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Kaki question for you from panabrite

Hamilton, Canada
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1,751 posts
9 reviews
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Kaki question for you from panabrite

Hello Kaki,

Looking for a resort on the Caribbean ocean side of the D.R. Husband loves to snorkel....and has yet to find a place that compares to off shore snorkeling in the Maya Riviera at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort....looking for something off shore again....any resorts on that stretch that you could recommend. Casa Del Mar looks nice but are there others? We don't do too much other than relax...not interested in casino's or night life...we are content with minimal. Love the beaches and the pools and divide time between the 2.

Wondering on transfer time from airport to resorts. Flying out of Toronto or Buffalo....9 nights out of Buffalo but would only do one week out of Toronto...unless we fly American Airlines?

Have you been to the Samana area? Considering that area as well. The Gran Bahia El Portillo looks like someting we would like also. Transfer times to that resort too if you know. I appreciate your input. I want to celebrate my 40th birthday on the beach. Have been to both Punta Cana and Puerto Plata...looking to see more of the island's coast.



Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for La Romana, Bayahibe
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8,081 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Kaki question for you from panabrite

Sorry panabrite! I've got nuthin' on the Samana area. My first trip to the DR was to the south coast and I've spent the last 4 years exhausting my exploring there, until my recent trip to Punta Cana. Maybe one day....

I think the two resorts to consider are CDM and the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus. The IHD is more formal than CDM, with more air conditioned restaurants and statuary. The beach is longer but shared with a bunch of other resorts. The snorkeling from the beach is good, but there are fewer reef areas and spots to snorkel for variety than CDM has. My pictures of snorkeling from the beach at CDM are posted at: …webshots.com/photo/1282694387064234328UtaBfS

I can't say that the snorkeling in Bayahibe will match a Maya Riviera experience, or anywhere else. I think it depends on the day and general conditions at the time. The only thing I can say is that short of the large turtles, all of the pictures that I've ever seen of people's snorkel trips along the Caribbean all have the same fish, give or take. There are some things that I've seen that aren't in the pictures of Cozumel or Dominica, and I suppose it could go the other way around but the variety is vast and it's so easy! That's the greatest thing. No excursion required, but if you want to venture out beyond the reef in front of the hotel, there are opportunities nearby. For an example, I'll refer you to my pictures of a snorkel stop at Catalinita Island: travel.webshots.com/album/550135582VbyNRT

My computer is currently in the shop soI haven't loaded my recent CDM pictures but they'll be coming shortly. You have to see the new Infinity pool though! It's really outstanding and I'm not a pool person!

You have lots of options on airports to get to the La Romana area. The best choice, if you can get it, is to fly into La Romana. The airport is new and modern and is only 20 minutes from the resort area. Punta Cana is between 75 and 90 minutes away by private car depending on if you have a speeder or not. My drive in January took 90 minutes. You have some tree-lined winding roads inland, quite pretty with open fields of cattle and little houses along the way. The drive from outer Higuey through the city centre and past the Basilica is really interesting, and the approach to Punta Cana is on a new highway. Last year I flew into Santo Domingo which was a 90 minute drive as well. That trip is predominantly along the Caribbean and is really beautiful too. You cross 4 rivers and drive through the outskirts of San Pedro de Macoris and La Romana mostly on a new 4 lane highway. The shopping in the SD airport is great!

There are other good hotel options too, but they offer a bit less in the way of number of restaurants/bars and there may not be an on-site dive shop like both CDM and the IHD have.

Does this raise any questions?


Hamilton, Canada
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1,751 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Kaki question for you from panabrite

Thanks for information Kaki. We enjoy being in more natural settings...we like oepn air restaurants...are there many in the resorts you've recommended? We like to have the option of an air conditioned buffet restaurant but it's not a MUST HAVE. We like to see wildlife and birds flying about...even if it's in the restaurants...we don't mind.

I guess my next step is to look into flights or to price out he trips with tour operators in Canada first...then if I have to in order to get best times and airports closest to the resorts then I'll book air seperate.

Then I'll research the two resorts you recommended and take it from there.

I look forward to your newest pictures.

I have seen the infinity pool it looks so nice! I have lots of time still to research....October is quite a ways awau....but if I have any more questions I hope you won't mind me asking you.



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3. Re: Kaki question for you from panabrite

Returned from Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus on 2/24. It's in La Romana. I was also looking for beach, snorkeling area on the Caribbean side. This beach is beautiful, with a man-made reef area set up just off the beach. It's not the most incredible reef in the world, but still beautiful to see with many different types of fish. Still building up coral on it. They supply equipment, but only for an hour at a time. Prefer to take my own so I can come and go as I please. There's also a trip to Catalina Island to snorkel. Didn't get to take the trip due to bad weather. The trip to Saona Island was fun, but a waste as far as snorkeling goes.

Again, this is a beautiful beach. Wonderful, huge pool area, too. Hotel is beautifully landscaped, comfortable, delicious food, great friendly entertainment group. Lots of places to relax, and lots of fun things to get into, if you choose. I highly recommend it.

We flew from Baltimore directly into La Romana airport. Took about 20 minutes from airport to hotel. I hear it's about 1-1/2 to 2 hours from Punta Cana to hotel, and I think about 2 hours from Santa Domingo. Try to get into La Romana airport if at all possible.

You won't be disappointed in the beauty at Iberostar in La Romana.

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4,088 posts
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4. Re: Kaki question for you from panabrite

Hi Panabrite...

Coral Canoa is a wonderful resort..and greg took lots of underwater pictures right off the beach.

No reservations for dinner in any of the restaurants but the italian is the only air conditioned one. We went there 4 out of 7 nights.


Lynn (firmly grasping her bubba keg)

5. Re: Kaki question for you from panabrite

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