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Thread: Las Galeras was AMAZING!!!

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    Default Las Galeras was AMAZING!!!

    We landed at Las Americas International Airport with a reservation for car rental with Alamo. The nice fellow at the desk Riddell helped us complete our rental. Online we had paid $155 plus another $99(insurance) Riddell we very adamant about us getting the Dominican insurance which cost another 300 bucks. So after a little exchange between us we agreed reluctantly. So finally we had officially arrived (after a 7 hour delay in the Miami airport) it was already near 8 pm. I had read on the forums it was best to avoid driving at night on the island but we said screw it lets go to LG it's only 3.5 hours away and our phones don't work and we only have this paper map it will be fine. Off we went oh almost forgot at immigration my girlfriend left her new pink Iphone on the desk were she was filling out forms. So she went back inside to try and find it while I dealt with the car rental. She speaks ZERO Spanish and mine is bad at best I understand a lot but do not speak well so this was about to get interesting. She found help to get back to the correct area but after several minutes she came back out empty handed and crying. Rough start so far but I got her to get on board with a little pep talk and some fun by turning up the local radio. So off we go but before we are even out of the airport the truck in front of us stops completely and the drivers gets out and starts to take a leak right there its was a surprise since we were in the middle lane of 3 but hey its island life I guess. We just laughed as we pull around him to continue on our way he makes her forget that Iphone pretty quick because now she is part of the driving I need extra eyes. We head out of the airport and miss the right hand turn onto 5 so now its 7 miles to the first turn off which is in Santo Domingo on Friday night at 8:30pm on Three Kings weekend. NOW it gets crazy there are cars and trucks backed up for blocks with motorbikes just weaving in between everyone no lights 5 deep on tiny motorcycles it was exciting and a little scary. After making that same loop 3 times (the exit is not very clearly marked and it has 3 options) we were headed in the right direction. We stopped just outside of town at Bellamar to take a breath and make sure we had as for the night as it was now almost 9:15. This gas station was awesome!! The food was great and a wide selection of ribs and bbq it was so good we stopped again on our way back to the airport. It was a nice well maintained road on the way to Samana that was wide open with nearly no traffic. Once we hit Samana it was more crowded but not bad. The road to LG from Samana was in good condition as well but much more busy with people and dogs not other cars or motos. Every little village was having a party in the street so we had to slow way down and be extra careful with each passing village. It was fun to listen to the music and seeing people hanging out and dancing. Everyone seemed to being having a great time as we rolled through widows down waving and saying hi since we were only going like 25 Kph. Fun drive but I was doing my best to look out for all the people and dogs. Once we arrived in LG it was pretty dead it was also almost 1 am we found our host house and he took us to our bungalow and we went right to sleep.
    The next morning we headed out on foot and within a block there was a nice little bar/restaurant/hotel it was run by a very sweet woman named Joanne and owned by a nice Polish man named Joni (I think thats spelled right). We ended up spending almost every morning here drinking coffee and talking with them well trying to at least either way lots of smiles and laughing. Next stop was the main beach which was just minutes away and WOW it was beautiful!! It was Saturday and there was maybe 20 other people on that beach so lots of space to spread out and lounge. The water was so clear and the sand so fine and clean it was really the nicest beach of the entire week. Later that day we got wrangled into a shop by a smooth talking guy named Joseph. He was selling tours and had a little trinket shop but he spoke excellent English so we starting talking and got along great. We ended up having drinks with him and a friend that evening which was great because we learned a ton about LG and the surrounding areas. He was nice enough to loan us his daily scooter while he was working during the day time we just had to return it with gas for him to get home each day. We took that thing EVERYWHERE!!!! Rincon, Fronton, Playita up to El Cabito to eat it was fantastic we couldn't have asked for a better way to get around. Each night we tried a different place to eat and almost got through them all. It was very surprising how many places served pizza. We ended up going to a great place called Tropical House run by a extremely nice man named Tati. We met his family and he served us dinner which was great and affordable. We invited him to sit, drink coffee and talk with us which he did. It was a challenge to try and have conversations with people and only know a few words in their language but I really enjoyed learning more and more everyday. We ended up talking with Tati 3 or 4 times that week and when we left I gave him a pack of socks I hadn't opened for his boys along with a bag of sour gummi candy that the kids went nuts for.
    The entire week we would walk into the main crossing and say hola to everyone and after a few days everyone knew who we were so when we would be on Rincon we would get a hola Trey and Juls as a local would walk by. it was so heartwarming to feel welcome. We got a few rides from the local guys just hanging around town offering up moto rides just for the hell of it because after walking by them so many times and saying hello it felt rude to to take them up on the rides. I was very surprised those little bikes could pull by big 6' 5" 280 pound frame around but they did pretty good.
    Our bungalow was great tiny but great. No A/C but we didn't need it the 2 fans were enough. The fridge worked great and it had hot water so no complaints there plus the price was great. The outdoor shower was great for after beach rinse offs. We really didn't spend much time in at the bungalow mostly just to sleep.
    We booked a tour to Los Haitises online that we were really looking forward to but on Tuesday the rain came and they cancelled all boat tours for the week which was sad news but it didn't matter we had fun around town. On Thursday we got an email that our tour was back on for the following day. It was such a pretty place the jungle covered Islands were amazing very Jurassic Park. I was impressed by the boat captains skill in those tight quarters headed up the river to the caves. Really cool to see that and then we headed to Cayo Levantado. On the way the boat which was nice it had like 30 or so people on it blew an engine. Then about 10 mins later it blew the other one. So we had to get towed to the island but whatever it was nice out and the scenery is fantastic. The island was ok but was to centered around a resort style which we didn't like we were anxious to get back to LG to say bye to everyone.
    We had our last meal at a french place called La plaza de Marseille I think. Great seafood that plate we spilt so we could save room for those pastries. Then we went around town and said goodbye to everyone we had met that week. It was sad we didn't want to leave such an eye opening experience.

