Dominican Republic Journals

Dominican Republic - Amber Coast

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A November 2000 trip to Dominican Republic by PatandCorinne

Outback Safari Photo, Bavaro, Dominican Republic More Photos
Quote: Nicknamed the Amber Coast for its rich deposits of semi-precious amber, the Dominican Republic's north coast is a popular destination for sun, sand, and surf.

Dominican Republic - Amber Coast

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Overview

Robert Trent Golf Course Photo, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Quote:
The Playa Dorada resort complex is about 15 minutes from the town of Puerto Plata, the fourth largest city in the Dominican Republic with 250,000 people. Playa Dorada is strictly a tourist trap, with about 20 hotels tucked away right on the Atlantic Ocean or built around the Robert Trent Jones golf course. The complex is well guarded at the main entry. Inside, you can''t even check out the other hotels unless you can prove to security that you belong there. I think this is because most of the hotels are all-inclusive, and they don''t want people who haven''t paid sneaking their food and drinks!Quick Tips: Playa Dorada is about 30 minutes from the airport. The easiest way to get to the area is...Read More

Fun Royale Tropicale Resort

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Hotel | "Fun Tropicale - Fun Royale"

Fun Royale Tropicale Resort Photo, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:We spent two weeks at the Fun Tropicale, a three-star hotel which shares its grounds with the Fun Royale. It is located in the Playa Dorada Resort complex, or compound as I like to call it, which is also home to about 15 to 20 other hotels. The Fun Tropicale is built right on the Robert Trent Jones 18-hole golf course. The beach is a scenic 10-minute walk along well-groomed grounds, or you can take a shuttle that runs every 15 minutes or so. The hotel is about 15 minutes from the airport. The nearest town is Puerto Plata, about 10 minutes away by taxi or bus. The beach towns of Sosua (popular for snorkelling and scuba diving) and Cabarete (known for its windsurfing) are also a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2003

Fun Royale Tropicale Resort
Playa Dorada
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
+809-320-6003

Outback Safari

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Attraction | "Outback Jungle Safari"

Outback Safari Photo, Bavaro, Dominican Republic
Quote:
We arranged the Outback Jungle Safari tour through our hotel. There are several outfits offering similar tours - make sure the one you choose has covers for the jeep to keep the sun off during the hottest parts of the day.This outfit was very professional and picked us up at our hotel. There were only about 10 people on our jeep, so it wasn''t too crowded. The jeeps travel the back country roads (very BUMPY), so be prepared. The day included a visit to a typical Dominican home - no electricity or running water. Modern applicances, like the fridge and television, were run by battery power. The family served us up some Domincian java. Along the road, we saw how the people live - homes were small and ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2003

Outback Safari

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Scuba Diving in Sosua Bay

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Attraction

Scuba Diving in Sosua Bay Photo, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Quote:
This was our first scuba-diving adventure. Our hotel offered a free lesson in the pool so you could see if you might enjoy diving. The lesson lasted about an hour and included a dive in the deep end of the pool with a tank and all the equipment. We were also taught hand signals and other safety information. We enjoyed it and didn''t panic, so we decided to hook up for a trip to Sosua, a town about 30 minutes away with a pretty turquoise bay popular for snorkeling and diving. Since we were only going 30 feet down, we didn''t need certification. Once in Sosua, we were taken to the dive spot on a small boat. There were six people, including us, and our divemaster, Eddie. We were provided with fins...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 24, 2003

Scuba Diving in Sosua Bay
Sosua Bay
Dominican Republic

Catamaran Snorkeling & Sailing

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Attraction | "Catamaran day sail"

