Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

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What to See

Beaches

Las Playitas
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Las Playitas

Before Playa El Morro, you'll pass Las Playitas, a set of "beaches" along a limestone cliff. The water here is shallow, clear, and there are views of nearby islands. If you walk along the wall, you'll find places to sit and shading. It's best to take a motoconcho but if you want, you can hitchhike or walk (about 90 mins from town).

Playa El Morro
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Playa El Morro

This crescent beach with golden, powdery sand is just minutes from Monte Cristi and is usually empty. You'll have to take a motoconcho --around 50-100 pesos--to get to the beach, which is part of Monte Cristi National Park. This was actually my favorite beach, but I only made it out there once because of the blistering sun and lack of shade.

Where to Stay

Central

Cheapest Hotel in Monte Cristi
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Cheapest Hotel in Monte Cristi

You can get a private here for 200 pesos. Best deal in town, in my opinion. Hotel Yino is located across from the police station on Calle Enriquillo & Duarte. Just ask where Hotel Gil is. The place is right next door. If you need internet, wander down to the Chic Hotel.

What to Eat

Local Specialties

Where to Get Chivo Picante
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Chivo (goat) is popular in this region of the country and is often served either baked or stewed. Goat meat here is somewhat spicy owing to the wild oregano in goat diets. Seth Krugal suggested a place called Parada Kiara, where you can get chivo picante. Unfortunately, the restaurant is about 45 mins outside of Monte Cristi by guagua. If you're not willing to travel for food, I would suggest Lilo's Cafe & Restaurant or Brisa's near the Chic Hotel. Dishes run about 250 pesos.

Restaurants

Great for Breakfast and Lunch
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Great for Breakfast and Lunch

Sweet Fausta runs the friendly and social Comedor El Portal across the street from the Chic Hotel. Look for the pile of clothes and Haitian ladies. It's in that building. Her soup is delicious--only 30 pesos--and lunch dishes run around 125 and usually include some combination of rice, beans, salad, and res, cuerdo, pollo, or sometimes chivo.

Getting Around

Bus

Local Bus from Santiago to Monte Cristi
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The local bus company, Expreso Liniero, has buses departing from 27 de Feb & 30 de Marzo in Santiago. The bus/shuttle seats 20-30 and costs 190 pesos. Good roads. Ride takes about 2 hours with few stops once outside of Santiago.

General Advice

Money and Banking

Plenty of ATMs in Town
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ATM machines are located outside the two grocery stores in town, Lilo's and Richetti's. If you need to exchange money, Caribe Tours has the best rates.