Molly and Rodolfo's 'hostel' is so much more than the name implies. It is really a very secure four-bedroom, two-bathroom house set on a quiet side road with a mountain view. There are only five houses within eyesight - the rest is serene nature. Your hosts live two doors down, but they give you all the space you desire.
The house has a full kitchen, a large dining area and a large living room. Fresh water and coffee greet you on arrival. Outside the front door is a large lounging area and another dining set, all covered from rain. We spent several nights hanging out there.
Molly is American-born, and fluent in English and Spanish, and her desire to keep the guests happy knows no bounds - beginning with her lists of 'local interests' and 'important numbers' in each room. Rodolfo is Dominican, and he more than makes up for his lack of English with his quick smile and interest in making your stay as pleasant as possible. If possible, he will pick you up at the bus station - to get you oriented immediately.
The house is about 1.5 mi (2.4 km) east of the core of the town - small bars, restaurants, supermercados, clothing stores, separate meat/fish and vegetable markets, Dominican fast food, a small gym, a modern spinning gym, a tree-lined square, etc. I enjoyed the walk once or twice a day, but you can always taxi for RD$100 (US$2.50 / E$2.00), or for half that amount on a moto concho (a small motorcycle taxi which is not for the feint of heart). Half that trip is dirt road, which was messy during the rain, but I still had no issue walking it every day.
You can walk around the center of Jarabacoa in 20-30 minutes (about 8 square blocks), making you feel at home immediately. The people are amazing, friendly and a bit shy overall. Since you are far from the beach, there are no pirates, prostitutes or vendors. Except for the sweet shoe-shine kids (show your coins first - RD$10-15 is plenty), you will never be solicited for money. You are never more than a 5-10 minute walk to a taxi stand, you can flag a moto concho every 2 minutes, or you can make the scenic 20-minute walk back to your home away from home.
On the weekend nights you can frequent one of the little bars around town. As with many DR towns and cities, Sunday night is often an enmass party around the square and the two Colmados (convenience/alcohol stores) facing it, complete with booming Merengue Tipico music reminiscent of the Creole and Cajun sounds of Louisiana and Acadian Nova Scotia. Dancing on the streets is not uncommon. Dress to impress.
I loved Jarabacoa, and the best hosts I've encountered in 30 countries. I will be back to this lovely town and to Jarabacoa Mountain Hostel. This time I want to see all the sites - including climbing the waterfalls, paragliding the local mountain, white water rafting, and eating at the amazing Monestary 6 km away (Monasterio Santa Maria del Evangelio).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A rustic retreat for backpackers, adventure seekers, pioneers, missionaries, and students! When what you want is a clean place to crash, reliable travel tips, and for someone to point you in the right direction for cheap eats and adventure, this is the place to be. Simple lodgings with some extras thrown into the mix such as laundry facilities, bicycles, high-speed internet, fully-equipped kitchen, purified drinking water, coffee and hot water for bathing. Our destination is a bit bohemian, very inviting and relaxing, and an ideal location to make your base camp for mountain climbing and camping, river-rafting, hiking, paragliding, canyoning, or other more serious pursuits. ... more less