Thursday, October 29, 2020

9 Days Solo Trip in Summer Hispaniola Island (Caribbean)

2nd Wave of Pandemic Adventure and 1st time in Caribbean
October 07 to October 15, 2020

32 Li backpack and 1st time to bring my laptop on the road... I did not bring my real backpacking stuff as everything was planned only during my Abu Dhabi departure flight going to Manila. Spontaneous minimalism adventure for summer and winter season awaits.

Hispaniola is an island in the Caribbean archipelago known as the Greater Antilles. It is the most populous island in the West Indies and the region's second largest after Cuba. The 76,192-square-kilometre island is divided into two separate, sovereign nations: the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic (48,445 km2) to the east and French / Haitian Creole-speaking Haiti (27,750 km2) to the west. Hispaniola is the site of the first European settlement in the Americas, La Navidad (1492–1493), as well as the first proper town, La Isabela (1493–1500), and the first permanent settlement and current capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo (est. 1498). These settlements were founded successively in each of Christopher Columbus' first three voyages.

9 Days Solo Trip in Summer Hispaniola Island (Caribbean)

9 Days Solo Trip in Summer Hispaniola Island (Caribbean)


Flight Abu Dhabi to New York 1,044 AED
Flight New York to Port-au-Prince 183 AED
Flight Port-au-Prince to Sto Domingo SDQ 700 AED
Flight Sto Domingo to New York 397 AED 
TOTAL: 2,324 AED

0810H ETD Abu Dhabi UTC +0400H; flight EY101
1420H ETA New York UTC - 0400H; 18hr transit
AirTrain+Subway 11.5 drop to Charles St Station
World Trade Center Museum; Staten Island Ferry Ride free
Subway to Times Square 3; Fridge Magnet 4.5
The Vessel, Empire State Building, McDo 8
2230H ETD Times Square; Subway to AirTrain 11
TOTAL: $38

0100H ETA New York JFK Airport Terminal 5
0959H ETD New York UTC -0400H; flight B61835
1340H ETA Port Au Prince UTC -0400H
Visa on arrival free, Tourist fee $10
Hand-over Negative Covid19 test result printout; Walking distance to bus station to CAP-Haitien
Sans Souci Hotel $60 + $90 Exchange ($1=60 HTG)
Sans Souci Bus Reservation $20
Afternoon city tour 1,500; Snacks + Beer 520
TOTAL: $90 +2,200 HTG

0630H Sans Souci Bus Stn; change receipt to seat 
0700H ETD Port au Prince Bus to Cap-Haitien
1000H Bus stop over; lunch 400
1400H ETA CAP-Haitien (Ouanaminthe bus query) 
Taxi to Caribe Tours 500 (already closed)
Taxi to Milot 1,250
1600H Citadel Laferriere / Sans-Soucis Palace (Milot)
Motorbike to Citadel roundtrip $12
Horse rental with guide $24
Citadelle entrance fee $10; Guide fee 30
2000H Motorbike to CAP-Haitien $24
Rue B Hotel $50; dinner 250
TOTAL: $150 + 2,400 HTG

Day 4: October 10, 2020 Saturday / Haiti
0700H Motorbike / Van to Ouanaminthe 650
0900H ETA Ouanaminthe; crossborder not possible
0930H ETD Ouanaminthe 1,200
1430H Bus stop over; lunch 450
1900H ETA Port au Prince; Hostel check-in $60
TOTAL: $60 + 2,300 HTG

0700H ETD Hostel; walk to airport; magnet 400
0952H Port Au Prince UTC -0400H; flight AA1181
1157H ETA Miami UTC -0400H; 6hr transit
Miami aftenoon tour; bus #150 to South Beach
Miami South Beach; Burger King $10; souvenirs $17
1830H ETA Miami Airport; dinner $17
2030H ETD Miami; flight AA1511
2245H ETA Santo Domingo; Uber to hostel $16
TOTAL: $60 + 400 HTG

Island Life Hostel $72; Free breakfast
0830H Colonnial Zone Historic Walk Tour
Exchange $1= 58DOP; $100=5,800DOP
Lunch 290; magnet 100; ATA Excursions 3,880
Refreshments + snacks 465
TOTAL: $72 + 4,735 DOP

