As I sit here preparing this post, I can hear the buzz of the streets from my windows. Horns honking, the revving of motorcycles, someone obnoxiously blaring music from their car…
I put on my favourite Chill-Hop playlist, I take a sip of my coffee, and close my eyes to focus.
I remember the peaceful tranquility that overcame my body, while visiting the newest, privately owned, Eco-Friendly hotel in the Dominican Republic: GuaiGüí Bayahibe.
What is Eco Tourism?
The hospitality industry does take a toll on the environment. Luckily, in recent years, the Dominican Republic has had a significant boost in Eco Tourism. These fantastic Eco friendly escapes offer unique accommodations, found off the beaten path, to bring you a truly authentic, Caribbean experience in this magical country.
Eco tourism defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Education is meant to be inclusive of both staff and guests.
Visiting GuaiGüí Bayahibe Eco Lodge, I escaped from the sounds of the city, being fully submersed into nature, and welcomed the rawest, purest forms of positive energy, nutrition, and light into my being. I left from my tour feeling recharged, and FULL of good vibes. ❤️
Where to Find GuaiGüí
Only a 45 minute drive from the Punta Cana International Airport, 90 minutes from the Santo Domingo Airport, and only 15 minutes from La Romana, you will find this nature lovers retreat, (No more than a 5 minute drive from the main highway, and just off the main road from the highway, no more than a 5 minute drive until you reach the retreat)
Anna and Yoel, the owners of the retreat, are also dear friends of mine, and are the loveliest couple and have the loveliest family.
When you meet them, it will feel as if you have known them your whole life already, and they will make you feel right at home!
The couple always loved vacationing at eco friendly hotels around the island of the Dominican Republic. Motivated to bring that same eco friendly escape to the town of Bayahibe, they wanted to contribute to the community first off, and wanted to create a space to stay that doesn’t impact the environment in a negative way.
They wanted to bring this option of eco tourism to this side of the island. (Eco Lodges are very popular throughout the North coast of the island, as well as in the mountains of the Dominican Republic.)
And so, GuaiGüí Bayahibe was developed!
“For Yoel, it is also like reliving the way he grew up.” Anna says. Yoel grew up in a town called GuaiGüí in the mountains and country side of La Vega, Dominican Republic.
Anna and Yoel also can provide Permaculture courses, as they have teamed up with other organizations throughout the country to bring the best education to us!
Accommodations of GuaiGüí Bayahibe
Located onsite, are two dreamy open-air cabañas (Cabaña de Mitín & Cabaña de Caquín) with sleeping for two, shared outdoor shower and toilet. (It’s super private, with stone walls and bamboo accents. Truly a nature lovers bathroom!)
For those who prefer a more private stay, there is a private cabin, (La Casita de Confesor) with a private bathroom and shower.
(The toilet area is covered, so no getting wet in the rain when you are sitting on the throne! 😉)
Cute little detail : The accommodation cabañas are named after family members of Yoel. You can find pictures of each of them, on each cabaña!
On the property, there is also a children’s play area, a well sized open-air community hang-out spot and space to dine, with plenty of hammocks, couches, games to play, and books to read.
So you can kick back, relax and enjoy that magical island breeze.
Everything was built on the property by Yoel himself, with the help of his brother, using local and natural materials. Anna’s father was a big part in designing and helping to create the pretty gardens! Which are full of beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds by the way! 😍
The property is decorated with local art, sustainable materials, and super cute photos of the family who have come together to help create this peaceful oasis.
There is no electricity at GuaiGüí Bayahibe. The entire property operates off of Solar Power! They also have a generator available.
Only a short 10 minute drive from the eco hotel, is the town and Bayahibe beach, you can explore the super charming town, purchase art and souvenirs from local artists at the various shops, take a swim in the tranquil Caribbean sea, (on some of the cleanest beaches I have seen) enjoy some fresh local seafood dishes at some of the fantastic restaurants, including Playa Barco Bar, and Saona Cafe.
Or, Anna and Yoel can also bring the local food to you! Onsite, they have quite an impressive amount of fruits, vegetables and herbs growing, including: Yuca, Pumpkin, Plantain, Passion Fruit (Chinola), and even eggs from their own hens!
Yoel built the cutest, traditional Island kitchen located on site, with a traditional Dominican wood burning stove top, and they have connected with some of the best local chefs from the Bayahibe area to prepare delicious meals for their guests.
During your stay, staff can also can help coordinate some freaking AWESOME excursions or activities in the area, like Yoga, jewellery making, meditation, massage or spa services, and so much more!
If you are looking to adventure a little bit, I recommend a trip out to Saona Island, it will be an unforgettable experience. While there you can also visit the town of Mano Juan, the only town on Isla Saona. There you can visit the Turtle conservation project – “El Negro”
La Casita de Confessor: $60/night
(with private bathroom + outdoor sitting area) Double Accommodation.
Cabaña de Mitín: $50/night
(with shared bathroom + outdoor patio area + treehouse views) Double Accommodation.
Cabaña de Caquín: $50/night (with shared bathroom) Double Accommodation.
*Included in your stay is continental breakfast, with coffee/tea and fresh juices.
There is portable wifi available, it isn’t the strongest, and that is just fine by me! The perfect opportunity to UNPLUG and relax!
Make your reservation during the month of July, 2019 to stay at any time in the year, and save 10% OFF your booking!!!
I will be sharing SO much more with you after my stay booked later this month.
Admittedly, I am a slight scaredy cat 🙀 when it comes to sleeping TOTALLY outdoors, you know, bugs ’n all lol
BUUUUT there are bug nets provided onsite, I will be just dripping in all the insect preventing essential oils, all in the name of experiencing and supporting this fabulous piece of the Eco tourism industry!
To find out more about GuaiGüí Bayahibe, follow them on instagram: @GuaiGuiBayahibe
Or visit them on Facebook
To Book your reservation, contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For a virtual tour of GuaiGüí Bayahibe, watch it here on my YouTube Channel!