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Ecolodge Tubagua Puerto Plata

Updated: May 7, 2023

Magic carved into a Dominican Hillside


The entrance to the Ecolodge Tubagua is plain and unassuming, but give it a chance. As soon as we shut the car doors and started down the natural stone path carved into the hillside, we started getting our first glimpses of the magic that was to come.




Breath-It-In

This place is no-joke-charming. I could have stayed there for a week without driving off of that hillside and been very content. The fresh air and connection to nature were recharging me in ways that I didn't know I needed to be recharged. I've made a note of this before, but I am easily contented with a good view and peace. This property had those in spades!


They have beautiful communal gathering areas. A huge outdoor dining space under a pergola in a garden, a quaint lounging area beside the pool that has a cascading view of the valley below out to the ocean, and the larger dining room, bar, and lounge area under the main pavilion.


It was a familial atmosphere. Aided by cute and energetic puppies that ran around, getting into trouble while providing the guest with smiles, as unannounced table guests as they wagged their tails, waiting for some generosity of table scraps. The friendly staff and the communal environment made us feel very relaxed and welcomed.


Accommodations

We followed a secluded stone path down the hillside from the main communal areas to get to our chalet. The path ended at the door to our chalet. Once we opened the door, we were met with the charming open-air interior and a gorgeous panoramic sunset view of the valley beneath us stretching out to the ocean. As we soaked in the view from our balcony, the horizon line was filled with hues of deep purples, lights, blues, to pastel oranges as our eyes scanned in awe. The interior of the chalet was filled with Caribbean rustic charm, with vibrant orange accents in the chairs, pillows, and beautiful artwork. You can relax on the built-in daybed on the far wall of the chalet as you daydream, looking out onto the Dominican hillside.


Logistics

I cannot say it is better than the Ecolodge themselves. See the below welcome message from them after having made the reservation.


Greetings from Tubagua!


Hello Randall, thank-you for reserving with us! This email will help you plan and make the most of your stay at Tubagua Ecolodge.


Getting to Tubagua:

Do you need an airport transfer? Simply reply to this email with the following info: date, airport (very important), airline, flight number, and arrival time. We’ll get back to you to work out the details.


Coming by land. Take the time to locate us on Google Maps. Enter Tubagua Ecolodge in your map search. Google’s spoken directions will lead you right into the parking lot. Tip: if you are coming with a driver or taxi it’s a good idea to use Google, be the navigator and don’t depend on the driver. We also recommend not using Waze as it might misdirect you coming from Santiago or Puerto Plata.


Editors Note: We had no issue finding the property using google maps.


Checking In:

Official check-in is 3 pm, and official check-out is at noon. However, you can arrive as early as you want and leave as late as you want - as long as the cleaning staff are free to complete their work. We have a place to store your luggage if needed. Would you like the first night’s dinner? Our meals are prepared family style. Carmen needs to know by 3 pm if you would like dinner. Please write back now and tell us.


Food & Drink:

Where is the closest restaurant? Tubagua is a rural village; there are no restaurants in town. The closest restaurants are in Puerto Plata or Sosúa, 30 minutes away by car. Tubagua does not have a restaurant, but we have a kitchen, and local women cook excellent meals for our guests. We want to make your food experience with us a highlight of your stay. We often hear comments like “This is the best food of our entire vacation!” - and even - “This is the best food I’ve had in the Caribbean!”


We don’t have a menu. Our tradition of serving meals family style turns mealtime into a pleasant social event shared and enjoyed by our guests. Our optional meals are as follows:


Editors Note: We had breakfast every day of our stay there and dinner once. Carmen did a phenomenal job. The mashed yucca with pickled red onions for breakfast were out of this world delicious. In fact, they were so delicious my date, who didn't order them for herself, ate half of mine!


We explored both Puerto Plata and Sousa. Both are great experiences but for different reasons.


Based on my preferences, I would rank Puerto Plata over Sousa, but if you have the time and want to broaden your travel horizons, check out both.


Breakfast $7.50:

Look forward to a very generous breakfast with fresh juice and fruit, yogurt, homemade granola, eggs and toast with sausage or ham, and fresh Dominican coffee or tea.


Lunch $10.00:

Lunch is usually an authentic Dominican family lunch comprised of salad, beans, rice, and stewed meat. However, our cook sometimes comes up with something special, like her amazing Seabass al Coco.


Dinner $17.50:

Our prix fixe dinner is an event to look forward to, with the cook serving up to eight different Dominican dishes and Caribbean fusion specialties. Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores all enjoy our family feasts. We are also happy to attempt to adjust to any special diets: please just tell us in advance!


Our Optional Meal Package Gets You Free Lunch. To make things simple, we offer a daily 3-meal package for only $25 per person (less for kids). Note that this must be requested online prior to arrival and apply to all the days you are here; it can’t be on-again-off-again. So write and tell us if you’d like the meal package added to your reservation.


Bring Your Own Snacks:

Tubagua has no cooking facilities for guests, but you are welcome to bring snacks and cold food.


Editors Note: Highly recommend. This place is remote with no 7/11's insight!


The Bar:

We have a selection of rum, wine, beer, and local cocktails offered at reasonable rates. You are welcome to bring your own bottles to use in your room. A corking fee of $4.00 per bottle is applied to private bottles consumed in the social areas.


Editors Note: The bar is self-service and operates on an honor system. You simply log what you drank on the notepad, and they'll add it to your bill. The ease-of-stay factor here is off the charts. I don't mind serving myself and, in most cases, would rather do so.




Things To Do:

More than just a hotel, Tubagua is an authentic Dominican setting where you can experience nature, rural life, and village life in the Dominican Republic. It’s a perfect place to go on self-guided hikes along country roads and local villages. Or you can learn from a local by heading out into nature with our experienced English-speaking guide to go birdwatching or explore hidden cascades and nature trails and learn all about what makes this country so amazing. When in Tubagua, you’ll feel like you’re in another world, but... in fact, we’re only a twenty-minute drive from the coast and a variety of great beaches. Within a 45-minute drive radius or less, you can: visit historic downtown Puerto Plata, take a cable car ride up the tallest mountain to a botanical garden; go zip-lining, four-wheeling or horseback riding; go surfing, swim with dolphins, visit a coffee village, visit the famous Damajagua 27 waterfalls; go shopping for amber at the amber mines and buy directly from the miners. We recommend waiting until you’re here to decide on what to do. But feel free to drop me a line if there is anything you’d like me to help set up in advance.


Final Checklist:

Write to me if

√ You need an airport transfer or transportation from another hotel or

location

√ You want to reserve the first night’s dinner

√ You want the meal plan

√ You have any other questions or special requests


See you in Tubagua!


Final

After having executed the Ultimate Roadtrip around the Dominican Republic and now possessing the luxury of hindsight, we would have extended our time at the EcoLodge, Purto Plata, and Las Terrenas. We would have eliminated our time in Punta Cana to allow that. Blasphemy, I know!


The Ecolodge Tubagua gets a Charming Score: 1000 out of 100 - for real for real


PS: Should'ves

While writing this post, I was just looking up the location on Google Maps and came across Taino Valley Tropical Park. That looks dope. I would have def made time to try and do that while we were there. Perhaps, next time.


If you've made it to the end, my deepest gratitude for you taking the time to read my work. If you've found this at all interesting, I graciously ask you to like, share, and comment. Your engagement with my writing helps promote it on various platforms. Cheers!

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