Still trying to locate bargain travel to exotic places, I have set a trip to Sosua, DR, for the month of May. Sosua is located on the north coast of Hispanola, Island (which the DR shares with Haiti). During World War II, the DR president, Trujillo (who many considered a racist of sorts), welcomed European Jews escaping persecution by the Nazis. Trujillo’s desire was for the Jews to help “whiten” the population of the DR.
The result was that the Jews helped transform the El Batey section of Sosua into a relatively modern beach town. There has always been hotels, bars, and restaurants aimed at European and Canadian tourists. Since 2005, there has been an influx on American tourists, as well.
One can rent an apartment for about 300-700 per month.
In the last few years, with the prices of apartments in Rio de Janeiro rising rapidly in preparation for the World Cup and Olympic Games, many travelers, especially single men, have begun opting to visit the still fairly inexpensive town of Sosua, earning it the moniker RIO-LITE!
The one major difference I find between Rio and Sosua is that there has always been a tradition of single women traveling to Sosua, while Rio began to be a hot spot for single males from the U.S. around 2004.
In my opinion Sosua is NOT the new Rio. The town is too small to even compare to Copacabana, the beach where most tourists stay in Rio. Also, the population is not as racially diverse as that in Rio. In general, most DR natives are of Afro descent. Rio has a cultural mix that the DR does not attempt to achieve. The DR is mostly a Spanish nation culturally speaking, while Brazil heavily emphasizes the synthesis of African, Portuguese, and Native American cultures into its one national culture.
There is a new “Rio” out there, but I am not ready to divulge this information yet.
More to come later…
For now i am beginning my preparations as I countdown to the Sosua departure:
1. eating yogurt daily. Doing so strengthens the stomach because yogurt is a bacteria, which will fight off other bacteria one encounters while eating abroad.
2. Downloading books via amazon kindle onto my Iphone. There is no need to actually buy a Kindle, just download the free app. on the Itunes store and your Ipod Touch, Iphone, etc. IS a KINDLe. Many classic books are free and other books usually cost less than they do as a physical copy.