Whether you are a first time visitor or if you are practically Dominican. We at Amstar DMC, your top choice when it comes to a quality Punta Cana airport transfer, would like to offer you some helpful tips to keep in mind when visiting the Dominican Republic.
Traveling to a new destination is always a fun adventure full of amazement and discovery; a journey to the unknown where you not only learn about new people and cultures but also about yourself. Yet while it’s sometimes exciting to be surprised, preparing yourself with insider tips beforehand will help you better plan your journey.
Here are 11 Punta Cana travel tips to consider for your next visit to the Dominican Republic.
Is the water safe to drink in Punta Cana?
With all the great activities, excursions and sun that Punta Cana offers, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you always keep hydrated. Remember, in general, it’s best to drink at least three liters of water a day. Always make sure you take bottled water with you wherever you go or at least some money to buy one when thirsty and away from the hotel. As for the tap water, it should only be used for brushing your teeth and showering.
What’s the food like in the Dominican Republic?
Dominican food is a delicious mix of African, European and indigenous influences which converged in the Caribbean island of Hispaniola to offer up an exquisite selection of fish, plantains, yucca, rice, chicken, beans and all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables. If the saying goes, “While in Rome, do as the Romans do,” then the best advice we can give you is this: when in the Dominican Republic, eat as the Dominicans eat. Also, some hotel restaurants require you make reservations, especially for dinner, so remember to check with your Amstar representative or the restaurant to see if you need a reservation.
Can I pay in dollars?
To get the best deal, try to pay for things outside of the hotel with the local currency. Image courtesy of flickr.com/speakinglatinoMost places do in fact let you pay in US dollars. However, you may not always get the best exchange rate. You can generally get the best exchange rates by withdrawing cash in the local currency from an ATM machine. If you prefer to bring dollars and exchange them in Punta Cana, your hotel will probably have a better rate than most shops and restaurants.
How do I call home from the Dominican Republic?
Even though you’re on vacation, you’ll still be thinking about your loved ones who weren’t fortunate enough to join you in paradise. At some point, nostalgia and sentiments overcome the desire to be sitting on the beach with a cocktail in your hand. That’s when you decide it’s time to call home. But how? While many solutions are available, some are more expensive than others. Whether you call directly from the hotel or purchase a calling card, make sure you check the rates before you make any purchase or phone call. You can also check your provider’s rates for international roaming or, if you have a smartphone, install a VOIP program such as Skype, Whatsapp, Line2 or Tango.
What’s there to do in Punta Cana?
The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country in the heart of the Caribbean. It is blessed with a warm, tropical climate that can basically be found year round. As such, from exciting water activities such as snorkeling and kayaking to adrenaline boosting zip lines, ATV adventures or simply relaxing on a gorgeous white sand beach in Bavaro, the Dominican Republic has something for everyone. When choosing a tour, make sure it’s the type of tour you’re comfortable with and that the amount of time you are going to take on the excursion doesn’t interfere with your other plans for that day. You’re best off sitting down with an Amstar representative who can give you insider tips and advice about finding the excursion that is right for you. You can also consult our Punta Cana tours and Dominican Republic tours online.
Is it safe to swim in the Caribbean Sea?
As with any nature activity, it is always advisable to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Not all beaches in the Dominican Republic have lifeguards, so sometimes it could be up to you to look after your own safety. Be smart, follow any rules that may be in place at the beach, check the local weather and sea conditions, and don’t do anything to harm the natural environment. When swimming, make sure you stay within the designated swimming areas as there are often buoys to separate the boats and water sports activities from the swimmers. The beaches in Bavaro are definitely worth checking out.
What about sunscreen?
Lobster anyone? We all agree that bright shade of red looks very good on a lobster tail, but it won’t look good on your skin. By now we all know about the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. You can either take sunscreen with you from home or purchase some at the store once you’re in Punta Cana. Most Punta Cana resorts also have small convenient stores on property. If you plan to go on any snorkel or underwater excursions, it is preferable that you choose a biodegradable sunscreen that has less an impact on the marine environment.
Is it safe to go outside of the hotel?
Just like in any big city or tourist destination, always use common sense when out and about outside of the hotels and resorts. Don’t walk on the beach at night, and if you do, make sure you stay close to your hotel in a well-lit area. That said, Punta Cana is generally a very safe place to visit with a low crime rate and a Tourist Police constantly on patrol. Don’t be flashy, don’t leave personal items just lying around, and go out and explore, mingle and get to know the fine people of the Dominican Republic.
How inclusive is all-inclusive?
One benefit of booking an all-inclusive resort stay in Punta Cana is that you limit and define your budget before even leaving home. Most hotels and resorts have high-quality all-inclusive programs, such as the AMResorts with its pampering Unlimited-Luxury®. This means that you have no extra fees for food and drinks within the hotel. However, if you decide to venture out and try a local restaurant, buy some souvenirs or go on a few tours, you will need to allocate an extra part of your budget for such items. Likewise, while tips are optional at an all-inclusive resort, they are always appreciated and a nice way to say thank you.
More Punta Cana tips?
People in the Caribbean live on a different time. In general, you will notice that people are much more relaxed and easy-going. Things go slower here, and nobody seems in a real hurry. Join them! Remember that you’re probably taking your vacations in the Caribbean to get away from it all, recharge your batteries and, even for just a few days, to leave your worries and problems back home. So, relax, weary traveler. Enjoy the sun, the people, the food, the lack of any need to hurry up, sit in traffic, worry about bills or anything else not 100% Caribbean.