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

  1. #21
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    Las time I went to Samana a few years ago I stayed at Hotel Las Ballenas Escondidas (based on recommendation on DR1). Just a few clicks from Samana city, beautiful place, great view on the ocean, very good food, even saw a whale breach one morning during breakfast. Of note: They only accepted cash back then.

    If you do decide to surf while in Punta Cana, would definitely recommend Macao Surf Camp. Terrific guys and great instructors.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrolej View Post
    24 - 28.2. Bavaro - probably around El Cortecito and Los Corales, good choice?
    29.2. Santo domingo - just a quick stop to break the journey and see the Zona Colonial and maybe some live music
    1.3. - 6.3. Samana
    7.3. - 14.3 Bayahibe
    15.3. Flight from Punta Cana
    .
    You should check with the GERMAN tour operators, for all-inclusive deals. As far as I know they do not require that you live in Germany. They DO offer hotel-only deals, and you may be able to get a decent deal even at the last minute. One particular site to take a quick look is eurosun.de (they resell most major operators). You MIGHT be able to get an English website, or simply use google to translate the entire site. They do understand English (even if the website doesn't). Even if you cannot book something for the first few nights of your stay, you may still save money by booking the remainder of your stay.

    It is unclear to me if you itinerary are NIGHTS to spend in the given place or arival-exit dates.

    If you mean to make a quick stop-over in SD during the same day (arrive morning depart evening) it doesn't make much sense. A single night makes a bit more sense, but still by the time you reach your hotel it will be at least noon, and then you will leave probably by noon the next day. What exactly will you do? A second night will open more possibilities. Here is what to do in 36 Hours (NY Times).

    Best of luck.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrolej View Post
    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?
    You have a lot on your plate. I am assuming that you already booked your flight into Punta Cana. Feb. leading into March is the high season in the DR. If you plan on staying in an all-inclusive I would book it ahead of time for two reasons. First, there may not be any rooms available and secondly you will pay top dollar. Also, many all inclusives in the DR frown upon people coming in "off the street" to get accomodations. Just to get by the security gate if you are not part of a group is sometimes problematic. Being spontaneous is fun but with Easter falling the last week of March more tourists will probably be coming to the DR during this month so be prepared. If you leave from Punta Cana you would need to take Bavaro bus to Santo Domingo. I would book a night or two at the Hotel El Conde de Penalba. It is an old colonial hotel with big rooms and you are across the plaza from the oldest church in the new world and walking distance to all of the Colonial Zone. This hotel has a large outdoor cafe and fairly good food. From Santo Domingo you can take Transporte Las Terrenas which is direct to Las Terrenas. I would stay in Las Terrenas. The beaches are some of the nicest in the DR. You have two main beaches that rim the town and a 10 minute ride bring you to Playa Bonita which is very beautiful and has surfing. You can rent boards here. Another 10 minutes and you are in Playa Coson. Go to Luis' Restaurant (lunch only). This is a very laid back place with picnic table and some beach chairs. It is right on the beach and you can swim, eat and drink. They grill everything from Lobster, shrimp, chicken, fish and octopus. Your meal comes with salad, french fries and rice and beans. Prices are reasonable, except for the lobster. They charge by the pound. You can spend the whole afternoon here and walk the beach for miles. Las Terrenas is very European in nature. There are many French, German and Italian here. I don't know if that interests you or you want to avoid it but some of the best restaurants in the DR are here because of the European flavor. From Las Terreans to Las Galeras is a good hour and fifteen minutes. You pass through Samana City. In Samana you can take a Whale Watching tour. The whales are in Samana Bay from Jan 15-March 15th. Las Galeras is very beautiful and very quiet. There is not much night life but it might be worth staying one night. Again I am not sure what hotels will have rooms available. If you go to Las Galeras rent a car for a day. Taking busses will take you a while to get there. From Las Terrenas Transporte Las Terrenas has an early morning bus that goes to Puerta Plata. You can take this and get off in Cabarte. When you want to return to Punta Cana. Take a bus from Puerta Plata to Santo Domigo and then the Bavaro bus back to the Punta Cana area. As far as scenery you will not find anything better than the Samana Peninsual. Good luck and good travels

  4. #24
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    Great little hotel in Samana, US$25 a night. Nothing fancy, but clean and centrally located. They offer breakfast and an excellent lunch for an additional charge. Bahia View Hotel, 829-880-9653, at Francisco del Rosario Sanchez, #34. But if you are the all-inclusive type, it may not be your cup o'tea.

