Living on the north coast of the Dominican Republic

Posted on by Michael Bastin

I understand that you are an avid fisherman, and I would like to tell you a little about this island and living on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

We live in a beautiful residential community on the Dominican Republic north coast called Sea Horse Ranch. This is, quite simply, the best place of its kind on this side of the island, a place of quiet elegance and enough amenities to satisfy most people. Our international airport is 15 minutes away with daily service to Europe and all of North America, and the restaurants, shops, and nightlife of Cabarete/Sosua are diverse and fun.

In this area, close to Puerto Plata, one will find mountains, rivers, reefs, and most any type of pursuit one might crave. And for fishermen, the north coast is sublime. The ocean just north of us is deep with many upwellings of nutrients that attract shoals of baitfish. The larger pelagics like marlin, wahoo, king and dorado are plentiful and relatively un-used to boat traffic. The annual migration of Humpback whales also passes close by and the animals winter here from December to April, having their young in Samana Bay, just to our east. There is an expanding interest in sportfishing as people discover the richness of the grounds here, but only a handful of boats operate as charter vessels and the private fleet is still quite small. A modern marina, located at the OceanWorld complex 20 minutes away, hosts a growing number of big Rybos, Posts, and Hatterases. See www.oceanworldmarina.com

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I enjoy river and reef fishing as well as deep-sea.  The rivers and lagoons of this coast are teeming with snook up to 20 lbs and we see tarpon in certain months, usually in the 30-50 lb range (though larger ones have been reported). I like to cast a salt-water fly for snapper and small grouper around coral heads in the early morning calm.

In addition to the fishing, the north coast offers easy access to the Turks and Caicos islands, just 90 miles away. 5-6 hours at cruising speed in most sports fishermen will have you in Grand Turk and another 2 hours will see you at Provo, you undoubtedly know how great the diving is there. Just beyond T&C lie the 700 islands of the Bahamas. It is an easy run of just a few days to S Florida, stopping for fuel at conveniently-spaced marinas. Or take a week and drive the walls at Samana Cay and the forest of giant heads NE of conception Island.

There is nowhere I can think of that has such a great balance of lifestyle, natural beauty and close-by fishing of almost every kind. In addition, the people of the Dominican Republic are friendly, eager to laugh and smile. That fact alone decided me, after a lifetime cruising and experiencing the various Caribbean islands, to make my home here.

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This past weekend, we went kayaking down the Yasica River. The clear green water was refreshingly cool, and in 12 miles on the river, we saw only 2 houses. Last week, we ate fresh snook caught nearby. A couple of weeks ago, we drove with our kids to Las Terrenas and Samana where I sailed in a regatta. My wife has several horses here at Sea Horse Ranch Equestrian Center and both she and her daughter ride on the beach and through the coastal forests often. I walk our dogs to a nearby beach every morning and watch as snorkelers, surfers and stand-up paddle-boarders work the reef just offshore. A couple of weeks ago we had a great night of jazz at the Sea Horse Ranch Beach Club and on that same weekend were held both the national surfing championships and the annual kiteboarding event…..I mention these things to you to illustrate how full our lives are here.