Playa Grande, Dominican Republic


I have such fond memories of Playa Grande (Big Beach). When I worked at Escuela Caribe, Carol Avery and I did a motorcycle trip from Jarabacoa to Playa Grande. It was, if I remember correctly, about a 3 to 4 hour ride. There was literally no one and nothing on the beach but the two of us. It was magical! The thing I remember most was the next morning, some local men climbed the coconut trees and got us a couple of coconuts for our breakfast.

When David and I arrived to live in Cabarete, I was curious if Playa Grande had been developed over the years like Puerto Plata, Sosua and now, Cabarete. For now, it hasn’t. Today, there is, what appears to be a beautiful golf course next the beach but no other development. However, I fear it is only a matter of time.

There are a few shacks that housed souvenirs and primitive restaurants. The seating was our choice of whatever palm tree we wanted. We ate lunch there and it was delicious. Needless to say, the fish is very, very fresh. As you can see from the picture, David had conch with rice, salad and fried plantains. I had the fish with the same side dishes. Plantains look like large green bananas. However, it is more like a starchy vegetable. The Dominicans cook them in a variety of ways…one recipe, mangu is usually served for breakfast. It is plantains boiled and mashed with oil or butter and served with red onions. Fried plantains, like the ones in the picture, look like fried bananas but taste sort of like french fries. I think they are yummy, especially with ketchup!

We bought the dolphin carved out of petrified wood…or so the vendor told us….or, it could have been lost in translation. Anyway, we liked it and it is a nice souvenir as a reminder of a lovely day.

Playa Grande is only about an hour drive from Cabarete, so I look forward to making the trip for lunch often.

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