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A Few Questions For Seasoned Travellers

Hi Guys

I am travelling to the Dom Rep in May next year, staying at The Tropical Beach Resort. I have a few questions if someone out there could answer for me.

I know that i need to bring plenty of low denomination Dollars but having never gone AI before I was wondering on how much cash I might need for my two week stay. We plan to basically just chill, maybe one excursion but thats about it.

How much is the average price for renting the in room safes and are they pretty secure?

Is it easier and cheaper to buy visas at home before departure (UK) or just get on arrival at the airport?

If I bring travellers cheques (?) are there plenty of places near to where I am staying to exchange them?

Ther seems to be a bit of scare mongering regarding leaving the resorts. I know that this is generally a ploy by the tour operators to get us to spend more in resort. Is it pretty safe to wander about whilst taking sensible precautions?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, just want to get it right.

Cheers :wink:

Justin.

Do you mean the http://www.tropicalclubs.com/spip/?

If so this is a very small 3 star resort. The safe in the room is the same as any other resort and lock with a key.

I don’t recommend bringing travelers cheques b/c if you purchases something with a
$20 US TC they only give back Pesos for change. Some places don’t take travellers cheques or charge you extra to cash them + you will need to carry your passport around for Identification.

The bar at this resort closes @ 11PM which can be a drag when you are in the party mood. So don’t be afraid to leave the resort there are a few bars near by and is totally safe.

Bon Voyage

[quote=@d3ratch]Do you mean the http://www.tropicalclubs.com/spip/?
[/quote]

No its is The Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort in Puerto Plata on Cofresi Beach.

Thanks for the reply by the way.

Cofresi, located approximately 10 km west of Puerto Plata.

all the cash you will need is for souvenirs, tours and possibly cost of a safe.
Leave the travellers cheques at home, the isn’t a lot in and around where you are staying to cash them, except at the resort front desk.
You should have no problems getting a cab and getting off resort as long as you use common sense, but you must know where you want to go.
Cab to Mt. Isabella de torres and cable car to the top is a must, also look for tour desk with Ocean World guys at the resort it is a definite must place to visit.

wud, I think you forgot tips … ::slight_smile:

Sorry, I let the Warden look after that part…

tips take small bills for tips, even though it is AI.

The safe is usually $2US/day.
Buy your tourist card on arrival at airport : $10US each

We tip the maids a couple of dollars a day, bartenders once a day, buffet servers and other buffet staff once a day, gardeners once or twice during the week and any other maintenance workers on the resort.

Excursion prices: it all depends on the excursion. Check out Debbies website for reviews and tours websites, to give you an idea of the prices.
http://www.debbiesdominicantravel.com/

It’s OK to pay your excursions with a credit card, but only use it on the resort, with your tour operator.

Don’t be afraid to go out of the resort. If you’re taking a taxi, negotiate the fare. The taxi driver can also act as a tour guide of Puerto Plata and surrounding area.

Negotiate for souvenirs, never pay more than half or one third of the asking price. :slight_smile:

We always stay in Cofresi, as we have friends that live there. The resort will cash your travelers cheques, but you won’t get the best exchange rate.
Just down the small road heading towards Ocean World is a restaurant called Chris and Mady’s. Chris will cash travelers cheques, and give you a pretty good rate.
If you are looking for a taxi, ask Chris to call Rambo. He is a great guy, and will take you where ever you want for a good price. If you do that, ask Rambo to take you to Rafy’s bar on the Malacon. She is a wonderful person, and makes sure that you have a good time. She usually doesn’t get to the bar until around 4 p.m. though…
Anyway, if you go to any of those places, say hi from Roy and Leslie.
If you have anymore questions, p.m. me
Smilely

I like that, Rambo! We had a taxi driver when I first started going to the D.R. named Johney B. Good. I’ve also met Elvis, Chuck Berry, Bruce S., and Hendrix. Everyone of them had an uncle that had this little store where you would always get the best prices in all of the D.R. They also took us to various other places where he knew the owners and we would be treated well.

Once we started to get out by ourselves via rented cars we found out how taken we had been.

The Malecon is beautiful and a must see as is the Teleferico (cable car). If you go with “Rambo” or “Johney”, go to the store next to the one he wants you to go to. That will piss him off because he will most likely not get a “propina” (tip). Each taxi driver is set up for “propina” at specific places. Places with “gringo prices” and “gringo menus”. Get away from the resort areas and this “propina” pheonomenon will go away. You will also actually experience the real Dominican Republic.

There is nothing wrong with the ex-pat bars and restaurants but please realize you are not contributing to the D.R. people. Go to a Dominican owned bar or restaurant and enjoy.