Holidays in the Dominican Republic with a difference
Published: Aug, 2020 | Travel Date: Mar - Apr 2018
Since we are not a fan of all-inclusive holidays, we decided to organize our trip independently. For this we booked a hotel with breakfast and went on excursions instead of just lying on the hotel beach. In 10 days we could see so much of the Dominican Republic and still have a good rest.
Bavaro itself is very touristy, but very centrally located. Generally speaking, every hotel in Bavaro has its own stretch of beach. Since this was not the case with our hotel, we always had to look for a piece of public beach, which was not a big problem. However, we had problems getting cash as there were no public ATMs in the city (these are mostly in the big hotels). That's why we always had to walk to the Palma Real Shopping Village to withdraw money there. If you want to eat typical Dominican food and also want to save money, you should try the Posada De Gladys restaurant.
Green Coast Hotel, Avenida Alemania, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The hotel is in the second row and was good and cheap. Breakfast was great. You could also be driven to a stretch of beach that the hotel shared with another.
Activities and Sights
Los Corales beach Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Very long beautiful beach with turquoise water. However, the hotels here have their own loungers and there are few public beach sections. It is therefore worth taking a short hike on the beach to the east or west. Here you can also find a public place under palm trees. But you have to know that you have to walk in the blazing sun as there is no shade on the beach and very few entrances and exits to the street due to the many hotel complexes. That means: Once you are on the beach, you have to walk for a long time to get back on the road.
Beach hike towards Punta de los Nidos. If you walk around the big bend at Bavaro Beach towards the east, you come to a lonely stretch of beach
Macao Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
You can only get to this beach by car or scooter. Since taxis are very expensive in Punta Cana, it is worth bargaining and asking around a little. Our driver dropped us off on site and picked us up again at the agreed time. The beach is very nice but with yellow sand and lots of waves. Ideal for surfing.
Saona Island, Dominican Republic
As part of a booked tour, we visited this beautiful island. The whole tour included the journey by car and boat, snorkeling, lunch and the return trip on a catamaran including rum. However, the whole thing was very touristy and more of a mass event. There is no other way to get to the island on a budget. The tours can be booked anywhere in the city, on the Internet or in a hotel.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Day trip to Santo Domingo by public bus. We came to the bus station in Bavaro with a scooter taxi that we had spoken to the day before and then contacted via Whatsapp. We took the first bus and therefore had to leave at 6 a.m. to make sure we got a ticket. The trip took 3 hours. In Santo Domingo we strolled through the city and looked at the most important sights. In the evening we went back by bus. Be sure to dress warmly, it is very cold on the bus.
Pure nature - day tour
We booked this day tour through the German tour operator Lars (laaola.tours). First we went to a secluded beach where we could enjoy a coconut cocktail. Then we drove to a coconut factory and a small local supermarket. We also drove to the Montaña Redonda where we took some nice photos. At the end we went to a restaurant for a mixed meal.
Montaña Redonda, Dominican Republic
Very well-known mountain, especially with Instagrammers, as you can take pictures on various swings. It goes up with a pick-up, which is an experience in itself.
We were pleasantly surprised that the Dominican Republic has so much more to offer than just an all-inclusive beach vacation. We would recommend everyone to explore the country on their own. Even without all-inclusive you can have a very nice holiday there.