Las Terrenas beaches reopen as crews still clean up flood trash

LAS TERRENAS, Dominican Republic.- Services to tourists and visitors of the resorts at Playa Bonita, in Las Terrenas and were restored by the Tourism Ministry, whose crews continue the cleanup work several days after damages caused by the rivers Caño Seco, La Jagua and


Las Terrenas swelled their banks.

The crews of the Tourism Ministry’s Infrastructure Dept. (CEIZTUR) hauled off debris and garbage which had washedup on the shore by the floodwaters in the stretch between Punta Popi and Cayo Ballena, whose beaches are now reopened to the public and the swimmers immediately visited the area.
Mayor José Alexis Martinez said once the damage occurred he contacted CEIZTUR, which sent the crews and support needed to clear the beaches. “The biggest floods were caused by the swelled Caño Seco River, whose waters rose suddenly like never before.


JetBlue in Talks to Add Flights from U.S. to Dominican Republic

Negotiations with JetBlue Airways to establish direct flights from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic’s Samana peninsula are “very advanced,” said Fabeth Martinez Fernandez, executive director of Samana’s hotel association. “Nothing is concrete yet, [but] we are hoping to announce news of an agreement soon,” he said during a press conference at the Dominican Annual Travel Exchange (DATE) conference in Punta Cana.

JetBlue is expected to operate the direct flights from New York’s JFK airport to Juan Bosch International Airport in Samana’s El Catey province when an agreement is finalized.

Coastal Living – Secret Samana

Las TerrenasThe road to paradise might be fraught with bumps, but this was beyond ridiculous. They weren’t just bumps lining the dirt road to The Peninsula House inn, but giant pot-holes. Seriously giant. The type that threatened to swallow up the entire right side of my poor little Chevy rental (and had me wishing I’d sprung for the SUV). Like an Olympic skier tackling moguls, I’d been twisting and turning for the past hour or so. Truth be told, up until that point I had been quite proud of myself (and my Chevy). I arrived Dominican Republic with all the tools a modern nomad could hope for – a GPS, Google Maps on my iPhone, and a printout of maps ready in case all else should fail. Technology always isn’t that much help in the country’s Samaná Peninsula, a mountainous stretch of land that juts into the Atlantic like a finger from Hispaniola’s northeast end. And that was absolutely fine.

Over the past week, I’d logged countless hours behind the wheel getting to know the rugged, lush patch of land, which is ringed by some of the most beautiful powder-white beaches I’d ever seen and lacks the mass development that plagues other parts of the DR. I took rough­paved switch-backs like a local, accelerated up clìffside roads that seemed to ascend for days, played chicken with motorbikes on the narrow coastal lanes, and maneuvered along the few proper streets that crisscross the penìnsu1a’s tiny towns during “rush hour,” when no one abides by any logical traffic laws. But it was the journey to The Peninsula House that almost did me in. Yet finally, with my insides more than a little shaken, rattled, and rolled, I passed through the wrought iron gates and climbed the steep, curving driveway to what is undoubtedly one of the finest small hotels in these Caribbean parts.
It wasn’t such a long way for owners Cary Guy and Marie-Claude Thiebauit from the South of France to the hilltop former coconut plantation where they opened this six-room inn in 2008. After Cary sold his chic little guesthouse in Provence, he teamed up with Marie-Claude with the vision to open a similarly oriented venture somewhere in Europe. That was, until the two heard about a tiny corner of the Dominican Republic that was one of the most exceptionally beautiful places in the country; a place where land could still be bought for a reasonable amount, and where -strangely enough- a small community of European expats had settled. So it was there that the duo decided to build a two-story Victorian­sty1e plantation home, gingerbread trim and all. Then they kitted out the interiors with a cosmopolitan mix of treasures: Surrounding an inner courtyard downstairs, the library, billiards rooms, and salons are decorated Turkish carpets and French settees; upstairs, you’ll find rooms filled with wardrobes made from hand­carved doors from India, antique nesting tables from France, and framed Tibetan prayer book pages and Balinese puppets hanging on walls.

