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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
October 11, 2004 - October 18, 2004
Cousin Deana and her husband Clarence emailed Traci and me about a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was a very reasonably priced trip that consisted of round-trip airfare and a 7-night stay at the all-inclusive resort, Iberostar Dominicana. The resort, beach, and surrounding countryside is absolutely beautiful. Everywhere you look is like looking at a postcard. To top it all off are the very friendly Dominican people. Whether we were at the resort or touring the countryside, everyone we met was extremely friendly.
Things I Really Enjoyed
- ATV Tour: This was a fun excursion on all-terrain vehicles (ATV) through the sleepy towns of the Dominican countryside. There was a stop at beautiful Macao Beach and a stop at a cave where we were given the opportunity to cool off in the water within.
- Outback Safari: This tour of the rural Dominican Republic was my favorite excursion. It was an enjoyable way to learn about the Dominican culture through tasting food and visiting interesting sites. The excursion ended with an hour of boogie boarding.
- Friendly People: Whether in a tour bus or on an ATV, the Dominican people always smiled and waved as we came through. It was especially fun to see how excited the children became when they saw us.
- The Animals: There were flamingos, roosters, ducks, and peacocks that roamed the grounds of the resort. The fountains had frogs and turtles swimming in them. I thought this element enhanced the tranquil beauty of the property.
Things That Disappointed Me
- The Food: Although there was a huge variety and lots of it, the food was just okay at most. To make matter worse, most of us had upset stomachs by the second day.
- Apple Vacation Reps: We booked this trip through Apple Vacations and I was pleased with how smoothly things ran from start to finish. However, the Apple Vacation representatives at our resort who were responsible for booking excursions could have done better. There was no one at the Apple Vacation desk for the first two days and then one of the reps booked our excursion for the day the exhibit is closed.
A Few Facts
Where is the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is an eastern Caribbean nation about 70 miles west of Puerto Rico. It shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. We vacationed on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic in an area named Punta Cana. The town gets its name because the Cana trees that grow there and because this side of the island forms a point (punta - in Spanish) like the tip of an arrow - hence the name, Punta Cana.
The language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish; however, most of the resort employees we met seem to be fluent in at least four languages. There was one activity coordinator that could speak nine languages! Being multilingual is important since most of the vacationers seem to be European. While at the resort, I heard German, French, English, some Italian, and, of course, Spanish.
The currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso. At the time we were there, one U.S. dollar was worth about 32 Dominican pesos. Since we were at an all-inclusive resort, we did not have to worry about currency conversion. The only things we needed to pay for were items we bought from the souvenir shop. Credit cards are accepted if you don't have pesos on you. continue...
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