LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Riding Dirty: Motos to La Isabela + Punta Rucia

(Luperón, Dominican Republic)

The other day, we ventured out with our new friends Chloe and Stefan from >>Sea Rah<< to tour the Dominican countryside. By moto.

Motos are basically just motorcycles. That are manual. NOT automatic. Which is a super complex brain teaser of gear shifting if you ask me. Unlike the easy automatic scooter we used to own back in Naples where all you needed was your hands to drive, with a moto, both hands AND both feet are in constant use in order to accelerate, brake, and shift gears.

I’m pretty sure in the U.S. they make you take like a special rider course or something to legally operate a motorcycle. But hell, in the DR, they just let you hop on anything.

Luckily, Jereme figured out how to drive that thing in 2.5 seconds. I, on the other hand, would still be sitting out front of the guy’s house we rented it from trying to figure out how to shift that darn thing.


We left Luperón on our fancy moto and headed west.

We drove along the winding Dominican countryside just soaking it all in. With the wind in our hair and sun on our faces, we drove across gravel roads, alongside fields of sugar cane and banana trees, past herds of cows and men on donkeys, and through tiny town after tiny town. It was beautiful. It’s hard to even attempt to string together the right words to explain the experience and the sights.

There’s nothing like driving a motorcycle down a barely-there bumpy gravel dirt road and ending up at the base of a river where you can either drive across it on your bike or turn around altogether (we crossed it of course). And then randomly stumbling upon a small village’s baseball game on a field that looks like it should’ve come straight out of the movie Field of Dreams.

I could never have dreamt up these experiences in my wildest dreams.

After driving for about 40 minutes, we first stopped in La Isabela. Another adorable little town situated right on the northern coast of the DR. We pulled our bikes up to a beach shack and hopped off to grab a cold drink and bite to eat.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Dominican-Republic-Luperon-Moto-to-La-Isabela-Punta-Rucia-LAHOWIND-eIMG_8648 Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Dominican-Republic-Luperon-Moto-to-La-Isabela-Punta-Rucia-LAHOWIND-eIMG_8652

Side note, we ordered a full pizza and it arrived with two slices missing. Is that customary? Lol. I kinda think someone in the back got hungry.

Anyhoo, we enjoyed lounging beachside for a bit and then hopped back on our bike to head further west towards Punta Rucia.

The second leg of our moto tour was a bit longer and more intense. Driving mostly on gravel roads can take it’s toll on your tush after a few hours. But we sucked it up because the drive continued to be insanely gorgeous.


Our stop at the beach in Punta Rucia was cut a little short as the sun was quickly on the decline and we all definitely wanted to make it back to Luperón before dark. We had a quick drink in Punta Rucia and then headed back, but not before stopping for another butt break (as I like to call it) and some delicious ice cream treats at a roadside market on the way.

What a day!

We made it back to Luperón with sore tushies and barely any light left in the day…and immediately crashed back at our boat.

Here’s a quick little GoPro video of some highlights from our day cruising the DR countryside…

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Jennifer - Luna SeaJuly 10, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Loving the videos!

krafthausJuly 10, 2014 - 2:40 pm

Hey Guys, great pics & videos. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and really love it. It is very well done, entertaining and informative so keep up the good work. We will be on our own boat down there in 2 years, so will be following in your footsteps! All the Best.

Aubri GraybealJuly 10, 2014 - 5:48 pm

Looks AMAZING! I am so impressed with your blog Kim! Makes me scared you will never come back!!! xoxo

Allison HelfenJuly 10, 2014 - 9:11 pm

We are also considering sailing with our dog…when you do your excursions, I’m assuming you leave Oliver in the Cabin? How do you keep him cool in there?

[…] Moto to La Isabela + Punta Rucia – Motos are all the rage here in the DR. We hopped on one for a day and toured the northern DR countryside with our cruiser friends. >>You can find our post + video here.<< We motored from Luperón all the way to La Isabela and then to Punta Rucia. The trip was insanely gorgeous passing through fields of sugar cane and banana trees, lots of adorable little towns and villages, and even through a river! If you know how to drive a manual motorcycle, then I would highly recommend renting one while you’re here. There’s no comparison to seeing parts of the country this way . […]

LAHOWINDJuly 11, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Thanks everyone! We had an awesome time (minus the sore tushies) riding the motos! Thank god Jereme can drive a manual motorcycle. :) -Kim

Cole SpragueJuly 12, 2014 - 12:02 am

Was that Jereme singing the soundtrack to that video? It was just delightful.

LAHOWINDJuly 12, 2014 - 12:51 am

Haha Cole. He wishes. That’s one of our fav David Byrne (from Talking Heads) songs. 😉 -Kim

Neal StewartJuly 16, 2014 - 1:47 am

NEAL STEWARTJuly 15, 2014 – 8:47 pm
Just found your blog! Really enjoying it. My wife Laura and I will be taking a similar route. We will be leaving Texas on sept 26 and will start in bahamas and head to Virgin Islands in mid November. Will probably see y’all at some point. Check out “sandy feet adventures” on Facebook. Will be looking for you(Your comment is awaiting moderation)

LAHOWINDJuly 16, 2014 - 10:28 pm

Thanks Neal! Fair winds to you on your upcoming voyage. Maybe we’ll see you somewhere in the Caribbean! :) -Kim

DiscoveryNovember 17, 2014 - 3:35 am

Great blog,

We have spent the past two winters in the Bahamas and will be heading back this January and then hopefully following your track to the carribean, great seeing what were in for, hopefully this winter we will cross paths!

Bob and Anita
S/V Discovery

LAHOWINDNovember 17, 2014 - 3:01 pm

Thanks so much Bob + Anita!!! :) Hope to see you out there one day soon. -Kim