El Limon“It’s pretty easy to see what captivated us,” Cary tells me, gesturing to the surrounding landscape from the house’s wraparound veranda. An endless stretch of green cascades down before us until it ends at the ocean, which sparkles in the distance. A 10-minute drive away (potholes notwithstanding) is the beachfront town of Las Terrenas, the peninsula’s cultural hub, where transplants to Samaná have enthusiastically mixed with resident Dominicans. They’ve kept the walls down and embraced the amalgamation of different cultures, and together they’ve opened up restaurants, tiny hotels, and boutiques. Now, Las Terrenas offers a heady mix of contrasts that is equal parts raw (stray dogs wandering the streets and buildings covered in a fine layer of grit) and refined (high-design hotels and Pueblo de los Pescadores, a group of former fisher-man’s homes along the waterfront that has been turned into a collection of restaurants and bars). “We are betting that the area will turn into a mini, untamed St. Bart’s,” explains Cary. “That it could become the Caribbean’s next great place.” To those who knew Samaná several years ago, Cary and Marie­Claude’s gamble may have seemed risky. While the peninsula has almost a glut of natural beauty-remote beaches, forest waterfalls, coconut trees, and a blue­blue bay regarded as among the world’s best places to see humpback whales, which come to breed here-it was still very much off the beaten tourist path. In fact, it was downright inaccessible to those who weren’t determined. Samana is only 60 or so miles from the capital of Santo Domingo as the crow flies, but until recently the far reaches of the Cordillera Septentrional mountain range had blocked any straight shot to the destination, which meant that reaching Las Terrenas from the capital required driving almost six hours. All that’s changed now, thanks to a new road that bisects the mountain range and cuts the total driving time from Santo Domingo down to just around two hours.

After checking out of The Peninsula House, I head down to Las Terrenas and to Balcones del Atlantico, the area’s first internationally managed hotel, which opened just across the way from a lovely stretch of sand on the town’s fringes last year. Whereas The Peninsula House is small, Balcones is of the big-beach-resort variety. Both are gunning for the same well-heeled clients, and Balcones isn’t scared of displaying its luxe chops. Spread out across 100 acres on a half-mile of beach are the 86 two- and three-bedroom villas (the property operates as a condo hotel) surrounded by manicured tropical gardens and pools with swim-up bars. But here’s how Balcones differs from just any resort: When you approach the grounds, you immediately notice the lack of a large wall separating the resort from the surroundings. In fact, the property feels very much like it has long been a part of the quaint Las Terrenas waterfront, which is characterized by low-slung buildings abutting a two-lane road that separates the town from the beach. Rooms also carry an area-inspired charm, as Dominican designer Patricia Reid put an emphasis on locally made items, from pieces of art on walls (painted wooden fish, shell-crusted bowls, colorful oars) to impossibly delicate curtains, which were crafted in the surrounding communities. Even the beachfront restaurant, Porto, is firmly grounded in Samaná, with a fresh menu of grilied fish, ceviche, and other delicacies from the sea.

And then there’s Ba1cones’s rigorous eco-ethos: The property was constructed using local materials, and the staff members work with a number of community organizations on projects such as coral reef regenesis. wanted something that was the absolute antithesis of what you find in other parts of the Dominican Republic, something that’s rooted in the place that it’s in,” says Dominican developer Máximo Bisonó, the property’s owner.

Balcones Del atlanticoBalcones may be the area’s first international luxury hotel development, but it’s certainly not going to be the last. (Most notably, 2014 will see Auberge Hotels open the all-bungalow resort Casa Tropicalia on a stretch of beach-front along Samaná Bay.) Still, by and large, most of the projects here are being built to take advantage of the setting, not to intrude upon it. From the turquoise ­bordered shores of Balcones to the bright, verdant grounds of The Peninsula House, it only takes one look to discover what makes this part of the globe so special: the cove beaches with soft, golden sand and the lush interior full of waterfalls, mountains, and tropical rain forests. And the roads – well, we’ll just say they’re a work in progress. But I’ll still take Samaná, bumps and all.

“The Criminalization of Cash – Orwellian Reality”

Last week’s article titled, “The Criminalization of Cash – Orwellian Reality”, generated some interesting feedback. Most of it was supportive, which was to be expected since the majority of my readers subscribe because they agree with the viewpoints represented.

However, one subscriber had a very different perspective. Actually he went so far as to threaten me and then insinuate my promotion of illegal and immoral acts. Below you can read his initial response to the above mentioned article:

“What you seem to be proposing is illegal and is likely to generate an irs audit. Does the irs know what you are up to?”

Maybe you think I took his response the wrong way, but when I did a little homework on the reader (pretty easy to do since his reply included his website), I realized ‘Stan’ is a Federal Tax Attorney. He works with clients that hold offshore assets helping them reach and/or maintain full compliance with the draconian US laws regarding offshore investments, financial accounts, etc.

My response to ‘Stan’ was;

“I’m not really sure how to take this email. I don’t propose anything illegal. Actually I work with a couple of firms like yours where I recommend them to my clients for tax planning for their offshore businesses and assets. However I don’t appreciate your subtle IRS threats – it’s really quite unprofessional. I wonder if your clients are aware of your business practices.”

