One of my mom’s favorite day trips while she was visiting me in the Dominican Republic was Laguna Gri-Gri in the small town of Rio San Juan about two hours east of Puerto Plata. We boarded a small wide boat with a captain and the first mate at the motor. We puttered nonchalantly through a mangrove forest, passing a local fisherman and taking pictures of magnificent turkey and black vultures (because we don’t see them enough in the United States), and increasing speed as the sea opened up in front of us.
As we glided parallel to the shoreline, we past fishing boats and cliffs that were home to swift swallows. Our captain didn’t speak a lick of English, but he knew what pleased his tourists. He showed us caves and rock formations, including one that looked like a man’s face, and gave us plenty of time to stare deep into the clear blue water at the large colorful coral 30 feet below the boat. He invited us to go swimming in a protective cove, but the water wasn’t warm enough that time of year.
My mom still talks about that trip to this day. She loved it so much, when my dad came down with her the next time, we went on the Laguna Gri-Gri boat ride again.
TIP: There’s a nice restaurant right across from the entrance to Laguna Gri-Gri, but walk down the street to some of the rotisserie hole-in-the-walls. They have mouth-watering chicken cooked to perfection. It could have something to do with how fresh the chicken is. I watched as the our cook/cashier cleaned a chicken in the back while 4 other live hens stood at his feet watching in dumbfounded aweness. Priceless!