I was wondering if anyone had been to the Dominican Republic, around the Punta Cana area, and knew of anything really cool to check out. I'm gonna be going there for a week in April, and I thought I'd see if there was more to do than just sitting around a resort beach.
I spent a week in Punta Cana at an all-inclusive. The resorts in Punta Cana seem to be pretty far from anything, so you have to get a car or grab a bus to go anywhere.
I did two things off resort. I went to Santo Domingo, including a trip to some cave and a trip to Columbus' grave. Generally, not very exciting, and not enough free time to explore Santo Domingo in my mind.
I also did a country-side tour in a monster truck. It was good - they took you to a coffee farm, a sugar plantation, a river where Rambo was filmed, a local school and a witch doctor. I like this country side tours, because it gives you some ability to interact with the locals.
I arranged both through the resort I was staying at. If you wanted to go to Santo Domingo, I would recommend just renting a car and driving yourself. The tour isn't really worth it.
I too have done the monster truck tour and would highly recommened it, I did the same as Greg but ended the day boogie boarding near Cabarete. It was a fantastic day out and extremely interesting to meet the locals who were more than happy to see us. In the end everyone was quite drunk as they feed you lots of rum on the way.
One note though is some reps tell you to take sweets to give to the local children on the way but that is not advised as the sweets rot their teeth and there are very few dentists around. If you wish to take something with you, for the children, colouring books and pens/pencils are better and lets be honest really cheap to buy and way more fun for the kids rather than a 1 minute sugar hit!
While in the Dominican I would also try the tour of Cayo Paraiso - a fantastic sand bank miles out to sea with great snorkelling opertunities. Horse riding is also popular on the island but make sure the firm are reputable the first time i went treking there it was only me and the guide on horses which looked close to death.
Once there im sure you will find loads to do and actually fitting a day to lounge on the beach will be the difficult part.
I went to Santo Domingo, including a trip to some cave and a trip to Columbus' grave.
Is Columbus buried in the Dominican or in the cathedral in Seville? There's a huge monument to him in one corner, and he's supposed to be buried under the floor. Or do both places lay claim to his final resting spot?
As I understand it, Columbus had multiple bodies, and thus is buried in multiple places. I think Columbus is a little like a saint in that way, or maybe like nails from the cross that Jesus was nailed to, in that you will find them everywhere.
Both Santo Domingo and Seville claim to have the bones of Columbus, though this article would suggest that Santo Domingo has the stronger claim: Where is Chris buried?
Oh, OK, I see. Maybe part of Columbus is what's holding up my Mom's tomato plants in the garden. Them's some tasty tomatoes.