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going to punta cana in january...which adventures to pick, what to do

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  • Nov 13th, 2017 4:01 pm
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going to punta cana in january...which adventures to pick, what to do

husband and i are not type of people that can sit on the beach for hours on end every day.......we get bored but we still want some beach downtime, and some exploring time

we'll be going to punta cana in january, the grand bahia principe for a week
what would be good adventures to do while we're there, and any other tips you have for us........we also have our 8 and 10 year old boys coming but not too sure if i'll be taking them with us, they'll probably stay with my parents that are also going, and there's also 4 more adults, and 4 more kids coming........so we're a big party......going to party :)
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jelena-c wrote:
Nov 7th, 2017 9:09 pm
husband and i are not type of people that can sit on the beach for hours on end every day.......we get bored but we still want some beach downtime, and some exploring time

we'll be going to punta cana in january, the grand bahia principe for a week
what would be good adventures to do while we're there, and any other tips you have for us........we also have our 8 and 10 year old boys coming but not too sure if i'll be taking them with us, they'll probably stay with my parents that are also going, and there's also 4 more adults, and 4 more kids coming........so we're a big party......going to party :)
Ya might want to start here:

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/dominican-republic

Ideally one would actually read these things BEFORE booking a vacation, so as to know if the Destination they've chosen matches up with their travelling style.

The DR has gorgeous beaches... and a nice climate. And one is "relatively safe" within the confines of the resort... which makes it an ideal Winter Beach holiday.

But not so much off site, and not so much after dark.

https://globalnews.ca/news/2807537/most ... hot-spots/

ADD - NOT a Destination to skimp on... make sure everyone has Travel Insurance & Travel Medical (with Evacuation), as well as any necessary pre travel Meds / vaccines / precautions taken (ie Bug Spray) ... again info on the Govt of Canada Advisory site

PS... Not trying to be a Debbie / Donnie Downer here, as you sound very excited about your vacation, but there are some realities that should be looked at and clearly understood when it comes to travelling, especially to a 2nd or 3rd world country from Canada.
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May 7, 2017
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You will be fine ! I’ve travelled to worse places

Once you go there they have a tour desk. You will book all your tours there. I believe I did a Santo Domingo tour and was well worth it. Not sure if I did it from punta cana
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Agreed with above post.

Gorgeous beach- but nothing much to do outside of the beach. No interesting towns nearby.

I would suggest booking a resort that has a lot of kids acrivities; the Royalton/Memories resorts and the Riu Resorts all have their own (large) water parks. I would say they are give or take the size of "splash works" at Canada's Wonderland (minus the wave pool).

My personal fave resort there is the Hard Rock. Tons of activities on the resort (sports, planned activities (arts and crafts/ bicycle tours), kids water play area, 12 pools, mini golf, excellent entertainment) and you will receive a resort credit you can use towards excursions, spa, golf and more.

Outside the resort the most popular excursion is the one to Sonoa (requires catamaran to get there very secluded untouched beach). Second would be the zip lining/ATV Adventures- depending on the kid they may not be into that.

Edit: Sorry just re-read your post. The Bahia principe is the largest resort complex there. I've stayed there in the past- which section did u book? (There's 5 out of 7 that allow families).
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Since Punta Cana is new resort area with not much else in the immediate proximity, it is true that there may be less options than many other places, but do not fear, there is plenty to do outside resorts, and IMO the place is pretty safe to explore on your own if you so desire.

Obviously the beaches and water are fantastic, so a lot of the activities will be water related, but you can find other things to do, depending on what you like to do.

Personally for us one of the highlight was a tour with Mike who is a Canadian living in DR
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... nce_D.html

the tour is quite different from the typical attractions if that something that fits your needs, I even took another private tour with him since I wanted to see places tourists usually don't go, and felt more comfortable having someone who knows the area with me.

There is plenty do for everyone including kids (rides, snorkling, caves and on and on). Just do some research and enjoy your trip.
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 7th, 2017 10:03 pm
Ya might want to start here:

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/dominican-republic

Ideally one would actually read these things BEFORE booking a vacation, so as to know if the Destination they've chosen matches up with their travelling style.

The DR has gorgeous beaches... and a nice climate. And one is "relatively safe" within the confines of the resort... which makes it an ideal Winter Beach holiday.

But not so much off site, and not so much after dark.

https://globalnews.ca/news/2807537/most ... hot-spots/

ADD - NOT a Destination to skimp on... make sure everyone has Travel Insurance & Travel Medical (with Evacuation), as well as any necessary pre travel Meds / vaccines / precautions taken (ie Bug Spray) ... again info on the Govt of Canada Advisory site

PS... Not trying to be a Debbie / Donnie Downer here, as you sound very excited about your vacation, but there are some realities that should be looked at and clearly understood when it comes to travelling, especially to a 2nd or 3rd world country from Canada.
i was hoping to hear from people that stayed at the grand bahia principe and know that the resort calls their exursions "adventures"
i am not planning to go out on our own, even though we did something like that some years ago when we went to cancun......this time we probably won't

fear mongering doesn't stop me from visiting a country, and exploring it....if that was the case, i'd never leave my home
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BeanFinn wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 8:04 am
You will be fine ! I’ve travelled to worse places

Once you go there they have a tour desk. You will book all your tours there. I believe I did a Santo Domingo tour and was well worth it. Not sure if I did it from punta cana
oh, i'd love to visit santo domingo, but that doesn't seem to be listed on the resort site
https://www.bahia-principe.com/en/resor ... ngs-to-do/

where did you book the tour from?
it's 200km away from the resort? i wonder if there will be tour busses going from pc to sd
Last edited by jelena-c on Nov 8th, 2017 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BrunetteGirl wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 9:05 am
Agreed with above post.

