Sosúa

Sosúa is a small town in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. Located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) from the Gregorio Luperón International Airport in San Felipe de Puerto Plata, the town is accessed primarily by Camino Cinco, or Highway 5, which runs much of the length of the country's North coastline. The town is divided into three sectors: El Batey, which is the main section where most tourists visit, Sosúa Abajo, and Los Charamicos.

History

At the 1938 Evian Conference Rafael Trujillo offered to accept up to 100,000 Jewish refugees; about 800 German and Austrian Jewish refugees received visas by the Dominican government between 1940 and 1945 (see Dominican Jews) and settled in Sosúa.[3] The government provided them with land and resources with which they created a dairy and cheese factory, named Productos Sosúa[4] still in existence today. Descendants of the original settlers still live in Sosúa, where they maintain a synagogue and a museum.

The town was little known until tourism took off in the island in the mid 1980s.

The town

Sosua Abajo, which translates roughly to "Lower Sosua", is located on the western side of Sosúa in a valley nearby a river that flows into Sosúa Bay. Mainly a rural area of Sosúa, Sosúa Abajo houses many of the workers who commute to the El Batey area, nearby Cabarete Bay and Playa Dorada.

The Barrio of Los Charamicos is situated between El Batey and Abajo, and is a densely populated urban area known for its nightlife, dancing, and bar scene. In 1988 actor George Rose was murdered here by his adopted son and the son's uncle.

The North Coast of the Dominican Republic has been a top tourist destination for Europeans for nearly three decades. There is a very large expatriate community in Sosúa, which consists of mostly German, British, American, and Canadian expats.

Sosúa Bay attracts many water sports enthusiast, including snorkelers and divers because of its sheltered, calm waters, diverse species of fish and intricate reef structures. In the winter, whale watching is also a popular tourist activity in Sosúa Bay.

Recently, naturally occurring beach nourishment has created a new beach just north of Sosúa Bay, depositing sand where there were previously only sheer rock cliffs. The beach is called Playa Alicia.

There are several other beaches, Sosua Beach, which is a crescent-shaped bay protected by coral formations and clear waters for divers and snorkelers. Sosúa's other beaches are Waterfront (Playa Alicia), Paradise beach (actually shifts on and off every several months), Playa Imbert and Playa Chiquita. Waterfront beach is just 12–13 years old, created after a storm around 2002. There is also sport fishing. A very large population of expatriates share their culture and mingle with locals and foreigners.

WHEN TO GO

Between December and May, temperatures in Puerto Plata tend to hover between 28C and 31C. June to November is hurricane season, so the Dominican Republic is often hit by tropical storms – but the hotels are dab hands at dealing with them. June has the highest rainfall, clocking up 12 wet days.

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