A green oasis of calm halfway between beach and mountains…
You ever imagined yourself relaxing on the beach in the morning, enjoying lunch with your feet feeling the warm sand, later on washing off the salt in the turquoise water basin of a paradisiac cascade, and concluding the day with a delicious glass of wine in the mountains, sitting in a natural pool and savoring a picture-perfect sunset? It sounds like something between “very demanding” to “impossible”, but it isn’t, it actually can be an extremely relaxing day, without the need of travelling long distances. The key to realizing this dream is to visit “Tubagua Eco-Lodge”. Situated right next to the “Panoramic Highway”, connecting the cities of Santiago and Puerto Plata, only a few kilometers after passing by the small town of Yasica.
The “Eco-Lodge” offers a total of 9 rooms, distributed on different cabins, with a capacity for up to 30 visitors. These ecological cabins surprise with an unique style, a very uncovered design, causing an absolute harmony with the lush green of the environment. The less closed of those wooden cabins only disposes of one solid wall, while the other three sides are covered by curtains. Thanks to the elevated situation on the hillside, the cabin still offers lots of privacy and makes it impossible to catch a glimpse of the interior from the surroundings. The interior of the cabins is very basic, but functional and comfortable.
“Tubagua Eco-Lodge” is surrounded by a farm of almost five hectare, all the cabins and other buildings together only cover around 0.4 hectare. The project distinguishes due to its’ extremely low environmental impact. The materials used for the construction originate from the surrounding area, timber for the cabins and furniture, reed thatch for the roofs. A natural fountain supplies all the water used in the eco-lodge, in addition it delivers water to around twelve houses in the neighborhood, providing them with a better quality of life. The wastewater from the kitchen and the showers, after passing through a grease filter, is destinated directly to the cropped fields, in order to arrange the watering without the use of additional water resources. At the same time, organic waste is used for the feeding of animals. The power consumption is reduced to a minimum, you won’t find neither televisions, nor air conditioning or fans. According to Tim Hall, owner of the eco-lodge, the total power consumption of this project, with capacity for up to thirty people, equals the one of a single family house in New York or Miami.
“We are not religiously ECO, we are just trying to do things that make sense.”
– Tim Hall –
Tim Hall is a “human encyclopedia” when it gets to tourism in the Dominican Republic, especially on the North Coast of this Caribbean island. The former owner of a very popular bar in the town of Puerto Plata, created “Tubagua Eco-Lodge” after looking for a new challenge. He is also a very active and important member of the “Tourism Cluster Puerto Plata” and one of the pioneers of eco tourism in this region. His most recient project is the construction of two trails, one heading towards the most popular destination of eco and adventure tourism on the North Coast, the “27 Waterfalls of Damajagua”, while the second one introduces the visitors to some of the natural and cultural attractions close by the lodge, such as an amber mine, a coffee plantation and several beautiful cascades inviting to a refreshing bath in their turquoise waters. This second trail will be named after the famous painter Jaime Colsón, originated from this area.
A curious detail, without any doubt, is the exterior bathroom. While it seems to be a regular bathroom on three sides, it is totally uncovered on the mountainside. The visitors have the chance to take care of their personal hygiene while enjoying a breathtaking view of the lush valley and the blue ocean. This very same view unopens also from the idyllic natural pool. The jacuzzi-sized pool, filled every day with fresh water from the natural fountain, is the top spot to enjoy a stunning sunset with a fine cigar or a glass of red wine. Summing up, this paradisiacal view is omnipresent during a stay at “Tubagua”: from the bed in your cabin, in the pool, while having a meal at the restaurant, and yes, also in the bathroom! This visual enchantment is always accompanied by the harmonious sounds of the fauna, mostly cicadas and birds.
“Tubagua Eco-Lodge” is more than a simple accommodation, it’s a lifestyle! It is a return to our roots, totally focused on the essential, leaving far behind any modern distractions. A journey to this lodge is somehow like a journey in time. Travel slowly and adapt yourself to the environment, it will be more than an experience, but an invaluable lesson of life!
More images of the lodge are available on our spanish speaking fanpage on Facebook:
For contact with Tim Hall and “Tubagua Eco-Lodge”, please access http://www.tubagua.com or call +1 809.696.6932.
Text & Photography by Timm Humpfer.