE, has posted several times in the not so distant past of her and her husband’s fondness for a beach local to where they live. Playa Palenque.

    I have visited a beach closer to San Cristobel, Playa Najayo and have good memories of a couple of beery seafood afternoons there, so Playa Palenque was a natural progression a bit further away.

    This was to be a ‘recce’ rather than a full day out for future reference.

    I dropped AE a PM for best route to get there, because nothing bounced out at you looking at maps. I received very detailed perfect instructions which proved a great help and made my journey from Miramar to Playa Palenque 50 minutes if that.

    The Autopista out of Santo Domingo going west after the ring road has been resurfaced up to San Cristobel and the white lining is almost complete, so the drive to the intended turning off point was as good as it gets. We took the turning instructed without seeing the sugar mill, but that came quickly into view as soon as we went under the dual carriageway so we were on the right route towards the coast over the hills.

    We were warned the road was a little rough. On the contrary. It is excellent and has just been paved and the white lies are up to the top of the first incline……where the views looking back are absolutely fantastic. On we went through a few small villages with plenty of Edesur trucks around installing new overhead power lines and soon we hit the road running parallel to the coast and turned right. Again a road in excellent condition - almost newly surfaced. The scenery all around was very appealing and relaxing….and so close to that busy city. Lovely green campo!

    Very quickly we had passed through Sabana Grande de Palenque on onwards to the beach with our explicit instructions.

    We found a very quiet calm beach and settled down at the beach front on a simple table with chairs and palm covering serviced by the small simple restaurant of Eledanias. I am used to enjoying local fare from simple establishments on the beach so I was comfortable with what I saw.

    The beach was clean with a darker sand than you find on the North Coast and fairly typical of what I have seen west of Bani. It is palm fringed and the sea was very calm and it looked in inviting……..not a perfect blue tropical beach but as blue as you see in may a resort perhaps down to the sand color. To the west the beach curved around and was quite empty and invited a long beach stroll…but not today. On the distant headland you could see what look like a jetty and crane. The backdrop was undiluted untouched greenery. Looking east the beach curved to another headland but nearer with a few fishing boats parked on the shore. There was a reef at this headland suggesting the beach is well protected from the prevailing waves for most of the year. On the way home we did drive in that direction and there are more beach restaurants with dance floors facing what beach exists on that side. We did not check.

    The food on offer was to be as expected and fish was the choice of the day and selected from what was on offer. A few bottles of cold Presidente Light were consumed and a refreshing swim in the sea ensued before out food was served up. And what a fine spread……..grilled fish cooked to perfection, tostones, a salsa and a large fresh salad with avocado. Too much in the end to finish.

    I was not the only expat on a rather quiet beach today. There were a few others around. I can imagine that at weekends the place is full and full of life……a must to enjoy another time.

    A few more swims and another beer and it was time to head back to beat any traffic in the city at the end of the day. Incidentally the beach slopes gently away from the shoreline and at about chest height sand was replaced by a few large pebbles where I swam.

    Always lovely to see those mountains north of Bani and San Cristobel as you head home!

    Well worth the trip and it adds to my personal varied and wide experiences of this lovely land called Dominican Republic which is always throwing up new vistas and memories which I will be able to cherish and recall in days ahead.

    Thanks AE for introducing me to another special part of the nearby campo and Playa Palenque. We will be back!

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    I'm glad you went, and enjoyed it. I'm surprised there were other expats there, that's unusual this time of year. During winter there is usually a group of Europeans sitting a little to the east of where you were, Italians mostly, but also some Germans.

    I didn't realize you'd been to Playa Najayo before, or I would have given you different directions. When the road ended from over the mountain, and you made that right turn.... if you'd gone left, you'd have reached Playa Najayo in a heartbeat, the two beaches are along the same road. From Miramar, it's faster to go through Nigua, is that how you go to Najayo?

    When we get back down to DR you'll have to stop by for a visit.




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    Quote Originally Posted by AlterEgo View Post
    I'm glad you went, and enjoyed it. I'm surprised there were other expats there, that's unusual this time of year. During winter there is usually a group of Europeans sitting a little to the east of where you were, Italians mostly, but also some Germans.

    I didn't realize you'd been to Playa Najayo before, or I would have given you different directions. When the road ended from over the mountain, and you made that right turn.... if you'd gone left, you'd have reached Playa Najayo in a heartbeat, the two beaches are along the same road. From Miramar, it's faster to go through Nigua, is that how you go to Najayo?

    When we get back down to DR you'll have to stop by for a visit.
    A couple of Italians were nearby to the east with esposa......arguing! I suspected there was another group of Spaniards from the way they spoke to the west.

    The way you suggested was excellent, scenic and straightforward with a newly paved road and much better than passing via San Cristobel.

    It is so close to the city for a day out that for sure I will be going there again so hopefully we will meet soon.

    DR1'ers from Santo Domingo seeking a relaxing and authentic beach day out and something considerably better than Boca Chica should consider heading west to Palenque which can be probably be reached in shorter time (both ways) from a central city position. The drive taken was worth it on it's own.

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    @OP and AE would either one of you mind posting directions coming from el malecon in Santo Domingo? Might be easier to post here then get your mailbox flooded.

    Thanks................

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
    @OP and AE would either one of you mind posting directions coming from el malecon in Santo Domingo? Might be easier to post here then get your mailbox flooded.

    Thanks................
    These are the directions I sent to the OP. There is another way that we go - straight out on the malecon, through Nigua or through San Cristobal, but lots of turns and easy to get lost. I'm glad they finished repaving the road over the mountain, it was a mess in April/May.

