The Backpacker Collective

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The Backpacker Collective:sharing tales of past trips and those to come, of travel sites, of tips, of blogs and of the world.

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9 Things to do in Jarabacoa

9 Things to do in the Dominican Republic’s mountain town, Jarabacoa: #dominicanrepublic #jarabacoa #travel

Nestled between the angled mountains of the Dominican Republic’s central range sits Jarabacoa, the second largest town in the “Dominican Alps.” It boasts a population of nearly 70,000 and one large image of  Jesus standing in its main intersection. Such grand signs of faith are not surprising in a country that is majority Catholic, but from this vantage point — religious or not — you would…

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Cabarete - the DR’s Water Sports Mecca

Cabarete – the DR’s Water Sports Mecca

Most travel writers are known to wax poetic about unexplored beaches, lush undulating hills or unique cultures — and of course, we at The Backpacker Collective, love to do exactly that. But what happens when you go somewhere that you just don’t really like?

There are only a few instances in which I have been somewhere that didn’t sit well with me and more often than not, that feeling wore off…

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Getting Lost in Las Galeras

Getting Lost in Las Galeras

To get to Las Galeras, you must first get to the Samaná Peninsula — the long strip of land that juts out of the Dominican Republic like an outstretched arm reaching across the ocean to Puerto Rico. Once you are there, most likely in the whale watching town of Samaná, head as far east as you can go until the dirt road upon which you have been traveling comes to an abrupt stop and there you are,…

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Santo Domingo, Exploring the New World’s Oldest City

Exploring Santo Domingo: the New World’s oldest city #dominicanrepublic

Before we left Bayahibe a young Canadian working as a divemaster there, told me that the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo had mixed reviews. She had not actually been but word on the street was that ‘La Capital,’ as it is often known, was “skip-able.”

I’m not sure where these mixed reviews came from but I can understand the sentiment. If you are interested in mainly white sand beaches,…

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The Slow Life in Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

The Slow Life in Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

Leaving the walls of Bávaro behind, we arrived in Bayahibe to the sound of pounding Latino house music, That music was coming from a maxi taxi that doubles as a bus with enough people and which had picked us up from the side of the road seven kilometres outside of town.

Once in Bayahibe however, the loudness of that entrance did not last long.

Bayahibe is a small fishing town on the Dominican…

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Dominican Republic: Bávaro, Punta Cana

Dominican Republic: Bávaro, Punta Cana

My partner, who we’ll call J, and I arrived in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic four days ago. After we stepped off the plane and got that first hit of humid Caribbean air, I turned to him and said — we are still very fresh.  Our clothes are still nicely rolled up in our pack, our skin is still relatively untanned and our Spanish is rough at best. We are still very. very fresh.

J on the beach in Bavaro. This photo was taken as soon as we arrived in Punta Cana, threw our bags on the floor of our room, took our hiking boots off and headed for the beach.  Photo: A Bergamin.

J on the beach…

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1:17pm. Monday April 7th 2014. Fuxing Park, Shanghai, China.

Grandparents watch the boy prince. An insight into modern Chinese life.

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Bye-bye, Bay Area

Andrew Molera State Park, California. Photo: A Bergamin.
Andrew Molera State Park, California. Photo: A Bergamin.

Andrew Molera State Park, California. Photo: A Bergamin.

Almost every time I return from a trip abroad and land back at my parent’s house in Australia, my dad asks me the same question: what did you learn? As I stand looking down at my California life now packed into a backpack and one small box that question seems more pertinent than ever.

After calling the San Francisco Bay Area home for the…

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Top 5 Travel Destinations of 2014

Top 5 Travel Destinations of 2014

I love reading Lonely Planet’s yearly top travel destination lists.

I certainly don’t always agree, but there is not one country in the world that I am not interested in visiting. And there are probably only two places that I won’t be able to visit because of religious or logistical reasons: Mecca and space. I think that everywhere else, if I get the chance, will be incredible.

But reading those…

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