Our adventure catching a gua gua to Gris Gris Lagoon:
This past weekend myself and the rest of the Taino Organic farm volunteer crew took off on another gua gua adventure on the north coast of the beautiful island of Hispaniola. As volunteers at eXtreme hotel’s farm, we often spend our weekends off cruising the coast and exploring different areas of the island. This time our destination was Playa Diamante in Cabrera, about 60km from Sabaneta or 70km from Cabarete. From Sabaneta we piled into a gua gua and headed east to Rio San Juan. Gua guas are a low cost option for exploring the Dominican Republic, from Sabaneta to Rio San Juan it costs 75 pesos and another 75 pesos from Rio San Juan to Playa Diamante in Cabrera.
After a beautiful drive along the north coast and through the mountains we reached Playa Diamante. It is a charming little spot perfect for the whole family with a calm tide and crystal clear water. There is a restaurant on site and not too many people, rather uncommon for a Sunday on the beach in the Dominican. We found ourselves amidst friendly local families relaxing and listening to some bachata music. Bring along a picnic and enjoy, kids can run and play in the seemingly endless shallows and parents are free to sit back and relax in the sun free of worry.
We caught a gua gua back to Rio San Juan and before heading back to Sabaneta stopped at the Gris Gris Lagoon. The mangrove trees are stunning and you can take a boat out for less than 400 pesos per person. Or, if you are short for time like we were, you can walk down a winding path around the lagoon and through the trees that leads all the way down to the beach. The trees are great to climb and if you’re daring like some of the local kids you can jump off into the water. The beach is lively and there are plenty of opportunities to join in on a game of volleyball or baseball.
For lunch we went to the restaurant at the Gris Gris Lagoon. When we asked for a menu, they instead showed us the catch of the day and offered to split the massive fish for us.
I opted for some delicious platinos fritos and stir fried veggies. All of the food was seasoned to perfection and very reasonably priced (we all paid under 300 pesos including some fresh donuts for desert). There is a beautiful view of the lagoon and we were even lucky enough to watch some turtles while we waited for our meal.
If you are looking for a family friendly spot, Playa Diamante is a wonderful place to spend a relaxing afternoon. Stop by Rio San Juan on the way back and explore the mangrove forest and a fresh meal or a game of volleyball on the beach before enjoying a sunset ride back across the north coast.