Photo Essay: Motorbike trip to Rio San Juan

in Dominican Republic / Overland Travel / Photo Stories
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dominican republic motorcycle trip

My first weekend motorcycle trip felt like a milestone achievement when I pulled into Rio San Juan with Ryan on the back of the bike and all my limbs still in tact. Despite my fears, the trip was nothing short of breath-taking, scenic and exhilarating. The wind whipped my hair into knots as we rolled up, down and around one long road along the coast with nothing around us but dense jungle, craggy cliffs, grazing cattle and friendly Dominicans working in their little roadside huts selling oranges, peanuts and eggs.

Ryan and I had agreed to take turns driving so I could gain some open-road experience, which required some courage from me to take the reins, as well as courage from Ryan to put any hint of machismo aside to endure the alarmed stares and surprised double-takes from passing Dominican drivers. No doubt, they were wondering if Ryan had misplaced his cojones when he put me in the driver’s seat.

After a long journey of being glued together on a small seat, though, we were rewarded with a new town of a completely different vibe from Cabarete or Luperon, towns we’d gotten to know quite well. The people were just as generous and friendly as they are in the rest of the country, but Río San Juan offered unique local treasures like the gorgeous beach of Playa Caletón, tucked away in a protected cove beyond the mangroves.

Looking now at this photo essay, it would appear that what I thought was a casual fling with the Dominican Republic, sparked by love at first sight, has turned into a long-lasting relationship. And if this is what biking through the Dominican countryside brings, I can see myself falling quite hard for this country during our time here.

motorbike road trip to rio san juan

Tour leaders: Joelle and Tasha.

ryan and morgan motorcycles dominican republic

Tour stuntmen: Ryan and Morgan

dominican small town rest stop

Stopping to stretch our legs in a one-moto Dominican town

rio san juan dr view of beach

Hotel room: $30. View: Priceless.

dominican fisherman rio san juan

We woke up to see the day’s catch coming in

felix boat guide rio san juan dominican republic

Learning the history of Rio San Juan from our animated guide, Felix

playa caleton dominican republic

The highlight of the tour was our stop at Playa Caleton

julian oyster shucking rio san juan

Back in Rio San Juan, we were tempted by fresh oysters from the mangroves

mangrove oysters rio san juan julian

Who could resist Julian’s offerings?

dominican oysters turf to surf

They don’t get much fresher than this

haitian kids rio san juan turf to surf

Spending the evening with some local Haitian girls

dominican motorbike crazy

The trip home was no less adventurous

dominican motorcycle trip

On the open road, heading home from our 3-day adventure

For more photos of Rio San Juan, visit Turf to Surf’s Photo Album on their Facebook Page.

5 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Mid-Life Cruising! May 24, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Okay, you’ve twisted my arm and convinced us that we’ve got to dedicate a good amount of time to the Dominican Republic once we start cruising … it looks like our kinda place! The roads look in better shape than I’d imagine … perfect for those motorcycles!

    • Tasha Hacker May 24, 2013, 3:42 pm

      I cannot say ENOUGH good things about this country. I’ve traveled in a lot of countries and this place, particularly Cabarete, has just blown me away with joy. 🙂

  • John Parker August 16, 2014, 2:23 am

    Where did you rent you motorbike?

    • Tasha August 22, 2014, 12:16 pm

      Hey John,
      That’s a good question! There are lots of guys along the main street where we were in Cabarete, D.R., who rented bikes of all kinds. We just walked around and negotiated with people until we got the best price, which was about $60/month. But it wasn’t a proper shop or anything like that – just a guy by the side of the road.

      • John Parker August 27, 2014, 2:59 am

        THX for the tip

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