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Punta Cana...RIU Palace, NH Real Avena or Paradisus..Couple/19 year old??

Punta Cana...RIU Palace, NH Real Avena or Paradisus..Couple/19 year old??

Jan 11th, 2010, 10:43 AM
  #1  
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Punta Cana...RIU Palace, NH Real Avena or Paradisus..Couple/19 year old??

We have not been to Punta Cana and need advice on resorts! We are looking for decent food/service, clean beach area, and on quiet side, if possible. We have traveled to many Caribbean islands, and done much snorkeling, but do not think it would be worth our time on this island, so are there other activities away from the resort? We are not sure if D. Republic would be enjoyable if we want to spend some of our days exploring the island, not just staying at the resort. Which resort would be our best choice? We have loved Provo, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Barbados, Virgin Islands as they had beautiful beaches and places to explore. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks....
Momburd is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 11:23 AM
  #2  
 
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None of these is going to be on the quiet side, and I'm a little concerned that you've chosen the DR based on your interests. The DR is absolutely nothing like the other islands you like, except perhaps Jamaica (though unlike Jamaica, the DR just doesn't have the wide range of easy-to-get-to activities and well-developed tourism infrastructure). And you don't go to the DR if you want to explore the island since each developed area is rather isolated.

It's relatively difficult to get around since roads are pretty poor and car rentals expensive, has poverty, and is not terribly pretty in many places. But there are some wonderful places to get away. The Samana Peninsula offers quiet, whale-watching, and some lovely small hotels on the beach. But there are virtually no resort-style amenities up there except at a few AI resorts that are pretty hard for Americans to get to (you have to fly into Santo Domingo and then drive 3 or 4 hours to get there ... or drive from the Puerto Plata airport about 4 hours).

In Punta Cana, I'd recommend the Riu for the 19 year-old. It has the biggest and best disco of almost any resort in Punta Cana. But Paradisus is a great all-around Ai resort. I just don't know the NH resort so I can't speak to it.

There are relatively few activities beyond the resort in the immediate Punta Cana area. Most of the tours require long travel times (at least 2 hours).

Frankly, I think you'd enjoy Mexico a lot more. It's easy to get around (you can certainly rent a car and drive yourself), the resorts are great, the food is excellent, it's inexpensive, and the dollar goes a long long way.

If you stay in the Riviera Maya, though you are a fair distance from the airport in Cancun (about 2 hours), you can explore Mayan ruins (there are resorts right on the beach in Tulum) and have excellent snorkeling and other activities. Cozumel (where you can fly nonstop) has a lot going for it as well, as does Cancun, though I find Cancun itself pretty sterile, and the beaches have taken a beating there. Plus, it's farther to the most interesting Mayan sites.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 11:30 AM
  #3  
 
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I've visited Punta Cana twice, the second visit much more enjoyable than the first. Paradisus has two resorts in Punta Cana, one more premium than the other named Paradisus parma real, which is where we stayed. Unless you take a very long trip to Santiago, there is no reason to leave the resort and frankly, it is not really recommended. This may not be the case if you were visiting Puerto Plata as opposed to Punta Cana. The resort was lovely, food was very diverse and about a 7 out of 10...snorkeling rather dull. The people were lovely and unlike many islands, quite efficient while still being laid back

Puerto Vallarta (although in Mexico), is on the pacific side, further south than the areas which seem to be suffering with bad publicity, is absolutely wonderful Lots of restaurants, great snorkeling, beautiful people, affordable & safe
Jini is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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...just had another thought! Atlantis, in the Bahamas, would be perfect
Jini is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 12:37 PM
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I would look into all inclusives in Mexico's Riviera Maya area. Much more to do off the resorts if you want to explore.
schmerl is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 02:15 AM
  #6  
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Thank you for your responses. We have been to Cancun, including Tulum, Cozumel twice, and Puerto Vallarta, too. We have been to Hawaiian Islands and more Caribbean Islands that is way we were checking into D.R. The islands we have not been to are not easily reached by air, and we do not want to spend, for example, 12 hours to reach Bonaire. We only have a week, so time is limited. We have discussed Belize....anyone been there? Thanks, again.
Momburd is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 06:11 AM
  #7  
 
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Belize is great and might meet all of your needs. If you stay on one of the Cayes you can enjoy the beach but can still get into the mainland for more interesting tours and make it back before dark.
doug_stallings is offline  
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