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Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

Manalapan, New...
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Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

Just joined TripAdvisor, and I need some advice. Looking to plan a Caribbean vacation this summer, and I know DR is fairly reasonable compared to some others. Looking for the quintessential white sand/turquoise water experience! Heard the Dominican has that. But I also heard that the people are not always so friendly, and that available excursions are at a minimum. I would really appreciate some insight from people who have been there. Ideally looking for an all-inclusive, so recommendations on that are appreciated too! Have three teenage kids. And if anyone can compare DR to Negril, Jamaica? Was considering that also. Thanks!!! -Marj

connecticut
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1. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

You can't beat the beaches of the DR, they are just beautiful. Like any other Country you have good people and bad, I have never had an issue, I find the Dominican people very friendly. We have done a few side trips over the years, Saona Island, Altos de Chavon tour and a must is with Punta Cana Mike, he has some very good tours but you have to book with him before you go, he has his own website with all the info. puntacanamike .com. We have stayed at various resorts from one end of the island to the other but we like Bavaro Beach area the best. We are going again in 3 weeks to the Majestic Colonial, so looking forward to it.

Vero Beach, Florida
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1,560 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

The main reason we vacation in PC is for the beautiful Bavaro beach. We usually stay at the Palladium because we find their staff to be very friendly and we love the tropical setting and plush greenery with so many tall swaying palm trees. I think your teens will enjoy the many activities offered by their animation team and their 24hr sports room that has a really good selection of food. I also suggest the previous writers excursion to Saona Island. It's wonderful.

Winnipeg, Canada
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876 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

You will absolutely find that white/sand turqoise water experience in Punta Cana. I've been there twice and Negril once. Negril's beaches are comparable in my opinion, perhaps only slightly less stunning. Don't let what you've heard about the people or excursions in the D.R. deter you at all. The people are fine, although I personally wouldn't venture off the resort on my own. Not that there'd be much to do off resort anyway. There are lots of fun excursions and they're very much like what you'd find in Negril - catamaran cruises, zip lining, etc. In fact Negril is quite far away from many popular excursions to Jamaican tourist spots like Bob Marley sites or certain waterfalls. The pros about Jamaica are that it's English speaking, I found their standards of cleanliness and food were more like in North America, I liked their culture far more than that of the D.R., and it's safer to go off resort. If your family doesn't like Reggae or Bob Marley, however, you may want to reconsider. I don't know which resorts would be suitable for a family with teens. I think many are adults only or couples only, but that can be researched easily enough. It could be you'll find more extravagent looking resorts in the D.R. Because you have teens I will mention the following for your information. You will see topless women on the Punta Cana beaches. I didn't see that in Jamaica, unless on a nude beach section that is part of an adults only resort. In Negril you will be offered weed routinely while on the beach. Whether this will be done if you have teens with you or whether they would be offered it if you aren't around I have no idea.

Gander, Canada
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238 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

We have been to Montego Bay and just returned from Punta Cana. I would definitely return to Punta Cana and hope to do so next year with my teen daughter! The beach is beautiful; we stayed at Bavaro Princess and I will return to this resort! People were most friendly!!! There are lots of excursions to choose from; i.e. outback safaris, catamaran, zip lining, dune buggies, horseback riding, parasailing, etc. Don't believe the negative!! Punta Cana is my favorite above Puerto Plata, Cuba and Jamaica!!! We had awesome weather for the entire week; no rain! I found it rained frequently in Jamaica. That was a turn off for me! It's all subjective though, and depends what you really want in a vacation. Punta Cana was perfect for us!

Leeds, Engalnd
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3,019 posts
31 reviews
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5. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

hey I answered ur Puerto Plata post ..that answer also gave u some resort suggestions .....however to get more then I suggest you post a hotel specific question with your wants/ don't wants...as there are that many resorts to choose from it will help narrow it down

also can i just state that it is VERY SAFE to venture off resort in the DR, it's as safe as visiting any country, just use all the same common sense as you would visiting anywhere strange ...i.e don't flash wads of cash and bling bling jewellery etc etc

Ontario, Canada
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580 posts
9 reviews
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6. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

I have been to both the Dominican and Jamaica. IMO Punta Cana beaches are nicer. Excursions are less expensive in the DR. Food is a little better in Jamaica - however I have had some great food at a few resorts in the DR. the PEOPLE in the DR is what keeps us going back. the DR people are the friendliest people I have ever met. Jamaica is nice, don't get me wrong and I have met some nice people there too, but honestly I found DR safer and friendlier. Just my opinion.

Des Moines, Iowa
1 post
2 reviews
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7. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

We have been to Punta Cana twice, but decided to try Jamaica back in January of this year. We will be going back to Punta Cana next year and not to Jamaica. We thought everything was hands-down better in Punta Cana than in Jamaica. We went with another couple and they felt the same way. Punta Cana is just beautiful, the food is great, the people are amazing, the list could go on and on!!!

Bavaro, Dominican...
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8. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

Just noticed post 3 "safer to go off resort in Jamaica than the D.R" sorry Winniepegger but I disagree with that, Nothing against Jamaica but it has one of the top 5 homicide rates per percentage of people in the world, I'm a fan of life if it wasn't safe to be off the resorts I wouldn't live here. Try it next time your here you'll love it I guarantee it will open up a whole new side to your vacation experience.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Punta Cana
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9. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

Is Palladium on Bavaro Beach or El Cortecito Beach? I was told, by someone who lives there, that it stretches from around Now Larimar down to just south of Barcelo Bavaro Palace. Does anybody have a definitive answer on this?

Mark

Bavaro, Dominican...
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10. Re: Need advice on DR/Punta Cana

I've always considered Cortecito beach to be from the Palladiums round to just before the Los corales area but that's probably due to me linking it with the land around it. Probably a bit ignorant of me. I've often wondered at where the exact point is where the Atlantic becomes the Caribbean if you where to draw a straight line to the shore where would it be?