Dominican Republic Motorcycle Adventure


On Vacation!
Mar 6, 2003
I had hoped that cavebiker and girl would have a chance to meet up with us up El Choco road. A place easy for us all to get to. My horses and his bike to meet, have coffee and show him some other areas that he perhaps had zipped past. I also just wanted to meet the man and woman that have such a great spirit of adventure that reminded me of me... some time ago, and why I still get back into the saddle.

I had sent a PM about meeting up. I received a very warm response ... they are back in the "mainland" in snow but hope to return next summer.

What a ride!


Aug 29, 2005
Wow...just read this thread all the way through...this could be a "guide book" itself...add a few business names and maps and you could sell a ton!! I'd buy the first one! ;)

Thank you for the entertaining and informative stories!! Saying "well done" doesn't scratch the surface...


Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
Cordillera Central Mountains

Wow...just read this thread all the way through...this could be a "guide book" itself...add a few business names and maps and you could sell a ton!! I'd buy the first one! ;)

Thank you for the entertaining and informative stories!! Saying "well done" doesn't scratch the surface...

Hey DavidZ, a guide book sounds like a good idea, ?cavebiker guide to the DR? I like the way it sounds. Ha! But I have to continue the ride until it?s done, I can live with that?


Another DR motorcycle ride report:

The day before:
I am down at a beach where I know of a tree stump is that is perfect for tipping the motorcycle over allowing me to spin the rear wheel and oil the chain. Riding back to Cabarete I see a person with an old motorcycle standing on the side of the road. I say to myself ?We are all bikers, I need to stop? I stop and ask if there is a problem ??problema? He is a young kid and is holding a motorcycle muffler pipe in his hands. He tells me he is out of gas. I immediately stick my boot out and put it on his rear fender, as if I am ready to push him. I have seen this many times where one motorcycle rider pushes another by sticking his leg out to push. Anyway, this rider points to his rear foot peg meaning I should put my foot there, I stick my boot on his rear peg and began to push. It is a surreal experience, we are both so focused on the road, each other?s line of travel and any hazard on the road, it is unreal, Zen to the nth degree. I start out slow, being this is my first time doing the maneuver. Eventually, I manage to get it into 3rd gear and start clicking along. It is a good thing that I have been pounding my legs in the gym, I am pushing this dude and his motorcycle close to four miles. When we get to the first gas station he says ?bien aqui, gracias amigo? (this is good here, thanks friend) I reply ?da nada? (it is nothing). He goes sailing into the gas station.

The Ride:
I am off on a mission into the Big Dominican Republic Mountains, the Cordillera Central Mountains, the highest mountains in the Caribbean. I have read that sometimes it snows there and rivers freeze over. Anyway, this is where several scenes from Jurassic Park movie were filmed and it is said to be a beautiful part of the island.


Ten miles along the Atlantic coast, I stop at our favorite Dominican restaurant for breakfast, Sabaneta. Heidi and I were turned-on to this place in 1995? and it is some of the best Dominican food on the island.


2 fried eggs, A pile of mashed potatoes, and a sample of something else that looked like olive green mashed potatoes piled with sweet onions, mangu. As always, everything is fantastic and it only cost me 70 pesos ($1.90). This is a great way to start any long motorcycle adventure.


I am riding east along the North coast to the village Gaspar Hernandez. Some villages enforce a law where motoconcho riders (motorcycle taxi drivers) need to wear an orange numbered vest. This law was enacted because of the large number of accidents involving motoconchos. The number is to help identify the rider involved in the accident and I am sure the orange vest is to help minimize accidents.


At Gaspar Hernandez I turn south on a road I never traveled before, that is part of my mission, explore new roads and places. The road is spotted with potholes. It is sometimes dirt and at times mostly washed out, exactly the types of roads I enjoy.


The scenery is beautiful and tropical.




I like to stop at places like this to replenish my water supply or buy a snack. Keeping hydrated should always be a prime ingredient of any motorcycle adventure.


