Dominican Republic: Mamajuana Have a Drink?
Updated: Sep 16, 2018
When people think of the Dominican Republic, beautiful white sandy beaches come to mind but the last thing they think of is their native drink and style of social dance: the mama juana and latin bachata. During my dating years I went a trip with a boyfriend (my now husband) for a week to the Dominican Republic. I hadn’t known too many people that had been there and decided it would be a great couples getaway for a week to take some time to really get to know my somewhat serious boyfriend. We literally went there to relax and party and that is exactly what we did. Our hotel was an adults only resort which was amazing because it was completely serene. We spent the entire first day at the pool mingling and taking in the sun rays, we enjoyed a couples massage right on the private beach and then had a candlelit dinner together where we could enjoy the sound of the waves and the view of the sunset over the crystal clear horizon. It was so romantic. Each night our hotel had live bachata lessons and dancing where you could dance the night away with your partner. The disco filled itself with nothing but couples of all ages and we all moved with our partners to the sounds of the Caribbean. Days following days of rejuvenation we decided that we wanted to party so we booked a half day catamaran/cenote tour. The tour boat included every beverage known to man, snacks, lunch and entertainment. We cruised the ocean for about an hour to Caribbean tunes with drinks in our hands as we all danced. We stopped and anchored where snorkel gear was handed out to experience the shallow ocean floor on one side of the boat and a massive sandbar on the other. The tour guides turned up the music as they danced bachata in costume to showcase their native dance to us. They then walked around with a handful of dark colored shots they handed out to everyone. They informed us that it was called the “Mamajuana”, the native drink to the Dominican Republic. I had no idea what that was but I can tell you that it looked and smelled extremely strong with a sweet after taste. They handed out many rounds of Mamajuana shots before serving us lunch as we cruised some more before heading back to the dock. They informed me that a Mamajuana is a cured concoction of rum, red wine, honey, tree bark and herbs. Now this sounds iffy but it had a very unique and delicious flavor. I ended up buying a bottle of it to bring home with me. We later visited a local Cenote which is an underground swimming pool created by a collapse of limestone bed rock that exposes fresh groundwater for a cool and refreshing swim. We returned back to the hotel where they had live bachata and merengue demonstrations, live music and more Mamajuana! The native drinks, refreshing cenotes, deep tissue beach massages, romantic atmosphere and hip swaying music made this trip phenomenal and memorable. I returned to work and parenthood feeling refreshed.
Dominican Republic is definitely a couples paradise. I had not visited another resort on the island but my experience is that if you are planning a Caribbean getaway with your significant other and want to relax and be peaceful, give it a try. Although it is a latin country, many speak english. Its extremely safe and everyone is friendly and helpful on and off the resort (we did leave to go to a local beach and had a blast). I view the DR as a place to renew, deepen, explore and rejuvenate your relationship with your other half. It is tranquil, excursions are amazing and you will leave feeling refreshed, happy and of course a much better dancer :)