Moto Taxis: a complete user guide!

Planning a trip to Cabarete? Not sure how to get around? Read on! We do things a little differently around here. If you want to truly embrace the Dominican culture, you will love getting to know the moto taxi mode of transportation.
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At the Extreme Hotel we attract guests that are looking for adventure and exploration, and as such, transportation becomes an integral part of their trip. The hotel staff value guest safety as a top priority and we will always be available to assist you in setting up the mode of transportation that best suits your needs. One option that many of our guests find exciting, cheap, and easy is the the moto taxi.

Just a stone’s throw from the Extreme Hotel sits a moto taxi stop. Here you will find a few of our true and tested local moto taxi guys that wait around to accommodate our travel pursuits.

Meet a few of our guys!
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From left to right we have: Luis, Luis, and Vale

The rates are cheap, the ride is fun, and the best part is that you don’t have to wait around like you would for a bus. Fifty pesos will get you to downtown Cabarete; a hot spot for tourists and locals alike. You will find yourself downtown for dancing, drinks, shopping, socializing on the plushy lounge chairs that pepper the beach in front of the restaurants, dropping in on volleyball pick-up games, and live music events!

Ready to ride the moto taxi wave? There are a few things you should know, since transportation can be very dangerous. However, there are basic principles you can implement to avoid unnecessary accidents.

Moto Etiquette: 7 Key Points to Know Before You Go

1) Get on a trusted moto taxi!
-Don’t let just anyone pick you up. Instead, look for an actual moto taxi stop. The taxi guys operate territorially here and will not allow any sketchy business. If you are desperate for a ride and can’t seem to find a moto taxi stop anywhere, you can ask to see a license before you hop on.

2) Always, always, ALWAYS get on and off from the left side!
-Forgetting this tidbit may cost you a severe burn from the exhaust pipe. Ouch! (Not a memento you want to take from your trip)

3) One word- “Tranquilo!”
-If you feel that your driver is going too fast, don’t be afraid to speak up. The word “tranquilo” will basically command your driver to slow down.

4) Don’t get on the moto until it’s facing the direction you will be going.
-This will help you avoid unnecessary turning into traffic.

5) 50 pesos
-Fifty pesos will get you into town and you can fit a third person on the back for 50 more pesos. Four people is pushing it!.

6) Use the same guy.
-Your driver will want to wait for you if you will need a ride back. If you won’t be spending much time at your destination, ask the driver to wait and he will happily give you a ride back. If you will be awhile you can ask him to meet you at a certain hour to give you a ride back.

7) Lean with it!
-It may feel natural for you to lean the opposite direction as the driver when you are taking a turn; however, the driver will maintain balance easier if you lean in the same direction as him.

Study these seven points and you will learn to love the moto taxis as much as we do!
Happy Travels 🙂

Off the Beaten Path on the North Coast

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I am one of the lucky few able to live on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. I am reminded about the many beautifull things to see in this caribbean gem when new eyes come visit.  How you choose to see the Dominican can make or break your vacation.

At the eXtreme hotel, we have many adventure tourists, solo travelers, and sports enthusiasts. All are looking to experience the country at their own speed. Sometimes it may seem easier to be packed on a tour bus and herded around the various tourist destinations like cattle. But in the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, it is just as simple to rent a car or take a taxi and go where you want, when you want to.

To compare, I recently went with some guests on a tour of a zoo, plantation, Blue Lagoon and a couple beaches- basically a ‘most bang for your buck’ kind of day. The bus stopped at a local grocery store to pick up rum and coke for the bus ride. It quickly became apparent that many of the other tourists on the tiny bus had not spent much time off the beach. As myself and the other eXtreme guests did some regular grocery shopping and searched for bananas in the local colmado, the other attendees wandered the aisles- amazed that crackers and soda were as readily available here as they were at home. We quickly grew restless with the slow pace of the tour at the first few stops and jokingly ‘mooed’ as we were slowly ushered along through the gift shops. My my crew had already followed recommendations to visit our local, organic farm and the shops of local artisans. So, they had no urge to see a guinea-pig eating crocodile poke his head out, awoken from his morning nap by the poke of a rebar pole, or haggle for the best price of a glitter coated key chain.

eXtreme guests want to walk among the friendly locals, practice their spanish, enjoy delicious local food and explore off the beaten path. I loved hearing our guests passing on dinner recommendations for authentic Dominican food and advice about how to enjoy the local culture. It showed that rather than viewing the Dominican from behind paned glass, they were really feeling comfortable immersing themselves in the culture. Just one of many times I’ve felt overjoyed and proud to be a part of the off the beaten path, adventure tourist culture in the DR.

