Throughout history, piracy has been a crime; yet it has always attracted a kind of mythical fascination, with many children expressing a love of pirates and some even wanting to be one. The sad reality is that piracy was a serious crime of the past, and still exists to this day. Yet this fact has not stopped piracy and, in particular certain pirates, going down in folklore and history as some kind of heroes.
One of the most notable 19th century pirates was Roberto Cofresi, otherwise known as ‘El Pirate Cofresi’. Cofresi was Puerto Rican, and became a pirate in 1818 in response to socio-economic struggles in his home land. Unfortunately, the story of the famous pirate Cofresi did not end well; his legendary ruling of the ocean waves was to end in execution, following his capture in 1825. He, along with numerous members of his crew, was executed by firing squad in the same year.
The legend of Cofresi has, nevertheless, survived – and for much longer than his famous (though some would say infamous) piracy career did. On the coast of the Dominican Republic, the second largest nation in the Caribbean, a small fishing village took the name Cofresi – and it still exists today.
The fishing village has repeated the pattern of its namesake, arising to great prominence from relatively humble beginnings. Cofresi now plays the role of a hub for the rich and famous in the Dominican Republic, as it is home to many high end luxury hotels as well as private villas predominantly owned by American or European ex pats The once small fishing village is now given over the tourism trade, a pattern which was repeated throughout the Dominican Republic; where tourism is now the largest sector of the economy.
There is much to see and do in Cofresi, though the area has risen to extreme worldwide prominence and acclaim due to the Ocean World & Marine Water Park, which is within its boundaries. The Ocean World is an adventure park quite unlike anything else, and boasts a range of world breaking records. The largest dolphin enclosure is located within the Ocean Wild Park, as well as the only sea lion encounter experiences of its kind and the world’s first shark interaction pool.
The Water Park is a primary reason for visiting Cofresi, but there are many other reasons to venture to this part of the Dominican Republic. There is a thriving night life, guaranteed to entertain even the most committed of night club goers. Cofresi is also licensed for casinos, and numerous such establishments are built in and around the area. There are also many bars and restaurants in the area, ever pressing the knowledge that Cofresi, like much of the Dominican Republic, more belongs to the tourists rather than the locals.
This, however, is welcomed – and Cofresi is a fun, lively and friendly place to visit. It’s enduring popularity in a country which has plenty to offer shows that it can compete with the best the entire country has to offer. Essentially, for a fun and exciting trip to the Dominican Republic, the once small village named after a pirate could be the perfect destination.