‘Stan’s’ abbreviated response was;

“…I must say when you talk about two passports, offshore banking, asset protection and data privacy the uneducated reads, “here’s how you can hide your money from the IRS.” …“Two passports”? What purpose would that serve but to hide the fact that someone is an American? Also, criminalizing cash is a ridiculous statement. It is not illegal to use cash, it is only illegal to use cash when it is part of a money laundering scheme, attempt to circumvent the FBAR rules, avoid CTR’s etc…”

My initial thoughts when I read this were, “There are Idiots Among Us”. Upon further reflection and research into ‘Stan’, I realized the reality; he is just a money-grubbing bureaucrat. When trolling around on his website, I found the following statement;

“He began his career in 1970 as a tax law specialist with the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel in Washington, D.C. He was an IRS trial attorney and then a special assistant to the IRS deputy chief counsel, where he helped administer an office with 5,000 counsel and appeals staff.

After 15 years as chief legal counsel for the IRS Sacramento District, ‘Stan’ entered private practice. He is not licensed to practice law in California; his practice focuses exclusively on federal tax law.

Helping offshore investors voluntarily comply with IRS rules is central to the practice — and it’s lucrative. “With clients like this, there’s not an issue of getting paid,” ‘Stan’ said. The IRS is not going after people without money.”

I have several issues with this parasite.

Issue number 1 – He threatened me. Like any other red-blooded testosterone filled male, I don’t take too kindly to being threatened. I’m really not sure why he would even subscribe to my asset protection newsletter unless he is just a spook looking for someone to go after so he can justify his miserable existence.

It goes a bit deeper though. He threatened me because he knows putting knowledge about asset protection, 2nd passports, offshore banking, and offshore companies into the hands of intelligent, productive people like you is dangerous – at least dangerous to him. He is like the engineer who designs with intentional flaws to ensure his job security. This type of person is dangerous to your liberty.

Issue number 2 – Narrowly-focused statist mindset. His comment that having a 2nd passport is either stupid, or just ignorant. Either way, the lack of intelligent thought is dangerous. There are numerous reasons an American would want to have an 2nd passport.

For example;
The wife of one of my best friend’s holds both an American and an Irish passport. Her parents were born there and wanted her to retain their heritage.
A Russian client of mine has a St. Kitts passport. Russians have difficulty getting travel visas and with his business he frequently needs to take short notice trips. This is very difficult with only a Russian passport.
A friend of mine was born in Denmark, but has lived most of his life in the US. He holds both passports. The Danish passport allows him freedom to travel to many South American countries visa-free as well as work, own property, and bank in the EU uninhibited.
An American client of mine is a commercial real estate investor in South America and Europe. His Italian passport allows him much more freedom of travel as well as ability to transact business in the EU.
Honestly the list can go on and on. The list of reasons for wanting a 2nd passport are innumerable. But this parasite of the people believes the only reason you would want one is to defraud the US government and deprive people like him of his wealth.

Issue number 3 – He is stupid and lazy. I have no tolerance for either of those traits. Maybe I’m just not a nice person, but life is short and I prefer to spend time with intelligent and productive people. ‘Stan’ is neither.

He makes the comment, “criminalizing cash is a ridiculous statement.” In this case he is exhibiting stupidity or laziness, or maybe both. The article in question discusses 3 countries that have recently criminalized cash transactions over a certain threshold. It doesn’t take a genius to do a quick Google search and confirm the facts in my article are true.

Italy, Argentina and Spain have all recently made cash transactions over a certain amount illegal. Maybe the US is next. Maybe not. Who knows, but the reality is this guy claims to be an expert on offshore compliance matters and he couldn’t be bothered with the facts. He only wants to refute them.

Lastly, the statement found from his website shows me he is just the money-grubbing bureaucrat I perceived him to be. He clearly states his mission is to go after wealthy offshore investors and charge them fees to get compliant with big brother’s statist agenda. Keep in mind this guy was on big brother’s payroll; now he is one of the anointed ones tasked with bringing your hard-earned dollars back into the coffers of the ruling class.

Just to be clear, I highly recommend that each one of you that have offshore investments, offshore companies, andoffshore trusts comply with all reporting requirements. The penalties for non-compliance are too high and can make your life quite hellish. But ‘Stan’ has devoted his entire life to ensuring the longevity of the empire, and frankly – he disgusts me.

For those of you interested in learning from the world’s top experts in asset protection, 2nd passports, offshore banking, offshore investments, data privacy and more; visit our website, “Global Escape Hatch” to get on the early notification list. This is the official site for our offshore conference in Panama coming this fall – September 19-23.

