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currency and packing

Phila, Pa, United...
posts: 8
currency and packing

Hi! I'm so excited to be going to Samana, it will be my first trip abroad! At the moment I'm getting mixed advice on what sort of currency to bring USD, Pesos or both? I do plan on leaving the resort (cant wait to do the zipline.... its how I discovered Samana in the first place). I'm traveling with my mom and we'd love to go sailing, and I would love to go horseback riding. Of course we want to go shopping as well (set aside a whole day for that). I'm intrested in any sort of advice from those that have been there or live there. Any recommendations on what I should pack that I might not think of as a first timmer?

england
posts: 2,440
reviews: 59
1. Re: currency and packing

Travelling from the UK we always take dollars and lots of singles for tipping - not expected in most hotels in Samana but much appreciated. Learn a little Spanish if you dont speak it already, I know a lot of US citizens do, even if to say hello, please, thank you, and order a drink or two. Check out Terrytoursamana web site to get a good idea of what types of off resort options are available in Samana, which is a beautiful region of DR and with regards to shopping - remember that this is a third world country so you wont see 'designer' shops however you will find good quality coffee, larimar, rum and cigars together with some delightful local crafts which you will find in all area.

Personal packing, sun tan lotion and aftersun are expensive here so pack plenty for your trip, a small medical kit helps, an small LED torch cos it gets dark in Samana with not lots of street lights, chargers and spare batteries as they are hard to come by and if you think it necessary a small umbrella cos it does rain, wam rain and only for a short while. You dont say if you are a male or female visitor remember that this part of the world gets some quite high humidity so the hair straighteners might be redundant 5 mins after you leave your hotel room and make up tends to slide off also.

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
posts: 13,984
reviews: 85
2. Re: currency and packing

Don't forget the bug spray with at least 25% DEET.

As to funds USD will be fine especially on the resorts. However you will get better prices off the resort if using pesos. DO NOT get your pesos at home, at the airport or at your hotel. All of these will give you a terrible exchange rate. Rather change USD at a cambio (local exchange houses) or like most use an ATM which will give you ONLY pesos and at a good exchange rate. However depending on your bank there may be transaction and facility fees when using the ATM. If you plan on using an ATM or Credit cards while here do notify your home bank as they will put a hold on the card fearing fraud if you don't.

Have a great time.

BObK

england
posts: 5,583
reviews: 21
3. Re: currency and packing

Bob is so right about the exchange rates..

Last trip I was offered 60pesos to £ in the UK. Hotel offered 53 to £. Western Union in Las Terrenas offered 65.5 to £

Changed £200 in LT & made 2500 pesos better than the hotel & 1100 better than UK

200pesos for the Motoconcho well spent.. lol :-)

Edited: 2:27 pm, October 31, 2013
Las Galeras...
posts: 714
reviews: 1
4. Re: currency and packing

If you are feeling adventurous during your vacation, a trip to Las Galeras for your horseriding excursion should be on your to do list. There are a couple of very good professionals here who offer full and half day tours that include a ride along the beaches and to a 'musical cave' (Breezes blow through the crevices and it sounds very pretty).

Edited: 5:48 pm, October 31, 2013
Bedford
posts: 2,512
reviews: 42
5. Re: currency and packing

TDA, the beach rides you mention sound a lot nicer than the El Limon trip where the horses are whipped as they struggle to climb the steep rocky paths.

London, Canada
posts: 1
6. Re: currency and packing

This will be my fifth year visiting Dominican Republic and second year to Samana. We always take USD with us and $1USD for tipping. If you want to exchange for pesos for shopping you may do so but at the resort you can book excursions using credit cards or USD. Using the outside tour companies I am sure they would also take your American money. My husband and I went on the safari trip and El Limon Falls. Our horses were never whipped as some other replies have said but I did find that as interesting as it was I would have enjoyed seeing more of the countryside on horseback myself. I also find taking a little time to learn some spanish is quite respectful in learning about their language and culture. Spanish is a language that is quite easy to learn as well. I taught myself using Youtube. Enjoy your trip as Dominican is a beautiful place that we are very happy to call our second home.

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
posts: 13,984
reviews: 85
7. Re: currency and packing

Northernbound12

Welcome to the forum. Very nice first post. Glad you enjoy your trips here.

BObK

Bedford
posts: 2,512
reviews: 42
8. Re: currency and packing

You were lucky getting unwhipped horses. My son and his partner did this excursion in August and were very upset, and their experience was confirmed by some people we met here at Cayo Levantado yesterday.

Las Galeras...
posts: 714
reviews: 1
9. Re: currency and packing

Missfitts, That's why I won't to the El Limon trip, We have 2 very good horseriding outfits here in town, Rudy's Ranchero and Karin at La Hacienda. Always small groups and the horses are happy and cared for and the guides are extremely helpful.

Bedford
posts: 2,512
reviews: 42
10. Re: currency and packing

TDA, that sounds infinitely better.