Update on the cruises coming to Cabo Rojo

hazrae

Cliff & Cove
Aug 27, 2009
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Hello all! You may be interested in reading our latest article about the Pedernales-Cabo Rojo project. I know there is a lot of debate on this topic, and we certainly didn't cover all of the angles. We are also not comparing Pedernales to Punta Cana. Each place is very different, though the story is similar. We aim to provide updated info and share it as a travel resource for visitors like yourselves.

Norwegian Cruise Line already has the dates listed that cruises will port at Cabo Rojo starting as soon as January 4, 2024! Check out our post to see the cruise dates and the planned land excursions they have listed. If you are planning a trip to this region in 2024, it would be good to save these dates so you know NOT to come then. It's really difficult for me to imagine what Cabo Rojo and Bahia de Las Aguilas will look like with possibly thousands of cruisers. :oops:

www.cliffandcove.com/blog/cabo-rojo
 

NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
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Well, a major difference between Punta Cana and Pedernales is that tourist development started in Punta Cana first by the private sector (Grupo Puntacana) and many years later the government got involved by creating incentives for touristic developments along the coast. However, if it was not for the private sector, namely Ted Kheel and Frank Rainieri, the area probably would had never developed as it was not one of the original areas earmarked by the government for tourism. This is despite that either in the 1960's or 1970's a report was done I think by the United Nations or the World Bank where they studied the conditions for the DR for tourism development. That included surveying the entire coast by helicopter and they mention the DR has some of the nicest beaches they have seen in the world and specifically mention what they call the Macao coast (aka, Bávaro.) The copy of this report I have it with all my books (just finding it will be a lot of work, lol.) That report was done specifically for the Joaquín Balaguer government. Afterwards, government investment there has been scant with mostly the original road that arrived via Verón paved by Balaguer, the Coral Highway I think by Leonel or Danilo, and the Boulevard by Danilo. The presence of the Dominican government there doesn't stretch too far after that.

Most of the roads, the electric grid, the airport, just about everything else has been done by the private center. The area doesn't even have a public hospital, the medical centers that exist in that area are all of the private center.

The way Pedernales tourism is beginning is with incentives for tourism development put in place by the government. The government is also in charge of creating the airport (which will be part of AERODOM as that is the company that manages all the government owned international airports.) The government is the one that pushed for the construction of the cruise port. The government is basically creating another Playa Dorada but without a golf course and slightly more upscale.

The beginning of its tourism development has more to do with making Puerto Plata a mass touridm destination. It was the government that built Playa Dorada (including its golf course and the shopping center but excluding the resorts and now apartment complexes) and is still owned by the Central Bank. The government was also who built the Puerto Plata airport precisely to support tourist development in PP.
 
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hazrae

Cliff & Cove
Aug 27, 2009
35
39
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The Deep South
www.cliffandcove.com
Well, a major difference between Punta Cana and Pedernales is that tourist development started in Punta Cana first by the private sector (Grupo Puntacana) and many years later the government got involved by creating incentives for touristic developments along the coast. However, if it was not for the private sector, namely Ted Kheel and Frank Rainieri, the area probably would had never developed as it was not one of the original areas earmarked by the government for tourism. This is despite that either in the 1960's or 1970's a report was done I think by the United Nations or the World Bank where they studied the conditions for the DR for tourism development. That included surveying the entire coast by helicopter and they mention the DR has some of the nicest beaches they have seen in the world and specifically mention what they call the Macao coast (aka, Bávaro.) The copy of this report I have it with all my books (just finding it will be a lot of work, lol.) That report was done specifically for the Joaquín Balaguer government. Afterwards, government investment there has been scant with mostly the original road that arrived via Verón paved by Balaguer, the Coral Highway I think by Leonel or Danilo, and the Boulevard by Danilo. The presence of the Dominican government there doesn't stretch too far after that.

Most of the roads, the electric grid, the airport, just about everything else has been done by the private center. The area doesn't even have a public hospital, the medical centers that exist in that area are all of the private center.

The way Pedernales tourism is beginning is with incentives for tourism development put in place by the government. The government is also in charge of creating the airport (which will be part of AERODOM as that is the company that manages all the government owned international airports.) The government is the one that pushed for the construction of the cruise port. The government is basically creating another Playa Dorada but without a golf course and slightly more upscale.

The beginning of its tourism development has more to do with making Puerto Plata a mass touridm destination. It was the government that built Playa Dorada (including its golf course and the shopping center but excluding the resorts and now apartment complexes) and is still owned by the Central Bank. The government was also who built the Puerto Plata airport precisely to support tourist development in PP.
Thank you for that insight. This is very interesting.
 
