Dominican Republic Journals

Travel Highlights in the Dominican Republic

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A March 2006 trip to Dominican Republic by Kris Calvin

Here at Last! Photo, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic More Photos
Quote: Two weeks in the DR, with a large family and a challenging cross-country itinerary.

Travel Highlights in the Dominican Republic

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Overview

Here at Last! Photo, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
Quote:
There is a part of me that is reluctant to write this review, as it may encourage tacky development and commercialization of special scenic areas throughout the Dominican Republic. At the same time, I am indebted to Jose Kovo, writing for IgoUgo, with an earlier review that inspired our family to visit the charming little community of Bayahibe, and stay at the Hotel Bayahibe. So, this is what we found during our trip to the DR in March of 2006.Quick Tips: I was certain, prior to arrival that we could work our way to Bayahibe via inexpensive guaguas and/or public buses. However, despite my wife’s excellent Spanish skills, the airport and its government regulators were determined to fo...Read More

Casa Nina

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Hotel

Casa Nina Photo, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Quote:
I ran across an obscure, but complimentary review of the Hotel Casa Nina, while planning a visit to Las Terrenas, on the Samana peninsula on the northeast shore of the Dominican Republic. It was quite the challenge to locate contact information, but having stayed there I am glad to have persevered, as the accommodation proved to be an excellent value for our family. The hotel is within walking distance of the main part of town, and like most of the hotels, is situated on the main road that runs along the beach. The pool garden and dining patio are exceptionally well maintained and a pleasure to relax in, especially when we had the whole place to ourselves one rainy afternoon. The bedroom cottages ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 18, 2006

Casa Nina
Avenida 27 de Febrero
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic 32000
(809) 240-5490

Quote:
Our group had varied departure schedules from the DR, so we chose to stay in Santo Domingo and pay taxi fees ($40 US) to the airport as required, so those remaining could continue exploring the city. Fortunately Dollar Rental had a return location in Santo Domingo, although keeping the van an extra day could be a viable option as our hotel had a good parking lot across the street for a nominal parking fee of 10 pesos per day. Due to an early morning flight out, my immediate family did not get to enjoy all the amenities offered by the Hotel Altrazana, but my parents remained with them for several more days. They heartily recommend Hotel Altrazana’a beautiful facility, exceptional service, and tasty ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 18, 2006

Hotel Atarazana
Vicente Celestino Duarte #19
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
(809) 688 3693

Hotel Bayahibe

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Hotel

Hotel Bayahibe Photo, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
Quote:
Hotel Bayahibe is less than 200m from a quaint little beach that also serves as a fine launching area for swims across the picturesque bay. There is enough sealife in the bay to keep youngsters intrigued, but don’t expect anything like a tropical reef teeming with color and activity. The water however, is wonderfully warm and pleasant. In the mornings and late afternoons you have to be cautious of the many tour and dive boats motoring out on the east side of the bay. In Bayahibe, we dove several times with the local dive outfit, Casa Daniel, at some of the most highly recommended dive sites. Their service was competent and satisfactory. The dives themselves were interesting and colorful, though ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 18, 2006

Hotel Bayahibe

Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

Quote:
Later in our trip we stayed a night in Bonao while en route to Constanza, a lush agricultural community high in the central mountains. Bonao is an industrial mining town and anything but attractive, yet the Aquarium Hotel appeared to be nicely set up for foreign visitors expecting higher standards and a restful night. Our four-person room cost $75, and they conveniently fail to mention that the downstairs disco that is part of the hotel would be playing horrid music loud enough to vibrate our floor well into the next morning. By 3:30am I had had enough and forcefully expressed my frustration to management. The “music” stopped and we got a few hours rest. Both dinner and lunch at the hotel restaur...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 18, 2006

Aquarius Hotel
Calle Duarte #104
Bonao, Dominican Republic
(809) 296-0303

Playa Bonita

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Attraction

Playa Bonita Photo, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Quote:
Generally, the beach along Las Terrenas is pleasant, but the amount of trash being disgorged from the town’s central stream during a heavy rainstorm was painful to see. Fortunately, several of the hotels bordering Casa Nina, as well as the hard-working gardener at Casa Nina, do a good job keeping their sections of the beach reasonably tidy. Two days of heavy rains and wind kicked up a sea that turned the water brown with turbidity, so we could not make any fair observations on snorkeling conditions on the Atlantic side. We’ve read and were told that it is not near as good as the calmer and more colorful waters facing the Caribbean. However, we did get two fantastic days of body-surfing and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 18, 2006

Playa Bonita

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

Constanza

Story/Tip

Hillside hike to falls Photo,
Quote:
Constanza is a lovely place to see, and the road in, while steep, is an interesting trip in an underpowered van with 9 people and all of the luggage. Don’t let others discourage you from making the drive—the road is generally in fine shape. Unfortunately, the hiking trails I had read about were difficult and sometimes impossible to locate, and we only spent a day visiting this farming oasis. Lorenzo’s restaurant in Constanza is highly recommended. Great food, and great service, at reasonable cost. If we had had more time we should have hired a guide to help us find good hiking, as the mountainous ranges looked very inviting to explore.

Dominican Republic Trip Summary

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Story/Tip

Son's first dive lesson Photo, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
Quote:
While parts of what I write are not complimentary on the DR, I am still naive enough to hope that pointed constructive criticism by the customer may inspire some future change. Twenty-four tears ago, as a polio-vaccination volunteer in the DR, I came to the conclusion that lasting beneficial change could only take place if it were owned and embraced by the local population. As compelling as it is for westerners to want to show them the way, our solutions will inevitably fail without homegrown grass-root support and local initiative. I do not have the answers to the problems facing the DR, but I do believe that if the country expects to attract more tourist dollars, it will have to initiate better...Read More