Of course, I enjoy chitchatting with the locals also.



Interesting sights along the way.



The road improves the higher up I ride.


I need more fuel for the body. I stop at this market at the inner island city Tenares.


3 bananas, 5 pesos ($.13) A third of the price we pay on the North coast.


I go out of my way to stop at places like this.


I should have backed up more for this photo to show the mayhem that occurs at a busy gas station here. Motorcycles are buzzing everywhere and everyone wants to be first to get gas. You just have to get your bike as close to the pump as possible and assertively ask for gas. ?!Prima! lleno por favor? (Premium! Full it please) that works?

My bike does not have a working horn. It doesn?t even have a horn. I recently read on the website that the proper procedure before passing another motorcycle here is to give them a heads-up with two quick beeps. Most bikes have no rearview mirrors so a little beep is much appreciated.

I love stopping at motorcycle shops in Latin America. We are all motorcycle brothers here, I feel welcomed whenever I show up at a motorcycle shop in the Dominican Republic.


??tienes un bocina de moto?? (Do you have a motorcycle horn?) ?si? The guy behind the counter immediately hustles to the back room then comes back with two different motorcycle horns. I pick out the stronger horn, 100 pesos ($2.70)

I then ask if he has any cable (wire). He pulled a spool of red wire from the rack behind him. He asked if this is what I had in mind. ?!si! cuatro metros por favor? (yes, 4 meters please) The attendant measures out 4 meters of wire, cuts it, coils it up and places it in my bag. I ask how much. Of course, no charge for the wire. Did I say I love stopping at motorcycle shops in Latin America :)


Working Bikes: An example of how loaded up some are. Today I also see a bike with aluminum panniers so tall and wide I cannot even see the rider.

Hold On! This ride is far from over?


Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
I had hoped that cavebiker and girl would have a chance to meet up with us up El Choco road. A place easy for us all to get to. My horses and his bike to meet, have coffee and show him some other areas that he perhaps had zipped past. I also just wanted to meet the man and woman that have such a great spirit of adventure that reminded me of me... some time ago, and why I still get back into the saddle.

I had sent a PM about meeting up. I received a very warm response ... they are back in the "mainland" in snow but hope to return next summer.

What a ride!

I got a rain check on this Ringo, right. Horse back adventure in the DR, how fantastic!


Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
Great report. Just don't call the gas attendant "prima"!!
I often wonder what I am actually saying :D

The ride takes me into the large city San Francisco del Macoris, another inter island city that sees zero tourists. I like cities like this. I feel at home at places like this, I am not sure why.


I need to change highways here and am having a difficult time locating the highway I want. I stop to ask several people for directions. I am slowly learning that I cannot ask how to get to example, highway 19. No one knows about a highway 19. There are no markings in or around the city directing you to highway 19. Highway 19 has no marking on it saying highway ?19?. I know this now. I have to ask people how to get to a major city that is on the highway I want to get go. The problem here is that highway 19 does not go to any city, it just ends at another highway, highway 1. Asking people how to get to the road that goes to highway 1 is not working also. Anyway, highway 1 leads to the major cities La Vega and Santo Domingo, both far from where I want to end up but at least people are telling me where to go and telling me with glee in their hearts for having been able to help me. This is fun for me but at the same time a little stressful because there are many roads that will take me to La Vega or Santo Domingo, none of which I want to be on.


Well, by the time I get to this part of town I pretty much know I am not on the road I want. But of course I just keep going, my compass indicated I am at least heading in the general direction I want.


Soon I find myself riding through a dense residential area.


It is an interesting ride.


After many miles, I hit a paved road that looks major. I ask someone which way to Santo Domingo. I get a positive ?Go left?.


I stop at this school to see if I can locate ?La Jina? on my map. YES, La Jina is on my map and NO, I am not on the highway I want to be on. But at least I see a route to get back to where I want to be. But again of course, the highway T?s and there is no T indicated on my map. I ask more directions and more directions. This is fantastic.


