An unwanted guest blows in…

Hurricane Irma blustered through September 7, knocking over a coconut tree and the roof of our social area.  What a great crew we have; within 24 hours we were cleaned up and ready for a group of 15 already-paid guests to check-in. And so for a short while we’ll be enjoying an open-air deck. But not for long!



A stay at Tubagua Ecolodge is “seeing the real Dominican Republic” says award-winning travel writer

Caribbean real estate: how small an investment can you make?


The Small House Movement comes to Caribbean real estate. Over the last two decades, the Small House Movement has been attracting a following across America with its less is best creed; gaining freedom and a better quality of life through a quest for less size… less stuff… less to worry about. The idea of buying Caribbean real estate is often driven by the same desire for a simpler lifestyle. So when thinking about an investment in the Caribbean, it makes sense to be asking: just how small an investment can we get away with?

Caribbean real estate is embracing the Small House Movement at Tubagua Eco Village

A “small house” guest house is included in the purchase of a homesite at Tubagua Plantation Eco Village

The award-winning Tubagua Plantation Eco Village in the Dominican Republic is applying the Small House idea to  provide a viable entry-level strategy for investing in Caribbean real estate. Tubagua Plantation has a section of private homesites. By including a guesthouse in the price of a lot, investors get to enjoy a place to call home as they develop gardens, design and build their own custom-built residence – which could take a few years. Prices start at forty thousand dollars for homesite and guesthouse together.
The rustic houses are hand-built by local artisans using local materials. Cosy and compact with one bedroom, a kitchen and living area, a bathroom and a loft, they are built to house two people comfortably and can accommodate four. The homesites, with an minimum of  7,000 square-foot (650 m2) , all have an ocean view and are expansive enough to build a one- or two-level home on a footprint of up to 1,076 square feet (100 m2),
“Starting small is a smart way to buy in to the Caribbean,” says Tim Hall, who created Tubagua Eco Village. “What happens if you don’t like it here? What happens if your circumstances change? You don’t want to be saddled with a massive investment that sucked up all your capital, or something that you can’t sell. What we’re offering costs less than a new car back home.”
“And what happens if your ideas change? We expect that some people won’t even bother to build a custom home after they’ve been here for awhile. They might just build a massive gazebo to hang out during the day. They might just make beautiful gardens and a pool. They might just build another small house.”
“You never know what the Caribbean’s going to do to you,” he says. “I came here as a journalist. I never thought I’d end up building homes and operating an ecolodge. But here I am, having the time of my life.”
To inquire about living at Tubagua Eco Village use the form on the right.



Popular women’s blog features Tubagua

Tubagua Ecolodge awarded GreenLeader Gold status by Trip Advisor

Tubagua Ecolodge today announced it has been accepted as a Gold-level GreenLeader  into the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, which helps travelers around the world plan greener trips by highlighting hotels and B&Bs engaging in environmentally-friendly practices.

green-leadersThis is the third distinction for Tubagua this year, after winning a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and the national Atabey Environmental Award for Sustainable Tourism.

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders properties have met a set of environmental standards developed for TripAdvisor by a leading environmental consulting firm, with input from expert partners. The more green practices a hotel has in place, the higher its GreenLeader level, which is shown on the property’s listing on the TripAdvisor site.

“The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program recognizes the properties around the world that are committed to environmental sustainability,” said Ryan Dillon, manager of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. “We applaud these businesses, from the smallest B&B to the largest hotel chain, for helping to make eco-friendly trips possible for our community of millions of travelers.”

“This is yet another win for Puerto Plata and the Dominican Republic north coast,” said proprietor Tim Hall, “as the region works to re-brand itself as an travel and adventure destination.”

Travelers can now search for accommodations that have TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status on the TripAdvisor site, and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can expect at each location.

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program was developed in consultation with the United Nations Environment Programme, the U.S. Green Building Council, and ENERGY STAR®, among other leading environmental organizations. For more information, please visit

Tubagua Ecolodge wins the Atabey national environmental award for sustainable tourism

Tubagua was one of seven award winners at the 2016 nationally televised presentation

Alexandra’s YouTube Video

This video, done by Alejandra Gil, will give you a glimpse of the lodge and of a trek to God’s Swimming Pool

Book a yoga holiday with Karen Shelley

Tubagua in USA Today

Tubagua: a perfect mountain/ beach combo, says TravelDRnow

Tubagua is one of the Caribbean’s 10 best ecolodges

BBC Travel: Tubagua had a charm – and a roster of delicious…




Full Article

Tubagua by McKenzie Shane

Tubagua by McKenzie Shane

The outcome of a lazy afternoon on the lodge verandah, penned by McKenzie Shane, February 2014. Thanks, McKenzie!

Life on Route 25

Taino Indian visits Tubagua Eco Lodge

Everybody says that the Spaniards killed off the Taino Indians but living up here in the mountains it becomes harder to believe all the time. There are too many words, tools, food and people who look, well, Indian, that all add up to the idea that Taino extinction is a big error in the history books. Well, yesterday a Tanio Indian showed up at Tubagua. Jorge Estevez is part of a group of Dominicans who tested positive for Taino traces in their DNA. A portion of that investigation was conducted in this region. Jorge is currently working on a large exhibition to feature the Taino Indians at the Smithsonian Institute in 2016. For more information visit

Postcard from Tubagua: loo with a view

Student travel leader rates Tubagua Eco Lodge safety, services

What makes Tubagua a great place for students? We asked the country director for International Student Volunteers in Dominican Republic 2011-2013 to tell us why Tubagua scored on top of the lodging list for ISV students and this is what he wrote:


As Program Coordinator for International Student Volunteers, Dominican Republic, an internationally recognized volunteer and study abroad organization, I am responsible for coordinating appropriate transportation and lodging for hundreds of North American students each season. Tubagua Eco-Lodge provides an excellent option for our student groups, exceeding our needs from a safety and comfort perspective, while offering our students an authentic and tastefully rustic lodging experience throughout the duration of their stay. Our hard-working volunteers spend between 2-5 weeks working long-days at various development project sites in rural Dominican communities, and their safety both at the project site and back at the lodging is one area on which we were not willing to compromise.



