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“Beautiful country”
Review of Puerto Plata

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Mid West
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
5 helpful votes
“Beautiful country”
Reviewed January 27, 2007

The beaches are fabulous. The chain of the 3 Riu Hotels have excellent food and intertainment. The veiw was breath taking. Went on the cable car trip, rum factory, their fort, lunch and a little shopping. Not an area where I would feel going with out a guide would be a good idea, but everyone there treats you so well. Lots of poverty in this country, yet like our guide said, it has a lot of wealth as far as growing fruit, cattle, sugar cane, vegetables, and tourism. Great vacation.

5 Thank Pegb2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
32 helpful votes
“Great Excursions”
Reviewed October 16, 2004

We got back from Puerto Plata Oct. 9 and we had a great time....mostly because of some excellent excursions.

We used the Riu Mambo as a base, and went Scuba Diving on Caya Paraiso. After a 2.5 hour bus trip we arrived at the base amongst some breathtaking surroundings. We had an unexpected boat ride through the mangroves, which was amazingly beautiful. Then we arrived at the desert island and snorkelled for .5 hours...we didn't think it was nearly enough and my girlfriend asked IVAN to take us out again, which he happily did...he was awesome and pointed out crabs, sea urchins and fish to us.

Another excursion was cascading in the mountains of IMBERT. This excursion included an amazing horse-back ride up a mountain that was rumoured to be one of the locations for Jurassic Park. We stopped at an amazing location for lunch and then went cascading...there are 29 pools in this area, and we went through 7. This is not a place for the fragile and those afraid of heights. It was awesome.

Another excursion was to Puerto Plata and Sosua. We found an amazing taxi driver who took us to the Amber Gallery, Central Park and Fort Fillippe. Puerto Plata was a bit of a disappointment...and tourists we were big targets for aggressive dominicans selling things...Sosua was the same on the beach market, but a little easier to take. Sosua was beautiful. Try to visit for an afternoon...an hour isn't enough.

The last excusrion was Ocean World where we swam with dolphins. There is not near enough to keep you occupied the whole day, and it's very pricey...but swimming with dolphins is well worth it. I'm against places that exploit animals but this place is the exception...the animals are obviously loved by the trainers, and the animals have huge spaces to live,swim. Try to catch an earlier bus back if possible.

The only disappointment for me was the gated feeling at the resort and the number of Canadians, English and Germans complaining about EVERYTHING. We were astonished at how narrow-minded and intolerant they were...and I would echo the Woman from holland who said these tourists should stay home...they give all of us true travellers a bad name. I was embarrassed at some of the rude behaviour they exhibited and for every act of rudeness, my girlfriend and I would try to compensate by expressing even more gratitude and friendliness than normal.

Puerto Plata and the people were great.

Hasta Luego

6 Thank Bilbaoface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 helpful votes
“Wonderful time!”
Reviewed February 24, 2004

