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“A great day out”

Monster Truck Safari - Puerto Plata Route
Attraction details
Reviewed May 24, 2009

My husband and I did this Mega Truck safari via our Thomas Cook rep at ICD on 6th May. Pick up from hotel was around 0820 - 0830 and we boarded the truck before heading next door to the GO Marien for the final pick up. Then followed a bracing drive thorugh POP and out past RIU hotels at bahia maimon. The journey thorugh the countryside was interesting, the excellent guide pointing out areas of interest and the fact that some of this scenery had been included in the Jurrasic park films. We then arrived near the coast at the ranch for the pony trek - which was simply 25 minutes of gentle fun, all horses simply following each other - the only issue being the occasional snake that got in the way. After the trek was time on the nearby beach which was a welcome break with beautiful water and away from it all scenery. refreshments and loos were available at the ranch and beach. Back on the truck we headed through more countryside, ending up at an old plantation style house for a buffet lunch in the garden area. Again loos available. The buffet was suffificient although do not expect gourmet cooking. We has spaghetti, chicken, rice, salad bits and oher items. Back on the truck we eventually ended up with the ususal cigar demonstration and coffee/ chocolate talk. My husband bought some coffee and I wish now that I had bought the chocolate pods. The truck was the perfect way to see the real countryside and real outlying villages away from the tourist hype. They have so little, but are happy (or certainly appear to be), The final stop was at a school. Although supported by Mega trucks I felt the passing of sweets to the children was inappropriate as they probably have restricted dental care. I thought the day was excellent - very well run and I would happily have done it twice to get out into the countryside and away from the more tourist areas.
As always - bring plenty of sunscreen, the breeze on the truck masks the real heat.

3  Thank NJHNorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 16, 2009

This is a good way to spend a full day away from your hotel. We got picked up at our hotel around 8:15...depends on your location though, and we got back around 5pm. The price was $90 USD per person. I booked right through the monster truck website and it was so easy. Their representative met us at the hotel the day we checked in and gave us our tickets, we didnt need to pay for them in advance. She always kept good contact with me prior to our trip and was so down to earth and pleasant when we met her at our hotel...it was so easy.
You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the Monster Truck Safari Office where you will be given the chance to buy mosquito patches..I think they were $2, if you're like me and always get bit by bugs then getting one of these patches is a good idea...I had no bites....but your own bug spray will be fine too....personally I dont remember seeing mosquitoes at all, perhaps because of the patch though. You will be placed on one of three large trucks and off you go...
You will see the nearby towns and people as you're served free drinks throughout the ride. First stop is a school and a model of a traditional Dominican home, kids wait around here because they know you're coming. You can donate items to the school and/or bring small items for the children. I'd like to say it's such a rewarding experience but..... I made goodie bags to give out to the boys and girls and I put a good amount of effort and money into them...they were gone in under 1 minute as I got bum-rushed for them! There was never a "thank you" , they didnt wait for me to give them a bag they snatched it out of my hand before I even had the chance to take my hand out of my backpack. The girls are okay, they dont do this...but the boys will almost knock you over. I know this is a poor country and all but....manners shouldnt be displayed by rich people only. I advise that instead of training these kids to EXPECT giveaways, that you ask to take a picture of them and in return you give them something...this way they learn that nothing is free....posing for pictures in this case would be their job, someone suggested this to me after the fact. Dont throw goodies while the truck is moving as kids run right up to the truck not realizing the danger...make sure the truck is at a full stop. Items to bring....candy is the obvious choice but keep in mind they don't have many dentists in the countryside. I gave out stickers, hair ties, pencils, and little toy cars....many of these items can be found at 99cent stores too.
Lunch is served by a river in an outdoor buffet style restaurant...the food is decent and we didnt get sick, so I think it's safe to eat for all - and my fiance has a sensitive stomach. The water at the river isnt too clear, but it's okay and its nice to lay in the sun. Be prepared for a water fight when you get back on the truck, bring a water proof camera or put your camera away! Overall it's a nice trip...it's nice to just drive around and see the towns and the country side...and for $90 it worth it because it's a full day trip really. By the way, dont think that booking elsewhere is going to save you money, $2 is all we would have saved if we booked through our tour rep, Prieto Tours.
Bring extra cash as you will visit a gift shop...part of the proceeds go to fund Dominican Schools.
The only reason I am giving this excursion 4 stars instead of 5 is because in Punta Cana I went on this type of trip through another company and the places we visited were more interesting...the farm was better and we rode through the sugar cane fields which we didnt see here in Puerto Plata.

