Dominican Republic (Dominican Republic) – Review
NEW YEAR in the Dominican Republic! Is it worth it to celebrate the New Year among the palm trees, all about the cost, pros and cons, and interesting facts (+ PHOTO)
Today I will tell you about my trip to the Dominican Republic, which was planned just under the New Year, in order to meet it “under a palm tree”.
Our journey started from the airport “Sheremetevo” and the airline “North wind”. The flight was scheduled for 01:05 am, and took off at about 02:05 Moscow time. I am very glad that everything went according to schedule, because the tourists, departing on January 2 on the same route, had their flight delayed by 11 hours! And this was despite the fact that these were the people who had already had to leave on January 8 to go back! This is a nightmare.
The flight went well for me personally, especially thanks to melatonin – it took me eight hours of sleep to get there and back. Was fed once on the plane, so I recommend to stock up on snacks and sandwiches. The food on board was awful, but okay for a snack.
Upon arrival at the airport “Las Americas” we were met by a guide, and then the transfer took us to our hotel – “Whala! Boca Chica” 3*, located in the province of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. It was not an airport that looks like a hut on chicken legs, quite an ordinary building. Thanks to the excellent location it took us 25 minutes to reach our destination, while in Punta Cana it would have taken us about 2-3 hours.
The time difference with Moscow is minus 7 hours. At 11:00 am local time we were there, however, I want to say that here everything is done strictly by the rules. For example, check-in to the rooms starts only at 15:00. No one will check you in earlier, neither for a candy bar, nor for money.
For convenience, we were allowed to leave things in a locker near reception, after which we walked until evening and waited for the festivities in honor of the New Year.
At 6:00 pm local time the gala dinner began: lots of delicious and beautiful food, seafood plateaus, and grills. We were seated at tables with the other guests. Everyone had a numbered table where other visitors to the hotel were signed in. Some of our compatriots by this time (by the way, by that time the New Year had already come in Russia) were quite inadequate, so to sit next to them was unpleasant.
At 22:00 was the entertainment program for the guests, Christmas tree, contests, fireworks and other fun. Actually, personally we were very bored. For unsophisticated tourists such a holiday will seem a real fairy tale, but for us, spoiled, the program did not seem very funny.
Wake up on January 1 near the Caribbean Sea – that’s a real fairy tale. When you do not have a headache, when all cares and worries are left at home. You leave the hotel and in front of you only white sand, sea and hot sun.
By the way, the sea is very shallow, transparent and warm. To reach the place where the water would be at least on the shoulders, from the beach on the water had to walk about 3-4 minutes. Moreover, there were no waves at all, because there was a coral reef around the perimeter of the horizon, which acted as a breakwater.
The beaches, located on the priority areas, are clean, seaweed and garbage is always removed by hotel staff.
Sun loungers are free, but, as elsewhere, take them early in the morning, especially under the tents, they are not enough for all. Sand by 12:00 o’clock in the afternoon can strongly warm up, in connection with what, to lie under a towel will not be very pleasant.
The excursions are very expensive, it is necessary to choose each of them wisely. We went to the famous “27 waterfalls” – it was something incredible! This tour in Puerto Plato – a real natural water park inside the waterfalls, passing through the rain forest to which there is no way back – the only thing left is to jump off cliffs up to 8 meters high into the water and drive down the stone water slides, mostly moving only inside the rocks, completely immersed in the water. Very extreme and the most memorable excursion of my life.
The trip took 6 hours one way. The bus always had air conditioning and gave out water in small bottles. Also included in the price of the tour was breakfast and lunch, a visit to a small (quite tiny) island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. There was a mini-diving among sea creatures and corals (very scary), given time to take pictures and visit the bar.
The price of fun – 15,000 rubles per person! Not many people can afford such spending. Rumor has it that outside the hotel, you could buy a tour for only 6,000 rubles, but I can’t say for sure.
More interesting facts:
- In order to enter the country, as well as to leave the country, you must fill out a migration card, as well as the declaration. On the plane, flight attendants will explain how to do it, everything is filled out in English. On the way back, you have to fill out the card yourself.
