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Rip Current – How to break the grip of the rip

Rip Current - How to break the grip of the rip

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Punta Cana Included in 2016 List of 100 Most Visited Cities in the World

Punta Cana, the Caribbean’s premier tourism destination, has been included in the exclusive list of 100 most visited cities in the world, registering a 9.5% growth in 2016.  According to Euromonitor International, Punta Cana is now the most dynamic city of Latin America.

The organization stated that “The Dominican Republic continues to work hard to facilitate access to this tourism destination.”

Since July 2015 international and national airlines such as American Airlines, Delta and the Dominican PAWA Airlines have introduced multiple routes to such destinations as Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Euromonitor International has indicated that the Dominican authorities will continue to facilitate entry into the country, especially now that the Civil Aviation Board approved 385 charter flights to travel to the country, in addition to the 1,255 that are currently operating.

The company also indicates that Thomson Airways Limited is now flying between London and Manchester to Punta Cana, and that the Thomas Cook travel agency operates 57 direct flights from Manchester.

Eurowings has been authorized to operate 78 weekly charter flights from Cologne, Germany to Puerto Plata and Punta Cana.

Source: Access DR

Feb 14, 2017

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Dominican Tourism Industry Receives International Recognition

The Dominican Republic’s tourism industry received top honors in 2016.  Punta Cana, in the country’s eastern region, was consolidated as the most popular destination in the Caribbean.  Also, four of the country’s beaches were included on the list of the region’s most beautiful beaches.  At the same time, the Samaná Peninsula, situated on the country’s northeast region, was chosen as one of the most outstanding destinations in the world and included on the Condé Nast Gold List 2016 for its breathtaking beauty, the World Golf Organization included the country, for a third consecutive year, as the “Best Golf Destination of the Caribbean 2016” and the MAG Tour Magazine of France issued the D.R. the “Best Destination” award in the International French Travel Market (IFTM).

At the same time, the Dominican Republic also strengthened its standing as a key destination for the Tourism of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, for both North America and Latin America.  The country currently occupies the 11th position in the MICE ranking for the Western Hemisphere.

According to the prestigious magazine, Samaná is one of the Caribbean’s most pristine and unspoiled regions.

For a third consecutive year, Puerto Plata’s cable car, on the north coast, received the 2016 Certificate of Excellence granted by TripAdvisor, one of the world’s most important travel websites, for its excellent service.

Punta Cana

The Punta Cana destination was included among the world’s top 100 cities that receive more international tourists, according to figures prepared by Euromonitor.

The popular destination also topped the list of the top ten Caribbean destinations, according to Travelers’ Choice 2016, and also included among the best golf destinations in the world.

Last year, Punta Cana’s international airport was awarded the Airport Service Quality Award, granted by the International Airports Council, for being one of the top three airports in Latin America and the Caribbean that receives more than two million passengers per year.

Airports from all over the world – 17 from Latin America and the Caribbean – were evaluated by international travelers who took into account 34 key indicators on quality and customer services.

Sixty percent of all incoming flights to the Dominican Republic come in through Punta Cana’s top-rated airport.

Top-Rated Beaches

The beaches in Bávaro (in the country’s eastern region), Playa Bonita and Sosua (in the north coast) were included on the 2016 list of the Caribbean’s top 25 beaches prepared by the Travelers Choice Awards.

Playa Rincon, in Samaná Province, came in 20th on the list of the region’s top 50 beaches, according to the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Source: Access DR

Feb 7, 2017

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For Tourists: How to extend your stay past the 30 day limit

Author: Michael D. Harness (Facebook)

Okay fellow immigrants, here is everything you need to know to make sure your stay is one without a surprise arrest for being here past the 30 day limit:

- Call the number you see on this sign, and ask for the Directions to their office in Puerto Plata. I don’t want to attempt to give you driving directions!

- Show up with your Passport and 2500 Pesos in hand (if you stayed a bit over 30 days, otherwise bring more money).

- Let them know you need to extend your stay. You can not extend your stay until you are past the allowed 30 day mark, don’t even try, they will not take your money. You have to go on day 31.

- You will be given a receipt for your payment, which shows you are legal to be here for up to 90 days. You can rinse and repeat as needed. They can also advise you on work visas and permits as well.

How do I know? I did exactly this along with 5 other people today, and it was a pleasant and helpful experience. DO NOT PUT THIS OFF, they are still detaining people.

NEXT DISCLAIMER: For those of us that are lazy, including me. I have a local Attorney who is also a close friend that will file your extensions for you. If you hate driving an hour there, and an hour back, you can pay $50 the 2500 Pesos and email him copies of your passport, and in return he will email you your receipt from Immigration. He accepts PAYPAL, and you can call him directly. Mario Roman Attorney at Law. Contact info: 829-770-9171 or you can find him here on FB, as well as email him at

I hope this helps everyone, and please share this information.


