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Dominican Republic Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Dominican Republic vacation

Traveling to the Dominican Republic 1 stars
I group of friends and myself are traveling to the Dominican Republic in the fall (October to be exact). My first concern is the weather. I know that this is a period that can have extreme storms. Would it be suggested that I not visit during this month?

Secondly...all the cities sound amazing, but I'm not sure where to stay. Can anyone suggest anything. My friends are looking for an all-inclusive resort and great night life, but I'm looking for lots of culture and activities. I'm hoping we can find a middle ground.

Any suggestions would be really helpful.


Your Enchanting Vacation Awaits... 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Vamos a la playa! Upon visiting the Dominican Republic in 2003, I was blown away with the hospitality and kindness of these precious people. There is a spirit that exists in the Dominican that makes you want to jump and shout! These people love Americans, and they do everything they can to insure that we enjoy our vacations.

The beaches are beautiful, the restaurants are affordable, and the nightlife is downright electrifying! If you want to visit a place where you are treated like royalty and you are looking to experience everything from: breathtaking mountainous countrysides, to glorious clear water rocky springs, to unforgettable culture and ambiance... then the Dominican Republic is for you! Follow the adventurous part of your heart and check out this gorgeous island today.


Playa Dorada Beaches 4 stars
I have stayed at two hotels in Playa Dorada, both very different. But what suprised me most was the difference in the beaches! If you face the sea and go left the beaches are stunning, if you face the sea and go too far right the sand turns mucky yellow and the water is no longer clear. We are only talking a short distance, but it makes all the difference! Of course if you end up on the 'spanish style' piece of beach, you can always walk along to the pretty part, however, it's better to end up there in the first place, especially if you are having a lazy holiday. Avoid the Occidental Allegro, as it's beach was pretty dire (and noisy). Anything left of that (left facing the sea) was much better!


Waterfall Climbing 5 stars
What a fabulous buzz! Particularly as I had no idea that the trip I had embarked upon through the hotel would end in climbing water falls, then sliding and jumping our way back down. Not sure if it all got lost in translation, but this is what I found myself doing. Luckily I am young and fit so this was not a problem and I donned my safety equipment with only a slight concern about undertaking this sudden and unexpected extreme sport!

It really was a rush, I only wish I had known beforehand so I could have worn more suitable apparel. If you do this be warned that a flimsy bikini does not stand up to the force of a waterfall determined to make you lose your pants and expose your breasts! That said, I'm not aware that I came too loose and was having such a giggle I would not have noticed anyway!

The walk to waterfall, though the jungle was awesome, whislt the climbing was massive amounts of fun! Not for the faint hearted or those with physical problems! Oh and don't leave your camera or valuables back at the base of thewaterfall. One woman turned her back for less than a minute and her camera had vanished. These are super poor people and there was plenty of youngsters rushing about, just don't leave anything alone if you want to keep it!
Waterfall climbing rocked my world, I'll certainly do it again, next time I wear a one piece!!


Occidental Allegro, Playa Dorada 3 stars
Just like Spain but in the Carribean - which is not what I travelled ten hours across the world for! THe Occidental Allegro is very much for the type of person who likes to stay at their hotel, make lots of friends, get involved in silly entertainment and chill by the pool bar all day. Not great for romance or for a quiet getaway. Probably good for families with Children. My first few days felt like Monsoon season, and the hotel is really not set up for rain, even the TV's are set in an area with no roof. Everywhere flooded and I was wading through near knee deep water to get to the bar and the toilets.
Much better when the sun came out, but still not perfect. The food was quite good at first but after two weeks everything began to taste the same.The restaurants were odd, the Mexican was bizarre, the Italian was better, but we mainly stuck to the buffet. Lobster night was great and the salads were interesting, although vegetarians should look out for hidden meat!
Our particluar block was reffered to as 'death row', it was fairely ancient and crumbly loking. Other newer blocks were much better. Entertanment was manic, sexist and silly - but at times quite amusing. The beach was really quite rubbish compared to the one only a few hundred metres round the corner.
Good things included the amount of people from different countries, diversity is the spice of life, staff were friendly and service was great particularly when you tipped. Rooms were cleaned often and towels changed on request. The air con in the room was fabulous. There was a quiet pool, although it did not always stay quiet with all the kids running about. Sports are available and the pool buffet provided food all day.
I would not go back again, however it's not a bad hotel and would be alot of fun for a very lively hotel based drinking and lazing holiday!


Horseriding, playa dorada 4 stars
Be warned - i went horse riding through a tout on the beach and it was a frightening experience. I actually had a fantastic time, but was lucky to not get injured, no helmet was provided and no instruction. This was a three hour ride through the jungle and mountains on a particularly unpredicatble pony named Apache! It was stunning, despite the fact I had bought the trip and was told the ride would be on the beach. I really did enjoy this, however sensibly I would not do again, I am sure my insurance would have been invalidated by the lack of safety measures, and having had no instruction I was seriously lucky not to get hurt. Especially as the guides kept making the pony run over the dirt track despite my screaming for them to stop. It was good fun in the way an extreme roller coaster was - except that on a roller coaster I would have felt safer! The countryside and jungle was truly beautiful and that in itself made the fear worthwhile. Go horseriding but please go through your rep!


Ocean World Adventure Park, Puerto Plata 2 stars
The only reason to go here in my opinion is to swim or meet the Dolphins. Everything else is a cynical attempt to extort more money from the tourists. To be fair the Shark show and sealion show is fun to watch and feeding the birds in an aviary is fun. But generally all the experiences cost extra. After a couple of hours I found there was nothing left to do without shelling out more cash so left early. I did meet the Dolphins which was lovely, however I'd rather meet them in the wild. There are Tigers, but they only bring them out at set times, at which point you can pay to have a photo taken with them - they are of course behind glass! The lunch was included which was a buffet with a fair amount of choice. I won't be heading back, although if you have alot of spare cash and looking for a way to entertain the kids then this could be great for you!


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