    If you hurry, your gf may be able to see whales.

  5. #25
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    Thanks for all your comments. Based on that, we updated our itinerary:

    24 - 27.2. (28.2 checkout) Bavaro
    4 nights all inclusive hotel http://www.booking.com/hotel/do/gran...spa.en-gb.html

    28.2. (29.2 checkout) Santo domingo
    1 night in small hotel in Zona Colonial https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/cirok.en-gb.html

    29.2. - 9.3. (10.3.checkout) Samana peninsula
    10 nigths. We will stay in 2 places. Rigth know we have booked 5 nights in Las Terrenas ( https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/res...nas.en-gb.html ) and 5 nigths in Las Galeras ( https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/el-...gio.en-gb.html )

    10.3. - 14.3 (15.3. checkout) Bayahibe
    5 nights in https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/cabana-elke.en-gb.html or maybe AirBNB

    15.3. Flight from Punta Cana

    First part (Bavaro + Santo Domingo) is final and can't be changed. With the rest we can change bookings.
    We are thinking about these changes:
    5 nights Las Terrenas, 4 nights Samana, 3 nights Las Galeras, 3 nights Bayahibe
    OR 7 nights Las Terrenas, 4 nights Las Galeras, 4 nights Bayahibe
    OR 7 nights Las Terrenas, 4 nights Samana, 4 nights Bayahibe

    What would you do?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrolej View Post
    Thanks for all your comments. Based on that, we updated our itinerary:

    24 - 27.2. (28.2 checkout) Bavaro
    4 nights all inclusive hotel http://www.booking.com/hotel/do/gran...spa.en-gb.html

    28.2. (29.2 checkout) Santo domingo
    1 night in small hotel in Zona Colonial https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/cirok.en-gb.html

    29.2. - 9.3. (10.3.checkout) Samana peninsula
    10 nigths. We will stay in 2 places. Rigth know we have booked 5 nights in Las Terrenas ( https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/res...nas.en-gb.html ) and 5 nigths in Las Galeras ( https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/el-...gio.en-gb.html )

    10.3. - 14.3 (15.3. checkout) Bayahibe
    5 nights in https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/cabana-elke.en-gb.html or maybe AirBNB

    15.3. Flight from Punta Cana
    It seems like booking.com's price for your resort for those 4 nights, 2 people, is 1.085 EUR (or equiv).

    Out of curiosity I checked the German site I suggested, same resort and nights, and their price for 2 is 854 EUR.
    It seems booking.com costs you an additional 231 EUR for this short stay. Not a lot of money, but significant.

    They had less expensive PC offers for those dates. For example, the Barcelo Dominican Beach would have costed 756 EUR total (same dates for 2 people).

    You may still check their website to see what they offer you for the rest of your trip, once you are sure of your dates. Of course you can read reviews, etc at other sites, and after you know what you want you could buy from the German site, if they offer you a much better deal. Like I said, you can correspond with them in English, and ask them to send you the pertinent papers for the hotel by email.

  7. #27
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    The place you have chosen in Las Terrenas is on Playa Las Ballenas and that is a nice beach especially at the end you have chosen where it is good to swim. No surfing here and you cannot get to Playa Bonita by following the coast around. Loma Bonita...the headland hill at the end of Playa La Ballenas is private and there is no way through.

    So I hope you like riding on the back of motorbikes....or conversely hire a quad for your stay in Las Terrenas so you can get around and to Playa Bonita and Playa Coson.

    Las Galeras to Bayahibe will be a long travel day I'm afraid. LG to Samana by guagua. Samana to end of Samana autopista on Las Americas probably best use Carib Tours and get off at their bus station there and hopefully find a bus to La Romana then a guagua onto Bayahibe.

    I would always recommend a visitor to Samana at this time of year to see the whales. And at any time visit Parque los Haitises and doing this you can find a better (more scenic) way back east using the ferry to Sabana and staying at the eco hotel there and visiting this jewel of a national park.

    https://www.google.com.do/search?q=p...ulprgK#imgrc=_

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgo View Post
    It seems like booking.com's price for your resort for those 4 nights, 2 people, is 1.085 EUR (or equiv).

    Out of curiosity I checked the German site I suggested, same resort and nights, and their price for 2 is 854 EUR.
    It seems booking.com costs you an additional 231 EUR for this short stay. Not a lot of money, but significant.

    They had less expensive PC offers for those dates. For example, the Barcelo Dominican Beach would have costed 756 EUR total (same dates for 2 people).

