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Thread: Any tips for our trip? Punta Cana > SD > Cabarete > Samana > La Romana > Bavaro

  1. #1
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    Cool Any tips for our trip? Punta Cana > SD > Cabarete > Samana > La Romana > Bavaro

    Hi,
    I am new to this forum and we are planning our first trip to DR with my girlfriend. We are both from Slovakia around 30 years old, travelled a lot together in Europe and in Morocco, Thailand. I spent almost 3 months travelling in Central America.
    In DR we would like to relax, enjoy the beaches, try the cuisine and get to know the country and people. On top of that we plan to surf, dive and my gf would love to see dolphins. She's hoping to see them on every vacation, but we weren't so lucky so far.
    I would appreciate any tips or comments to our itinerary:

    24 - 25.2. Punta Cana - chill out after the flight from Europe
    26.2. Santo domingo - see the Zona Colonial and maybe some live music
    27 - 29.2. Cabarete - watch the Master of the Ocean and hopefully surf a little (we did surf before, but are still beginners)
    1.3. - 6.3. Samana - apart from beaches, we would like to see the nature.
    7.3. - 9.3 comfortable place in La Romana or Bayahibe with a day trip Saona
    10.3. - 14.3. comfortable place in Bavaro or Punta Cana area
    15.3. Flight from Punta Cana

    We don't have any accommodation booked yet. For the week in Samana, we think of staying few days in Las Galeras and few days in Las Terrenas.
    For the end of our trip we just want to relax, so we will probably book a beach resort in La Romana and then a resort somewhere in Bavaro. We have never stayed in all-inclusive resort. My gf would like to try it, but I prefer something more authentic. On the other hand our other trips were usually too hectic and we felt like we needed another holiday after a holiday so a resort might be a nice change.

    We will travel by public transport.

    What do you think about the itinerary? Where would you stay in Samana and in the La Romana and Punta Cana area?

  2. #2
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    It looks like 1/2 of your time on the island is going to be spent on a bus, not exactly a relaxing trip.

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  4. #3
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    Too much on your plate. You will enjoy pc,bayahibe,sd with the time you have.
    You can surf in pc. Relax in bayahibe , and history in sd.
    Good luck.

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    Leave good jewlery at home. Buy yourself a 10 dollar watch. Don't give anyone reason to rob or hurt you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrolej View Post
    Hi,

    I would appreciate any tips or comments to our itinerary:

    24 - 25.2. Punta Cana - chill out after the flight from Europe
    26.2. Santo domingo - see the Zona Colonial and maybe some live music
    27 - 29.2. Cabarete - watch the Master of the Ocean and hopefully surf a little (we did surf before, but are still beginners)
    1.3. - 6.3. Samana - apart from beaches, we would like to see the nature.
    7.3. - 9.3 comfortable place in La Romana or Bayahibe with a day trip Saona
    10.3. - 14.3. comfortable place in Bavaro or Punta Cana area
    15.3. Flight from Punta Cana

    We will travel by public transport.

    What do you think about the itinerary? Where would you stay in Samana and in the La Romana and Punta Cana area?
    I am afraid you are SEVERELY OVERESTIMATING the DR's public transport system outside the major metropolitan areas (especially connecting with tourist areas). Don't get me wrong, it is probably POSSIBLE to travel around the country in public transport, but the system is NOT meant for that, especially if you are a tourist with limited time, who actually want to ENJOY your visit.

    The inter-city public buses are mostly meant for local people often of modest means. Depending on the specific area, the service may actually be decent and relatively cheap (PC-SD about 8 EUR one way, lasting about 3 hrs). However, they may drop you in places convenient for local people, but not necessarily for tourists. So, you may actually spend more money in a taxi from your hotel to the bus stop, than for the main trip. Non-taxi transport options around the beach tourist areas are non-existing to extremely limited. Moto-taxis are normally inexpensive and work OK for the venturous ones, but I would NEVER recommend them (and wouldn't work at all if you carry luggage or shopping bags).

    That said, traveling to SD the next day after your arrival (from Europe?) seems like a bad idea. As said, it's a 3 hrs trip each way, but you have to add time for connecting to/from the bus. You could just do PC on your arrival and Bayahibe at the end since it's no big deal to travel from a Bayahibe hotel to the PC airport (very short trip with the new highway). If you are going to stop in SD at all, allocating two nights to that city would seem sensible (presumably you would arrive mid day, and leave early, so 2 nights is not that much).

    You should be able to see whales around Samana this time of the year (dolphins are easily seen in captivity...can even swim with them).

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapitan75 View Post
    Too much on your plate. You will enjoy pc,bayahibe,sd with the time you have.
    You can surf in pc. Relax in bayahibe , and history in sd.
    Surfing near PC should be fairly limited. The PC area mostly faces a CANAL between two islands, and/or the Caribbean SEA (an interior sea similar to the Mediterranean, NOT the Ocean). That is far from ideal for real surfing.

    The Ocean is near the northern part of PC, so there may be some surfing possibilities to the North and West of Macao, towards Miches, in front of Samana, but I doubt it will be at the level of Cabarete and nearby.

  8. #7
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    Macao is a very popular surfing beach, just 10 mins drive from Bávaro/Punta Cana. Some surfing at Uvero Alto too.

    http://macaosurfcamp.com/
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  10. #8
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    Way too much on your plate. Cut out about half of this and then enjoy the other half. Personally I am not a fan of all inclusives. Many of my friends do so it is personal preference. You will be in a bubble with Europeans, Canadians and Americans. The Dominican people are friendly and gracious. I like being around them rather than other tourists.

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  12. #9
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    Far too much travelling and little time to enjoy.

    Keep it simple.

    East Coast (Punta Cana and Bavaro) at the beginning and end of the trip. Travel up East coast on new highway to Miches and Sabana de la Mara and take the 4times daily ferry over to Samana........even better a side trip into Parque de Los Haitises when at Sabana. Travel around the peninsula (try the Tree House) and don't miss the whales at this time of year.

    Samana peninsula could take up the 3 weeks alone with such variation and varied lovely beaches. You can enjoy surfing on Playa Coson or Playa Bonita (surf school there with accommodation). From Las Terrenas take one of the daily buses to Santo Domingo and stay a couple of nights in Zona Colonial and then back to Bavaro.

    This way you will have seen a good cross section of the eastern half of the country. DR is a big place with not so good transport

    Come back when you have read the advice of all posters and get recommendations on places to stay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chirimoya View Post
    Macao is a very popular surfing beach, just 10 mins drive from Bávaro/Punta Cana. Some surfing at Uvero Alto too.

    http://macaosurfcamp.com/
    I remember Macao as a very active beach. Like I said, I am not surprised some surfing is possible near Macao (since it is technically the Ocean, although very close to the canal) but I doubt it is at the same level as Cabarete and the like among surfing sites.

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