Nov 9, 2023
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Interesting article. But cruise ships/mass tourism are the biggest contradiction to ecofriendly and originality. This will turn into another place to avoid if you want a taste of genuine DR.
 
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2020

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Apr 10, 2012
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we drove to Bahia to Las Aguilas last month from Las Terrenas. Wow. That part of the country is so unique and different. Felt like Arizona in some ways. Pristine waters and beaches without the trash strewn everywhere.

The roads were a mess with detours and rebuilding, but it was worth it. We didn't see a cruise terminal, though. I guess we must have missed it.
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Interesting article. But cruise ships/mass tourism are the biggest contradiction to ecofriendly and originality. This will turn into another place to avoid if you want a taste of genuine DR.
It is where the revenue is. That is what matters.
 
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hazrae

Cliff & Cove
Aug 27, 2009
35
39
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The Deep South
www.cliffandcove.com
Interesting article. But cruise ships/mass tourism are the biggest contradiction to ecofriendly and originality. This will turn into another place to avoid if you want a taste of genuine DR.
Agreed! We touch on that in the "good" and "bad" parts of the project in the article. That is why if you want to visit the Pedernales area, we suggest you plan a trip soon to experience it as it's most authentic and avoid cruise days.
 
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Lucifer

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Jun 26, 2012
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Hello all! You may be interested in reading our latest article about the Pedernales-Cabo Rojo project. I know there is a lot of debate on this topic, and we certainly didn't cover all of the angles. We are also not comparing Pedernales to Punta Cana. Each place is very different, though the story is similar. We aim to provide updated info and share it as a travel resource for visitors like yourselves.

Norwegian Cruise Line already has the dates listed that cruises will port at Cabo Rojo starting as soon as January 4, 2024! Check out our post to see the cruise dates and the planned land excursions they have listed. If you are planning a trip to this region in 2024, it would be good to save these dates so you know NOT to come then. It's really difficult for me to imagine what Cabo Rojo and Bahia de Las Aguilas will look like with possibly thousands of cruisers. :oops:

www.cliffandcove.com/blog/cabo-rojo
Well-written article.
I've never visited that region of the D.R. However, I hope to do so in late '24.
 
Nov 9, 2023
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It is where the revenue is. That is what matters.
I know. Its just cynical how these places are marketed and are the biggest thread at the same time.
And it happens everywhere, go to pay and climb Mount Everest and you have to wait in a line, take your selfie and leave.
 

NanSanPedro

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Apr 12, 2019
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Agreed! We touch on that in the "good" and "bad" parts of the project in the article. That is why if you want to visit the Pedernales area, we suggest you plan a trip soon to experience it as it's most authentic and avoid cruise days.
So from Perdenales proper (close to the border), how far/difficult a trip is it to Cabo Rojo? Thanks.
 

hazrae

Cliff & Cove
Aug 27, 2009
35
39
18
The Deep South
www.cliffandcove.com
So from Perdenales proper (close to the border), how far/difficult a trip is it to Cabo Rojo? Thanks.
Playa Cabo Rojo, glamping sites like Eco Del Mar and Cueva de las Aguilas, and the access point to Bahia de Las Aguilas are a 25-minute drive from Pedernales. With your own transportation (car or motorcycle), the trip is not difficult. There are some bumpy parts to the road, but any car can make it - it doesn't have to be a 4x4. If you don't have transportation, then you will have to find a taxi in Pedernales to bring you and arrange pick up as well. If you want to go to Bahia de Las Aguilas, you can drive from Cabo Rojo (4x4 needed) or take a boat.
 

Joseph NY2STI

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Mar 22, 2020
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we drove to Bahia to Las Aguilas last month from Las Terrenas. Wow. That part of the country is so unique and different. Felt like Arizona in some ways. Pristine waters and beaches without the trash strewn everywhere.

The roads were a mess with detours and rebuilding, but it was worth it. We didn't see a cruise terminal, though. I guess we must have missed it.

I was there in September, and got the same feeling about the U.S. southwest as we approached that area. I didn't know there were cactus (cacti?) in D.R. I can't remember the town, but I saw a cruise terminal under construction near a mountainous area. Further west, there were lots of signs in what I believe was Cabo Rojo advertising the new hotels to be built. I recall 13 in total. The dust on the road was like baby powder with lots of construction vehicles moving about.

Except for the boat ride, we didn't enjoy the beach at Bahia de Aguilas very much. The fact that it was 95 degrees and we had to hide under a scrubby tree might have had something to do with it. The beautiful blue water had brown highlights in it so we didn't swim. Sargassum? I don't know. Don't expect to see any eagles there. A local said it got it's name from the shape of the rock formations, but I didn't see it.

