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Dominican Republic

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posted on May, 6 2005 @ 03:55 PM
I am heading down there with my family in early August. Were staying at a all inclusive hotel about an hour away from the main airport. It should be an awesome time. Has anyone here been to the D. R.? I'd love to hear about it and maybe get some suggested activities/tips. Thanks.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 10:22 AM
Been to the Dom Rep twice in the late ninetys, and loved it both times. We stayed up in the Puerto Plata area (NorthWest of the island) at The Riu Merengue hotel (All in) which was fairly new then and a lovely place to stay.

Most hotels on the island (Hispanola) are all inclusive and a pretty good standard. Apparently, hotels can only be a maximum of two storeys high which gives the place a nice feel - no ugly high rises to spoil the views. A lot have signed up to the 'Crystal' programme which is there to ensure high food hygene standards, and certainly we never encountered any problems with the food or drinks. Our hotel even had a minibar in the room which was part of the AI deal and restocked daily! Mmmm Beer.

The locals are warm and friendly, but sometimes it was a little off putting to see young men wandering the beaches with an AK47 or similar slung over their shoulder! Don't worry though, we were reliably informed it was just for show, a status symbol thing, and they definately couldn't get hold of any ammo for them. It's probably worth remembering that the Dom Rep is still a relatively poor country, so while venturing out of your hotel is safe to do, it just may not be too pretty to see how some of the locals live. Another little fact about DR is that when you see ornamental dolls in shops, they never have any faces on them - they're just blank. We were told it's because there is no 'typical' Domincan - not black, not white - because of all the different invaders over the years. I thought it was a voodoo thing first, because it's a little spooky.

Having said that, it is a beautiful place to be and worth seeing on an organised trip. We did a Monster Truck Safari on a couple of old 8 wheeler US Army troop carriers that were supposed to have been destined for Vietnam but never made it. It was a great day out, seeing parts of the Island where they filmed Jurassic Park, driving across rivers (soaking the folks in the other truck) and ending up at a small riverside retreat for lunch and a swim. Oh, and a beer/rum stop about every ten minutes.

Another thing to see would be the Amber Museum - Jurassic Park, again. It's pretty cheap to buy as is other jewelry, but that's on the north side again and I don't know where you will be going. If you like your watersports, most hotels will have all the usual - scuba, jetskis, paragliding, and fast boats.

Anyway, have a blast - I'm sure you'll love it. I certainly did and I'd like to go back there again soon.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 02:08 PM
You’ll have fun, My parents are from the Dominican Republic and I’ve gone back there ever 2 or 3 years since I was born. The resorts are just awesome I was there almost 2 years ago and went to 3 of them. The food is great and they all have their own sealed off and private beaches and pools and if you drink you have to try a icy cold Presidente. The only bad thing is that most resorts are out of the way and on the coastal zones which are isolated and far from rest of the country and you don’t really get to see and know the country some of the big cities like Santo Domingo and Santiago are beautiful and have lots of places to see but aren’t usually on the tourist plan when people visit. Some of the bigger and newer resorts are 3-4 stories high (aesthetics reasons). The armed men the above poster mention are most likely the private security used by the resorts, and I wouldn’t necessary tried to figure out just how much ammunition they can afford if I were you. But the people are generally great ambassadors for our country and the security are there more for show then anything.

The Racial make up of the country is a bit unique, we have a heavy Spanish and African heritage but there is also significant French and German heritage along with a few others. I mean My Mother’s Father was of English and Algerian heritage and my stepfather’s grandfather was Japanese, and there is a growing Chinese populations in certain parts of the country as of late. There is even a place in the north that has a heavy Jewish population because of WW2 refugees. English, French and German are spoken in most tourist areas and English is basically a second language in the country, most school are now require to teach a certain amount of hours of English a week as of last year and there is a pilot school for bilingual education which started earlier this year.

Your going to have a blast but your not going to see the complete picture as most resorts in remote and under-develop (poor) parts of the country and are about 2hours or more away from the cities and more develop regions which tend to be deep inland and away from the tourist and coastal areas. Some of the Memorials and architectures in the capital and other big cities are breathtaking and beautiful as well as the colonial zones which transport you to a different time. Well, I hope you have a great time, I’m sooooooo jealous right now, but hey I’m off to cancun in a few weeks lol.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 07:21 PM
Yeah my dad has told me that we will be driving through some pretty bad villages and towns. We are flying in to the airport and taking a bus to Punta Cana. Its going to be interesting to see the varying standards of living throughout the island. The ride is over an hour.

With that said, it should be a great time. There is a national drinking age of 18 but I have read that its really lax. Good for me cause I'm 16. I want to try some local rum. The plan is for my brother and I to split a room while my parents get another. There would be some insane parties if that was the case. Speaking of which, I read that there is a ton of nightlife around the resort. This could become my all-time favorite vacation.

BTW thanks for the heads up about the guards. I wont freak out (much) when guys in camo and AK-47s approach me.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 09:04 PM
Punta cana, wow haven't been there since I was kid and went to a beach around there, it's nice dont know how it looks like now but I've heard it's one of the best tourist area of the country. The drinking age is 18 but by sixteen you'll have no problems getting away with it, I use to drink when I was 13 over there but I looked a bit mature for my age at the time. The resorts all tend to have their own nightclubs and activities or are partnered with clubs nearby to ensure your enjoyment and security. The security guys are more for show than anything, these areas tend to be very calm and remote from the rest of the country which gets a para-military national police with the weapons and tactics to match. ah well I hope you have the greatest time, those vacations that i"ve taken over there since I was kid to visit family and relax are some of the best and most memorable times of my life.

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