Gorgeous beach- but nothing much to do outside of the beach. No interesting towns nearby.

I would suggest booking a resort that has a lot of kids acrivities; the Royalton/Memories resorts and the Riu Resorts all have their own (large) water parks. I would say they are give or take the size of "splash works" at Canada's Wonderland (minus the wave pool).

My personal fave resort there is the Hard Rock. Tons of activities on the resort (sports, planned activities (arts and crafts/ bicycle tours), kids water play area, 12 pools, mini golf, excellent entertainment) and you will receive a resort credit you can use towards excursions, spa, golf and more.

Outside the resort the most popular excursion is the one to Sonoa (requires catamaran to get there very secluded untouched beach). Second would be the zip lining/ATV Adventures- depending on the kid they may not be into that.

Edit: Sorry just re-read your post. The Bahia principe is the largest resort complex there. I've stayed there in the past- which section did u book? (There's 5 out of 7 that allow families).
the island was one of the things i was looking at and thinking it's something we might want to do
we chose the grand bahia punta cana....we wanted the royal golden as we want to have a building as close to the beach as possible, but it was $700 more at the time of booking, and we figured maybe we'll try upgrading when we get there and it might be cheaper but if it doesn't happen we won't sweat it
any recommendations for the restaurants? any tips?
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another question for those that have been......is it really windy in pc? most of the videos i watch have palm trees swaying in the wind and was wondering if the wind is annoying
how is the mosquito situation? i remember cancun was pretty bad, and we had to use lots of bug spray
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jelena-c wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 4:55 pm
i was hoping to hear from people that stayed at the grand bahia principe and know that the resort calls their exursions "adventures"
i am not planning to go out on our own, even though we did something like that some years ago when we went to cancun......this time we probably won't

fear mongering doesn't stop me from visiting a country, and exploring it....if that was the case, i'd never leave my home
True enough. After all, I am a traveller as well.

It's hard though to call it "fear mongering" though when the info is a Travel Advisory from your own government who writes it in the interest of Cdns who CHOOSE whether or not to travel.

They base their info on facts... After all these are the same people who we ask to come forward on our behalf when something does go wrong. So their info is extremely valid.

All I was doing was putting the info out there... Cause I do believe that not enough people do enough research BEFORE they book a vacation... For many their only point of reference is a glossy photograph that a Travel Co presents.
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 7:28 pm
True enough. After all, I am a traveller as well.

It's hard though to call it "fear mongering" though when the info is a Travel Advisory from your own government who writes it in the interest of Cdns who CHOOSE whether or not to travel.

They base their info on facts... After all these are the same people who we ask to come forward on our behalf when something does go wrong. So their info is extremely valid.

All I was doing was putting the info out there... Cause I do believe that not enough people do enough research BEFORE they book a vacation... For many their only point of reference is a glossy photograph that a Travel Co presents.
fair enough

it is the same government that said my old country (serbia) was dangerous to travel to during the late 90's after the war, while i still lived there.........it wasn't dangerous, just extremely poor
my husband (canadian) was weary of going in 2004 because he thought everyone would shoot him, but he absolutely loved it there, people were so polite and assertive to him....... treated him better than me lol

so i'll take our government advice with a grain of salt
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jelena-c wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 5:36 pm
another question for those that have been......is it really windy in pc? most of the videos i watch have palm trees swaying in the wind and was wondering if the wind is annoying
how is the mosquito situation? i remember cancun was pretty bad, and we had to use lots of bug spray
There's a breeze on the beach but I've been there and there's been no breeze at all. It's not like Aruba if that's what your asking.

The Dominican mosquitoes like my blood. Bring bug spray. I've gone with my husband and he doesn't get bit at all (even though he's right beside me). So I guess it's just luck.
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Apr 28, 2008
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Just came back from punta cana last week. Also stayed at the grand bahia pricipe. I highly recommend going on the monkeyland excursion. The trip takes about 4.5 hours total and costs 75USD - you can get it even cheaper if you book it at the resort from one of the "salesmen" that are all over the beach. The tour takes you on an amazing drive through some small towns and into the nearby mountains. Once you get to the monkey reserve, they give you a bowl of fruit to hold and all of a sudden, hundreds of little monkeys jump out of the trees and start climbing all over you. its a pretty cool experience. Your kids will definitely enjoy. The tour also takes you to a coffee/cocoa plantation. Our tour guide was a lot of fun.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... n_Rep.html

Not really an excursion, but i also recommend sailing on your own with the mini-catamarans that the resort provides for free. Even if you dont know how to sail (which i didnt) its very easy to pick up and is a good way to spend a few hours.

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