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“A Nightmare”

Excursion Punta Cana
Reviewed November 16, 2012

I was really looking forward to this excursion, and it was great to travel around the country and get to see some of the real life of the Dominican Republic - the homes, schools, and markets, along with some horse riding and a beautiful beach. Typically on holiday we like to travel around, so this was all good.
Even in light of those positive points however, this excursion was enough to strip me of the will to live.
The issue was simply one thing - our guide Leo. All was well for the first couple of hours, Leo had to shout over the noise of the open topped lorry we were in, but had plenty of knowledge to impart about the country as we traveled through it. The difficulty came later when he ran out of things to say, and just started bellowing utter crap at the top of his lungs. Talking to one person two feet away, talking in a silent room at the cigar factory, it made no difference, he would shout as loud as he could the most infantile crap again and again. The same lines got no better with repetition.

The last three hours were pure hell. By this stage only one person on the bus was prepared to talk to Leo, but his volume was still firmly set to eleven. We'd been told that speed bumps were called sleeping policemen about fifteen times, and then finally after ten long long hours we got back to the hotel and everyone bolted for the door to find some blessed silence.

Now I completely understand if you're thinking that I'm probably over doing this a bit, you do get all sorts of delicate souls posting reviews online. I would just like to point out two things - my wife is a nanny and pretty well accustomed to shouting & noise, and she literally had a nightmare about Leo that night.

Make of that what you will. To be fair the cameraman Jeff was a lovely guy, and if you got him instead you'd be fine. But if I were you I wouldn't hand over any money until you made damn sure that Leo wasn't on the bus.

24  Thank Lou148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 18, 2012

We loved tour, appreciated opportunity to buy items for approximately 50 per cent cheaper than the guys who come to the resort with same trinkets.
Visited school, wished we had some supplies for them. Lunch was great. coffee, cocoa prices at plantation were very reasonable, and no one "pushed" us to buy anything.
Agree horse back riding was a little scary, horses were small. A canadian farmer was with us on tour as a guest as well. He commented on the small size of all the farm animals we saw, due to the lack of grain in their diets, grass fed cows and horses are much smaller.

8  Thank wontellyou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

This was a good land based excursion day...There were 5 of us in all, 2 seniors 2 adults and 1 teen. It was a beautiful sunny day which probably gives you a more positive experience than if it's raining. There were several stops including a school and our guide "Handsome Kelly" was very informative. Yes you were encouraged to buy at the stops but these are small businesses and those same products would be sold at a much higher price at the resorts or in town. This way you know what you were going to buy anyway is really benefiting the local farmer or artisan.

5  Thank Lori9201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2011

County Adventure and Safari's mega trucks are rough and rugged and need to be for the terrain they will take you through. This excursion will take you through towns and villages that you would otherwise never see. The majority of people in D.R. are very poor and so this was not always a pretty site, but not seeing it does n ot mean it does not exist. You will travel to a very large Catholic Church (you can go in for extra $) for a brief washroom break. You will also visit a sugarcane field, coffee plantation, cocoa plantation, school house, small geological museum/cigar factory. We traveled into the mountains and stopped for a buffet picnic lunch at Horseplay Punta Cana where we rode horses and zip lined through the trees and over a river and back again. The bar was always open on the truck and the tour guide was fun, friendly and knowledgeable. Very, very rough terrain. Very full day. Well worth the $90 U.S. I cried, I laughed and I learned. Very enlightening.

23  Thank Sandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2011

We thought this would be a great excursion. We looked forward to seeing the country side and that part was enjoyable, but the rest of the trip was all about getting you to spend your money. The truck ride was fun although it was raining and even with the top my husband and I go soaked. The first stop was at a gift shop. Then they took us to the "typical family home" and we walked through and were offered a mango. Then we were taken out to see how cocoa is made. Interesting but before you leave they take you to another area where they try to sell you different things, coffee,cocoa, vanilla etc. Then back on the bus. Next stop is a village where you will see the school. First though you go to a little store where the guide tells you you need to buy school supplies and cookies for the kids in the mountain. They don't ask you if you want to, they tell you you have to and how many packages to buy. You then go to the school to deliver all the supplies you just bought. The kids sing for you, very cute. When we were coming out I am looking at the other tour trucks lined up and thinking there is no way that school uses all those supplies.
Next stop is the place where you can zip line or horseback ride. We did neither. The zip line did not look very exciting and the horses looked so old I was afraid of hurting them.
This is the same place we ate lunch which was ok. Then back on the truck and down the mountain. The next stop was the "cigar factory" really just another gift shop with the guide saying buy the beautiful things, buy cigars. The beach was beautiful, unfortunately it was raining so we did not spend much time there. At the end of the day when they are dropping you off they are asking for tips. This was nothing but a spend your money here trip. I would not recommend it.

29  Thank SMacaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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