4  Thank expicalado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2009

We picked Monster truck becuase we read a lot of great reviews and we saw this Thomson's ad about it. It looked like a fun day out and gave as an opportunity to leave the resort.

It wasn't what we expected...we expected a lot more given what we paid ($99 each) and all the good reviews we read. Although it did give us the chance to see the countryside.

What was a bit disappointing:
1. Fruit farm - we weren't shown any fruit trees. We got there and they gave us a few fruits to try...pretty average. Then try to sell us sweets.

2. Voodoo doctors house - I expected this to be more informative so learn more about the culture of the Island. But instead we basically just walked through the house..which by the way was full of Catholic items and a man sleeping at the front..was he suppose to be the witch doctor???

3. Lunch was nothing special, pasta, chicken stew, pretty average food. They also tried to sell us stuff here too. The location was nice, next to a river but unfortunately for us, that day it wasn't hot enough to swim.

Positive:

1. Our guide was funny and informative

2. Monster truck supports the local schools which is very worthwhile. The country is very poor. Driving around, going to a local school and visiting local home you could tell most people do not have a lot of money.

Kids run and yell at the truck for stuff. I found it a bit annoying when people threw stuff at them like they were some sort of animal. It's degrading and dangerous for them to be running so close.

3  Thank AussieTurtle_99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2009

Since doing the Monster Truck Safari my husband has not stopped gushing about how much fun he had in the Dominican Republic! I booked directly off their website and it cost $90/person--well worth the money.

We were picked up at our hotel and driven down the street to the Monster Trucks--which are huge trucks. It was a nice clear day and perfect as the sun hit our faces and breeze swept through our hair (bring a hat, plenty of sunblock, and sunglasses!).

We then drove deep into the DR with well-timed rest stops, and plenty of rum, coke, sprite, beer, and water. I don't want to spoil the surprises, but the tour leaders were great. Oto was so much fun! You are definitely going to have a great time. The lunch buffet was better than our hotel's, and you get to meet so many nice people along the way from outside of your resort.

I would say it was the best fun we've had in a long time, and is a must do in the dominican--our group was all adults, and I would say it is great for adults and older kids (not too young as it can be a bit bumpy and scary if you are too small). No mosquito bites either.

Tip: they do stop by a school where your donations are welcome. Stuff to bring: crayons, school supplies, toys, bubbles, rewards like stickers/balloons for the headmaster. DO NOT BRING SWEETS/CANDY--as they warn against that since it is bad for their health and promotes begging as well.

6  Thank Lilsquirrel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 23, 2008

The Monster Truck costs us $95 each through Thomson. We were picked up from our hotel and dropped off at the Monster Truck centre. Note that we were in the Iberostar Costa Dorada so it was only a 5 minute trip for us, some people had a LONG drive (considering we headed back from the Monster Truck centre towards Sousua be aware that if you are staying over that side of Dominican then you will have to do this U-turn, you can't pick up the truck from anywhere else).

After driving for about 30 minutes through the countryside we were given some cold drinks (beer, rum or water).

The first stop was a Plantation which was interesting. Here you can buy little sweets or pencils for later (not cheap - better to bring from the UK). You also get to try local coffee and sugar cane. There is a toilet stop at the Plantation.

The next stop is the local village school (30 mins or so drive). The children are quite overwhelming so if you are planning to give out treats to them be aware that they may snatch them off you. Keep any school supplies with you when you go into the school itself and hand them to the teacher. School was closed the day we were there which is a shame.

Opposite the school is a traditional house where you look round and meet the old lady that lives there - a real eye opener.

Then you travel across rivers and streams for about another 30 minutes (more alcohol!) where you arrive at a beauty spot for a reasonable lunch of grilled meat, rice, veg and spaghetti if you're not sure of eating meat. There are toilet facilities here.

Down some steps from the restaurant is a river where you can swim or just relax on the beach area. Be warned though that when we were there a man and his son got into trouble due to the depth and under-current taking them by surprise.

Also at the restaurant there is a traditional dominican band to entertain you.

After 2 hours you start back down the road where half way you will have a water fight (won't spoil this for you) which is great and then after a total of 40 minutes or so you visit a shop where you can buy rum, cigars and other tourist things. The local rum, we found, is very cheap here compared to elsewhere in resort. The shop has toilets.

The only downside is the LONG trip back from the shop to your hotel as not only do you drop people off at their hotel's on the way, after all that rum most people were dying for the toilet! I would say it was a good hour and a half from the shop to the Iberostar.

Our guide was Mercedes - she was very informative and made it really fun and interesting. Take your camera as there is loads to see.

All in all well worth the money,

7  Thank bellinigirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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