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Everything around the beach area was Dollars, you get peddlers on the beach all day long, everything is charged for, even the trip over the east side of the beach to pick up the jet skis.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you ask the full price before you pay, as refusal often offends.
Written Jul 13, 2007
What came as a big surprise to us when we arrived the Puerto Plata airport was the men who were too `helpful` with our luggage. We didn`t bring more than we could handle ourselves, so we really would like to handle it to the buses ourselves. The problem was that you had to physically `sit` on the luggage to prevent the luggage-men from taking it. And even worse; just arriving the Dominican republic, we didn`t have any pesos to pay them with, so we had to give them dollars, and that was a bad deal for us, I can assure... When we left for home it was even worse. This time we were prepared for it, but now they were even more pushy.
Written Sep 11, 2006
Sales people here are BAD..... they try selling u on everything from excursions all the way to TIMESHARES. They use very high pressure sales tactics and even go out of the way to harass you and your personal and finacial life.. i was not impressed
Unique Suggestions: just say NO!!!!!
Written May 24, 2006
At the airport, those friendly people waiting to take your bags don't take no for an answer, both when trying to take your bags to carry them, & when trying to get a tip! Now I'm not against tipping at all, I realise alot of them rely on that for money - but give me a chance to get my money out first - 'tip, tip', lol :)
Unique Suggestions: Have some Dominican currency at the ready!
Fun Alternatives: Just let them take your bags - it's a whole lot easier than saying no! Plus...it is hard work in that heat.....so I was going to tip...he just didn't give me a chance before he started asking!!!
Written Mar 23, 2006
almost everybody who goes to DR and like all travel sites, recuerdos is one thing that we like to buy.
paintings are very "eye ketchy". and i bought one.
and bring one is a very good experience when yu have to argue the best price for it and try to achive the best price... be prepared to a "hard fight" with local vendors!
i´ll be back!
Unique Suggestions: ask the price.
and buy for half.
in the end yu still feel like yu 've donne a good bargain.
and i garantee, so do they....
Updated Oct 1, 2005
If you go to the hotel beach you will probably be visited by some local trying to sell coconut water, recuerdos, whatever! They all seem to be selling the same artefacts, from morning till the end of the afternoon.
Hotels usually refer in their brochures "private beach". It means that locals don't go to the beach to sunbath, but apparently it doesn’t apply to sales persons. Sometimes it can be a little bit annoying, but there's no harm in it, they are only trying to make a living.
Updated Sep 6, 2005
Every now and then, even on the private beach, sellers would come with their wares. The usual stuff, bracelets, coconuts, and cigarettes.
I bought a little wooden statue that I talked the guy down to 20 for. I thought I got a great deal. When I got to the market in Santo Domingo, I saw them being sold for 10-15 dollars. However, I didn't see the one I ended up buying, so I felt somewhat vindicated, haha.
Unique Suggestions: The security guard is good about making sure these guys don't pesture you on the beach. In fact, they don't even come up to you, but you basically have to walk up to the sellers as they walk past.
Written Mar 10, 2005
The tour took us the local market. It was mostly just a dumping point for tourists. Every place expects you to haggle your price.
Unique Suggestions: There are a lot of the same types of shops selling the same type of things, so if you don't get the price you want, walk away to the next store. But most people were not in your face or rude.
Oh, and make sure you have small change. I tried to buy a drink with a 20, but no place had change, even though the drink cost 1.
Written Mar 10, 2005
If you must hail a taxi be sure to do it away from a "tourist hotel" and negotiate the price beforehand. The prices vary so greatly from one taxi driver to the next it is enough to make a person crazy. Usually you can work out a deal, but one guy tried to charge us $20 USD for a 2 km drive. That is way more expensive than any cab ride I've ever heard of!
Additionally, they may try to con you by bringing up the exchange rate and saying that your ride usually costs, for example, $10 USD but because the exchange rate has gone up you need to pay them 380 Dominican Pesos.
Obviously, a taxi fare does not change with the currency exchange. I always tried to pay with pesos, since my USD supply was limited, but most drivers want USD.
Unique Suggestions: Always negotiate the fare up front!
Fun Alternatives: The best way to travel long distances are the economical, frequent and clean public buses. Try Metro or Caribe Tours.
Written Mar 7, 2005
Prieto Tour was the company we did the City tour with. It was supposed to be full day tour. We paid in advance but only received the 1/2 day tour. When we took it up with them, William in their office stated we only paid 1/2 day. When we insisted he give the hotel voucher back to show us it showed full day.But impossible to hassle with them about it.
We ended up just getting prorated at home by our travel agent.
They did not do very good job of explaining the places we saw. I was glad to see the Rum factory, The Amber Museum, and Fort Felipe.
Our tour guide did not sit where we could ask questions (he was in front closed off area of bus). Then gave little explaination of anywhere we went.
Would recommend seeing the city sites-but not with Prieto Tours if possible!
Fun Alternatives: Take a different company tour.
If you do take this tour, do so just to see the fort and rum factory, no more.
Updated Oct 18, 2004
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