    You may still check their website to see what they offer you for the rest of your trip, once you are sure of your dates. Of course you can read reviews, etc at other sites, and after you know what you want you could buy from the German site, if they offer you a much better deal. Like I said, you can correspond with them in English, and ask them to send you the pertinent papers for the hotel by email.
    Well, I wish I knew about the german site before When I read your post, we had Bavaro already booked and we would have to pay 350 USD for cancellation I looked at the german site, it looked really good (I even speak German) but I rather didn't compare the prices in detail, because I was afraid I would find something cheaper Anyway thanks for the tip, I will use in the future and I'm sure it will help somebody else.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ju10prd View Post
    The place you have chosen in Las Terrenas is on Playa Las Ballenas and that is a nice beach especially at the end you have chosen where it is good to swim. No surfing here and you cannot get to Playa Bonita by following the coast around. Loma Bonita...the headland hill at the end of Playa La Ballenas is private and there is no way through.

    So I hope you like riding on the back of motorbikes....or conversely hire a quad for your stay in Las Terrenas so you can get around and to Playa Bonita and Playa Coson.

    Las Galeras to Bayahibe will be a long travel day I'm afraid. LG to Samana by guagua. Samana to end of Samana autopista on Las Americas probably best use Carib Tours and get off at their bus station there and hopefully find a bus to La Romana then a guagua onto Bayahibe.

    I would always recommend a visitor to Samana at this time of year to see the whales. And at any time visit Parque los Haitises and doing this you can find a better (more scenic) way back east using the ferry to Sabana and staying at the eco hotel there and visiting this jewel of a national park.

    https://www.google.com.do/search?q=p...ulprgK#imgrc=_
    Thanks! We booked the eco lodge in Sabana del Mar. It looks awesome!
    Where would you stay in Las Terrenas instead of the plase we booked? I thought it would easy to get to the surfing sites with guaguas, is that not possible? We didn't plan to hire quadbike.

    Our current itinerary (2nd part) looks like this:
    7 nights in Las Terrenas ( https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/res...nas.en-gb.html )
    4 nigths in Las Galeras ( https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/el-...gio.en-gb.html )
    1 night in Sabana del Mar ( http://www.booking.com/hotel/do/para...ndo.en-gb.html )
    3 nights in Bayahibe ( we changed place for cheaper and closer to boat for Saona https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/tro...ibe.en-gb.html )

  10. #30
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    There is no easy solution. You are either staying in Las Terrenas along Playa Las Ballenas or Playa Popi or right in the town and from one end to the other is a good walk. To get to Playa Bonita or Playa Coson is by taxi or motoconcho. Your nearest supermarket is more than 1km from where you have currently booked but would likely be the same distance from most other places. A quad is an option to give you freedom and they are easy to hire in LT at about $25/30 a day. You could stay on Playa Bonita but the travelling is in reverse if you want to enjoy the town and it's beaches and restaurants.

    I am glad you have read up about Parque Los Haitises. You can arrange a private boat tour at the hotel at check in which takes you through the mangroves and into Bahia San Lorenzo to see those limestone islands, the pirate and Taino caves and the old banana wharf. You can also do some sea kayaking. To get to the hotel from the jetty in Sabana is quite a distance and you may land up having to take a taxi or perhaps contact the hotel for a transfer.

    See Google Earth map below and zoom in and out as needed

    https://www.google.com.do/maps/place...0df7e0!6m1!1e1

    Just a hint......make the most of the excursion....longer is better but more pricey. It's a strange hotel but something you will talk about to friends and family.

    Ferries from Samana to Sabana need to be checked up on when you are there. When I was in Sabana over a year ago there were 4 crossings daily leaving Sabana at 9.00, 11.00, 3.00, 5.00. It has to be less than an hour crossing so that should allow you to work out likely Samana departures....but a current check is needed.......maybe the hotel in Sabana can give you an update.

    Now the next challenge is to get from Sabana to Bayahibe. It should be easy to get one of the regular guaguas that ply the Miches road which has recently been upgraded and opened. From Miches you will easily get a guagua to El Seibo over the Cordillera Oriental which is lovely according to a report by Kipling posted a few months back....hope he chips in. From El Seibo you can surely get a guagua to La Romana and from there onto Bayahibe. You will have crossed some lovely countryside including sugar cane rolling country and seen a fine part of DR few tourist take the trouble to see.
    Last edited by ju10prd; 02-22-2016 at 06:27 PM.

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