- Many Dominicans are quite suspicious. Despite the fact that the country lives through tourism, locals do not like visitors, and, white skin to them, like a red rag to the bull – you immediately want to scam to buy something completely unnecessary, and can also steal. It is dangerous to walk in the streets, especially at night. All guides warn of this upon arrival in the republic.
- As in most resorts, the beaches here are municipal. The government of the republic offers hotels land near the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean (depending on which side of the country the hotel is located), which they equip for their guests. Most hotels are guarded, but it still does not save from the annoying peddlers, who will offer you not only a massage, pigtails or fruit of unknown origin, but also drugs, and in the evening – and even love).
- The republic is very poor and dirty. There is almost no money to clean up the area, there is really a lot of garbage. In addition, Dominicans do not appreciate their nature, litter directly into the ocean, never clean up after themselves.
- No English is spoken here, all communication is in gestures or through Google Translator. Some hotels, such as ours, have an hour Spanish class, where they teach basic words like “I”, “you”, “he”, “she” and the basic phrases that may come in handy when traveling.
- The cost of a cab is just cosmic – $ 70 per person. Uber works only in the capital, Santo Domingo.
- All of the most beautiful pictures from the Dominican Republic that you have seen on the Internet or from acquaintances, as well as Bounty and Bacardi ads, were taken on the island of Saona, not anywhere else. In reality, the country itself is not as beautiful, the paradise beach is only there. An excursion to Saona (purely to take pictures and walk around) costs $90 per person.
Did I like it in the republic? Yes, I liked it, but I would not come back here a second time Very expensive (especially on holidays) and very boring for young people personally. If you want to party, you have to go to Thailand. All resorts like Dominican Republic, Bali, Seychelles are just quality beach vacations. For two people or with little kids is the best.
Thank you for your consideration!
I recommend my reviews:
It is impossible to stay beautiful on vacation WITHOUT THIS and THAT.
Thank you for the interesting review and beautiful pictures.
It is very nice that you liked it.
I have been to the Dominican Republic 4 times and only encountered dirt on excursions ( where the locals live). Good hotels take care of cleanliness of the area and beach. Outside the hotel is really not recommended (could be robbed). A so the country on the price / quality ratio is very good for recreation. ?Review liked it, it’s always interesting to see the look of another person?
Thank you for stopping by.
If the vacation is planned in Punta Cana, then the plane arrives at the airport of Punta Cana, not Americas, 3 hours in the bus will not have to jolt))))
Many Dominicans are quite suspicious. Despite the fact that the country lives off tourism, locals do not like newcomers, and, the white color of their skin for them, like a red rag to a bull – you immediately want to get fooled into buying something completely unnecessary, and can also steal. It is dangerous to walk in the streets, especially at night. All guides warn of this upon arrival in the country
Dominicans – the most friendly, affable and happy people! And this applies not only to hotel staff, but also ordinary citizens. And vendors are everywhere. Unless you’re on vacation at a VIP resort in the Maldives, for example, As for theft: It is not the Dominicans, and the residents of the neighboring country – Haitians. Unfortunately, Haiti is one of the poorest countries, $6 a day is considered a very good salary for them, so no wonder they go to the Dominican Republic and rob rich tourists (and such cases are more frequent by the holidays), the poor do not fly to the Dominican Republic)))) Holidays there are really not cheap, but the beauty that is in the Dominican Republic, is worth it! By the way, Boca Chica is the most dangerous and dirty resort, it’s better to choose La Romana or Punta Cana. There is no trash anywhere))).
And it depends on the greed of tour operators. Tell me, are there any excursions at the resorts that are cheap? If you do not want to overpay, then the tours should not be ordered from a tour operator, and from individuals who specialize in this for more than a year. There are a lot of them, among them a lot of Russian businessmen))).
For example, we called a cab, the driver initially announced $ 80, but we are literally a minute agreed to $ 30, and he drove us for more than 3 hours.