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food in the dominican republic

The Dominican Fruit Salad You Need to Eat Daily

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One of the best things about living in the tropics is our access to amazing fresh tropical fruit. An incredible item we have available on our menu at Casa Mami eXtreme is the Lechosa Love salad. This one light yet energizing meal improves your digestion, rehydrates you, and freshens your skin- all in one serving! What a great way to start your day! Here’s why:

 

  • Papaya contains papain, a potent enzyme that helps you properly digest and assimilate nutrients in your body, so you get the most from your meal.
  • Lime contains minerals and vitamins necessary for detox, hydration and purification of your system- think flat belly and glowing skin.
  • Mint is more of the same goodness- containing lots of chlorophyll, it alkalizes and balances your body.
  • Coconut contains healthy oils and fiber that plump up your skin cells and boost brain power.
  • Raw honey is a natural antioxidant, providing some extra sweetness without throwing off blood sugar levels.
  • Bananas give electrolyte power to keep you energized after morning yoga or before a good workout.
  • Cinnamon is a known superfood that boosts your metabolism, balances blood sugar and supports healthy immunity.

 

Everything in this meal provides your body with a huge amount of nutrients and healthy fuel. By combining them all together in one recipe sets you up for a great morning, or acts as a delicious midafternoon snack. Make one at home or come in to eXtreme to try one today. Your body will thank you!

 

Tropical Papaya Salad Recipe (serves 1)

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2 cups fresh papaya, chopped into chunks

Juice of ½-1 full lime, depending on your taste

4 Tbsp fresh chopped mint

2 Tbsp grated coconut

1-2 tsp raw honey

½ banana, chopped

dash of cinnamon

 

To Prepare:

Mix papaya with mint and lime juice. Sprinkle with coconut and drizzle with honey, serve banana on the side, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Trapeze Swinger flying trapeze high at Kaicetous Circus at the eXtreme Hotel on Kite Beach.

8 Things I Miss About Life in the Dominican Republic

This past week I have found myself reflecting a lot on life in the Dominican Republic and how it compares to life in my hometown. Aside from being the obvious antidote to the homesickness we all experience whilst traveling abroad, my favorite part about returning home has been realizing all the things I miss about Cabarete, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean lifestyle.

  1. Fresh, healthy and exotic food. Life in the Dominican Republic means having access to incredible food sources. The island is lush and chances are high that you’ll find something new and delicious to try wherever you are. From fresh pesto made from beach almonds and our very own organic aquaponic basil, to sweet smoothies made from tasty tropical fruit like guanabana and abiu, the options are endlessly delicious.
    Life in the Dominican Republic means eating fruit that tastes better than pudding.

    Life in the Dominican Republic means eating fruit that tastes better than pudding.

  2. The variety of activities and things to do. Life in the Dominican Republic is compelling to many people due to the plethora of physical activities available– I must say, I’m definitely one of those people. I mean, really, how many places in the world can you spend your lunch break at a yoga inversion workshop in a beachside yoga loft, listening to the crashing waves and wind blowing through the palm trees? eXtreme Hotel offers everything: from floating down the Yassica river at eXtreme’s organic farm, to activities such as kite surfing, circus arts, snorkeling, paragliding and more adventure tourism.
    Trapeze Swinger flying high at Kaicetous Circus at the eXtreme Hotel on Kite Beach.

    Trapeze Swinger flying high at Kaicetous Circus at the eXtreme Hotel on Kite Beach.

  3. The island atmosphere. Though it’s true that somedays the power may go out, the water may stop running and your moto taxi may run out of gas, the overarching perspective seems to be that todo bien or “all is well.” Perhaps it is the wind coming from Kite Beach that helps to keep moods light and spirits high, or the strong sense of community you develop with people you hardly know, there is something about this island that can put the wind in your sail like no other.
    Kite soaring high during a sunset on kite beach.

