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Hello Gentlemen,

My father would like to invite all of you to Playa Grande for a round golf on Friday – his treat!  If you would like to join, please shoot us an email at sabrinapluschris [at] gmail and we will get back to you with details.

Love,
sabrina

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Let us know if any of you would like to use the spa services at our villa. There are plenty of private spaces on the Casa Kimball property, so guests staying at La Catalina are more than welcome to reserve spa services at our villa during the day.

Please download the spa menu for details and pricing, and contact Monica for appointments.

sabrina
xoxoxo

The journey from POP to Cabrera is not the easiest of roads to navigate as the Dominican Republic is a bit sparse on street signs.  Per our previous post on travel planning, we highly recommend renting a GPS if you are driving yourself, but just in case, the following are directions to La Catalina and Casa Kimball at Orchid Bay Estates.

If you get lost along the way, please call our wedding planner Monica and she will help get you back on the right track.

Monica Boumeester
monica@casakimball.com
US 1.888.766.4640
DR 1.809.763.4367

S+C

DRIVING DIRECTIONS to LA CATALINA // ORCHID BAY

1. Heading out of POP Puerto Plata Airport turn left (East) onto Highway #5.

2. Continue East on Highway #5 for 62 miles.  You will take Highway #5 all the way to Cabrera, passing the following towns (in this order) along the way: Sosua, Cabarete, Gaspar hernandez, Rio San Juan.

3. Upon entering Cabrera, you will drive another 3-5 miles before reaching La Catalina and Orchid Bay, passing the villages of Abreu and El Breton, and then Playa Grande Golf Course.  Please note you may not have cell reception along this stretch of the drive.

4. As you leave El Brenton, the road will climb uphill as you approach La Catalina and Orchid Bay.

If you are heading to LA CATALINA:

5. You will reach a ‘T’ junction shortly after reaching the village of Catalina. Look out for ‘La Catalina’ sign posts. Take a right off the highway at the junction. The road off the junction will eventually turn from a paved road to a dirt road.

6. You will run see a ‘La Catalina’ sign a few minutes up ahead at a split in the road. Turn left at the split.

7. ‘La Catalina’ resort will be on your left hand side about 1/2 mile up the road.

If you are heading to Casa Kimball at ORCHID BAY:

5. Once you enter the village of Catalina continue down the road until you reach Isla gas station.  The entrance to Orchid Bay estates will be on your lefthand side, approximately 200 meters after Isla gas station.  If you come to a Texaco gas station, you have gone too far.

6. Orchid Bay has a guarded gate. Please let the guard know you are a guest at Villa No.

7. Once you enter Orchid Bay, drive straight down the tree-lined dirt road until you reach the dead end.

8. Take a left at the dead end, and continue down the road about a 1/4 mile.  Villa No. 5 will be on your right hand side, just before you reach the end of the road.



Outside of attending our spectacularly exciting affair, we hope everyone will take advantage of all that Cabrera has to offer during the rest of your stay on the island. The beaches and surrounding nature are beautiful, and there is plenty to do in the way of adventure, exploration, sport and relaxation. Details are listed below. Please feel free to contact our wedding planner Monica for help with making arrangements.

Monica Boumeester
monica@casakimball.com
US 1.888.766.4640


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PLAYA GRANDE back to top
With its pristine shoreline and clear waters, Playa Grande is one of the top rated beaches by Condé Nast. Local kitchen huts serve up fresh seafood and Dominican fare, beer and fresh fruit cocktails for about $15 a person. They’ll even set up a picnic table wherever you are on the beach. Playa Grande is a 10 minute drive from the La Catalina and Orchid Bay. Shuttle service is available for about $8 per person.

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SNORKELING & SCUBA DIVING back to top
Explore underwater caves and crystal clear Caribbean reefs teaming with marine life, and relax between dives on white sand beaches. We recommend getting PADI certified before your trip, as the course takes several days and is very expensive to do so in Cabrera. Monica can assist with reservations through Northern Coast Diving, a 5 Star Instructor Development Center; PADI Gold Palm Resort and National Geographic Dive Center.
Scuba Diving ≈$100-300 per person
PADI certification ≈$800 per person
Snorkel Cruise $60 for 3 hours + $25 per person
Transportation ≈$60 for group of 6 people


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WINDSURFING & KITE BOARDING back to top
Training ground to professional windsurfers and kite boarders, Cabarete (about 30 minutes from Cabrera) is home to some of the most fantastic kite conditions in the world. Rent a board or sign up for lessons. Shuttle service is available from La Catalina and Orchid Bay.
Contact Monica for pricing

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GOLF back to top
Playa Grande Golf Course is Robert Trent Jones final course, between Rio San Juan and Cabrera. The beautiful 370 acre parcel of land cuts into cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.
Contact Monica for pricing

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HORSEBACK RIDING back to top
Explore the ocean coast and lush tropical mountain forests on horseback. Pick up can be arranged from La Catalina or Orchid Bay.
Half Day Ride $55 per person

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CATAMARAN SAILING back to top
Relax, swim and soak up the sun while sailing the Atlantic Ocean.
Contact Monica for pricing

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DEEP SEA FISHING back to top
The North Coast of the Dominican Republic offers world class deep sea fishing. A captain and guide will take you on fully customized fishing boat outfitted with the latest equipment. Refreshments are provided.
Short Charter $400
Half Day $750
Full Day $1200
Silver Banks $1200
*gas is additional


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WHALE WATCHING back to top
Unfortunately, we’ll be missing this activity as migrating humpbacks visit Samana Bay January through March. However if you decide to return to the Dominican Republic next year the locals highly recommend it. It’s a unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in their natural calving and mating grounds.

