San Cristobal is next to Bani, just a few more kilometres down the road and closer to Santo Domingo. We chose to visit this place due to the current curfew in the Dominican Republic. On the weekends, everyone has to be in their homes by 5pm (September). This could change in October, a few extra hours. The beach we visited is called Najayo. I was told it is a “playa popular” which means that people with not a lot of money tend to go their while other upper middle to higher class, would go to a “better” beach with less people and better facilities to sit out in. Not sure what you think of that but, for me, the food was great and the water was lovely. I don’t discriminate, I live and work here and love finding little “holes” where most people do not go as they tend to be more fun and more Dominican.
As you can see from the picture, people are enjoying the water, you have a selection of different restaurants to choose from. From what I saw, people brought a cooler with them, food and drink and basically stayed in the shade. The tables and seats were free to sit in, you did not need to order anything to sit there as they did not belong to the restaurants themselves. We ordered a fish called “el pez loro” which is a parrot fish. We were later told it is illegal to eat them as they are scarce and this fish is apparently vital to the coral reefs health system. However, people order them as they are really good and there is no control from the autorities. Here is a photo of our lunch with banana chips or “fritos” as they are called in. Once there is a demand, fishermen will risk getting caught as they are extremely popular amongst people. Their bones have a whitey blue colour, it is amazing and really delicious, I can see why people ask for them as they are cheap too. But, one day there will be none left.
It was amazing, we ordered water, a bottle of sangria and a bottle of beer, plus the food cost less than 2000 pesos, which is about $34USD. Najayo beach has certain areas you can swim in, but it not ideal for walking as it tends to be stoney and you need to swim within the designated area as other surrounding areas have sharp coral rocks in the water. We saw a kid running along the rocks, a little guy who cut his feet and the screams out of him… so best stick to the designated area, it is really not worth the hassel.
As you can see from the photo, the coastline is a few kilometres long, there are multiple places to stop at, as they are all flooded with restaurants, some are better than others. If you plan to go for a few hours, buy fish there, if you plan to stay for 2 days, bring a cooler and load up, enjoy the water and the sun. It tends to be between 27º to 35º, depending on which time of the year it is at.