..my personal belief is to avoid the 'tourist enclaves' and stay in the abundent pensions...particularly on the North Shore...the enclaves are cheap and easy but all of the beaches in the DR are public...and you can wander in as you please..
When you go out of your resort you don't have the feeling that you are safe, there are guards with shotguns on the entrance of your resort. And when you pass by some vendors they really are pushing you to buy something at a not so friendly tone.
When driving (in a rental car) you may be stopped by the police. It seems like there were cops/military men with machine-guns every mile along the highways. I dont know how many times I was stopped and asked for money.
You should complain to your embassy.
Beware of locals selling things on the beachs. If you're really interested in buying something, you can always bring their prince down. Offer them about half of what they're asking and they'll give you a better prince. don't take the first offer.
All shop owners are named 'Cheapie, Cheapie', today is always a 'Special Day', and watch out for 'Bargain Charlie'. Never buy at the offered price, always haggle for the lowest price. Gift shops are usually called, Gift Shop #1, Gift Shop #2, Gift Shop #3, you get the picture!
I had read it everywhere before we went; hold on to youre bags when you get out from the airport. I thought; oh no, they are NOT gonna take MY bag! But oh yes, they did! And for someone to RUN for 20 sek, with my bag to the bus, cost me 100RDS.
So, hold on to youre bags, fellow travelers!
Before i went to DR i read all information i could get my hands on, and everywhere was the warning about people that works on the airport, they snatch youre bag a run to the touristbusses 30 seconds away! Then the demand a large amount of money, and after a 11 hour flight you are NOT in the mood to argue..
And then there are the beach-salesmen. Bargain, bargain, bargain about everything
1. Hold on to youre bags when you go out from the airport, and don´t let the carriers take it, ´cause that can be a expensive experiance!
2. When you buy something, always check that the salesman give you what you acculy bought! I was fooled twice, once of a streetsalesman and once at the Galeris del ambar in Puerto Plata!
DON'T CHANGE MONEY ON THE STREET. THEY ALWAYS SHORT YOU. WATCH YOUR WALLET! BACKPACKS ARE BETTER THEN PURSES. DON'T HAVE ANYTHING IN THE OUTSIDE POCKETS. DON'T FALL ASLEEP ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. WHEN YOU BUY SOMETHING- LOOK AROUND AND SEE WHAT THE NATIONALS ARE PAYING FIRST. DON'T ASK HOW MUCH- JUST PAY, AND DON;T EXPECT THE VENDERS OR TRANSPORTATION TO HAVE CHANGE. DON'T WEAR FLASHY JEWELRY. MOTORCYCLIST DRIVE BY AND GRAB CHAINS AND ALSO PURSES. DON'T KEEP YOUR MONEY IN YOUR FRONT POCKETS. THEIVES TRY THERE FIRST. JUST BE AWARE. THEY HAVE A SAYING THE THEIVES LIVE OFF OF THE FOOLS.
Do not book off site tours through hotel. They charge a premium of around 20 - 30% and you can find the same tour companies in town. I would recommend Melissa tours in Sosua for whitewater rafting and other stuff, they operate an operation called Get Wet that is excellent.
Don't go shopping at Plaza Bavaro. There are not really any bargains here that we could find. The shopkeepers will try just about anything to get you to buy something...they entice you by giving you a small gift. Once in a store, it can be very difficult to leave. They will tell you that it is their birthday..I couldn't believe how many people were celebrating their birthday that day! Also, there are many little shoe shine boys here. They look at you with these sad little eyes, and rub their tummys. I ended up getting my sandles shined!
You will all do it...every single one of you will buy to much in the Dominican Republic...make sure you make a nice price !
Do not sit around the hotel all day,do go on the odd trip and see the island.Be careful of beggers on the beach. Another great beach
Fun Alternatives: Another beautiful beach
HAWKERS OF AN ARRAY OF ITEMS PLY THE TOURIST TRADE ALONG THE BEACHES...(I BOUGHT THE SHIRT HE IS HOLDING).
Stayed here for annual holiday in October 2001. First time in carribean and definately not the last....more
Myself and my girlfriend spent 7 miserable days here. We pads for reserve rooms , top of the line...more
I stayed here on a recent business trip in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. This 6 room hotel...more