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MOUNTAIN BIKING ECO-TOUR back to top
Explore mountain territories and local terrain inaccessible to most tourists. Group tours available for different levels of difficulty.
Contact Monica for pricing

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JEEP SAFARIS & ATV’S back to top
Spend half a day exploring jungle rivers, rain forests and native villages hidden away in the mountains and valleys beyond the coast. Pick up can be arranged from La Catalina or Orchid Bay.
Jeep Safari $45 per person
Jeep Safari w/ Lunch at Playa Grande $55 per person
ATV Single $95 per person
ATV Tandem $65 per person

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27 WATERFALLS TOUR back to top
Rio Damajagua is an adventure! You’re going to be swimming, jumping, sliding and climbing through 27 waterfalls. Trip requires a 6am departure and is an all day excursion.
$160 for 6 people

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CLIFF JUMPING back to top
Enjoy an afternoon of swimming and (for the daring) cliff jumping at Laguna Du Du and La Entrada Beach. Explore beautiful spring fed pools of crystal clear water and seaside caves. Cold beers and rum cocktails available at the beach kiosks.
$60 for 6 person van
$2 for entrance to laguna

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HELICOPTER TOURS back to top
Customize an Island tour by helicopter. Prices vary. Starting at $800 and up.

Hello Everyone,

We’ve started a google doc for guests who are interested in sharing transportation to and from the airport, rooming together at La Catalina or renting one of the villas.

Please click here and enter your info to connect with each other.

S + C
xoxoxo

In planning our wedding, we’ve conspired to trap both sides of our families and friends together for a few days to have some seriously fun, quality time to relax, hang out, party and (most importantly) get to know each other.

We have spent many months scrutinizing and deliberating over tens of dozens of potential wedding locations – turned down a mountain ranch overlooking river waters and acres of glorious orchards; declined good wine in Napa Sonoma vineyards; said no to sailing in cozy New England; dismissed a desert tipi retreat; rejected a Rajasthan safari – all to settle on a remote island getaway! …This shindig will be surrounded by miles of ocean and country side. There is absolutely no escaping our good company!

Check out our sneak peek photos of the island and Casa Kimball villa.

PS: The eco-friendly property was built using materials and resources native to the Dominican Republic, and belongs to Google programmer Spencer Kimball – all of which make it extra awesome. :)


Hello Everyone,

The following are all the details you need to book your trip to Cabrera.

We will be posting more on events and activities. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions or need help planning.

Love,
S + C

About the Dominican Republic & Cabrera
Travel Dates
Passports & Visas
Flights to Puerto Plata (POP)
Currency Exchange
Accommodations
Local Transportation
What to wear


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ABOUT THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC & CABRERA back to top
The DR is a very tourist friendly country. There is some crime, but because tourism is very important to the economy, it is not focused on visitors. For those of you who have not been to a third world country, expect to see lots of chickens, families of five on a single moped and horse drawn carts in heavy traffic! We generally found the locals to be amiable and enthusiastic. Many of them speak enough English to communicate.

The seaside town where we are celebrating is Cabrera. It is situated on the northern coast of the country in María Trinidad Sánchez province – which is incredibly lush and beautiful! There is very little population and tourism infrastructure in the area; any foreigner you cross paths with will more than likely be one of our wedding guests, so feel free to say “hello” and make friends. :)

Read more on the Dominican Republic and Cabrera.

Puerto Plata Airport to Orchid Bay in Cabrera



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TRAVEL DATES back to top
We suggest planning your stay for at least Thursday 09/16/2010 through Sunday 09/19/2010 so that you have time to enjoy the island.

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PASSPORTS & VISAS back to top
Passports are required to enter the Dominican Republic. Visas are not required if you are a US citizen. If you are not a US citizen, please visit Visa HQ and select your nationality for visa requirements.

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FLIGHTS TO PUERTO PLATA {POP} back to top
Flights should be booked into Puerto Plata POP. Why not fly into Santo Domingo SDQ? While the flight prices to Santo Domingo SDQ can be slightly cheaper, the drive to Cabrera is about 2.5 to 3 hours. It is a straight shot on a new highway with a nice view for those who want to make the journey. Please ask us about our experience if you want to fly into SDQ. We will give you some tips… but the first tip is to fly into POP if you can!