Catamaran Snorkeling & Sailing Photo, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Quote:
From the Playa Dorada resort complex, we took a bus 1 hour west along the coast to Luperon Bay, where we caught a small catamaran. There were catamaran trips with more than 70 people on them, but we chose the smaller one, which had about 20 people. We sailed out into the ocean, and it was a blast when the captain sailed directly into the swells, soaking us (not so much fun for the people who got seasick). We sailed to a village located on a sandy white beach, close to where Christopher Columbus first landed when he "discovered" the island. At the village, children playing naked in the ocean welcomed us, while the adults waited to barter with us for jewelry, carvings, sea shells, fr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 24, 2003

Catamaran Snorkeling & Sailing
Sousa
Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Paradise Island Sights & Attractions

Attraction | "Day trip to Paradise Island"

Paradise Island Sights & Attractions Photo, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Quote:
From the lush, tropical coastline at Playa Dorada, we took a bus tour to Paradise Island, about two hours away through the dry, arrid mountains of the interior. Huge cactus plants grew along the very bumpy, dusty road heading out to the island, which is a small sandbar located about 13 miles from the coast in the Atlantic Ocean. The bus stopped at the village of Punta Rusia, where we boarded a small boat and headed out. Before arriving at the island, we went down a river into the mangrove forest looking for manatees, with no luck. We then went to Paradise Island and were greeted with the most amazing turquoise and aqua colored water and powdery white sand. There are a few palapa huts and not muc...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 24, 2003

Paradise Island Sights & Attractions
Puerto Plata
Cabarete, Dominican Republic

National sport? Photo, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Quote:
* We visited the Dominican Republic from Nov. 24 to Dec. 9, 2000. At this time of year, near the end of hurricane season, the weather was warm, with very little rain. The trade winds kept the days from getting too hot--perfect weather for lazing on the beach. * The country occupies about two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, the second-largest island in the Caribbean behind Cuba. Haiti occupies the western third of the island. * Dominican Republic has a population of 8.5 million people. Sugar, coffee, and tobacco are some of its main exports. The locals proudly told us that their cigars are considered among the best in the world, even rivaling Cuban cigars. * Most people sp...Read More

A day in Puerto Plata

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Story/Tip

Coco Loco Photo, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Quote:
After nearly a week at the resort, we felt brave and decided to take a public bus into the nearby town of Puerto Plata, about 15 minutes from Playa Dorada. A minivan stopped and picked us up as we waited by the side of the road. We thought it was the public bus and jumped on board, but it was just some guy and his friend offering a "taxi" service. We were packed in like sardines with about a dozen locals. When we got into town, they all got off, but our driver told us to stay. After driving through town down some narrow back alleys and streets, I thought we were going to be mugged. Instead, they dropped us off at the bustling town square for the price of $4. From there, we set off exploring the street...Read More

Looky looky, cheapy cheapy!

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Story/Tip

Looky, Looky Photo, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Quote:
"Looky looky, cheapy cheapy." That''s what the Dominican''s would say to entice you to look at their wares. Everywhere we went, the locals tried to sell us stuff - from jewelry and palm leaf hats to T-shirts, carvings, colorful beach wear, and food. They were really friendly, especially if you bought something. At Playa Dorada, there was a mall in the middle of the complex with many, many shops selling items for the tourists - some places would bargain, some would not. On the beach, be prepared to be constantly visited by people selling stuff. They are very persistent, and even the slightest look or smile will bring them over. Make sure you know your prices and shop around before buying. One ve...Read More

Off the beaten path

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Story/Tip

Haitian artist. Photo, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Quote:
If you walk to the east along the Playa Dorada beach, away from the resort area, you''ll find a small village a few minutes away. The locals have several little huts set up along the beach selling food and drink, paintings, and other items. Since we weren''t all inclusive, this was the only place we could go for a cold beer on the beach, as the other resorts wouldn''t even sell us drinks. It was a lot of fun. As soon as you sit down, you''re likely to have a local join you for a beer or two, or teach you how to dance to the Spanish music. We were a little worried about eating at these huts, but one day we were "forced" to when the cook stuffed some shrimp in our mouths to show us how good it wa...Read More