    LG was so beautiful I don't even know words that can describe it all I know is I want to go back as soon as I possibly can! Thank you DR!!!

  2. Likes AlterEgo, Matilda, Abuela, jd426, frank12 and 7 others liked this post
  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plastichucker View Post
    We landed at Las Americas International Airport with a reservation for car rental with Alamo. The nice fellow at the desk Riddell helped us complete our rental. Online we had paid $155 plus another $99(insurance) Riddell we very adamant about us getting the Dominican insurance which cost another 300 bucks. So after a little exchange between us we agreed reluctantly.

    So finally we had officially arrived (after a 7 hour delay in the Miami airport) it was already near 8 pm. I had read on the forums it was best to avoid driving at night on the island but we said screw it lets go to LG it's only 3.5 hours away and our phones don't work and we only have this paper map it will be fine.

    Off we went oh almost forgot at immigration my girlfriend left her new pink Iphone on the desk were she was filling out forms. So she went back inside to try and find it while I dealt with the car rental. She speaks ZERO Spanish and mine is bad at best I understand a lot but do not speak well so this was about to get interesting.

    She found help to get back to the correct area but after several minutes she came back out empty handed and crying. Rough start so far but I got her to get on board with a little pep talk and some fun by turning up the local radio.

    So off we go but before we are even out of the airport the truck in front of us stops completely and the drivers gets out and starts to take a leak right there its was a surprise since we were in the middle lane of 3 but hey its island life I guess. We just laughed as we pull around him to continue on our way he makes her forget that Iphone pretty quick because now she is part of the driving I need extra eyes.

    We head out of the airport and miss the right hand turn onto 5 so now its 7 miles to the first turn off which is in Santo Domingo on Friday night at 8:30pm on Three Kings weekend. NOW it gets crazy - there are cars and trucks backed up for blocks with motorbikes just weaving in between everyone no lights 5 deep on tiny motorcycles it was exciting and a little scary.

    After making that same loop 3 times (the exit is not very clearly marked and it has 3 options) we were headed in the right direction. We stopped just outside of town at Bellamar to take a breath and make sure we had as for the night as it was now almost 9:15.

    This gas station was awesome!! The food was great and a wide selection of ribs and bbq it was so good we stopped again on our way back to the airport. It was a nice well maintained road on the way to Samana that was wide open with nearly no traffic.

    Once we hit Samana it was more crowded but not bad. The road to LG from Samana was in good condition as well but much more busy with people and dogs not other cars or motos. Every little village was having a party in the street so we had to slow way down and be extra careful with each passing village. It was fun to listen to the music and seeing people hanging out and dancing. Everyone seemed to being having a great time as we rolled through widows down waving and saying hi since we were only going like 25 Kph. Fun drive but I was doing my best to look out for all the people and dogs.

    Once we arrived in LG it was pretty dead it was also almost 1 am we found our host house and he took us to our bungalow and we went right to sleep.

    The next morning we headed out on foot and within a block there was a nice little bar/restaurant/hotel it was run by a very sweet woman named Joanne and owned by a nice Polish man named Joni (I think thats spelled right). We ended up spending almost every morning here drinking coffee and talking with them well trying to at least either way lots of smiles and laughing.

    Next stop was the main beach which was just minutes away and WOW it was beautiful!! It was Saturday and there was maybe 20 other people on that beach so lots of space to spread out and lounge. The water was so clear and the sand so fine and clean it was really the nicest beach of the entire week.

    Later that day we got wrangled into a shop by a smooth talking guy named Joseph. He was selling tours and had a little trinket shop but he spoke excellent English so we starting talking and got along great. We ended up having drinks with him and a friend that evening which was great because we learned a ton about LG and the surrounding areas. He was nice enough to loan us his daily scooter while he was working during the day time we just had to return it with gas for him to get home each day.

    We took that thing EVERYWHERE!!!! Rincon, Fronton, Playita up to El Cabito to eat it was fantastic we couldn't have asked for a better way to get around. Each night we tried a different place to eat and almost got through them all. It was very surprising how many places served pizza.