From a safety perspective, Tubagua Eco-Lodge has it covered. With over 25 years experience working in the Dominican Republic, the management at Tubagua is acutely aware of all operational challenges when running student programs in the Dominican Republic. They are attentive to student needs, to our organization’s safety protocols, flexible and extremely responsive to particular requests that may arise. Reliable and skilled grounds and maintenance staff made sure all facilities are working properly, including the accessibility and functionality of all emergency and fire systems. The cleaning staff is extremely thorough; both the common areas and the sleeping quarters are regularly tidied and an affordable laundry service is available for our student groups. Lastly, the professional and highly experienced kitchen staff prepare a variety of delicious Dominican and international fair that is both healthy and filling. Food allergies are explicitly and meticulously honored in food preparations and even with some extremely sensitive health and allergy conditions, I am always confident that our students will be in good hands while at Tubagua Eco-Lodge. Safety is our number one priority and it is evident that Tubagua shares this value.



In terms of comfort and authenticity, Tubagua Eco-Lodge is perfect for first time travelers and student groups who’s expectations will be met with local Dominican hospitality and some of the comforts from back home. In fact, students very quickly feel at home at Tubagua, even those that are not used to being in a natural environment or a foreign country. Free and reliable wireless internet allows students to keep in touch with family and friends back home. The natural feel of the Eco-Lodge is only matched by the unbeatable view from the dining and common area (and most rooms), overlooking the Montellano and Puerto Plata valleys stretching to the North Coast. The unique layout of Tubagua seems to conform to the natural architecture of its semi-rural setting, with well-lit slated pathways, flowers and lilly pools, tastefully designed wood framed lodges and a few quirky surprises like an Eco-Gym that all guests enjoy without fail. Tubagua strikes the perfect balance between rustic and comfort, all wrapped in an environmentally conscientious blanket. Tubagua Eco-Lodge is unbeatable in the Caribbean for student groups of all sorts.


ISV has hosted over 2,000 students in the Dominican Republic and Tubagua has not only been the highest overall, student-rated accommodations for two consecutive years, but also the most reliable and desirable lodging option for our student groups.


Kind Regards,


David DeMinico

Program Coordinator, ISV DR

The Riome family visits – again!

The ultimate compliment for a lodge owner is having people come back. Like the Riome family, who have made this their winter retreat returning each February since 2008 when we opened our doors

  • Chillin' after breakfast...
  • The guys were working on our new fire pit area...
  • Ruth, Art, Virgil and Jimmy, who's not Riome but fits right in to the family
  • The staff love Art, here with Ignacia, Jackie and Josie. What's not to love?
  • It's all over but the airport...
  • After you guys left, they brought in the new living room furniture
  • And Milet finished up the gardens
  • Relax, enjoy the view from our outdoor living room...
  • it's any cold Canadian's idea of LIVING space
  • Here's to you all... see you next year!

Another great Aquarian Birthday Party at Tubagua with Frank Green & Manaladie Live

Frank Green and Manaladie Liva at Tubagua Plantation Eco Village

Old Pix from 2006

Tubagua on YouTube

Here’s my first attempt at editing with iMovie, came out not bad but the audio ended up over modulated after uploading to YouTube. Enjoy…!

Check out these panoramic 360º photos


Best seen Fullscreen. Click button on image at far right

Ocean View

Grounds & Gardens

Dominican Republic medical mission trips

Project Helping Hands director of operations Ken Weaver cradles a baby while on a medical mission trip in the Dominican Republic, where in July almost 1000 needy inhabitants were served in rural villages and bateyes

Medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic provide health care providers with a way to give back by reaching out into small rural communities where medical care is often non-existent.

More than a third of the country’s total population lives in poverty, and almost 20 per cent are living in extreme poverty. In rural areas poor people constitute half of the population. The poorest of the poor include Dominicans of Haitian origin living in the border areas. They are particularly vulnerable, and they suffer not only from low incomes and poor living conditions but also from social exclusion. In all groups, women who are heads of households and children are extremely vulnerable. Because they are without proper documentation such as birth certificates and identity papers, about 20 per cent of the poorest Dominican families do not benefit from most types of social assistance programs.

The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge.

The persistence of rural poverty is the result of several factors, including government priority given to developing the tourism, industry and services sectors during the last decade. Agricultural productivity is low. The country’s poor farmers have little land and their production is too low to enable them to maintain their families. A large number of small-scale subsistence farmers and their families have to seek off-farm employment or another income-generating activity to supplement household incomes.

Join Project Helping Hands during medical mission trips to Dominican Republic each June and November. Write to us to find out more

Our Jungle Gym, featured on Dominican Travel Network

Have a look!

Lonely Planet says Tubagua is “worth a visit”

Lonely Planet Review from October 2011


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