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Thread: Santiago Advice

  1. #1
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    Default Santiago Advice

    Hi all-
    I've read quite a few posts tonight and I must say you're a great bunch!

    Well, I'm a first timer, going to the DR in June. Because of some interesting travel planning, I'm flying into Santiago then out of POP.

    I don't have a lot of time there (about 4 1/2 days), and I was planning on staying in Costa Dorada the whole time. But since I'm flying into Santiago, should I just stay there one night and see the town the next day? Is it a safe city? Not to be insulting, but is there anything interesting to see or explore there? I just love the beach SO much....

    The second thing, how should I get to Costa Dorada? I think I'm going to try to catch a taxi or private car, is that realistic/feasible over that distance? As mentioned earlier, time is of the essence on this trip, and saving money isn't especially important, but it's hard for me to see spending US$100 to go, what, 40 miles?

  2. #2
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    Forget about the rental car unless you have a DR 1st timer death wish (it's over a mountain and a somewhat treacherous ride, especially at night, not exceptionally well marked to get out of Santiago onto the 3 roads you could take to get to the north coast).

    You could take Caribe Tours- it might cost you $15 for the taxi to bus station, then it's about US$7 for the bus ride, you can get off at either La Union (Puerto Plata station) or the last stop in Sosua Abajo, taxi from either place might cost you US$20 to the Playa Dorada complex. Their schedule and telephone number is posted on the board in a number of places, just do a search.

    Santiago is more cultural, but if you only have 4.5 days and want the beach, enjoy the sand and sunshine at the complex.

    (So for your next visit, once you get done playing planes, (trains) and automobiles, you might think again about flying into POP...in the long run, it is cheaper and MUCH less hassle with a suitcase.)

  3. #3
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    It is not cheaper to fly into POP.
    However, depending on what time your flight gets in, you would be well advised to visit the Centro Leon--a very modern museum that generally rewards the visitor...
    There is also the city center that is not touristy and does have a bustle about it. Nearby to the city center is the Cathedral and the Folklore Museum.

    You can get from Santiago to the North Shore for a few bucks (like RD$5?) by bus. All told, taxi in from the airport, hotel (Colonial is the least expensive and nice for the night), taxi to bus station and bus to north shore, taxi to your hotel should cost less than $50....

    Let us know if you need lots of details...

    HB

  4. #4
    apostropheman
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    it's 100 pesos from santiago to sosua...$3
    ...and quite a nice ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    It is not cheaper to fly into POP.
    However, depending on what time your flight gets in, you would be well advised to visit the Centro Leon--a very modern museum that generally rewards the visitor...
    There is also the city center that is not touristy and does have a bustle about it. Nearby to the city center is the Cathedral and the Folklore Museum.

    You can get from Santiago to the North Shore for a few bucks (like RD$5?) by bus. All told, taxi in from the airport, hotel (Colonial is the least expensive and nice for the night), taxi to bus station and bus to north shore, taxi to your hotel should cost less than $50....

    Let us know if you need lots of details...

    HB

  5. #5
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    Caribe to POP $90peso. Taxi to Playa Dorado $10US. They ask for $15 but drop to $10 (which is the actual rate) pretty quick, as you will be the only one gettting off the bus that needs a taxi.

  6. #6
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    Default More advice, please...

    Hey, thanks for the travel advice everyone!

    Now, for the heavy info...

    As soon as I land, I'm probably going to want a drink. Will it be safe for me to go to a bar in Santiago? Any recommendations?

    In general, is Santiago safe? Will I be able to act like a half witted white boy American tourist there? (drunk, stumbling through unknown neighborhoods, and hitting on the local women?) I don't go looking for trouble, but I've seen the looks I've gotten in some other countries. I don't want to be classless or insulting to the locals.

    Do I need to make a reservation for the Colonial, or any hotel, for the one night that I will be there?

    Will I be able to get by with my half-assed Sesame Street Spanish?

    How long will it take to get from Santiago busstop to my Hotel in Puerta Plata? Again, time is of the essence, more than 10 hours would be pushing it...

    Should I convert all of my currency to Pesos, or keep US$, or some combination of both?

    Sorry for all of the queries, but "Be prepared is the boyscout motto."
    I'll get you a few drinks if you help me understand what the DR is like before I get there. Just want to have a good time and spread love (and some US$) across Hispanola.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slick21 View Post
    Hey, thanks for the travel advice everyone!

    Now, for the heavy info...

    As soon as I land, I'm probably going to want a drink. Will it be safe for me to go to a bar in Santiago? Any recommendations? Depends on what time you arrive. There are few "bars" as such. Places like Francifol, Ahi Bar, Tribeca or Dulce are places where people get to gether to hear music and talk a bit, maybe meet someone. Behaviour is important. But you can go to any colmado and get a cold beer.

    In general, is Santiago safe? Will I be able to act like a half witted white boy American tourist there? (drunk, stumbling through unknown neighborhoods, and hitting on the local women?) I don't go looking for trouble, but I've seen the looks I've gotten in some other countries. I don't want to be classless or insulting to the locals.What do you think wouldhappen to you in New York, Washington or Los Angeles?? Do not do that.

    Do I need to make a reservation for the Colonial, or any hotel, for the one night that I will be there?You can call Víctor at 809 247 3122 and make a reservation.

    Will I be able to get by with my half-assed Sesame Street Spanish? Yes

    How long will it take to get from Santiago busstop to my Hotel in Puerta Plata? Again, time is of the essence, more than 10 hours would be pushing it...About an hour and a half

    Should I convert all of my currency to Pesos, or keep US$, or some combination of both?Change money slowly.

    Sorry for all of the queries, but "Be prepared is the boyscout motto."
    I'll get you a few drinks if you help me understand what the DR is like before I get there. Just want to have a good time and spread love (and some US$) across Hispanola.

    Hope this helps

    HB

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