- I’m going to the Dominican Republic!
- Book Review: Other Places Travel Guide Dominican Republic
Other Places Travel Publishing produces guidebooks written by former Peace Corps volunteers. All Other Place authors lived in the country they’re writing about for two years, so they really know what they’re writing about. I heard good things the Madagascar and Mongolia guides, and I was excited when one of their titles finally fit my travel plans.
The Other Places Dominican Republic guidebook was a great choice for me. The book assumes readers are independent traveler with some interest in eco-tourism. Since those are my interests, the information in the book was really helpful. It’s not the best guide in all situations – there’s almost no coverage of major resort areas.
I wish Lonely Planet guidebooks were like this
I buy Lonely Planet guidebooks out of habit and lack of options. When I get a guidebook, I look for information on affordable accommodations, public transportation information, and historical context. Usually, I find what I need in Lonely Planet. Sometimes, I get unpleasant surprises. I found myself in the middle of Africa, without internet, and a Lonely Planet heavy on luxury safari lodge listings. The last Lonely Planet boasts winning combination of vague bus directions and GPS-phobic addresses.
Other Place Dominican Republic is like the Lonely Planet guide I want.
- The layout is similar to Lonely Planet. Since I’m a Lonely Planet reader, it felt intuitive.
- The book has an in-depth history, society, economy and arts section, also reminiscent of Lonely Planet.
- The transportation directions assume the reader generally knows how to travel, and needs specific directions for the Dominican Republic. The book provides detailed information on getting around rural areas on gua guas (vans and trucks without set schedules).
- Hotel and restaurant listings were really detailed. I stayed in a tiny a one-street village, and the guidebook had a several hotel and restaurant listings.
I need budget and itinerary suggestions!
The Dominican Republic guidebook has a ton of useful details – but no summary. There’s no suggested itineraries or average budgets.
The Dominican tourism industry focuses on resort development. Independent traveler can forge their own trip in the country, but it takes some planning. This guidebook could be the perfect platform to teach independent travelers how to backpack around the island. I did deduce the main attractions for independent travelers while browsing through the book – but I wish they authors had done that work themselves.
The other section I missed is a budget section. I find that Lonely Planet’s budget, mid-range, and high-end daily budget estimates are usually pretty accurate for my trips, and would have been nice to see a similar feature in this book.
This problem is specific to the Dominican Republic guidebook. I browsed other titles online, and most included either “best of” lists or suggested itineraries.
Even with its faults, I would recommend the guide for travelers going off-the-beaten track in the Dominican Republic.
More Other Titles
I’ll be seeking out Other Places guidebooks in the future. Other Places is a new publishing house with a growing list of titles. Their Paraguay book is a best-seller (probably because no one else covers Paraguay). I’m personally interested in the Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica guidebooks.
Latin America and the Caribbean