pequeño refugio, hostel, las galeras, writing on the wall

Pequeño Refugio – Cute, Cozy, and Romantic


At a Glance:

Price:    $$$

Price range:

$0-$10: $
$10-$25: $$
$25-$50: $$$
$50-$100: $$$$
$100-up: $$$$$

While traveling in the DR, we mostly stayed in cheap little “motel” run for local travelers, for locals. But from time to time we decided to hang out with the tourist and chill in some cool little hostels.

Out of all of them, our favorite has to be El Pequeño Refugio.

It’s where to stay in Las Galeras…

…hands down. This little hostel is oh so cozy. Run by a couple, originally from Bulgaria, every detail was taken into consideration when decorating.

Sure, this isn’t a 5 star, no it’s way better.

It’s not cold and impersonal like a 5 star, it’s special. No two rooms are alike, and everything is decorated with special finds, specially selected for that room. Lea has a special touch, everything here makes you feel at home.

The towels are thick, the sheets heavy, the pieces of scrap fabric covering the windows are sweet, and the rooms are cleaned everyday, with love.

Here, have a look for yourself.

The main area serves as a restaurant, bar, garden, and art gallery.

At night, the bistro downstairs fills up with regulars and tourists, a perpetual meet and greet, bubbling with the excitement of new adventures.

The food is absolutely delicious. We’d share the menu with you, but there is none. Each day is a new concoction, specially prepared according to the day’s mood.

Indeed, Las Galeras is a fun little town.

It’s a very tiny and quiet town, mostly full of divers and hikers. It’s out of the way, and the people who make it all the way to the end of the road of the Samaná peninsula seem to be a little more adventurous than others. Here you’ll see locals and tourists mingling, and people wandering the lazy streets in the evening. The air is warm and still.

children playing with a broken water main in Las Galeras
children playing with a broken water main in Las Galeras

I imagine Cabarete was like this 30 years ago. Life is chill and lazy, and when something goes wrong, you make the best of it until it’s fixed.


Besides beautiful diving, in the area you’ll also find some of the most pristine beaches in the Dominican, such as the beautiful turquoise of playa Rincon, pictured above, and below.


Most of the beaches are NOT easy access, for example, Playa Fronton and Madame, which you have to boat or hike to, and that’s where they get their charm.

A little further up the road, you’ll also find another hotel/restaurant called El Cabito. We neither ate or stayed there – the food was a bit out of our price range and the rooms were booked for months – but even if you don’t stay there, you can go check out the gorgeous views and the 50-some-foot cliff jump by the restaurant.

cliff, cliff jump, rope ladder, ladder, turquoise, gorgeous, water, dominican republic, el cabito
We couldn’t jump, that day the ladder was broken :(

All in all, the area breathes adventure, the kind of adventure that reminds you that pirates once roamed these parts, their treasures still being uncovered.

After your tiring adventures, you’ll want to collapse into bed and be cradled to sleep to the soft bustle of the bistro below.

Not to miss in the area:

Add to your DR trip on RoadTrippers:

Pequenio Refugio, Stay right by the beach


  1. Jade, You crack me up…”that day the ladder was broken” …um. Ok. But really, everytime I read one of your posts the DR climbs itself higher on my list. My daughter, Erika, has wanted to go since she was a little girl, so maybe we just need to bite the bullet and make it happen! Have a wonderful/happy week!
    Corinne recently posted…Sheepherders in Southern TurkeyMy Profile

  2. Nice review!
    The place is amazing!
    I was in El Pequeno Refugio when they recently opened last year, and stayed for a couple of nights. Had an amazing time!
    Las Galeras is magical! i would recommend it to any one i know!

    just one thing…
    You should know that Bulgarians are not gipsies! They are a mix of Slavic, Thracian and Bulgars who came from Asia around 1500 years ago. In fact i was in Bulgaria, and calling a Bulgarian a Gipsy is kinda offensive for them, because the only near thing there are to gipsies in Bulgaria are the Romani people, and mostly they roam the streets of Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and Romania begging and sometimes stealing… well, not all of them of course, but mostly.

    Just a thought… ’cause i remember the lady and her husband who ran the place were amazing people!

    1. Hey John!

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you got to experience El Pequenio Refugio, and meet its wonderful owners.

      Just to clarify, I meant nothing derogatory when using the word “gipsy.” I was using the term in it’s informal definition of “a nomadic or free-spirited person.” Maybe “nomad” was a better choice, it still doesn’t fit.

      I was trying to refer to the ability to make a home out of just about everything, an ability that seems more refined in a historically nomadic people. Now I didn’t mean that Bulgarians were Romani, and of course, the Romani get a worst rep than they deserve also.

      Maybe there’s a better word I haven’t found yet. Let me know what you think.

      Thanks for the interesting discussion :)
      JadeAdele recently posted…Make Any Room Feel Like HomeMy Profile

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