Note by the NPN: You can also extend your tourist card at the airport after 30 days. You can even pay for overstay in advance (if it’s no more than 90 days).

About the Tourist Card

Feb 4, 2017

View the current list of fines for overstay (charged at airports)

list of fees to pay at airport for overstay dominican republic

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Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club is Recognized as an Ideal Caribbean Getaway

The world renowned Forbes Travel Guide publication recently included the Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club on the Star Rating listing, as a four-five star facility  that meets the highest standards for customer satisfaction among tourists.

The internationally renowned publication also places the hotel on the list of the Caribbean Winter Getaways 2017, in the “Stylish Caribbean Chic in Punta Cana” category. This prestigious list also includes properties in Europea, Asia and other destinations in the Caribbean.

Throughout the year the Forbes Travel Guide team sends unidentified professional inspectors throughout the world in search of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and spas.  In total, some 500 basic quality stndards are evaluated in order to determine the facility’s world-class standards.

At the same time, the Forbes website included the Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club on the list of “Caribbean Winter Getaways 2017” under the category “Elegant Caribbean Chic in Punta Cana” because of the excellent facilities it provides to golfers, tennis players, yoga enthusiasts and that particular person who enjoys the finer things in life.

A luxury hotel

The hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World hotel chain, and the only facility in the Dominican Republic to be awarded during seven consecutive years the AAA Five Diamond Award.

The facility features 13 luxury one, two or three bedroom villas, all beautifully decorated with the colors and ambience of the Caribbean.

Guests have full access to the first class services available at Puntacana Resort & Club, where Tortuga Bay is situated.

Source: Access DR

Jan 9, 2017

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The Mythical Whales Return to the Caribbean

The beautiful Bay of Samana, on the country’s northeast region, is preparing to receive the humpback whales that from January through March make the warm waters off the north coast of the Dominican Republic their home.

During their stay in the region they mate and give birth to their young. Visitors can observe the whales in this natural habitat by visiting the country’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

Up to three thousand 40-ton humpback whales travel from the North Atlantic at an average speed of six kilometers per hour to reach the warm, crystalline waters of Samana Bay. They arrive during the month of January to deliver their offspring, after a gestation period that lasts from eleven to twelve months.

February is the best month for observing the whales in the Marine Mammal Sanctuary until their departure in late March. The protected area allows these mythical creatures to give birth and mate in a safe environment.

The sanctuary, one of the largest humpback whale observatories in the world, is a must visit for national and international tourists.

The Bay of Samana is the only place in the Caribbean where the humpback whales can be observed in a completely natural environment.
Each year more and more visitors travel to the country’s north coast to observe the whales. Another perfect observation spot is the Whale Terrestrial Observation Center, in Punta Balandra.

The Center has encouraged the region’s economic development and raised awareness on the need for all to respect and protect these huge marine mammals.

Due to the strict regulations that protect the whales, the authorities only allow guided tours to the Whale Sanctuary.

For this reason, only three ferries per group of whales are allowed. The ferries must maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters, and 80 meters if it is a mother and her calf. There is a 30-minute time limit per observation tour.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, some 50,000 tourists per year are visiting the Sanctuary. At the same time, some 100 direct jobs have been created around the whale-watching tours, as well as many micro and medium-size businesses.

Tour rates do vary, but most tour companies charge an average of US$50 per person, including lunch.

Tour Companies:

Ballenas Samana

Tbeo Tours


Colonial Tours

HerGuz Tours:

Desteny Solution:

Excursions See More

Dominican Shuttles

La Bellaventura

Source: Access DR

Jan 18, 2017

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The Month of February Ushers in Carnival Celebrations

Uruguayan writer Jose Cantero has stated that when the carnival spirit is unleashed, festivities abound.

His statement perfectly describes Dominican carnival, the country’s most popular and traditional holiday which dates back to the Spanish colony.  Back then, on the eve of the Catholic celebration of Lent, the residents of Santo Domingo would disguise themselves according to the traditional European customs of the period.  The carnival celebrations took place three days before Ash Wednesday when, according to Christian believes, the holiest of Catholic rituals begins.

In the Dominican Republic, carnival officially begins the last weekend of January in the city of La Vega, situated approximately 1.5 hours north of Santo Domingo.  In the country, carnival celebrations are closely tied to February 27, which is National Independence day. The close ties between the official and popular holidays take to the streets to the rhythm of carnival dances, floats, parades, masks where both young and old actively participate in the celebrations.

The traditional costumes used during carnival are a mixture of African, Indian and European cultures. The devil’s costumes originated as a way of ridiculing the Spanish colonizers.