This event will be like nothing else you have ever experienced. You will have the ability to listen to the world’s top experts on these topics as well as meet them and ask your questions face-to-face in a unique, tropical island setting. Hopefully parasites like ‘Stan’ will be too busy leeching off his wealthy American clients to attend.

I look forward to meeting many of you there.

Contact us today to schedule your free 30 minute asset protection consultation. Until next week, live well.
Bobby Casey
Managing Director

NY Times: The 45 Places to Go in 2012

35. Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic
Unspoiled beaches, but not for long.

For years, the Samaná Peninsula on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic was one of the Caribbean’s remaining natural holdouts, largely untouched because of its remote location. But an international airport, El Catey, built near the peninsula’s base a few years ago and, more recently, a highway that shortened the drive from Santo Domingo to two hours from five, are bringing new development.

Balcones del Atláantico, a RockResort that opened last May in the village of Las Terrenas, is the newest luxury resort on the peninsula. Its 86 two- and three-bedroom villas start at $500 a night, supplying a cushy base from which to explore ecotourism. The Peninsula House, a plantation-style estate with just six suites from $580 a night, was named a 2011 Grand Award winner by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report. And Auberge Resort’s’ Casa Tropicalia , with 44 beachfront suites and an open-air spa on Samaná Bay, is to open in 2014.

There are plenty of off-resort attractions, too. Just last month, Bavaro Runners, an adventure tour operator, opened a new zip-line tour consisting of 20 platforms and 10 zip-lines.

Go now, before the crowds arrive. MICHELLE HIGGINS


The Caribbean offers much to retirees, a warmer and sunnier climate, healthy produce and swimming at the beach every day. Some islands have great healthcare and you could even acquire a daily housekeeper for lower cost. Your children would have a holiday home in the sun that you can leave for them as an investment. There are plenty of reasons why you should retire to the Caribbean…..

1. More For Your Money
The economy in the Caribbean is generally going to give you more for your pension. You will have a lower food bill and utility bills are cheaper then in the UK. You won’t have high electricity or gas bills for heating, but the electricity bill may rise slightly in the summer, depending on whether you choose to use the fan more to keep cool.

2. Health Benefits
On some islands, there is an abundance of healthy produce for healthy eating, the air is cleaner as there is less traffic and you won’t be tempted to buy lots of donuts, because they aren’t easy to come by.

3. The Weather
It’s warmer, no more feeling cold to your bones in the winter. The sun shines more and anybody who has suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder will feel a lot better. If it looks like rain, it usually does rain, unlike Europe, where it can look like rain for days on end, but nothing happens to clear the skies to blue again.

4. Less Pressure
The pressure created by the media can be more easily escaped so that you can live more in your own world if you choose to and concentrate on how many grapefruits or pineapples you have growing in your garden instead of hearing horror stories on the news.

5. Enjoy Yourself
You can spend every weekend on a Caribbean beach if you like, and after 40 years of hard labor, surely that is what you deserve! Enjoy your retirement.

6. Social Life
You can still have your social life with the number of ex-pats in the Caribbean you can find people from your own country if that is your preference, or you can meet a whole host of new people from other places to make for more interesting conversations.

7. Internet Communications
With the help of the internet, you can easily stay in touch with your home country for family, friends and any business or money related activities that you need to attend to. You can also stay on top of the news and even watch your preferred television programes and listen to your favorite radio station. Programs like Skype allow you to SEE your loved ones and them to see you!

8. Family Holidays
If you see your children twice a year, then you could spend 2 weeks with them at their house and then they come to you for two weeks, that can add up to more time than many parents see their children, but it’s all in one go! They’ll have a place to stay in the Caribbean, and then you can always leave it for them for the future as an investment and/or holiday home.

Big Dan’s Polar Bar – Donde Siempre es Invierno!!!
Serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and as always
Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic

1. Las Terrenas, Samana gets new aqueduct

1. Samana gets new aqueduct
President Leonel Fernandez was in Samana yesterday to formally inaugurate the Samana aqueduct. The areas of Las Terrenas, Carolina, Abra Grande, Atravesado, El Buen Pan, El Coson, La Bonita, La Ceiba and La Barbacoa in the northeastern province of Samana are benefitting from the new water supply. During the ceremony, President Leonel Fernandez opened the valves of the newly constructed aqueduct serving the Samana peninsula. The director of the National Institute for Potable Water (INAPA) Mariano German said that the Coson River is the main source of the water for the aqueduct. He said the new intake system, pumping station, water treatment plant and laboratories cost RD$858 million and provide 260 liters a second to the communities served. The aqueduct has its own electricity generator to insure continued water supplies.