The beach at Pedernales does not have the chairs and umbrellas as you'll find at other tourist sites, so again, not very comfortable in the intense sun and heat. The town itself seemed tranquil, and we had no concerns walking around at night before and after dinner. There are a lot of farms nearby; the main crop is mosquitos. Expect to roll down your windows when you approach the periodic checkpoints on your way out of town. Mi amiga says they're checking for Haitians.
She's very dark-skinned so I threatened to turn her in if she gave me any trouble. She threatened to tell them she was being trafficked so we called it a draw.

Next trip we'll devote more time to get off the main road and stop at interesting places along the way. It's a very beautiful part of a beautiful country.
 

NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
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I was there in September, and got the same feeling about the U.S. southwest as we approached that area. I didn't know there were cactus (cacti?) in D.R. I can't remember the town, but I saw a cruise terminal under construction near a mountainous area. Further west, there were lots of signs in what I believe was Cabo Rojo advertising the new hotels to be built. I recall 13 in total. The dust on the road was like baby powder with lots of construction vehicles moving about.

Except for the boat ride, we didn't enjoy the beach at Bahia de Aguilas very much. The fact that it was 95 degrees and we had to hide under a scrubby tree might have had something to do with it. The beautiful blue water had brown highlights in it so we didn't swim. Sargassum? I don't know. Don't expect to see any eagles there. A local said it got it's name from the shape of the rock formations, but I didn't see it.

The beach at Pedernales does not have the chairs and umbrellas as you'll find at other tourist sites, so again, not very comfortable in the intense sun and heat. The town itself seemed tranquil, and we had no concerns walking around at night before and after dinner. There are a lot of farms nearby; the main crop is mosquitos. Expect to roll down your windows when you approach the periodic checkpoints on your way out of town. Mi amiga says they're checking for Haitians.
She's very dark-skinned so I threatened to turn her in if she gave me any trouble. She threatened to tell them she was being trafficked so we called it a draw.

Next trip we'll devote more time to get off the main road and stop at interesting places along the way. It's a very beautiful part of a beautiful country.
Are you serious? I've seen random cactuses at certain points by looking out the window on the autopista Balaguer heading to Navarrete. You certainly had to pass by that highway since that's the most common way to Puerto Plata from Santiago. Put more attention looking northward towards the mountains next time you're riding through there. You'll see them pop up totally unexpected.
 
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Joseph NY2STI

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Mar 22, 2020
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Are you serious? I've seen random cactuses at certain points by looking out the window on the autopista Balaguer heading to Navarrete. You certainly had to pass by that highway since that's the most common way to Puerto Plata from Santiago. Put more attention looking northward towards the mountains next time you're riding through there. You'll see them pop up totally unexpected.

The last thing I'm looking for while driving is cactus.
 
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JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
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And can a new airport be far behind?


Construction of the Cabo Rojo International Airport announced for March 2024​

First hotel in Cabo Rojo would be ready for the last quarter of 2024
Irmgard De la Cruz Irmgard De la Cruz
Pedernales - Jan. 04, 2024 | 01:13 pm | 2 min read
iniciaran-construccion-del-aeropuerto-internacional-de-cabo-rojo-en-ma-focus-min0.23-0.4-896-504.jpg

President Luis Abinader walks with a delegation during the inauguration of the first phase of Puerto Cabo Rojo, in which the Cabo Rojo International Airport was discussed. ( DIARIO LIBRE/EDDY VITTINI )

As part of the Pedernales tourism development project, the government plans to begin construction of the Cabo Rojo International Airport in March 2024, as reported today by the general director of Public Private Partnerships, Sigmund Freund.
These statements were given during the inauguration of Puerto Cabo Rojo and the reception of the first cruise ship in these facilities.
Freund also announced that the first hotel is expected to be ready by the last quarter of 2024.
"By the last quarter of 2024, as we have promised, Mr. President, you and your family will have a room available to spend the night at the opening of the first hotel in the Cabo Rojo destination," he emphasized.
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Investment of RD$26,000 million​


The development project of the province of Pedernales has involved an investment of more than 26,000 million pesos to date, according to Freund.
This investment has generated more than 1,800 direct jobs and has contributed to changing the economic panorama of the southern region, which has historically been the most impoverished area of the country.
Although he recognized the challenges that the project has faced, Freund highlighted the dynamism that can be perceived in the area, both on the roads and in the streets of the town and in the lodging establishments.
These statements were made during the opening event of the port and the reception of the first cruise ship, the Norwegian Pearl Cruise , headed by President Luis Abinader.