Okay, so it was dumb luck that I booked a villa in this tranquil ocean front oasis, three miles west of the clamor of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The road to Cofresi would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the billboard directing me to Ocean World, but more about that later.

My home for the week, Villa Carolisol was reasonably priced and lovely with a large second story covered porch, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and a pool. Palm trees and tropical blooms surrounded the structure and peeked over the porch framing a view of the ocean which I, and friends, enjoyed every day.

My Villa

My Villa

Just down the hill from the house loomed a gigantic thatched roof, which sheltered Chris and Mady’s Restaurant from the elements. The atmosphere within was spectacular. The immense ceiling height and peeled post infrastructure complimented the tropical feel — not to mention the arched footbridge that crossed over a fish pond at the entrance. Tiny blue Christmas lights wrapped the posts yielding a faint luminance, which offered relief from the brilliant sunlight outside. My friends and I would gather there and plan the day’s adventures over coffee. I managed to catch dinner there one night, Curried Shrimp with rice on the side for $9.00, garnished with the freshest of local fruits and veggies, a colorful cacophony of flavors that was so impressive, one in our group ordered it for brunch the next morning. Of course, mahi-mahi is the house specialty.

Seaside Tranquility in Cofresi

Seaside Tranquility in Cofresi

There are other restaurants within walking distance that offered their take on the Dominican Republic’s cuisine, and never did the ocean leave sight. Teddy’s Island BBQ, offering burgers and barbecue sliders, is located right on the beach with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs in the sand. After enjoying the many island activities, Teddy’s became my late afternoon haunt for Presidente beer and the Dominican distilled Brugal rum mixed with a variety of fruit juices. Locals would frolic in the surf with their naked children as I relaxed in the shade of the palm trees savoring my libations with friends. Lights strung round the palms transformed the outdoor seating area into a reflection of the bay.

Teddys

Teddys

Just a few steps from Teddy’s is The Sun Village Resort, an all inclusive which offers seven pools, five restaurants, and eight bars. I later learned Sun Village owns all the property along the beach, where they plan to build a boardwalk three quarters of a mile long. The main building of Sun Village Resort is located up the hill towards the road to Puerto Plata, including lobby, lodgings and large pool.

Located on the west end of the beach, also within walking distance, is the US$25 million dollar Ocean World. This new aquamarine park, opened in 2004, features a marina, which includes huge man made lagoons that hold sharks, dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays. Also on the grounds are tanks for snorkeling and viewing tropical fish, including piranha. Although we walked to the marina, we opted to pass on the $55 admission as we were on a budget as usual. Of course, I’ll be able to head to another destination in a few months being the frugal travelers that I am.

Throughout my week in the DR, I raced in all directions to partake in many side trips. Gus, the local activities director, magically appeared and offered to schedule various outings such as white water rafting, golfing, shopping, massages, the cable car and other tours this paradise has to offer. But I always looked forward to returning to our villa and the beaches in Cofresi to catch my breath. What a stroke of luck to have found this haven without laboriously doing endless research.

For more visit www.villacarolisol.com
www.sunvillageresort.com
www.oceanworld.info