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Thread: Las Galeras & Bayahibe part 1

  1. #11
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    Sounds like you had a great time. A few tips and observations;
    When you want to exchange money, go to Caribe Express or Western Union. You will not get the best rate, but you will get a better rate than trying to take US dollars from an ATM. They will only give you 42 or 43 plus you pay the fee. At Caribe or Western Union, you will get 45+ and no fee. There is a Caribe Express in Samana and there is a Western Union in both Samana and Las Galeras.

    Rambo certainly is a legend. He earned it, as he claims to enjoy the company of at least 3-4 women per day.

    La Aventura de John/Chez Francis may be the "Cheers" that you speak of. Great place to see all the locals in town as well as some of the longer term renters. Good food and they will set up the laptop so you can make some music requests.

    Not sure if you are finished with your story, but I hope you made it to El Cabito to enjoy the ocean view, and to El Monte Azul to enjoy a fantastic view of the Samana bay and surrounding areas and enjoy a drink and great food while you are there.

    Finally concerning your trip to Rincon. If you enjoy horses, great. Take those. If not, the road to Rincon is now paved 90% of the way, and you can drive all the way out. You are correct, Playita in Las Galeras is a little taste of Rincon, without the long drive, and you are much closer to town with a few more amenities like a small restaurant.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by reilleyp View Post
    Sounds like you had a great time. A few tips and observations;
    When you want to exchange money, go to Caribe Express or Western Union. You will not get the best rate, but you will get a better rate than trying to take US dollars from an ATM. They will only give you 42 or 43 plus you pay the fee. At Caribe or Western Union, you will get 45+ and no fee. There is a Caribe Express in Samana and there is a Western Union in both Samana and Las Galeras.

    Rambo certainly is a legend. He earned it, as he claims to enjoy the company of at least 3-4 women per day.

    La Aventura de John/Chez Francis may be the "Cheers" that you speak of. Great place to see all the locals in town as well as some of the longer term renters. Good food and they will set up the laptop so you can make some music requests.

    Not sure if you are finished with your story, but I hope you made it to El Cabito to enjoy the ocean view, and to El Monte Azul to enjoy a fantastic view of the Samana bay and surrounding areas and enjoy a drink and great food while you are there.

    Finally concerning your trip to Rincon. If you enjoy horses, great. Take those. If not, the road to Rincon is now paved 90% of the way, and you can drive all the way out. You are correct, Playita in Las Galeras is a little taste of Rincon, without the long drive, and you are much closer to town with a few more amenities like a small restaurant.
    Thanks for your reply, reilleyp. we are already home and I am posting these memories at snail speed but I'm sure another potential visitor will be helped by your insight. Despite Bancomers' receipts that said I would be charged 117 or 177 DP per ATM transaction when we checked our statement once home we were only charged 44-45 cents for a draw of 44.40USD (2000DP). We did use a Caribe Express cambio booth to change some of our USD when we first arrived to LG and the rate was very fair, altho she could not take one torn bill we had she told us the bank would.
    we did eat at one of the eateries on Playita, not the first larger building closer to the road but a smaller place just west of it. The fried fish, fried eggplant and rice/beans were very good but the lady serving the food was quite unfriendly and slammed our plates down on the opposite end of the bench table from which we sat. Altho we always use our "por favor and gracias" and smile. We did not feel welcome there. There was only one other group (local italians, I think) that was leaving after we ordered so they were not overwhelmed with business. I really don't understand this attitude we encountered, not for the first time, from workers at business' that would seem to need tourists.
    We never made it to Monte Azul altho it was highly recommended, a small regret. After the horseback ride to Rincon we thought of making the drive by car but the days just slipped away and soon it was time to make the drive to Bayahibe.

  3. #13
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    I have been a few times to the restaurant you described on Playita. I do not doubt your story, but I must say that I have had some very good fish there with no problems at all. They do serve the way you said, just putting everything in one place on the table. But I go to the kitchen and the lady shows me the fish to pick out what I want and was more than pleasant with me. Maybe she just had a bad day. But this place is a lot better than the other more fancy restaurant at the entrance.

