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  1. #1
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    Question Beating a Dead Horse

    My wife and I are coming from New Orleans to DR November 27 through December 10. We have been looking forward to this vacation for a while. I found your website several weeks ago and consider it a great wealth of information. Unfortunately, what I’ve been reading about general safety and power issues has been disquieting to say the least. One camp claims the average day is riddled with earthquakes, 18-hour blackouts, roving gangs and looters, and widespread unrest. The other camp seems to say, “Screw them. Just come and you’ll have a great time.” I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I know this topic has been flogged numerous times already, but I’d still like to elicit some information and advice from those in the know.

    Our itinerary was initially as follows: We were flying into Santo Domingo and staying there for several days. From there, we were going to Santiago, Jarabacoa and/or Constanza. Then on to Puerto Plata, Punta Rucia, Sosua, Cabarete, Samana, and then back to Santo Domingo. No all-inclusives, and we like to travel on the cheap. From what I’ve been reading, we should bypass Santiago and probably Jarabacoa and Constanza as well, if only because of the chronic blackouts. We really wanted to include Jarabacoa and Constanza, but we’re getting the impression that the problems in Santiago are bleeding into these cities as well. From what I’ve read, it seems if we stay along the coastline, the safety concerns and the power problems are not as much of an issue.

    Are we off the mark here? We really welcome and appreciate your input. We can also be reached at [email protected]. And thanks for your time and your contributions to this board.

  2. #2
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    you have no safety concerns going to Jarabacoa and most of the hotels there have Generators . If you do go there check out the Hotel Gran Jimenoa ph 574-6304. It quite new, approx 800 pesos per night for 2. If you just want cheap accomodation there is the Holly Day at 400 RD per night and they have their own generator also. You won't have any riots...etc there.

  3. #3
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    First of all, rest assured that you will not encounter "roving gangs of looters" or "widespread unrest". This, when it does occur, is localised and nowhere near the tourist areas.

    Earthquakes - I am not in the Santiago area but I get the impression that the aftershocks of the Sept 22 quake have abated.

    Power cuts are inevitable but will not cramp your style. Most places will have some sort of back-up, and if you are in real budget hotels you will be used to roughing it. Candles or hurricane lamps instead of lightbulbs? It's not sweltering hot this time of year anyway, especially in places like Jarabacoa and Constanza, so you won't miss the a/c or fans at night. I would not say you should particularly avoid Santiago. Your north coast itinerary sounds great. I am sure you will be fine!

    I am not saying the country has not got problems but you sound like the sort of people who can handle some of the minor inconveniences you might encounter.

    Buen viaje!

    Chiri

  4. #4
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    Santiago, Jarabacoa and/or Constanza. Then on to Puerto Plata, Punta Rucia, Sosua, Cabarete, Samana, and then back to Santo Domingo....

    Definitely stick to your original itinerary... Go river rafting in Jarabacoa -- you need to reserve the day before -- check out the advert on dr1 (banner at the opening page), in Constanza there are many lovely hotels -- the new Rancho Constanza, Alto Cerro Villas (ask for celery root puree)... In Puerto Plata check out La Isabela, take the Damajagua excursion (you find them on the highway near Imbert), visit Cofresi water park, go for a splash in the Columbus Water Park, stay at one of the new plush beach fronting hotels in Sosua, stay in Cabarete and enjoy dining on the beach, check out the many beaches in Samana, from Cayo Levantado excursion, to Las Galeras, Playa Rincon, Portillo, Las Terrenas, Cozon, Punta Bonita... no need to reserve, just find your places to spend the night as you go... In Punta Rucia, get one of the boats to take you out to Cayo Arena, arrange this the day before, because it is best to leave early in the morning and then return around 2 pm (take some snacks and water). And then leave time for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, overnighting at one of the colonial city hotels.

    The DR is a tourist's paradise, given the extra value of your money. Blackouts... we've been living with them for years... strikes -- usually occur in the uptown slum barrios, that will be out of your way. Only recommendation is to avoid driving at night, but that is valid always.

  5. #5
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    Hi,

    I recently returned from a nine day trip to the North Coast. I flew into and out of Santiago. In my travels the biggest worry I had were the pot holes in the road. The power does go on and off but any Business in the DR that is still open will have some type of back up power supply.

    Santiago roads will probably be worse than when I was there due to the current flooding.

    Enjor your trip - The best way to experience the DR is the way your travelling.

    Regards,

    Barry.

  6. #6
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    My wife and I have been living in the DR (Samana and Sosua) for 17 years. We have always felt very safe here. Come and enjoy your stay. That is an ambitious intinerary and your time is going to pass very fast.

  7. #7
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    Default And, depending on what you want to see in Santiago

    You can look me up...

    Perhaps at Punta Rucía (accent on the "i ") we can hook up...

    The trip to Cayo Arena-- now called Paradise Isle --- i included food and drink...and if we hook up I'll have a few cold ones there too...

    The strike and the ensuing violence was a one and a half day affair. Far from any place you are likely to even think of going to.
    People are pi$$ed off, sure. We have had a period of the worst electric service in the history of the DR. Money is the only cure for it and the Gov't seems to be catching on. No earth tremors for a while now. People feel that the rain has put an end to that...

    Any place you will be staying will have either auxilary power of nice kerosene lamps....And, no matter what, the beer will be cold.

    Your itinerary looks really interesting. Tell you what. Y'all bring me some Cajun hot sauce ( I mean HOT) and I'll trade you some Dominican rum....Or Zydeco CD for coffee and a pot to brew it in?

    HB

  8. #8
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    Talking You're going to do well

    If I was to make an itinerary for friends to use, it wouldn't differ much from yours.

    You're going to get it all methinks.

    Don't skip Jarabacoa/Constanza, the beauty there is epic.

    Meet up with HB and you'll learn more in 15 minutes than you would living here for a year.

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