Recommended Flights out of New York and Chicago.
The following are reasonably priced flights from Kayak.

JFK > POP
Airline: JetBlue Airways
Price: ≈$472
Flight Time: ≈3hours 40minutes (nonstop, one way)
Estimated Departure Time: JFK 6:45am to POP 11:20am
Estimated Return Time: POP 10:23am to JFK 2:57pm

ORD > POP
Airline: American Airlines
Price: ≈$473
Flight Time: ≈ 7hours (1 stop, one way)
Estimated Departure Times: ORD 5:45am / 7:20pm / 8:45pm / 9:55pm
Estimated Return Time: POP 3:00pm to ORD 10:00pm

Group Rates
If you are traveling in a group of 10 or more people departing from the same city, we recommend contacting Air Gorilla for discounted group rates.

Tourist Tax
You will be asked to pay a $10 tourist tax per person before being able to enter the country. There will be a booth to pay this tax and pick up a receipt for customs before you enter the Customs & Immigration line at the airport.  (Another plus of flying into POP? The tax dude pours you a Dominican Rum Mojito after you pay. No such service at SDQ. We’re not kidding.)

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CURRENCY EXCHANGE back to top
There are commission-free currency exchange booths at both airports. We recommend changing out cash before leaving the airport, as you may be hard pressed to find a reliable currency exchange in Cabrera.

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ACCOMMODATIONS back to top
Rooms for the wedding party have been booked at Casa Kimball. Wedding guests have the option of booking a room at La Catalina resort or organizing a larger group to share a villa at Orchid Bay. If any single travelers want a roommate for the trip please shoot us an email and will do our best to pair you up.

Hotel La Catalina
Rooms at Hotel La Catalina have been blocked off for guests. It is a simple and relaxing resort that is a 7 minute drive from the wedding villa and costs only $69 a night with our group rate! Shuttles are available for transportation to local areas, and arrangements will be made to take you between La Catalina and our villa on the evening of our wedding. Please contact Sue to make reservations with our group rate.

CONTACT ~ Sue
PARTY ~ Shaffer-Finlay Wedding
EMAIL ~ hotellacatalina@gmail.com
PHONE (USA) ~ 313.279.3114
PHONE (DR) ~ 809.589.7700

Cancellation policy is no charge with 30 days notice, 50% of the total charge with 15-29 days notice, and full payment with 14 days notice.

Rooms will be blocked off only until July 18th, so please make your bookings before then as there are no other resorts in the immediate area.

Orchid Bay Villas
Orchid Bay, where Casa Kimball is located, has several large villas for those of you who want to organize a group to share accommodations. The villas sleep anywhere from 10 to 20 people and cost an average of $1200 a night with a 4 night minimum. Please view the following links for reservation info. Golf carts will be available for travelling between villas. If you need any assistance with making arrangements, we can put you in touch with our wedding planner Monica.

Sunrise Villa
Flor De Cabrera Villa
Villa Castella Monte
Villa Alheli
Casa Bella Villa

Other Resorts
Gran Bahia Principe (25 minutes away)
Velero Beach Resort (1 hour away)

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LOCAL TRANSPORTATION back to top
Cabrera is about 45 minutes to 1 hour from Puerto Plata POP. We don’t recommend renting a car as the island is hard to navigate and we have arranged for shuttles and golf carts once you arrive in Cabrera.

Shuttle Service
Shuttle and private bus services can be arranged for single travelers or groups of up to 22 people. Round trips to and from POP cost anywhere from $40 to $200 per person depending on your needs. Please inquire with either Sue at La Catalina or your host at Orchid Bay Villas to make reservations.

Car and GPS Rentals
Car rentals are ≈$25/day. A $1000 hold on a credit card will be required. The hold will be released within a week after returning your car.

Renting a GPS is recommend as you’ll be navigating country roads with little signage. Rental cars in the Dominican Republic do not have a GPS option. It has to be rented from a separate booth at the airport. GPS rentals are $10/day and require a $300 hold on a Master or Visa credit card. The hold will be released within 30 days of returning the GPS.

Please note that renting in the Dominican Republic requires you to sign a blank receipt for the rental company’s insurance against any damage you may incur. This is a very old way of doing things (and feels risky) but we had no problem with the rental companies during our stay. Just in case, we suggest using a credit card that has strong consumer protection rather than an ATM or bank card. Remember to request that they rip up the blank receipt when your car and GPS are returned.

Driving in the DR
There are basically no speed limits. Highways are patrolled by private security but we rarely saw them. We (Rocky, not Sabrina) drove fast with no problem. The country is quite beautiful so the drive is enjoyable. If you are driving at night, please be wary of pedestrians and cyclists – there is very little light and locals will walk miles along highway roads in the dark.

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WHAT TO WEAR back to top
Attire for the wedding is dressy-casual. We want you to look nice, but really we care more about everyone being comfortable. The weather will be hot and we’ll be getting a little sweaty on the dance floor, so feel free to leave your sport coat at home! Do bring a light sweater or jacket as evenings tend to get a little chilly.