I have been waiting to go to Bahia de las Aguilas for long time but finally we decided to make time and arrange a trip over a weekend. It’s been a busy week with the house and we decided to take a break.
Bahia de Las Aguilas is in the South West of the Dominican Republic and is known for its virgin beaches and crystal clear waters, its right next to the border with Haiti.
The night before we went we had tickets to go and watch the Cirque De Soleil that was showing in the city. We were running late and as with any concert and event in the city the traffic was crazy. The parking in DR is also and experience, we could have done the normal thing and parked where there were spaces far away from the entrance or you can pay one of the many guys hanging around to find you a space right at the front. After a very stressful parking experience which saw us squeeze through a gap that I swear was smaller than the car we made it into the Cirque De Soleil. These guys are incredible the amount of strength and control they have is amazing – it actually made me feel a little queasy watching them do some of the high acts.
So we had a 5am start the next morning as it is a bit of a mission to get to Bahia de las Aguilas. It is only around 300km but I have heard it takes around 5 hours to get there due to the road. We set off heading west through Bani, Azua, and Barahona. The road was fine until we got to Barahona but after that it started to get bad.
It was so interesting driving through the barrios along the way, the road hugs the coast so there were some amazing views, it’s hard to believe that this part of the island is so untouched – I am sure it won’t be long before the big hotels start setting up shop. This would be perfect for a beach house and I am guessing the prices are really cheap although getting here is the problem – it a bit of a drive. As we passed though the barrios I noticed that there were no gas stations, just people with plastic containers on the side of the road… I was glad we filled up in Barahona! We saw locals betting on cockfighting, kids playing in the streets and shacks with a cow’s head hanging up outside, I am guessing to let people know they have fresh beef for sale. It was great to see yet another side of this island, seriously there is so much to see and do here and everything is so different.
Once you get into the national park you are on your own, we must have seen one car in about an hour. Finally, be made it to Cabo Rojo, this is where you stop off the get a boat to the bay. Now there is a road to get there however it is really bad and we have heard you need a serious 4×4 to make it – people say that the owners of the boats try and make it impassable to ensure people us their boats. To be fair I wasn’t going to risk it as we were in the middle of nowhere – definitely not worth the risk of getting stuck.
So we stopped at a restaurant and asked if it was ok to put our tent up and stay there overnight – they were fine with it as we were buying dinner from them. The boat was 1500 pesos which is a little steep as its not actually that far but to be fair we have driven all this way – we didn’t really have a choice and it was a nice boat ride. Now Bahia de las Aguilas is known for its crystal clear water – unfortunately when hurricane Sandy passed through it made a mess, all the waters were still churned up in the bay, it was a bit of a shame but at the end of the day it was an amazing beach. We spent the day next to the rocks on the beach drinking rum – can’t really think of a better way to have spent the day to be honest.
We got picked up around 4 in the afternoon and got taken back to the restaurant for our dinner and to set up the tent.
Now as we were camping I thought it would be nice to have a camp fire. So as soon as the tent was up the fire was lit. It was a really good night and the four of us had an awesome time but it soon became apparent that it was not going to be a good night’s sleep, at first I thought it would be due to our new neighbours blaring out Dominican tunes until 3am but no… Mosquitos! I have never, repeat NEVER seen so many – I am not sure if it was the time of year but it was crazy I had been bitten about 20 times and our tent was full of them.
At around 2am I gave up and went to sleep in the car (which apparently was also was buzzing with mosquitos). It was not a good night’s sleep but I didn’t end up getting the worst of it, Katherine’s sister was covered in bites – arms, legs, face! I counted 22 on just one of her arms! I was the first to say let’s get the hell out of here in the morning, there were no showers and I was itching like crazy as the mosquitos were still out in force. It was a mad dash to get the tent down and packed up.
On the way back we stopped at Los Patos (The Ducks) which is a little town on a coast. We stopped for lunch at an awesome little place that is next to the river on the beach. People were swimming but it was freezing, like ice cold, so I thought Id give it a miss. You get to pick you fish at the little shacks and they will fry it up for you, its pretty cheap with a fish costing you around 250 DOP. It was interesting to people watch as there was so many people passing through, the highlight for me being when all the bikers turned up so I dragged Katherine out to the parking lot to go and pick out my future bike hehe.
So in total it took us 11 hours and 45 minutes to drive a total of 614km for the round trip. Shattered is not the word to describe it although it was an amazing weekend. If I was to do it again I would probably do it over two nights and there is not a chance you would get me in a tent again with all those mosquitos there.