The Republic is very poor and dirty. There is almost no money allocated for cleaning the area, there is really a lot of garbage. Also, Dominicans don’t appreciate their nature, litter right into the ocean, never clean up after themselves
Have you definitely been to the Dominican Republic? The ocean and the Caribbean Sea are very clean, garbage is not floating anywhere, unlike Russian resorts, even the ordinary streets look very decent. In my opinion, even Moscow is much dirtier Again, I dare to assume that this is due to the resort of Boca Chica.
All the most beautiful photographs of the Dominican Republic, which you have seen on the Internet or from friends, as well as advertising “Bounty” and “Bacardi” are made on the island of Saona, and not anywhere else. In reality, the country itself is not as beautiful, the paradise beach is only there
You just haven’t been anywhere))))) Undoubtedly the beaches of Saona are the most beautiful! But the Dominican Republic is full of other amazing places: the Samaná Peninsula, the wild beach of Macau, the beaches of Baiaibe, and even the beach of Bavaro is amazingly beautiful! And the caves, national parks, and protected areas? It’s just incredibly beautiful there))))
How to celebrate the New Year in the Dominican Republic
Do you want to celebrate New Year 2022 on the beach with merengue music? Go to the sunny Dominican Republic! We tell you about the weather, New Year’s traditions and tour prices. Find out what to do for the vacations and how tourists are responding to a winter trip to the tropics.
Weather in the Dominican Republic for New Year’s Eve
When traveling to the Dominican Republic on New Year’s Day 2022, you don’t have to worry about the vagaries of the weather. The island state lies so close to the equator that air and water temperatures are almost the same throughout the year.
The dry season is in full swing in the winter. Humidity does not exceed 63%. There are no hurricanes or violent storms, and precipitation is infrequent. The short rains usually fall at night and don’t interfere with a quiet holiday at all.
In late December and early January the thermometer rises to +28 … +29 ° C during the day and drops to +21 ° C at night. The sea water is heated to +27 … +28 ° C. These are very comfortable conditions for long swims, bathing children, diving and windsurfing.
(Photo: unsplash.com / @joelcasilla)
It’s less humid on the Caribbean coast, especially in the popular tourist resort of Punta Cana. On the north coast, Puerto Plata, the Atlantic Ocean’s influence produces nearly twice as much rainfall.
Tip . For walks during the day, shorts, a T-shirt and a hat are enough. For evening promenades by the sea, a windbreaker or light sweater won’t be out of place.
(Photo: unsplash.com / @vorosbenisop)
How to celebrate the New Year in the Dominican Republic
The most important holiday of the year in the republic has its own unique features. Spruces do not grow here, so temperamental Dominicans are happy to decorate artificial Christmas trees or the usual palm trees. In the tropics, colorful seashells, corals, painted pebbles and fresh flowers become decorations.
The locals are not couch potatoes. They like to have fun, so the holiday is colorful and joyful. Houses and hotels are decorated with colorful ribbons and balloons.
The color red is considered the symbol of the holiday. In the Dominican Republic is customary to celebrate the New Year in red clothing and give each other pots of plants that have red leaves. Expensive gifts are not expected: traditionally Dominicans give each other sweets, small souvenirs and cards.
(Photo: zoosnow / pixabay.com)
For New Year’s Eve 2022 the Dominican Republic offers everything a sophisticated tourist could dream of. The New Year’s Eve feast for holidaymakers is usually organized right on the beach, where tables are set and musicians are invited. Noisy fun begins at nightfall and continues until morning. Bars and discos are in full swing, with lots of music, rum, champagne, fruit cocktails, Latin American dancing, and colorful fireworks.
On January 6, Dominican Catholics celebrate Epiphany or Epiphany. There are solemn masses in all churches, and parades and costume shows in the streets of the cities.
What to do during the vacations
After our snowdrifts and cold weather, the New Year in the warm Dominican Republic is appealing in and of itself. But most tourists are not limited to swimming in the sea and promenade under the palm trees. How can you diversify your beach vacation in the middle of winter?
Take a walk around Santo Domingo . The country’s capital city deserves a separate tour. On your own or with a group of tourists see the sights of the city. Santo Domingo was founded in 1496 and was the first city in the New World discovered by Europeans. Walk through the picturesque colonial quarter and check out the majestic Cathedral of St. Mary’s. Visit the large lighthouse of Christopher Columbus, where the great navigator’s ashes rest in a marble mausoleum. However, not all tourists like this city. Read a review of a trip to Santo Domingo by our website editor in chief.