Something does not seem right but I am having a good time exploring interesting country.



Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.

All over the island there are motorcycles carrying large cylinders of propane.


At another crossroads I ask a bunch of dudes standing around some motorcycles for directions. I am told to turn right. I thought I needed to go left. I say ??for cierto?? (for sure?) ?!si!? This is a poor area and one dude who helped me points to his gas tank and politely holds out his hand. I dig into my pocket and pull out a little over a dollar in pesos and give it to him. He immediately divided it up and gives some to his friend. They helped me out, I have no problem helping them out, the change is nothing to me.



It is early afternoon and I am feeling hungry. I see a restaurant roasting chicken on a grill outside. I stop and look at what else they have inside a glass counter. It looks like grilled beef to me and is.


A few baseball players are hanging out inside. I have fun chitchatting and talked about the Dominican Republic being #1 in baseball. I receive many smiles.



Tender stewed beef and yucca with sweet onions. Yucca is some kind of root that is fantastic and a good source of complex carbohydrates. This cost me 50 pesos ($1.45). Food continues to get cheaper the farther away I get from the coast.


I am getting ready to leave and a guy from back hands me a bag of 5 bananas. I thank him a thousand times ?mil gracias senior? Then he hands me an avocado and wishes me happy travels ?buen viaje?. I am blown away by their friendliness and generosity. I thank them again. We all wave goodbye. I never did figure out what the name of this village was. I feel lost and at the same time I feel completely at home, it is a wonderful feeling.


I had to turn back to get a photo of this. I will tell Heidi when I get home that she is finally going to have a chance to stay at a 5 star hotel. hee hee?


We see a lot of cock fighting rings around the island.


I have to see a fight some day, just to experience it, but I don?t think I will get Heidi anywhere near one.


Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.

At a major crossroad I ask more directions.


My directions don?t seem right. I ask more directions.


A Dominican Republic baseball game. The music was blasting so loud here I can not believe it. It is like the volume of a throbbing discoth?que. People are super into the game though.

Unreal! I find my way to highway 1, the main autopista running from the north coast to Santo Domingo. And I am just a few miles away from where I originally intended to be. What a good time! I just don?t understand people who travel through exotic foreign countries carrying a GPS loaded with local maps. That has to take all the fun out of it. (Is there something wrong with me! ;)

Ten miles down the autopista I turn west and start heading up into the major mountains, the Cordillera Central Mountains.


I soon hit a roadblock. I immediately dig some pesos out of my pocket and hand them over. I even forgot to ask what this was all about. I figured it must have been for something important (wink)


Going up.


I knew it was going to get cold up here so I suite up in my rain gear and start looking for a place to buy gloves.


I pass a motorcycle shop in a small mountain village with many people hanging around. Bummer, I have to go into another motorcycle shop and chat with more Dominicans. Everyone here is electric and is having fun watching me trying to find a pair of gloves that will fit my oversized hands. Lots of laughs all around.


I am set and ready to scale the mountains?



More on the way...


Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
The plan is to spend the night somewhere in the mountain village Constanza. Constanza is located in a valley in the middle of the Cordillera Central Mountains, it is known for its strawberries, peaches, apples, garlic and potatoes. The reason I am going here is because I read it is an unforgettable ride with beautiful vistas.







I pull into town around 4:00 PM on Sunday. The central park is a buzz with activity with hundreds of young people partying to loud music. I am toast, it had been a long day of riding and all I want to do is find a hotel and chill. There are several cheap hotels in town but I did not like the parking situation at any of them. Plan B: I find another park that is quiet and pull out my Dominican Republic guidebook. Time to eat a couple bananas and slam some water. My guidebook recommends a couple hotels just before town that are in the $30 range. I guess I can handle that.


