Dominican Republic

Central America and the Caribbean

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It definitely depends on what town you go to. Some towns such as Cabarette don't have any local culture at all and are quite drab while others have a French influence or are truly Dominican. The beaches vary but are mostly just what you'd expect in the Caribbean - white sand and warm turquoise water.

In general DR is very pretty, has super nice people (they actually like Americans), has a nice variety of landscape/towns, and although it is more expensive than the usual backpacker type of country, it is still cheaper than the rest of the Caribbean. It definitely creates a different atmosphere for the low-budget backpacker when the locals expect you to be the high paying all-inclusive resort type.

Getting away from the tourist areas the country is quite poor. Which means the local transportation is great! The food is fair and we were able to find rooms for $20. US dollars are accepted almost everywhere and the local rum is worth the trip alone.
Mar 2007

Being Vegetarian in Dominican Republic

Spanish Vegetarian Phrases

Language Meaning Phrase / Pronunciation

Spanish

chicken stock / bouillon
(also caldo de pollo)
consome de pollo
cohn-soh-meh deh poi-yo

Does this have animal products? Esto tiene productos de animales?
eh-stoh tyeh-neh proh-dook-tohs deh ah-nee-mah-lehs?

Does this have chicken stock? Tiene caldo de pollo?
tyeh-neh cahl-doh deh poi-yo?

I am vegetarian soy vegetarian(a fem.)(o male)
soy ve-he-TAH-ree-YAH-nah

I don't eat meat, chicken, or fish no como carne, pollo o pescado 

Is this made with water or chicken stock?
(handy for asking about the gallo pinto)
Está hecho con agua o caldo de pollo? 

no meat, no chicken, no fish ni carne, ni pollo, ni pescado
nee CAR-ne, nee POY-o, nee pes-CA-do

with vegetables instead of mean (chicken), please con verduras en lugar de carne (pollo) por favor 

Useful Local Phrases for Dominican Republic

Language Meaning Phrase / Pronunciation

Spanish

health / Cheers! salud
sah-LOOD

pure life / Cheers!
(means; Pure Life)
(Costa Rica)
pura vida
POO-rah VEE-dah

excuse me
(to get someone's attention)
desculpe me 

excuse me
(to get by)
con permiso 

goodbye adiós 

hello hola 

please gracias 

please por favor 

sorry perdon
pehr-DOHN

Where is the bathroom? ¿Dónde está el baño? 

with pleasure (you're welcome)
(Costa Rica)
con gusto 

a cacao and blue corn drink
(full of antioxidants)
(Nicaragua)
pinollilo
PEE-no-LEE-o

a light rain, like mist
(literally cat’s hair)
(Costa Rica)
pelo de gato
PEH-lo deh GAH-toh

awesome, con todo, all great
(Cachete is literally a cheek, but locals use the phrase “a cachete” to define that something is good or doing good. For example, if you ask your friend how things are doing on his business, the response can be “Mae, a cachete” meaning that everything is going great. Sort of like "all good".)
(Costa Rica)
a cachete
ah cah-CHEH-teh

cool
(Costa Rica)
tuanis
twa-nees

Do you have ...? ¿Tiene ...? 

do you speak English? ¿habla Inglés? 

dude
(it's acceptable to use this in every other sentence. LOL)
(Costa Rica)
mae 

giddy up
(use it slangly like you do in English for "let's go" or "get going")
arre
AH-rreh

good morning, good afternoon, good evening buenos días, buenas tardes, buenas noches 

hangover resaca 

hangover
(resaca is the common word for hangover)
(Costa Rica)
goma
GO-mah

How are you? Good, thank you. ¿Cómo está? Bien, gracias. 

I don't understand no entiendo 

I need ... (a ticket, a hotel, help) necesito ... (un boleto, un hotel, ayuda) 

I would like .... Me gustaría .... 

Is there ...? No, there isn't .... Hay ...? No, no hay .... 

it doesn't work no funciona 

last drink of the night, although there are usually multiple last drinks
(Costa Rica)
zarpe
SAR-peh

outdoor gazebo or pavilion
(Costa Rica)
rancho
RAHN-choh

please
(short for por favor, use in informal conversation)
porfa
POR-fah

see you later hasta luego 

the check la cuenta 

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More of a personal nature, my un-related diary-like (hmmm or blog-like?) daily thoughts and activities; the things that don't warrant their own article/adventure post.