    Well, when we drive there from Santo Domingo, we go through Nigua and take back roads that I'd have trouble directing you to. This is the best/easiest way, and the way we send guests who aren't familiar with the back roads:

    Get onto 6 de Noviembre, [the road to Bani/Barahona] heading west. Stay on it past all the exits for San Cristobal. Keep your eyes peeled to the left after the San Cristobal exits, looking for the very very tall smokestack of a sugar mill. Once you see it, slow down and get into the right lane. [The last exit before yours will say "Yagrumo/Semana Santa", yours is right after that, almost immediately.] There is a tiny road to the right before you reach the sugar mill/cane fields. There's a tiny Provo Pollo restaurant, and then you'll see a SMALL square black sign that says "DUVEAUX - EL LIMON" at the little road.

    Take the little exit road to the first intersection, and make a left turn [driving underneath the highway you just exited]. Go straight, it will look like you're going up a driveway to the sugar mill, but there's a turnoff for the mill. Continue up the road as it rises to go over the mountain, the first stretch of the road is crummy and bumpy, it's rather narrow all the way though. Take the road straight, there are no turns, it will go through a couple of little communities, then it goes down the other side of the mountain downhill, road is much better. Keep going to the end. You'll eventually see the ocean, and the road will end at a road.

    Make a right turn. [At that point, you're between Najayo and Palenque] Follow the road straight, you'll drive through the town of Sabana Grande de Palenque, keep going. The road will end at the beach, just after you pass Hotel Playa Palenque. You'll see the Dominican Navy building in front of you. Make a right turn. Go down about 1/2 mile, until you see a few restaurants on the left [beach is right there too]. At the last building, which houses 3 restaurants, park your car. We go to the one closest to the beach, Eledania's. Tell them you're a friend of Leo from Playa Najayo. They have good food and will not rip you off, if you want a lounge chair, just ask and they will set one up for you.




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    Quote Originally Posted by AlterEgo View Post
    These are the directions I sent to the OP. There is another way that we go - straight out on the malecon, through Nigua or through San Cristobal, but lots of turns and easy to get lost. I'm glad they finished repaving the road over the mountain, it was a mess in April/May.

    Well, when we drive there from Santo Domingo, we go through Nigua and take back roads that I'd have trouble directing you to. This is the best/easiest way, and the way we send guests who aren't familiar with the back roads:

    Get onto 6 de Noviembre, [the road to Bani/Barahona] heading west. Stay on it past all the exits for San Cristobal. Keep your eyes peeled to the left after the San Cristobal exits, looking for the very very tall smokestack of a sugar mill. Once you see it, slow down and get into the right lane. [The last exit before yours will say "Yagrumo/Semana Santa", yours is right after that, almost immediately.] There is a tiny road to the right before you reach the sugar mill/cane fields. There's a tiny Provo Pollo restaurant, and then you'll see a SMALL square black sign that says "DUVEAUX - EL LIMON" at the little road.

    Take the little exit road to the first intersection, and make a left turn [driving underneath the highway you just exited]. Go straight, it will look like you're going up a driveway to the sugar mill, but there's a turnoff for the mill. Continue up the road as it rises to go over the mountain, the first stretch of the road is crummy and bumpy, it's rather narrow all the way though. Take the road straight, there are no turns, it will go through a couple of little communities, then it goes down the other side of the mountain downhill, road is much better. Keep going to the end. You'll eventually see the ocean, and the road will end at a road.

    Make a right turn. [At that point, you're between Najayo and Palenque] Follow the road straight, you'll drive through the town of Sabana Grande de Palenque, keep going. The road will end at the beach, just after you pass Hotel Playa Palenque. You'll see the Dominican Navy building in front of you. Make a right turn. Go down about 1/2 mile, until you see a few restaurants on the left [beach is right there too]. At the last building, which houses 3 restaurants, park your car. We go to the one closest to the beach, Eledania's. Tell them you're a friend of Leo from Playa Najayo. They have good food and will not rip you off, if you want a lounge chair, just ask and they will set one up for you.
    I will add the first part of the journey from Malecon......

    Just head west on the Malecon/30 de Mayo to the toll booths and continue past the Haina turn. Then take the ring road to Santiago and after a mile or so there is U turn sign posted to San Cristobel. Head back to Haina and take the exit onto the San Cristobel/Bani highway. And head beyond San Cristobel and take the turn after the overhead gantry signed Yagrumo/Santa Samana turn. It is about 1 mile after that exit and to the right and along a road running parallel to the highway before you pass under the dual carriageway and head onwards towards a sugar mill and up into the hills............

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
    @OP and AE would either one of you mind posting directions coming from el malecon in Santo Domingo? Might be easier to post here then get your mailbox flooded.

    Thanks................
    Here's a U tube video I found online taken using a drone from a year or so back, and it gives you an idea what to expect.


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    anytime I have gone to this beach it has basically been deserted.....and it is very relaxing
    the only thing that will disturb you is the odd kid selling something ...if your looking for a quiet peacefull day at the beach ..it is a great place close to santo domingo

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpaddy View Post
    anytime I have gone to this beach it has basically been deserted.....and it is very relaxing
    the only thing that will disturb you is the odd kid selling something ...if your looking for a quiet peacefull day at the beach ..it is a great place close to santo domingo
    If you go on a weekend, it's packed. As in you'll have a hard time even finding a place to park. We always try to go early because of parking issues. Every table is usually filled with middle/upper middle/upper class Dominicans and their families.

    If you look down the beach further west, you'll see a lot of people sitting and swimming down there. They bring their own food and drink.

    Try Cheo's Empanadas - he makes them from yuca flour and they are delicious. Elidania often has them too.




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