    Kite soaring high during a sunset on kite beach.

  4. Dancing at La Bomba on Thursday nights. Because night life in the Dominican Republic means going to a petrol-station-turned-night-club in the middle of the week to embarrass yourself in front of a crowd of Dominicans with rhythm like you’ve never seen before and music that inspires your gringa hips to move like no one is watching.
    Dancing is an awesome part of life in the Dominican Republic

    Dancing is an awesome part of life in the Dominican Republic

  5. Riding a motorcycle to work. As it turns out, frequent use of public transportation is one of my favorite aspects of my life in the Dominican Republic. A morning moto concho (motorcycle taxi) makes for a great way to start the day and occasionally, a good story. Like the time I accepted a free ride in exchange for holding a sack with mysterious contents… that turned out to be a bag full of live chickens. Luckily for me, they were happy to play dead the first half of the ride and wait until I had settled into the peacefullness of the morning to throw fits and dig their dinosaur-like talons into my thigh. Oh the joys of morning motos.
    The island atmosphere is one reason why I miss life in the Dominican Republic.

    The island atmosphere is one reason why I miss life in the Dominican Republic.

  6. Weekend Gua Gua Adventures. Turns out that big white van your mother always told you to avoid is actually a cheap way to explore a beautiful island. Life in the Dominican Republic is always an adventure. Hop on a Gua Gua in Cabarete and be at the beach, in a jungle or atop a mountain in less than an hour.
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    The farm team in the back of a gua gua headed to the Main Beach of Sosúa on the North Coast of the Dominican.

  7. The weather. No seriously, it’s not a small talk kind of subject around here. It’s impossible not to mention how beautiful it is most days- add in the constant chatter about whether the wind is good enough to kite board and it’s a hot subject (no pun intended). It seems the “bad weather days” are really only there to remind us to appreciate the blessings of paradise.
    Just kidding! Life in the Dominican Republic is still great with the so called "bad weather".

    Just kidding! Life in the Dominican Republic is still great with the so called “bad weather”.

  8. The constant inspiration to learn something new. Whether you are visiting for a short time or quit your job and moved to the Caribbean permanently, you are sure to find an opportunity for growth. Life in the Dominican Republic is laid back but full of potential to broaden your horizons. Whether you come in with no expectations except relaxation or with the intention to learn Spanish, go kite surfing or climb the highest peak in the Caribbean (Pico Duarte), chances are you’ll go above and beyond. In an atmosphere like this it’s simply irresistable not to. Everyone in the community is willing to share their talents and inspire you to cultivate yours as well.
    Jumping into the Yassica River at Taino Farm.

    Jumping into the Yassica River at Taino Farm.

Though nostalgia often gets a bad wrap, I believe one of the sweetest feelings when arriving to a new place is being able to fully appreciate all of the blessings from the last. It also makes coming back a whole lot more exciting. What do you miss about eXtreme Hotels, the Dominican Republic or Cabarete? We’d love to hear from you, leave us a comment on our Facebook page!

Post and photos by Lynsey Wyatt.

caribbean holiday

5 Reasons You Should Quit Your Job and Move to the Caribbean.

 

You Should Quit Your Job and Move to the Caribbean if you want to spend your weekends road tripping to beaches.

You Should Quit Your Job and Move to the Caribbean if you want to spend your weekends road tripping to places like this.

Six months ago, I embarked on a plane to the Dominican Republic with a backpack, a one-way ticket and a help exchange position at Taino Organic Farm. During my time here I have become an adventure tourism/health/community blogger, plant liberator, Aquaponics intern, event photographer, tour guide, cook, farm hand and social media marketer. I do not make loads of money, spend all day on the beach or get more than a farmer’s tan. However, I have had some of the most amazing opportunities and learning experiences I never would have thought possible before coming here. Without further adieu, I have come up with 5 Reasons You Should Quit Your Job and Move to the Caribbean.

  1. Be inspired to be self-motivated. No one is going to hold your hand here. You won’t have a guidance counselor, therapist or boss that tells you how to live your life. You will however, have plenty of responsibility and opportunities to learn if you are self-motivated. Your specialized college degree is worth nothing if you are not willing to adapt, think outside the box and learn through doing. Living in a developing country offers amazing freedom and opportunities to those who look for them. You should quit your job and move to the Caribbean if you’re willing to put yourself out there and live your dream.
    Living my dream in the Dominican Republic!

