Getting out of the resort - Grand Bahia Prinicipe El Portillo

margaret

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Aug 9, 2006
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I'm going for 1 week to El Portillo. I will do the usual touristy stuff. I'd like to see El Limón Waterfall, Los Haitises National Park and perhaps go snorkeling. I don't have a buddy so not sure if that's possible. If you read this headline: "Canadian tourist snorkels off the beach and is dragged out to sea." you know who it is.

What do you recommend? Should I tour all the beaches? Take the tours from the hotel? Or connect with a tour operator in Las Terrenas? As much as possible I'd like to support the local economy. I read the Guide to Samana are these the preferred tour operators?

Also what about donating school supplies, should I do that at the hotel or is there a local charity you recommend? What about a local guagua into town? Is that doable from that hotel?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions?
 

margaret

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Aug 9, 2006
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Ah, such lovely photos Sky! You're right Ron, it's about 2 hours away. I should have gone there in 2006 when I first visited the DR in a sweltering August.
 

ju10prd

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I'm going for 1 week to El Portillo. I will do the usual touristy stuff. I'd like to see El Limón Waterfall, Los Haitises National Park and perhaps go snorkeling. I don't have a buddy so not sure if that's possible. If you read this headline: "Canadian tourist snorkels off the beach and is dragged out to sea." you know who it is.

What do you recommend? Should I tour all the beaches? Take the tours from the hotel? Or connect with a tour operator in Las Terrenas? As much as possible I'd like to support the local economy. I read the Guide to Samana are these the preferred tour operators?

Also what about donating school supplies, should I do that at the hotel or is there a local charity you recommend? What about a local guagua into town? Is that doable from that hotel?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions?

If your trip is a week only, you have selected probably the best two excursions at this time of year. Salta Limon is a good morning excursion on mule and there will be tour options from the hotel. You can add on the zip line too if you want. Equally a trip to Parque Haitises should be a must on anybody's list and will be a day long trip with an early start.

You will have no problem going on your own on an organised trip from the hotel.

Of course you could take several short trips to Las Terrenas (5mins away) and book an excursion from there. LT is so close so you can go and visit a few of the spectacular beaches there. I would suggest a trip to Playa Coson which is a few miles out of LT and a lunch and afternoon based by the very casual Luis Restaurant on the beach. Playa Bonita is a personal favourite. Night life in LT is subdued but it is there for those that know........authentic nightlife at La Bodega.

If you want some Sunday afternoon and late afternoon Dominican fun, go to the natural spring pool on the road between Portillo and Limon which is maybe 5kn away from your hotel and chill with locals in a safe environment.....ask a bell boy at the hotel to get there. And Playa Moron is close too.

You are within a few kms of everything...enjoy to the full.
 

Salsafan

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Aug 17, 2011
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You can take the quaquas on the road in front of the Portillo to Las Terrenas or to Limon/Samana City. About every 30 min til about 6pm. No Problems, the drivers are mostly friendly.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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I have stayed at this hotel a few years back.

One thing we enjoyed was walking the beach to LT for lunch....
At that point, the hotel beach had parachuting.....2008
 

LTSteve

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Jul 9, 2010
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I'm going for 1 week to El Portillo. I will do the usual touristy stuff. I'd like to see El Limón Waterfall, Los Haitises National Park and perhaps go snorkeling. I don't have a buddy so not sure if that's possible. If you read this headline: "Canadian tourist snorkels off the beach and is dragged out to sea." you know who it is.

What do you recommend? Should I tour all the beaches? Take the tours from the hotel? Or connect with a tour operator in Las Terrenas? As much as possible I'd like to support the local economy. I read the Guide to Samana are these the preferred tour operators?

Also what about donating school supplies, should I do that at the hotel or is there a local charity you recommend? What about a local guagua into town? Is that doable from that hotel?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions?

If I were you I would book tours right through your hotel. This way you are hanging out with people that you will see at the resort and possiblly have someone to hang out with for the week. Most likely the tour operators in Las Terrenas are the same ones that will arrange tours at your hotel and will pick you up there to begin the tour. El Limon Falls, 4 wheeler, Playa Rincon or Valle', Los Haitises are all worth the trip. As far as donating school supplies I would take a taxi or motoconcho into Las Terrenas, about a ten minute ride and have them take you to the library. They hold many classes for local children and exist mainly on donations. You will probably not be able to find the library yourself but a driver should know where it is. It is not directly on a main street but off the main drag less the minute. They are English speakers there and would really appreciate your effort. The hotels are not involved in this and if you give it to someone there it is likely they won't get to the right people.
 

margaret

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Aug 9, 2006
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If you want some Sunday afternoon and late afternoon Dominican fun, go to the natural spring pool on the road between Portillo and Limon which is maybe 5kn away from your hotel and chill with locals in a safe environment..
This sounds fun. As long as I don't get baptized.
 

LTSteve

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Jul 9, 2010
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This sounds fun. As long as I don't get baptized.

Sounds fun. Don't know what your age is? You can go as long as you don't mind getting hit on or worse. As a women, I would not go by myself. You don't sound like you have any experience in the DR or speak the language. I would start with organized tours to start and then venture out if you feel comfortable.
 

margaret

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Aug 9, 2006
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As a women, I would not go by myself.

"Or worse" that's all I need to hear. I've never had problems going around in the DR but I was usually with a friend. We went to the Carnival in La Vega and met some great people in the ticketed VIP stand. Arranged to have a taxi drop us and pick us up at as the sun was setting. Always mindful of my personal security, here and there. ;) Many years of experience all second hand of course. Yes, I will definitely go to the falls and Los Haitises. Thank you. I hope the weather holds up.
 

margaret

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Aug 9, 2006
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I take it, this caution is because of the recent reports of sexual assaults on a Riu resort in Punta Cana?
 

Fulano2

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Jun 5, 2011
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There are millions of young people backpacking through the world. The DR is not worse than Nicaragua, El Salvador or Guatemala. So take your bag and travel, but with care. Don't be scared but be carefull.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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And remember, Steve posts from the sanctuary of USA...

He knows LT well, but.....

Our dear departed Stinky Cologne used to gripe about that
 

Africaida

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Jun 19, 2009
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"Or worse" that's all I need to hear. I've never had problems going around in the DR but I was usually with a friend. We went to the Carnival in La Vega and met some great people in the ticketed VIP stand. Arranged to have a taxi drop us and pick us up at as the sun was setting. Always mindful of my personal security, here and there. ;) Many years of experience all second hand of course. Yes, I will definitely go to the falls and Los Haitises. Thank you. I hope the weather holds up.

Nothing is going to happen. I am a female and I believe he is talking about Calo Lima (spelling?), the water is cold as hell. Plus, Dom go there with extended family and friends, showing by yourself would be a little odd. The only reasons I wouldn't go by myself is because Dominican men can be very very clingy, they are harmless, but be prepared to have one men after another trying to talk to you, that s all.

There are absolutely nothing to worry about in LT, I have never feared for my safety (and I stopped counting the number of trips I took there), and I am always out and about, never been to a resort. The only area that I would call "caliente", you wouldn't find yourself in them anyway. Be careful with your valuable and that s it.

Get out of your resort, go to One Love in the village, that seems to be where the cool English speaker hang out. Lt is cool. You are welcome.
 
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margaret

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Aug 9, 2006
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Thanks I will check out the village and pass on the cold waters of the river. Thank you so much everyone!