Carnival in Santo Domingo

In the First City of the Americas, carnival begins with the coronation of King Calife, a traditional figure that appears dressed in black coat tails.  The city’s beautiful seaside boulevard becomes center stage for the carnival parade, which takes place the last Sunday in February.

Carnival in Santiago, the Country’s Second Largest City

Situated two hours north of Santo Domingo, in the very heart of the country, carnival celebration in Santiago is just as colorful but with its very own distinct characteristics. This year the carnival will feature a contest to promote the country’s typical music.  In Santiago, carnival parades are held every Sunday in February

La Vega

Thousands of Dominican and foreign visitors visit the La Vega carnival, perhaps the most iconic of all local festivals. The parade of the devils, dressed in beautiful handmade costumes, is a true expression of European medieval traditions.  The devils take to the streets with animal skin balloons, which they use to strike carnival participants. Celebrations are also held every Sunday in February.


The town of Bonao, situated one hour north of Santo Domingo, takes its name in honor of a Taino chief.  The Tainos were the original inhabitants of the island. Again, carnival celebrations are held every Sunday in February.


Situated in the country’s northwest region, during carnival celebrations the town’s iconic devils “Los Toros” (The Bulls) take to the streets to provide color, music and flavor to the festivities.  All carnival celebrations are held every Sunday in February.


This small centrally-located town features a truly colorful carnival celebration because of the wide variety of “devils” that participate in the Sunday parades.

Puerto Plata

The north coast’s most important city has managed to bring in to the local carnival the various traditions brought to the island by the Spanish and Africans, mixed with the traditions of the Taino Indians. Carnival celebrations in Puerto  Plata begin the second Sunday in February.

“Rio San Juan”

Also on the north coast, this small oceanfront town celebrates carnival by providing locals and visitors with open-air concerts.  Concerts are held every Sunday in February.

Punta Cana

Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean’s most important tourism destination takes place in the town’s main boulevard in Puntacana Village.  The carnival parade takes place on Sunday, March 4, at 4:00 p.m., with the participation of local carnival groups as well as representatives from such neighboring islands as Aruba, Curacao, and Puerto Rico.  An impressive delegation from Haiti also participates.

Source: Access DR

Feb 7, 2017

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Amanera, Dominican Republic – A serene escape

A refined breed of retreat is emerging in the Dominican Republic. The arrival of an Aman property, Amanera, signals that the island (a destination long known for its all-inclusives) is ready for top-tier luxury.

An hour-and-a-half drive from Puerto Plata, surrounded by sleepy towns and untamed jungle, Amanera presides on a dramatic cliff on one end of Playa Grande, a crescent-shaped beach that has a rare, wild beauty. Like other Amans, the resort’s aesthetic of sleek minimalism and the luxury of open space hold true to the brand’s philosophy. Amanera was designed by architect John Heah to be integrated into the environment, and it has a fluid indoor/outdoor layout and a palette of muted stone. Amanera is centred around Casa Grande, which houses the lobby, pool, restaurant, and lounge bar. The two-storey structure, all glass and concrete and Indonesian teak, marries drama with understated effortlessness and boasts floating walkways, infinity pools, and a sweeping ocean view.

Twenty-five casitas occupy a hillside facing the ocean. Each offers a water view and most have their own infinity pool. Aman takes privacy seriously and the spacious, minimalist casitas are surrounded by greenery—200 trees and shrubs were planted each month leading up to the November 2014 opening, and the planting continues—and utterly secluded. The first-ever golf-integrated Aman, Amanera boasts a newly renovated 370-acre golf course, where more often than not, you will be the sole golfer. The Amanera spa is a 10-minute golf cart ride away from the guest casitas; there, signature treatments are inspired by the healing traditions of the Dominican Republic.

Amanera, quiet and ideal for those looking for a private and serene escape.

Amanera, Highway 5, Cabrera Rio San Juan 33300, Dominican Republic, +1 809-589-2888


Jan 2, 2017

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Kick-start your healthy New Year’s resolutions at Dominican fitness getaway

Dominican Republic, /PRNewswire.- Dominican Republic’s all-inclusive resorts and world-class, white-sand beaches beckon travelers from all over the globe for rest and relaxation. But with the new year calling – and new fitness resolutions for 2017 – travelers should consider jetting to Dominican Republic for a fitness or wellness getaway. From outdoor activities and wellness retreats to luxurious hotel gyms, there are exercise options for every type of fitness getaway this winter.

“Dominican Republic’s wide range of travel options and activities may surprise travelers. Our country is so versatile, not only are we the premier destination for beach vacations, but we have the natural playground and high-quality service perfect for a fitness trip,” said Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. “There are so many exciting attractions to explore, you will stay active no matter where your trip takes you.”

