This was our second trip to the Dominican Republic (DR). We liked it so much the first time that we we just couldn’t stay away. Beautiful place and not terribly expensive.
Flew US Airways first class both ways which was pretty nice. Service was good and the food wasn’t horrible. Only problem was the obnoxious 8 year old sitting behind us on the way back that did not shut up for 4 full hours. The flight attendant was even getting fed up with the little turd.
Air Travel PRO TIP: If you’re going to bring your older child into expensive first class, they should know when it’s time to be quiet. I can forgive a baby crying, they just don’t know any better, older kids, no so much…
For both trips we stayed at the Majestic Elegance which is actually in Bavaro, DR about 20 miles from Punta Cana. Essentially it’s all part of the DR’s tourist area they’re trying to build up. Click pictures for MUCH bigger versions.
2nd trip was actually better and smoother than the first trip to me. Partially it was because it was our 2nd real (read NOT Cozumel) international trip and knew what to expect and partially it was because the DR is getting a lot better at handling tourists in the area. For example, this time there were actually trams to take you from your airplane to the terminal instead of having to hike a mile in the blazing sun and the round trip ground transport I booked was an air conditioned tour bus and not a beat up Hyundai minivan. Also the first time around if you wanted to buy anything, you better have cash money, this time you could actually use a credit card most places.
Dominican Republic PRO TIP: Do book round trip ground transport to and from your resort/hotel. The taxis are kinda sketchy and driving in the DR isn’t for the faint of heart. There are no rules of the road, only suggestions….
We spent most of our time on the beech, reading or asleep under a tiki hut. Your outlook on life certainly improves significantly with the warm sun, cool breeze and the sound of waves crashing as the only intrusions on your world.
We did do two excursions though. The first was a trip to swim with the dolphins. The wife has wanted to do that ever since I’ve known her but we’ve never been able to, thus a trip to swim with dolphins while we were in the DR became her Christmas present for 2011.
You also get to swim with sharks and stingrays and they have sea lions on the platform. Don’t get to swim with those though. I have underwater pictures of the sharks and stingrays but they’re on old fashioned film and haven’t been developed yet. Expect part 2 when I do finally get around to developing pictures…
The dolphin swimming adventure was on a floating platform out in the bay. When we got back to dry land we had to sit around waiting for the “bus” (think open top army truck spray painted wild colors) to pick us up. These three little girls were hanging around with what I assume was their mother, not sure since she spoke no English and my Spanish is limited to “hola.” The two older ones saw my camera and started hamming it up wanting me take their picture, then momma got the youngest in on it.
Excursion #2 was one of those adventure buggy tours. They took us south of Punta Cana to Cap Cana for this. Cap Cana is apparently some huge 50,000 acre eco-resort that Donald Trump is involved in. It even has waterfront home sites for purchase if you have the $$$ for that sort of thing. Basically the excursion is taking a small dune buggy, driving out through some kinda wild areas, stop at a beach and hang out for a while, go back through the kinda wild areas, stop, hike through the jungle to a cave, swim in the cave, then back to base and home.
And that was basically it. 6 nights of nice beachfront accommodations with all food and drink included. Food was even pretty good. We will probably go back but it may be at a different resort. We want to go with another couple we’re friends with so the ladies can lay on the beach and he and I can get in a few rounds of golf. Driving through some other resorts to pick up people for excursions, there are some amazing golf courses down there.
And here’s one last picture to anchor this post…