cancun or dominican republic

Old Jan 24th, 2002, 07:37 AM
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cancun or dominican republic

I am trying to decide between an all inclusive in Dominican Republic called Riu Merengue or one called Riu Playa Car in Cancun. Does anyone have any idea of which vacation area would have more to do for our kids 12 and 15?
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 10:16 AM
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I stayed at the Rui Playcar in November and we really liked it. There were a few kids there, but not many since it was not a school holiday time. The hotel has a fun activities staff that kept the teens entertained, and there are lots of things to do on activity trips outside the hotel. Downtown PDC is just a 5-minute cab ride away, too.

I'm not a big fan of the DR because it is more of a Third World country, and you should have a Malaria shot before visiting.

All things being equal, I'd pick Mexico.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 02:50 PM
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Malaria shot...where are you going???? I've been to the D.R. seven times and will be going back in two weeks and a malaria shot is not even suggested. We went to the Yucatan the end of October at the Iberostar Paraiso and it was the first vacation in more than 20years that I couldn't wait to go home. If you don't like third world countries go to Disney World or Aruba... The people in the D.R. are very sweet and friendly, the all inclusive resorts usually have teen camps and enough water sports for them to get involved in. While at the resort in Mexico I met a group and a woman off hand told me (she was from Atlanta) that they just discovered the Dominican Republic and she liked it much better than Playa de Carmen... and I whole heartedly agree.. I don't know about the Riu except it's in Puerta Platta and that is the one area I don't recommend at all.. For more info please write.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 03:59 PM
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US State Department's website recommends malaria shots for travelers to the Dominican Republic. I don't mind places a little primitive (I've been several places in the Caribbean, as well as to Europe), but I really want to feel safe when I am on vacation.

The people in Mexico were also very sweet and friendly, especially when they figured out that I could speak a little Spanish. I chatted with one lady for quite a while about her 6 pet dogs and her canaries! The food at the Riu was awesome, and the staff was so helpful.

I don't know about the Riu resorts being in Puerta Platta (?), but the area they were in was great. The beach had soft, white, powdery sand and the water was crystal blue. No, there wasn't any snorkeling off the beach, but there were plenty of excursions within 30 minutes to good spots.

And as for the money, our was under $1000 for 2 people for 4 nights, including air, for a 5 star hotel. We couldn't complain at all for getting good value for our money.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 04:45 PM
d motl
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Are you sure about your hotel location?
I don't see it listed in Cancun.
Playacar is a resort area attached to Playa Del Carmen which is 60 miles south of Cancun. Having been to Puorto Plata and PDC I would sure recommend PDC
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 07:01 AM
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We were in Cancun in December and traveled down to the Playa del Carmen area. It seemed like it would have a lot to keep a family busy, although the activities didn't seem to be cheap. Xelha and Xcaret are in that area, both appear to be amusement type water parks. You can also go on excursions to see Mayan ruins, either Tulum which is close or Chichen Itza which is a couple of hours away.

I don't know much about the Puerta Plata section of the Dominican Republic. We were in Punta Cana last year and although we thought the beaches were beautiful and enjoyed the water sports and thought the resort was really nice (Iberostar Punta Cana), it's not a place that I would rush to go back to. I didn't think the snorkeling was as good as in Mexico and the excursions we took away from the resorts were OK but not great. There didn't seem to be a lot of kids at our resort (late Feb., before Spring break), the guests were mostly European.

As far as the CDC and the malaria shot issue, the CDC's website says that there is no risk in resort areas in the DR. Unless you're planning on going into rural areas near Haiti, you should be OK. Go to for more info.
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 07:55 AM
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Riu Playacar is IN Playacar. It's a 'resort' and upscale home area directly south of Playa Del Carmen. The Riu Playacar is apx. 25 minute walk to the downtown area (5th Ave) or short taxi drive. It's a much safer area for going off the resort property than anything in DR. and there is plenty for kids to do.
Old Jan 27th, 2002, 02:01 PM
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We've been to both resorts: Riu Merengue twice & Riu Playacar last year, both times with our teens & other friends. We love both resorts, but hard to compare: the big advantage to Playacar is of course the proximity to the town of Playa del Carmen, which is great to walk to either before or after supper for a cool beer & great shopping (silver & pottery). At nite, you can also go to other resorts, but since your kids are too young for the disco scene, that's probably not an advantage.See Tulum in the a.m. & snorkel at Yel-Ku lagoon at Akumal in the p.m. At Riu Merengue, you're basically stuck at the resort, the town is barely worth seeing, altho the amber jewellery is beautiful--but you can go snorkeling on the catamaran to Sasoua (sp), which is good fun. The Merengue is by far the best resort in Puerto Plata --alot of the resorts are getting run down & the beach for the other resorts is very crowded.However, the beach cannot compare to that of the Mayan Rivera. Price: usually for us Cndns, the Merengue is much cheaper.The food & entertainment at both resorts is very good.
Old Jan 27th, 2002, 09:22 PM
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Playa del Carmen wins hands down. Better Beach, nicer people, better shopping.
I may book the DR, but will never go back myself due to gettting extremely sick.
I go to Cancun and Mayan Riviera repeatly with no such consequences.

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