Rancho Constanza is set alongside the hills surrounding the valley. It has a large main lodge with 20 rooms and maybe a half a dozen cabins on the grounds, all with fireplaces. I think I am the only guest today. Part of my mission for this ride is to do a dry run without Heidi to see if the mountain roads are doable for our small dirt bike two-up and to investigate the area for hotels that are suitable for my number one girl. If not for the low water pressure in the showers here, this place would have ranked an A+ in my book.



I wake up the next morning to a thick fog. No problem, I enjoy a slow morning drinking coffee and planning the days ride. The plan is to cross straight through the mountains on a rough dirt road to another mountain village, Jarabacoa. Along this dirt road are waterfalls where several scenes from the movie Jurassic Park were filmed. Sounds good to me. Jarabacoa is also the home of the world-class motorcycle tour company MotoCaribe. I have plans to finally meet Robert and Alida in person, the owners of MotoCabibe and spend the night in Jarabacoa.


I try to have some food packed in my hotel room so I can eat first thing in the morning so I am able to hit the road with something in my stomach. I like to look for road food while in route but I do not like to be desperate to find food. A couple bananas, a food bar and plenty of water, that does the trick.




Bingo! Less an hour into the ride, I pass through a small village and see this, ?Empanadas?. Heidi and I became addicted to empanadas when we lived here back in 95? and have talked about them ever since.


Straight out of the fryer and onto my plate, or I mean napkin. I had to take this photo because I know it will make Heidi jealous.


Two fantastic chicken empanadas and a bottle of fresh squeezed passion fruit (in a used Fanta pop bottle) eaten roadside with lots of local company, I will take this opposed to a sit-down restaurant any day. Life is good?






I was warned that the rough mountain dirt road is undergoing work. Bummer, the road is closed. I asked a military dude holding an M-16 if I can make it on my motorcycle. ?No?


Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
S?*n giao d?ch mua bán tr?c tuy?n ChoCongDong.Com Noi dang tin rao v?t v?* mua bán ho?*n to?*n mi?n ph?* trên to?*n qu?c.

Hey dienmay, I think that is a complement, thanks much!



OK, I need to go back down the same mountain road to the autopista, over to another paved road that leads to the mountains village Jarabacoa. This is a much longer route but shorter in time, so I have plenty of extra time now to explore some back roads, which are strewn everywhere throughout the mountains here.



What a blast! I have the perfect machine for these types of roads. At times, I like to pretend I am a motocross racer but then I have to remind myself that I am all alone and haven?t seen anyone along these dirt side roads at all. And, these side routes are not highlighted on the route map I left behind with Heidi. No one knows where I am. I cool my jets. I am here to enjoy the countryside, not to play motorcycle racer


Notice the sticks stuck into the ground along the trail. They are branches from a certain type of tree that within a year will become a full tree. I am sure they were planted here to help prevent future erosion.


I stop at the top of a hill at an abandoned shack for a rest. The building has a ?for sale? sign on it (Se Vende). There I notice a concrete stairway leading down a steep hill with a metal railing on one side painted yellow. I can hear what sounds like a waterfall in the distance so I lock the bike and start walking down. I walk down and down and down and down and down. I thought it would never end. It do finally hit the end at a small hydropower dam. There is one person stationed here at a small shack at the top of the dam. He is very friendly and enjoys telling me about the power station, the turbines and the cities that are powered by his turbines. What a score. This is a fun way to travel, ride someplace cool, get off the bike and get the legs, lungs and heart pumping. And with luck get a photo or two.


What a climb. By the time I reach the top again I am soaking wet, perfect.




Back on the autopista. Motorcycles are expected to ride on the shoulder of the road but you have to keep a good watch because I will often have to veer out onto the main part of the highway.


OK, I make Jarabacoa. I ride around the village to get a feel and find the central park. I need a boot cleaning and I know I can get it done here. This kid is very pleasant and conversed with me like a professional. He points to a portion of my left boot that is scuffed from my shift lever and tells me that he can make it like new for an extra 10 pesos, he is pointing to his black shoe paste. ?!si!? (Do it!) He cleans, pasts and polishes like crazy all the time talking like an adult. I told him that when I come back with my wife, I will look for him again.