We left Saskatoon on Feb. 3 with a -34 degree temp. Had problems with the plane both at Saskatoon and Regina dure to the cold, but got to Puerto Plata about 3 hours late. We were there for 2 weeks. Once we got to the Victoria Hotel, we were well taken care of. Our room was clean, although we did have to ask, daily, for face cloths. We think that they wash the glasses right in the room, so we made sure that we washed them well. You might want to take a little bottle of dish detergent. The water in the restaurants was fine to drink - they told us not to drink the water from the taps. We had a upper room over looking the golf course, which was nice. The 2 pools are small, the water quite cool. But there were always lounges to sit on. The bar and the service was great! Our air conditioner quit the second Sunday were there and they quickly moved us to another room. The food was good, the buffet had a pretty good variety - the Pizzeria was good as was the upper restaurant where you needed to reserve. The people there are so friendly and do speak a fair amount of English - at least enough to meet your needs. We befriended one of the bell hops - Dominico and he was super. He arranged some taxis for us and another couple to tour the city. It was a lot cheaper than taken the tours offered by the travel firm. The cable car is awesome to travel up. Although the day we went it fogged in just after we reached the top. We visited the San Filipe fort and the Amber museum on our own. It was okay. We went to Sosua with a taxi shared it with another couple, the hotel made the arrangements, as opposed to taking the 'tour' and again saved a lot of money. The Outback Safari was really worthwhile. There are several companies, but the Outback one is probably the safest - they are equipped with seatbelts and excellent tour guides. We enjoyed the tour and the boogie boarding. We played several rounds of golf - we'd taken our own clubs. Playa Dorado, which circles the Victoria Resort is very nice, not much touble to get into. It costs $54/ 18 holes American, plus a $9.00 caddy fee + what ever you want to pay the caddy and you have to take a caddy. Some of the caddies can be very aggressive and somewhat intimidating - the ones we had were good, one was almost like a private instructor - however, that, at times got a bit annoying. We had no problem getting on. The morning was busier. The afternoon - after 1:00 was cheaper, but hotter. Then we went to Playa Grande - about 1 1/2 hours from the resort - that is an awesome course - nearly all of the 18 holes are along the ocean and the banks are very rugged. Again it cost each of us $100 American for 18 holes, but that included the trip there and back. No lunch is included so take something to eat/drink - there is a restaurant there, but your 'guide' doesn't like to stay while you eat. There was abeverage cart that came around, but we never used it. Again, no problem getting on. We arrived,( there were 3 couples in the van, which was air conditioned), and we were on. The beach at the Victoria Resort is about a 5 minute walk from the Resort - but they do have a golf cart to run you back and forth. There is always lots of room, lounges etc. The little restaurant there is also good. The food comes from the main resort at 12:30 and one of their chefs comes to cook it. Good wraps and hamburgers. Things to take: - small bottle of hand sanitizer ie "Purell" brand. I carried it in my purse. The bathrooms everywhere were quite clean, but often there was nothing to dry your hands. We used this sanitizer a lot. - There was often a lack of toilet paper at the toilets in the shopping plaza - maybe you will want to carry a packet of kleenix in your purse. - mosquito spray - we used it every day. The Victoria is surrounded on 2 sides with a lagoon and the little 'no see mes' can really bite. - sun tan lotion -we saw a lot of people very sore looking - I got an awesome tan - but used the lotion.. You can buy the mosquito spray and sun tan lotion there, but it is expensive. There is a neat shopping plaza there, fixed prices, but very reasonable. Many of the same things were on the beach, but you needed to bargain. Coffee and rum were what we bought a lot of - there isn't a large amount of stuff to buy. I found very little for our younger grandkids to bring back for them. I paid 60 pesos for a pound of coffee = 1.25 American. It is excellent coffee. The rum is cheaper at the Brugal Rum Factory where you can buy it for about $1.00 for about 700 ml. The "151" Rum, which Canadians can bring back, but our friends to the south, the Americans, can't, is a little more - we paid 190 pesos for the 700 ml. This is the very strong stuff - they say if you don't like it, you can always use it for gasoline in your law mower!!! The peso changes daily in it's worth. You need to cash traveler's cheques at the little money exchangers. They only give you pesos, so don't cash too much at a time. They do take Canadian and American money at the shops,but then you figure out whether or not you got back the right change. It's better to have the pesos. We had a hot mail account and there are 2 places you can e-mail, so for 50 pesos for 15 min. or 75pesos for 30 min. you can let your families know how things are and they can keep in touch with you. That was neat! We didn't have any trouble with the people on the beach - if you say no, gracias, they leave you alone. The activity group who planned all the activites were very good. There was some form of entertainment every night. The evenings cool off to about 20 - 22 C; the winds seem to get up around 11:30 everymorning which made it quite rough on the ocean for the catamarans or deep sea fishing. It was a wonderful place to be - we really enjoyed it. Jean and Bob

7 Thank Grams739
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Wish we had been warned!”
Reviewed February 23, 2004

The area of Playa Dorado near the town of Puerto Plata is picturesque,immaculate and very security-guided...no one enters the complex unless they are guests of the resorts. Unfortunately, the beach left much to be desired...unclean and littered with algea and grasses.
Not the least of the problems were the invisible sand fleas...itchy bites covered our legs and arms after the first visit and kept us off the beach for the better part of our two-week holiday! Wish we had been alerted...there will not be a "next time" for us but I would caution all visitors to bring heavy artillery...tons of super-strength insect repellent!!

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

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