    We ended up going to a great place called Tropical House run by a extremely nice man named Tati. We met his family and he served us dinner which was great and affordable. We invited him to sit, drink coffee and talk with us which he did. It was a challenge to try and have conversations with people and only know a few words in their language but I really enjoyed learning more and more everyday. We ended up talking with Tati 3 or 4 times that week and when we left I gave him a pack of socks I hadn't opened for his boys along with a bag of sour gummi candy that the kids went nuts for.

    The entire week we would walk into the main crossing and say hola to everyone and after a few days everyone knew who we were so when we would be on Rincon we would get a hola Trey and Juls as a local would walk by. it was so heartwarming to feel welcome.

    We got a few rides from the local guys just hanging around town offering up moto rides just for the hell of it because after walking by them so many times and saying hello it felt rude to to take them up on the rides. I was very surprised those little bikes could pull by big 6' 5" 280 pound frame around but they did pretty good.

    Our bungalow was great, tiny but great. No A/C but we didn't need it the 2 fans were enough. The fridge worked great and it had hot water so no complaints there plus the price was great. The outdoor shower was great for after beach rinse offs. We really didn't spend much time in at the bungalow mostly just to sleep.

    We booked a tour to Los Haitises online that we were really looking forward to but on Tuesday the rain came and they cancelled all boat tours for the week which was sad news but it didn't matter we had fun around town.

    On Thursday we got an email that our tour was back on for the following day. It was such a pretty place the jungle covered Islands were amazing very Jurassic Park. I was impressed by the boat captains skill in those tight quarters headed up the river to the caves. Really cool to see that and then we headed to Cayo Levantado. On the way the boat which was nice it had like 30 or so people on it blew an engine. Then about 10 mins later it blew the other one.

    So we had to get towed to the island but whatever it was nice out and the scenery is fantastic. The island was ok but was to centered around a resort style which we didn't like we were anxious to get back to LG to say bye to everyone.

    We had our last meal at a french place called La plaza de Marseille I think. Great seafood that plate we spilt so we could save room for those pastries. Then we went around town and said goodbye to everyone we had met that week. It was sad we didn't want to leave such an eye opening experience.

    LG was so beautiful I don't even know words that can describe it all I know is I want to go back as soon as I possibly can! Thank you DR!!!
    Fixed that for ya......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plastichucker View Post
    We head out of the airport and miss the right hand turn onto 5 so now its 7 miles to the first turn off which is in Santo Domingo on Friday night at 8:30pm on Three Kings weekend. NOW it gets crazy there are cars and trucks backed up for blocks with motorbikes just weaving in between everyone no lights 5 deep on tiny motorcycles it was exciting and a little scary. After making that same loop 3 times (the exit is not very clearly marked and it has 3 options) we were headed in the right direction.
    I've read that this is a common problem for people. I tried looking on YouTube but I couldn't find anything helpful there. It would be great if someone from that area could make a video and post it, showing the correct way to make the transition to the 7. It would probably save a bunch of people from having to experience that particular headache.

    Any volunteers ... ?

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    Thanks JDJones I couldn't get it to do that in the preview

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    For that exit, just hug the right after the toll booth..
    Hug it tightly..... you'll be fine. 

    Small sign marks the exit 

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  8. #6
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    Great review.......so tired of the rental car scams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jruane44 View Post
    Great review.......so tired of the rental car scams.
    The "scam" is the booking site offering insurance that's not applicable in DR. There, if you get into an accident, everyone is detained until they get the insurance squared away. What you're looking for is coverage that includes "casa de conductor," and is different than the loss damage waiver (LDW) which means you pay no damage for your rental.

    As was outlined in the story, there are hazards everywhere, particularly if you choose to drive unfamiliar roads through a mountain pass at night. 

    Insurance is the greatest ripoff ever - right up until you need it.
    Off-Topic Forum
    DR1 moderator


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  12. #8
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    UFF DA.... those young ladies have a very good attitude.......I think from somewhere around minnesota..........Doc......

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    Wow, sounds like you got the Full Las Galeras Experience right out of the gate .. especially hitting all those beaches and different Restaurants and places to eat .. Nice job.
    VERY Brave driving at night though.. not recommended , but glad u guys made it ok.
    From Las Galeras to Samana City at night is not so bad , but holiday weeks like Easter it gets kind of Nuts .
    those of us who drive along the North Coast though to get there , from like POP. its a completely different game , takes like 4.5 hours, much more stressful . definitely not recommended for night , too many turns you could miss.
    Sounds like you will be another Samana Addict now, as many off us are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by william webster View Post
    For that exit, just hug the right after the toll booth. Hug it tightly..... you'll be fine. 
    Small sign marks the exit 



    From the airport, pass the toll booth (#1) hug the right lane as per WW, take the first right (#2) and follow the road until....



    On your right you will pass (star) Quality Hotel which is in front of Zona Franca.Continue until you reach Carib Express, then turn right on hwy 7 to Samana.


    Sorry photos need to be resized....

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