We went on a tour from our resort Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana and purchased our tour from a tour operator in the lobby of the hotel. Online before we left the price was between $85 and $90 per person. We got it from a tour operator in the hotel lobby on the day we arrived for $60 per person. We were picked up at 8:40 in the morning from the hotel and told that it would be a 20 minute ride to La Romana. Nothing is 15 to 20 minutes, if you are in a rush you are on the wrong tour and in the wrong country. We first stopped at their tourist stop where things were a bit over priced I though we were not going to have another chance so I thought if you wanted to get something I had to get it there. The problem is that now you have to lug it around with you for the rest of the day. From there we headed to Bayahibe beach which is a town where the majority of the population is from somewhere else. It is a place where foreigners have formed a little community. We went to their beautiful little beach and boarded a speed boat to get to the island. If you go to the island on a speed boat you return on the Catamaran. The speed boat is pretty quick about 30 to 40 minutes. You stop on your way on a sand bar in the middle of the ocean where you can take pictures holding a star fish and swim around. They are always serving Cuba Libre's to you no matter if it is first thing in the morning. You swim around for about 15 minutes and take pictures and then re-board the fast boat to continue your trip to the Island. Once there you are free to do what you want for the afternoon. Swim, snorkle, or lay in the sun. At 1pm you are served a hot barbacue buffet styly and there is a bar where you can continue to drink and in my case have some more water. It is extremely hot and the bugs are a problem but as long as you continue to apply sunscreen and bring your bug spray you can have a nice afternoon. I live in Fort Lauderdale and lived in Santo Domingo 42 years ago and I did not remember the stifling heat that we had while there this time. We were there from May 5 to May 11, 2013. You are on the water so you can always jump back in whenever the heat gets to be too much. On the Island you have the vendors that come around with their artesania. You can get a good deal here if you bargain for it. They will always give you a price that is way above what they will really accept so if you are a good haggler this is your place. I bought a amber ring that flips over and has a tourquoise stone on the other side that started out at 40 and I ended up with two rings for the same price. They also have someone that comes around with Dominican and Cuban cigars and Coconut Oil to buy, again try to bargain with them. The tours have photographers that film and photograph you all day and once on the island they sell you the CD. The starting price on our tour was $40, they first show you all the pictures of you and your family and then the next day they return to your hotel and give you a video of the whole day. We had taken our own pictures so we choose not to purchase but the guy sitting next to us had worked out a deal where he paid $25 and I heard the Tour operator tell him not to tell anyone. I also heard him say that several times to others. I asked if we could have our photos for $20 and he said no. So the lowest ours was willing to accept was $25 so keep that in mind. The ride home was on a Catamaran and that was wonderful, the ride was about 1 1/2 hours and there is dancing and drinking as you go so if that is you thing this is your tour. They also continue to have water and sodas. The part of the tour that is unpleasant is the ride home on the bus. If the ride there on the bus was too much the ride home is worse because you are now tired and sticky and wet and you have to get back to your hotel. We were the last to be picked up so we were the first to be dropped off but with the traffic because of the time of day and the distance it took 1 hour 15 to get us from Bayahibe to our hotel Gran Bahia Principe in La Romana. They still had to drop people off at Baca Chica and Santo Domingo so for them it had to have been horrible. The Island is fabulous but the ground transportation is difficult so bring your patience and maybe a change of clothes. I think that we were back home around 6:30 pm hot, wet and tired. The day is all inclusive where the food and drinks and boat and bus transportation are all included in the price you pay.
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