---> Hold On, there is more


Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.

you just make me want to take off and go riding!!:cheeky:

Me to!

MEGA ride continues:

All Right. Getting together with Robert is like getting together with an old friend. Of course the first thing he says is ?I thought you would be riding the Sportster!? I like that. Anyway, what a blast we have just hanging out. I help work on one of his motorcycles, we talk about the Dominican Republic, riding, football (Roberta former pro football player), his motorcycle tour business, dogs, software and motorcycles, motorcycles, motorcycles, a great time. We could have talked all night. The topic of taking a little ride tomorrow came up, on a Vstrom 650. Of course I say ?Hell yes!?​


Oh, I am not pumped at all for this!​


Robert is into riding big-time. He loans me a full warm-weather riding suit complete with padded shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. I say I feel like an idiot riding around in my light pants. He says ?I rode like that for years too? We ride, we stop and we talk. We ride, we stop and we talk. The little ride turns into a full MotoCaribe tour day, plus routes that may be included in future rides. Absolutely incredible riding and scenery, I was having so much fun handling that Vstrom 650 I didn?t want to stop for any photos.​


This is the spot MotoCaribe stops for lunch the first day.​



All I can say here was ?Wow, wow, wow?​


We stop to tour a coffee factory. I develope software so I?m into coffee big time.​


Beans are sorted with machines by weight, size and color. This is where human hands sort out bad beans from good beans.​


This is some of the best coffee in the world. I think I could live here, I mean right here in this building...​

What a great time. Anyone who goes on a MotoCaribe motorcycle tour will not only be riding through a beautiful and exotic Caribbean island but will leave feeling they made a friend. Check it out --> MotoCaribe Motorcycle Adventure Tours <-- Thanks a million Robert!​


I am starting for Cabarete late so I try to waste no time riding down the mountain. Just before the main highway I slam a Gatorade, yogurt and a bag of nuts. I am going to try another road I have never ridden, it is known to be a very slow going route. At La Vega I have a feeling I am going the wrong way. The sun is just too close to my nose instead of being off my left shoulder. I ask directions several times and keep riding but the more I ride the more I know something is wrong. But hey, this is an island, how lost can I get.:beard:​

Hope you enjoyed riding along



Sep 6, 2011
Fantastic, beautiful, engaging, inviting, and for lack of a better phrase...Fu&^ing Amazing!! Loved it...every picture!!



Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
Fantastic, beautiful, engaging, inviting, and for lack of a better phrase...Fu&^ing Amazing!! Loved it...every picture!!

Super kind, thanks man :bandit:

OK! just a Little Guagua Ride - enjoy

Heidi and I like to travel on a motorcycle but when we get somewhere good we like to explore on foot using local transportation, it’s good exercise and a fun way to feel the vibe of the community and the culture, its part of the fun of travel to us.

Walking to the main road where we will stand and wait for a guagua. A guagua is the local transportation here using privately owned minivans. All you do is stand by the side of the road and wait for one to ride by. The signal for them to stop is to hold your arm straight out while flopping your hand up and down, palm facing down. Although, any signal will work. The signal for them to not stop is hold your arm down to your side while shaking your hand back and forth, palm facing down. This is a good curtsy signal, I remember my father describing how he is yielding and curtsies to working drivers, he tells me that they work to feed their family, I’ll always remember that.

I first read about guagua travel in the DR while reading a book in the 90’s describing how to sail a small boat to the Caribbean, “Gentleman’s Guide to Passages South”. The author ‘Van Sant’ is a huge fan of the DR and shares our philosophy of the Latino culture. Anyway the book describes in good detail how to travel around on a guagua here, it sounded like a dream to me then and still feels like a dream today, and I ride them all the time. I love guaguas, Heidi would rather avoid them but she sometimes puts up with it just for me.


