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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Santo Domingo Plaza

Dominican Republic

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Founded in 1496 by Bartolome Columbus, the brother of Christopher Columbus, Santo Domingo is the oldest European city in the Americas. Some of its claims to fame is that it had the New World's first paved road, its first hospital, and its oldest surviving church.

Let's take a look at the Santo Domingo Plaza, located in the Colonial Zone.

People love to gather at outdoor cafes

If you want a cappuccino or a cold beer, or even a meal, there are several outdoor cafes offering all that you might need. With the weather in "perpetual summer," sitting outdoors under a shade umbrella can be a relief from the heat.

 

Coffee drinks!

The Dominican Republic is known for its exports of coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and sugar (which makes its famous rum). We had a cappuccino and an iced macchiato while hanging out on the plaza in the shade.

All of this had a very European feel, like we were in Spain, France or Italy.

Hotel Conde de Penalba

The Hotel Conde de Penalba owns the restaurant below and had very good food. Presidente beer, the nation's most popular beverage, was served in an icy bottle.

People playing dominoes under a shade tree

It's not uncommon to see a domino game being played in a place where there is shade from the sun. Dominoes is a highly popular game across the entire Caribbean and everyone from the youth to the elderly play.

If you are new to the island this is a great way to integrate yourself into the culture and see how Dominicans interact.

Beautiful Parque Colon

In the center of the Parque you will find a statue of Bartolome Columbus. To the right is the first Cathedral built in the Americas, named Catedral de Santa Maria la Menor.

The Plaza is a relaxing place to hang out on a bench and pass the time.

Stone walkway at the Plaza

Not only are there cafes on the Plaza, but there are other stores too, like a cigar making business and a museo de cocoa just off the main square where you can get free samples of chocolate and cocoa tea.

Shoe shiners ready for your shoes!

These men will shine your shoes for a few pesos. Notice their specially painted boxes for their tools and the benches on which they sit.

Shoe shine in progress

Here's a closer view of the shoe shine process as well as the beautifully decorated boxes and benches.

Hot coffee vendor

Right around the bench from the shoe shine guys, is this coffee vendor. You can purchase sweetened hot coffee in a tiny plastic cup for 15 pesos or 34 cents. This man is here in the mornings and then comes back after lunch. Locals purchase from him, since his price is so reasonable and cappuccinos in the cafes cost around 90 pesos, about $2USD.

 

Street vendor

This vendor is making sweet drinks from the syrups he has stored in the Coca-Cola bottles. Pineapple, lime, strawberry, and tamarind are some of his choices.

Segway tourist group

This tourist group is ready to be unleashed onto the city as soon as they learn how to drive their segways. You will see these segways around town and the police use them also.

Local Dominican band

We came back to the cafe for lunch later on in the day and these musicians were still playing from the morning's coffee time. The Dominican Republic is credited with creating and developing the Merengue style of music so there was a whole lotta hip shakin' goin' on when this band played their music.

Just spending some time in the shade on a leafy plaza listening to live Latin music and having a meal or beverage was just about the best thing one could do on this hot day. It was great! The food and the entertainment came to us!

For more stories and photos of the Dominican Republic, Click Here

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

For more information about financial independence and travel, visit our book store

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