Home to both the highest and lowest points above sea level in the Caribbean, the boundless array of outdoor activities will keep your muscles moving. For travelers looking for something less rigorous, yoga classes can be found in tucked-away bungalows. With so much to keep you moving on a wellness getaway in Dominican Republic, you can save the R&R for home.

Hiking Up a Sweat

Dominican Republic’s lush greenery and impressive mountain views can’t be found in any gym, so skip the treadmill and opt for a nature walk or hike. The country’s most rigorous hike, Pico Duarte, located in the central part of the county, is the highest peak in the Caribbean. Reaching an elevation of 10,125 feet, travelers can embark on a two-, three- or four-day trek to the top that is sure to challenge people of all fitness levels. The hike offers views of varying landscapes from tropical trees to cloud forests.

Another popular hike is through the Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve, which is also located in the central area of Constanza. Hiking through the stunning Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve, which is also used for environmental research, is more than just a cardio workout; it will keep your mind active with access to spotting 600 different species of flowers and plants and more than 100 different types of birds. The town of Constanza also recently added a bicycling route that showcases local plantations and educates visitors on the growth of local crops. So, whether you travel on foot or bike, Constanza is worth the stop.

After a hike, visit the Monument of the Pyramids in Constanza, an ecological and tourism destination located at an elevation of 7,217 feet in Valle Nuevo National Park. The Constanza area is bordered by four national parks, so there’s also plenty of wide-open space for pitching a tent and spending a night under the stars. Since Constanza is a mountainous region, its naturally cool temperatures offer brisk sleeping weather perfect for camping.

Hotel Gyms That Carry Their Weight

Dominican Republic’s high-quality hotels cater to a traveler’s every need, so it’s no surprise that hotels are equipped with impressive, full-service gyms. Having access to a gym in your hotel means there’s no excuse for leaving those running shoes at home. What’s more – many resorts offer group exercise programs so travelers don’t have to feel the guilt of missing their morning exercise class. Plenty of the all-inclusive resorts provide group fitness classes like kickboxing, boot camp or group cardio sessions on the beach.

It’s also common for popular fitness experts to bring their classes to hotels so vacationers can try a new and exciting fitness class on their trip. Les Mills, the world’s largest provider of movement-to-music fitness, offers group classes at one of Punta Cana’s newest all-inclusives. Another trendy workout experience, FloYo, the practice of yoga on floating paddleboards, has made its way to a Dominican Republic hotel, providing travelers no shortage of new and exciting exercise classes.

Still looking for more at your hotel? Try going for a run along the beach. Dominican Republic’s white-sand coastline goes on for nearly 1,000 miles, which means there’s more than enough beachline for a morning run.

Exercising Your Mind on a Wellness Retreat

A rising travel trend, wellness retreats offer travelers a chance to forget about the busyness back home and focus on exercising their mind, body and soul. Yoga retreats can be found throughout the country, but are especially popular in the lush ecotourism hotspot of Samaná. The area’s breathtaking landscape, complete with waterfalls, mountains and mangroves, provides the perfect balance of nature and tranquility for a yoga retreat. Travelers can also opt for a yoga class on the beach to unwind. Sometimes, taking a deep breath is just what the doctor ordered.

Classes and retreats welcome yogis of all levels and practices, including acro, ashtanga, ahtah, asan and more. Some wellness retreats even provide health professionals for a complete wellness experience. There are also several meditation centers that offer more wellness retreats to help with pain issues and/or stress management.

So whether you are searching for meditation, spirituality or strength training on your wellness getaway, Dominican Republic has it all.

About Dominican Republic

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical and paradisiacal country boasts nearly 1,000 miles of coastline, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches.

Known for our warm and hospitable people, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich cultural experiences like music, art and festivals, plus uniquely Dominican specialties such as cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, merengue, amber and larimar.

Dominican Republic features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official website at:

Source: DT

Jan 1, 2017

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VIP Areas in Puerto Plata’s International Airport

The “Beforeboarding” VIP lounge service is now available in the north coast city’s most important airport.

The lounges are available to all interested passengers.

The first lounge opened in Santo Domingo’s Las Americas international airport.

Travelers can wait for their flights in comfortable and relaxing lounges, including the Premium, Business, Victoria and Amber Lounges.

Lounge services include meeting passengers upon their arrival and transferring them to one of the lounges where the staff will take care of their customs and immigrations requirements.

The lounges are fully equipped with snack bars, unlimited WI-FI access, cable TV, free national and international calls, and international magazines.

Also, the purchase of tourist cards, flight information screen, children’s area and transportation assistance, if required by the passengers.

Source: Access DR

Dec 27, 2016

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Last updated February 20, 2017 at 12:24 AM
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