I recently traveled to Dominican Republic (D.R.) . I had previously been to the Bahamas, Cancun and Puerto Rico, so I was curious to visit D.R. as I have several friend who are from there. It was a fun trip and I had a good experience. There were a few hiccups, like my gms phone didn’t work with the sim card, and some of the locals were a bit pushy when it came to offering services, but overall it was a pleasant and relaxing getaway.
D.R. is well known for its all-inclusive resorts, and I must say you do get a fantastic deal on an all-inclusive resort. Just head on over to Cheap Caribbean to see the deals. Keep in mind the best deals are usually found during hte off-peak season, which in the Caribbean is usually from April through September (the tail end also happens to be Hurricane season, so keep that in mind).
The resort we stayed at was the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana in the La Romana province of D.R. (About an hour east of the capital) Santo Domingo. Like most modern all-inclusive everything is there at the resort . Restaurants, entertainment, bar, dancing, etc. and of course you don’t need to pay anything (while your there). The resort was pretty typical, the layout was more condo style with only 2-story buildings as opposed to some of the mega-hotels you find in other all-inclusive. And the grounds and gardens were a pleasure to walk around in. The beach was pretty good, but the water was not crystal clear , this was a disappointment.
I had a grand time on the beach swimming around a little island that was just an out-cropping of rocks located about a half-mile out form the beach. I honed my new open water swimming skills by circumnavigating the island twice. One day Christine was my lead paddler until she rammed her kayak right into my right hand. Another day Christine and I went out on a catamaran, even though we never sailed before we , I mean Christine (aka “skipper”) managed to actually sail back and forth a few times.. It was fun but we probably should take lessons before we do anything like that again.
The one surprising thing about D.R. is that its a poor island country. Having been to Mexico and Puerto Rico I had a picture in my mind what a Caribbean nation would be like. But when we traveled outside the resort, you begin to see a different side of D.R. Its not necessarily negative, its just poor, side roads are poorly maintained , poor infrastructure etc. The people are generally friendly, but some do tend to take liberties and are very pushy about offering you a deal. They always seem to be hustling something…
So all in all it was a fine trip, some day I’ll go back, when I do I want to visit Cabarete which is a well known spot for windsurfing which is something I want to learn in coming years.