    Living my dream in the Dominican Republic!

  2. Diversify your network of friends. In my time here, I have met people from 15+ countries. Everyone has a story and seeing first hand how culture influences individuals has aided me in remaining open to new people and calling my attention to how I have been influenced by my own culture. You should quit your job and move to the Caribbean if you want to meet people who will act as a mirror to yourself, allowing you to improve and connect on a whole new level.
    Friends I met at Taino Farm from the UK, Czech Republic and Dominican Republic.

    Friends I met at Taino Farm from the UK, Czech Republic and Dominican Republic.

  3. Explore a new place. The Dominican Republic is full of beautiful places to explore. From beaches to rainforests to waterfalls, the pictures of my time on the north coast of the Dominican Republic truly don’t do the memories justice. There is more here than just tourist attractions, there are places to create memories of incredible adventures and experience the touch, sight and scent of an entirely new place. You should quit your job and move to the Caribbean if you want to experience a warm breeze in the middle of winter while you gaze at the horizon of the sea with close friends that were strangers just a short time ago. 
    Exploring a mangrove forest.

    Exploring a mangrove forest.

  4.  Find new opportunities. If your hands are shut, you can only hold onto the few things that fit into clenched fists. If you leave your hands open, it’s amazing how much you can catch. By not closing yourself off to opportunity, you begin to see it all around you. The path you take is not paved with the same stones all along, there are diverse opportunities available.
    A photo of myself and Monica Rush from my first event photography gig at the Mojito Bar Cabarete Festival!

    A photo of myself and Monica Rush from my first event photography gig at the Mojito Bar Cabarete Festival!

  5. Gain a different perspective on… well, everything. Whether you’re coming from a desk job in the UK or a yoga ashram in India, living and working in the Dominican Republic is sure to change your perspective. The easy going Dominican way will make you wonder why you ever worried about your retirement fund, while the island will reconnect you to the joy of nature and the world around you. Learning Spanish will help you think on your feet and the language barrier will teach you how to connect and communicate without the aid of spoken communication. Riding a motorcycle to work and running out of gas will make you realize safety is a feeling, not a guarantee and sometimes the breakdowns are more of an adventure than the destination. You should quit your job and move to the Caribbean if you want to immerse yourself in a learning-intensive yet soul rejuvenating environment.
    Move to the Carribean!

    Move to the Caribbean!

 Post and photos by Lynsey Wyatt.

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Water Sports in Cabarete

The eXtreme Hotel attracts all kinds of visitors who want to enjoy Water Sports in Cabarete

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Underwater Creature

The wind and waves are a consistent gift from mother nature, making Cabarete a go-to destination for kiteboarding, surfing, windsurfing, and SUP. Dominican Republic has such a lush and diverse landscape so there are many rivers and lagoons for wake boarding, water skiing, snorkeling, spearfishing, and scuba diving as well.
Scuba diving in sosua, 15 minutes from Cabarete

Scuba diving in sosua, 15 minutes from Cabarete

If any of that sounds appealing to you, than you may want to try your favorites of all the different Water Sports in Cabarete. There is often debate about which of the Water Sports in Cabarete is the best. The top two in question for the best water sport in Cabarete is always between Kiteboarding and Surfing.
Kitesurfing in Cabarete

Kitesurfing in Cabarete

Surfing takes 1 hour to learn, but a lifetime to get good at, while Kiteboarding takes 3 days to learn but 1 week to start doing tricks. In my opinion it depends on your personality type and what makes you say “WOW” If you always looked at surfing and dreamt of carving waves with grace or riding giants all over the world, then maybe that is your thing. If the first time you saw kiteboarding you stayed watching it on the beach all day, perplexed at the speed and intensity of handle passes and flips, then it’s probably your sport.
surfing in encuentro beach in cabarete

surfing in encuentro beach in cabarete

The bottom line is, with so many Water Sports in Cabarete, you can pick your poison and enjoy it every day. 🙂
Blog written by Gigi Taveras