Los Haitises National Park, Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic

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Los Haitises National Park, Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic

imageAnother win for Vacation Rental by Owner! VRBO is great because you have an immediate network of people that give insiders advice on how to have the best vacation possible. Arriving at a secluded beach with an infinity pool, we were met by a friendly group that have been coming to this spot for years. Best of all, Coco, who runs the place (don’t know his title or job description) can make things happen!

The Dominican Republic has a multitude of caves that the indigenous Taino people used.  Many have pictograms and petroglyphs, as well as beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations.  Of course, Coco has a friend who owns a boat.

Getting to the boat was almost as fun as the boat ride.  Coco took us on his scooter!  We felt like we were in a parade because every village we passed Coco would wave at all his friends.

imageAngelo, our captain, took us to Los Haitises National Park.  There’s an amazing variety of birds we were able to see, as well as several varieties of starfish.  We landed twice to see caves that were easily accessible and filled with pictograms! My favorite part of these caves are the enormous sinkholes that reveal lush landscape silhouetted against the dark, rocky cave.

But the fun wasn’t over yet—we went whale watching.  Well, whale chasing is more like it!  We’d scan the horizon for a blow hole, and when we spotted one we’d yell and Angelo would tear through the waves to get us there.  Then we’d wait for the whale to resurface until we lost it–or he lost us!  It was alternately an adrenalin boost and a trial of patience.

Our last sighting was a spectacular performance.  A whale was flipping it’s tail, or “lobtailing.”  Scientists aren’t sure if whales are attracting other whales or if it’s aggressive behavior or just for fun.  It looks like fun to me!  I call it the tail dance. ?


Caye Levantado

We finished our day on Caye Levantado, a beautiful island with a pristine beach and great food. And we still had the scooter ride home to look forward to!

Rhonda Sarantis

Rhonda Sarantis

"She's crazy and loud but she loves you!" That's what they tell my infant granddaughter to prepare her for my visit, so I thought it would be a great way to prepare you. And while I may not always be crazy or loud, one thing is always true: I LOVE people. That's at the heart of my passion for travel. I love getting to know people from different cultures who speak different languages, eat different food, have different ideas and opinions. I'm endlessly curious and make a point of reading about the countries I visit. Instead of saying "that's not how WE do it," I enjoy identifying strengths in diverse cultures, and learning about their way of life. I LOVE road trips! I have great memories of monthlong vacations growing up. Dad always had a van--before they were popular--and invited anybody who wanted to join us. My road trips within the United States will be featured in "The Lower Case Travelogs." Be sure to buckle your seat belt. I execute illegal u-turns if a bakery or estate sale is spotted!


  • Ali

    Those whale tails are so far out of the water! Incredible.

    March 4, 2016 at 7:44 am
  • Ali

    The photo of the mango grove– as in the mangos that we eat?

    March 4, 2016 at 7:52 am