    In fact I would say that the other place is just looking to overcharge gringos. You will never see a local eat there.

    I would give her another chance if you return.

    As for the Monte Azul, great food with an unbelievable view. But I would never think of driving my car up there. Did it once and never again. Pierre will pick you up at the road if you call him, or just take a brave Taxi driver.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja123 View Post
    It's sort of fun to re-live it and while i was lurking in forum, it seemed not too many people really did these trip reports. Stop me when it gets old. Please.
    The only thing that could improve your thread is pictures. Awesome report.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKY View Post
    I have been a few times to the restaurant you described on Playita. I do not doubt your story, but I must say that I have had some very good fish there with no problems at all. They do serve the way you said, just putting everything in one place on the table. But I go to the kitchen and the lady shows me the fish to pick out what I want and was more than pleasant with me. Maybe she just had a bad day. But this place is a lot better than the other more fancy restaurant at the entrance.

    In fact I would say that the other place is just looking to overcharge gringos. You will never see a local eat there.

    I would give her another chance if you return.

    As for the Monte Azul, great food with an unbelievable view. But I would never think of driving my car up there. Did it once and never again. Pierre will pick you up at the road if you call him, or just take a brave Taxi driver.
    Hi Sky
    I agree the food was very good at that particular Playita beachfront restaurant, I would eat there again if we ever returned to LG. It was a cloudy, rain on and off again day. Maybe it affected all of our moods but I admit the longer we were in the country the more I began to feel that those of us who don't have a good grasp of the language were not treated with the same courtesy as those who were locals. I could be completely wrong, it was just my perception.
    To add gas to that fire, I would add that it also seemed that business owners and/or those who appeared more educated ie bank tellers, multi-lingual speakers, etc. were more courteous and friendly to us. Store cashiers were the worst in their indifference and sour faces.
    We were in the La Defensa Supermercado in Bayahibe checking out a few items and the cashier was singing Feliz Navidad. So I sang along with her..a nice little moment..she was smiling and animated till after our duet ended and she said something in spanish, I did not understand. I said lo siento, no entiendo ( I know my spanish is horrible self taught spanglish) and immediately her smile went to the grim stoic face she had before we began. No acknowledgement of my gracias or adios either. Kinda sad. an someone explain this phenomena?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobrouser View Post
    The only thing that could improve your thread is pictures. Awesome report.
    Thanks mobrouser
    I am awful about taking pics but I'll see if i can upload a few before I finish this post.

  7. #17
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    Is there more to post? An enjoyable read!

  8. #18
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    For those next coming… say you were referred to Dona Isabel, the owner of the restaurant at La Playita. I would avoid any peak days/hours. If going on a Saturday or Sunday, that would be for lunch. Definitely would recommend. Also for next time… enjoy a pina colada prepared in a pineapple picked near by and with coconut from nearby trees. Delicious. As said you could pick your fish, but we were a group of 15 and the fish for all were delicious.

    Check out Kaio aquarium in Grand Paradise beach for swimming with fish in their natural setting. He has a way to attract the fish.

    Yes, have lunch at Cabito… or stay there.

    Las Galeras also has incredible hikes in the direction of Madama and Fronton beach.

    See the DR1 Guide Samana guide at http://dr1.com/travel/samanaguide.pdf
    Is dated, but almost everything is still going minus the Taino Park that has unfortunately closed.

  9. #19
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    Wow..been a long time since I looked at this forum. I may type up a review for Bayahibe since i never got to it. Let me see if I can load some pics here too

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja123 View Post
    Wow..been a long time since I looked at this forum. I may type up a review for Bayahibe since i never got to it. Let me see if I can load some pics here too
    I give up- my pics are jpeg but not in a URL format...my pea brain cannot figure out how to upload them.

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