0530H ETD Hostel; Morning refreshments 60
0630H ETD Santo Domingo
Playa Macao + Buggy 1,890 (paid)
1800H ETA Santo Domingo; snacks 80

0530H ETD Hostel; Morning refreshments 195
0630H ETD Santo Domingo
Redonda MontaƱa + Macao Day Tour 1,590 (paid)
2030H ETA Santo Domingo; snacks 235

Day 9: October 15, 2020 Thursday / Departure flight 
0800H ETD Uber to Santo Domingo Airport $10
1022H ETD S. Domingo UTC -0400H; flight B6510
1409H ETA New York UTC -0400H; 4hr transit
1845H ETD New York; flight KL642
TOTAL: $10

GRAND TOTAL: $480 + 7,300 HTG ($120) + 5,595 DOP ($95) = $685 + 2,324 AED ($633) = $1,318

9 Days Solo Trip in Summer Hispaniola Island (Caribbean)

9 Days Solo Trip in Summer Hispaniola Island (Caribbean)

9 Days Solo Trip in Summer Hispaniola Island (Caribbean)


1. Before travel, ensure that your country of departure (not your nationality) is allowed to enter all the airports and countries you intend to visit. I cross-validate this information through the following websites: the airline website, travelbans.orgIATA, and covidcontrols

2. Cross-check also that your country of destination is in the Green Zone or manageable Red Zone through the following websites: and Philippines is in the Red Zone.

3. The major shield I have to protect myself against the virus is that I was one of more than 15,000 volunteers of UAEs Covid-19 Phase III Inactivated Trial Vaccine. I completed the Seven Weeks Program. Of course, this is a gamble, the possibility is still in my mind. As usual, I did not avail any travel insurance unless the country of destination is requiring me to have it.

4. One of the surprising spontaneous trip I had, I just decided only to push this adventure when I was in the Abu Dhabi Airport boarding gate going to Philippines. The Airline Check-in staff gave me the idea to go to US since she told me that only those who enter the US are required to undergo 14-days quarantine. Furthermore, I did not bring my real backpacking stuff which is an added challenge. 

5. Check your airline and country of destination if they require PRINTED Negative PCR test result. I had mine and it was from St. Luke's QC for PhP4,300 with 12-hours result processing only (but they advised 1-2 days). The airline requires 96 hours validity of the PCR Test. Airline should have free printing service (sometimes the airport) or just push them to print your PCR test result and make it TWO copies.

6. As per my research, Haiti and Dominican Republic have low cases. Thus, I consider them as Green Zone countries. These countries also accept tourists regardless of nationality and country of departure.

7. New York Airport (JFK) doesn't require quarantine / negative PCR test for all transit passengers (less than 24 hours). Even though I'm on transit (around 15 hours), I still managed to visit New York City for around 8 hours (1500L to 2300L). Metro operation is until 0100L only. Furthermore, I used JFK Airport as my main transit in between 3 continents of my pandemic adventure.

8. Haiti requires PRINTED negative PCR test result. I handed-over my negative PCR result (Oct. 06 at UTC +0800H), I arrived in Haiti (PAP Airport) on Oct. 08 UTC -0400H (12 hours difference).

9. Haiti's mandatory protocol is wearing mask in airport and supermarkets. In public, almost no one wears mask. They have minimum cases also. No PCR test required during departure.

10. I spent $100 for a DIY short visit to Citadel Laferriere / Sans-Soucis Palace (Milot) coming from Cap-Haitien. Cost of tourist living in Haiti is expensive compared to Dominican Republic.

11. Land border between Haiti and Dominican Republic is closed. I was caught on guard for this as my plan was to do a bus ride from Cap-Hatien to Santo Domingo. Thus, I was forced to buy flight ticket. The only available flight the day after was with a transit flight to Miami. Blessing in disguise, I did not visited yet Miami. In addition, Miami provides FREE public transportation.

12. Dominican Republic doesn't require anything, the airport arrival procedure is normal like before.

13. Dominican Republic mandatory protocol is wearing mask in public anywhere. Furthermore, there is curfew on weekdays at 2100L, weekends at 1900L. They have minimum cases also. No PCR test required during departure.

14. The much awaited Saona Island day trip was cancelled due to lack of joiners. 


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