Go on an eco-tour . In the Dominican Republic, several natural reserves have been created. The largest of them is Jaragua National Park, which is located in the southwest of the country. Explore wild mangroves, deciduous forests, and tropical shrubs that are home to more than 100 species of birds. In the eastern part of the park, Laguna Oviedo is home to the largest flamingo colony in the country.
From the coastal resorts tourists are taken on interesting excursions:
- The protected Samaná Peninsula and El Limón Falls – $130;
- Fun Fun Fun Cave – $140;
- boat trip to Saona Island – $105;
- Humpback whale watching – $100-$200;
- Catalina Island, $75;
- swimming with sharks and rays in the ocean – $70;
- La Jalda Falls (120 m) by helicopter – $275.
El Limón Falls. A daredevil of locals prepares to take the leap.
Take an extreme trip . Those who like to have unusual experiences are planning real adventures in the Dominican Republic for the new year 2022. Popular with extreme enthusiasts are:
- climbing the country’s highest mountain, Duarte Peak (3,175 m);
- air flight to the Samaná Peninsula and tandem jumps with an instructor from a height of 4,000 meters;
- jeep, Hummer, ATV and buggy safaris;
- helicopter rides over the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea;
- rafting on mountain rivers;
- kayaking on the mangroves;
- horseback jungle tours.
Have a vivid experience at tourist attractions . If you come to the Dominican New Year with children, visit entertainment centers and zoos. For a family vacation is great:
- Ocean World Adventure Park in Puetro Plata;
- “Manatee Park, Marinarium, Dolphin explorer and Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park in Punta Cana;
- Adventure Park entertainment center in Bavaro;
- Monkey Land monkey park near Punta Cana.
Fulfill your childhood dream – swim with marine animals! Photo: AlexanderNovikov / Depositphotos.com.
Try the Dominican cuisine. Most tourists come to the Dominican Republic for the New Year on an all-inclusive tour. However, a vacation in an exotic country conceals many culinary temptations. In any restaurant tourists are offered a stew with banana, beans and rice – la bandera. The color of this delicious dish resembles the Dominican flag. Try the hearty meat soup with young sancocho corn, the marinated fish stew pescado con coco, and the sweet dessert of red beans with coconut milk abichuelas con dulce. Learn more about the cuisine and food prices.
Look for original souvenirs . Dominican stores and markets are a treasure trove for lovers of crafts and authentic memorabilia. From a New Year’s trip to the Dominican Republic, tourists bring boxes of cigars, rum, coffee, chocolate, strong herbal tincture “Mamahuana,” jewelry made from the blue semi-precious stone larimar, Lima dolls, whimsical shells and sea stars. See what’s worth bringing back from the Dominican Republic.
(Photo: unsplash.com / @mustangjoe)
New Year’s Eve tour prices.
And Travellata – great deals on tours.
- Learn 7 ways to buy a tour cheaper.
The Dominican Republic is a popular winter vacation destination. But because of the 12-hour flight, the prices of tours to Dominican resorts in any season are not cheap. On New Year’s Eve so many tourists come to bask in the tropical sun and swim in the warm sea that the prices of tours break all records. They rise by 50-80% compared with the beginning of December.
Here is the cost of tours for New Year’s Eve 2022 from Moscow for two adults:
Reviews and tips
- During the New Year vacations, Dominican resorts have mild and warm weather, without heavy rains or winds. The temperatures of the air and sea water are ideal for a comfortable beach holiday.
- For the New Year in the Dominican Republic there is a lot of entertainment. Sunbathing and swimming in the sea can easily be varied by bus and walking tours, boat trips, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, jeep safaris, horseback riding, paragliding and deep sea fishing.
- If you come to rest in the Dominican Republic in early January, you will still have time for a holiday – the fun here stretches over several days.
According to tourist reviews, there are few drawbacks to a holiday in the Dominican Republic on New Year’s Eve: