Festival Marisco Ripiao: Dominican Republic’s Best Seafood


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“Do you have everything? Are you sure? Check again, just in case,” He warned over the phone.

“Yes, Dad, I’ve got it. I’ll see you soon!”

I was half way down Interstate 95 towards Miami International Airport when I realized I forgot my passport.

How did I let this happen? I was, for sure, going to miss my flight. Obviously I didn’t give myself enough time in case of an emergency because I run on Hispanic time. Yes, there really is such a thing.

Sure enough, I missed the check-in deadline by about 10 minutes. There were tears streaming down my face out of frustration. There I was: a grown woman (kind of) crying in front of the ticket counter.

“Ma’am, calm down, please. We can put you on the next flight out tomorrow morning.”

“No, you don’t understand. I have to be there today.” I exclaimed, with the most confidence I could muster.

Honestly, though? She could have let me through, but she didn’t want to. The plane hadn’t even started boarding yet, I would have made it!

A new airline and $200 later I was finally on a flight to Dominican Republic. I would make it to the Marisco Ripiao Festival; a sigh of relief.

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My wonderfully talented and passionate parents helped start this event in Dominican Republic to shed light on the rich culture, history, food, and ecological beauty of Sánchez, Samaná. Not only was this an important event because of all the hard work they poured into making it come to life, but it was also a huge accomplishment because Sánchez happens to be my mothers home town.

This coming weekend they will hold the second annual Marisco Ripiao Festival in Sánchez, and the whole town is buzzing with excitement.

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If you’re looking for the best seafood around, come to the festival in Sánchez, Samaná on the 19th and 20th of June, 2015.

Getting There:

The easiest way to get to the Marisco Ripiao Festival, depending on where you are in Dominican Republic, is to take a bus from Santo Domingo into Samaná through companies like Caribe Tours, which will run you about $10 a person. From there you can take a taxi into the town of Sanchez.

It’s also a smart idea to rent a car or hire a driver for a day. It’s far cheaper than it would be in a western country, or most places in the world for that matter, and it’s very convenient. Be sure to get referrals from your hotel or someone who knows the area well, though, because it’s not hard to get stuck in a scam.

The festival will be held in the Mallecon of town, which is the square by the coast.

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What to Expect:

The festival is a full two days of dancing, eating, drinking, and laughing. Dominicans are some of the happiest people in the world, and you’re bound to see lots of smiling faces.

Come prepared to sweat, because June in Dominican Republic can get pretty sticky.

On Friday 19th of June is the Inauguration ceremony followed by a few cultural performances and lots of food.

The next day is the big day filled with even more music and food, which starts at 12:00pm and ends at 10:00pm.

The one thing you definitely can’t miss is traditional Perico Ripiao music, which served as inspiration for the name of the festival, in case you didn’t catch on. This genre is so loved by Dominican’s that they made a hilarious movie about it.

There will also be artisans from all over the country selling their handmade crafts, coconut oils, and products. A lot of these artisans are supported by the Peace Corp Volunteers of Dominican Republic, so you’ll be supporting an exceptional cause and helping people of rural communities in their craft.

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My Mother, on National Dominican Television

The Objectives

  • To promote Sánchez as a primary culinary destination and a must-visit location for tourists passing through.
  • To educate the general public on the relevance and relevance of Sánchez as part of Dominican Republics history.
  • To show the importance of the ecological resources found in Samaná and how important it is for the local population to help preserve them.
  • To educate the public on climate change and what we can do as a population to help reduce those effects and protect our planet.

So, what are you waiting for? Start booking that flight, preparing the bus transfer; get your butt over to the festival this year. It’s a great cause, a major cultural event drawing in hundreds of people, and it’s making history.


El festival está organizado por el Centro para la Conservación y Ecodesarrollo de la Bahía de Samaná y su Entorno (CEBSE) y la Cooperativa de Pescadores de la Bahía de San Lorenzo en cooperación con la Alcaldía de Sánchez.

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