Walk to the main road


We have counted over 25 people crammed inside these standard minivans before. It is comical at times, people are contorted forward, backwards and sideways to fit inside. Sometimes I have stood outside the van holding onto the roof while riding along. Today we are riding to Puerto Plata, just for the fun of it. Puerto Plata is a large city along the north shore of the Atlantic coast. We sometimes go there just to shop, sometimes just for breakfast and sometimes just for the fun of it.


Heidi is not quite as comfortable in a guagua as I am. This guagua has an old lamp cord tied to the vans door to hold it open. Heidi holds on for dear life so she doesn’t fly out.


Puerto Plata City Park


Puerto Plata’s central park. This is where we usually get off. It is a 35 mile ride here from Cabarete and costs us each 45 pesos, around $1.20. One of our favorite bar restaurants for breakfast “Sams” is just a few blocks off the Malecon, or the Ocean Boulevard.


Heidi picks up a beach wrap, called a sari.


We stop for a bloody-Mary breakfast at ‘Sam’s place’ an ex-pat hang out just a few blocks from the malecon. Sam’s owner (the dog’s owner) no longer runs the place and the food and the crowds have gone down hill. In the mid nineties this place was a buzz of electric, eclectic, interesting and definitely fun people. The times we had and the characters we meet fill chapters in our book. Those were the days when the malecon was lined with food and rum carts and the night time was a throb of Merengue and Disco. That time still doesn’t seem real. Anyway, the new owners are super nice and fun and the place looks the same, all good.
May 5, 2007
Question: Do you ride the 125 to be as "minimalist" as possible, or do you just like it? Seems there are a few better choices for two up riding?
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Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
Question: Do you ride the 125 to be as "minimalist" as possible, or do you just like it? Seems there are a few better choices for two up riding?
I?m obsessed with the water-cooled DT125 version for sure. The minimalist part I like, light weight and all is great when riding solo off-road on the island. I guess I wouldn?t want to give that up but a DT250 or similar would be preferred.


Walk to the Malecon.




Fishing with just a line and hook.


Fort San Felipe is at the end of the Malecon. The Spanish constructed it in 1540 as a defense against corsairs. It was also used as a prison for smugglers.



Puerto Plata harbor


Walk along the Malecon


The Malecon is lined with little bar restaurants every half a kilometer or so.


We stop for a beer and to watch all the action on the beach


Kite surfing is a popular activity here. Today the wind is just right.


Kite launch area


On a good gust, we have seen kiters fly twenty feet into the air. Crazy!


We stop at another small restaurant along the Malecon. Here we are given free fried fish with onions and fried plantains, super.


Walking along the Malecon we stop to look at this platform. Someone standing nearby tells us that these guys are fishing for big fish.


Big fish! I guess.
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Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.


Local craftsmen



We walked for hours, saw, smelt and felt the sea along the Puerto Plata malecon, perfect, now back on a guagua heading home.


This guagua is starting to fill up



We get off the guagua in Los Charamicos, a small Dominican village on Sosua bay.






Before catching a final guagua back to Cabarete, we stop at one of my favorite local chicken restaurants ?Pollo el Gallon?.


That one looks good


Fried chicken, platanos and ice cold beer, another fantastic day live?in the DR. ;)


Sep 6, 2011
Once again, very stunning, artistic, surreal kaleidescopic pictures of the DR...i love all of them!!!!!!!!!!



Mar 25, 2012
Love your pictures! Spent June & July on the north coast & heading down in the new year for 3 months. Can't wait!


Sam Wilson

New member
Nov 3, 2012
I have to say this is the Best thread I have seen.. I have ridden many of these roads around Luperon, Punta Rucia and the back road to Puerto Plata... Found that one spot you didn't.... Bloody murder getting out.. Same DT.125... Cabarete and Mountain roads near there.... Now I have to go and look for all the roads you have been on to see for myself.... I will be traveling the SW coast soon.... Hopefully it will be on a moto...!!!!
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